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for Schools

We have tried to think of all the questions you might have about the National Tutoring Programme and SP Tutors. If you cannot find the answer you are looking for here, and haven’t read it in our ‘About Us’ and ‘Information for Schools’ page, please get in touch by emailing us at contact-us@sptutors.co.uk or by telephone (01440 333110).

Pupils will be tutored in small groups of  three (One-to-one for SEND pupils). for each block.  Each block consists of 15 hours, typically divided into 15 x 1 hour sessions, or 30 x 30 minute sessions, depending on the subject, and the needs and ages of the pupils.

Schools can use their professional judgement on which pupils they consider to be the most disadvantaged.  The focus of the NTP is on supporting disadvantaged pupils aged 5-16.  Schools should therefore focus on disadvantaged pupils, including pupils eligible for Pupil Premium funding, Free School Meals, or those identified by schools as having an equivalent need for support.  Please see the NTP’s guide: Best Tutoring Practice: Briefing for Schools, Section 6 for more information.

There is likely to be a natural limit on how many pupils you decide to tutor – dependent on:

  • the budget you have available to fund your share of the cost of tutoring;
  • your school’s capacity to organise tutoring, e.g. scheduling sessions around other lessons, providing space and/or computer time and the availability of your staff to liaise with SP Tutors and our tutors around the content of the sessions.

The objective of the National Tutoring Programme and SP Tutors is to reach as many pupils in as many different schools and areas as possible, therefore, whilst there is no specific limit, if we receive requests for unusually large numbers of pupils, we will need to discuss this with you before we can accept the bookings and we will have to make an exceptional request to the NTP on your behalf.

No.  The NTP have stated that they wish to reach as many pupils, in as many schools, across as many regions as they can.  Therefore, they have set a limit of one block per pupil.

What if my pupil has multi-disciplinary needs? You can split the content of the 15 hour block into 8 hours English and 7 hours of Maths, for example.

Two things have to happen before we can start deploying tutors in your school:

  1. All tutors need to have their pre-employment checks,  such as DBS, Safeguarding and Teacher Prohibition checks, done before we can allow them to tutor in your school.

    SP Tutors was announced as a Tuition Partner on 2nd November – it will take at least a  couple of weeks from then to be able to do the pre-employment checks and ensure tutors have undertaken their core tutor training.  NB  Even if you have recommended a tutor and they are DBS checked in your school, SP Tutors, as their employer, MUST carry out our own DBS checks etc.

  2. Schools need to read and sign the  paperwork we will send you (MoUs, Evaluation Form, Schools’ Privacy Notice), confirm you have shared the  Pupil/Parent Withdrawal from Data Processing Letter and Pupil Privacy Notice, and complete and return the Pupil Data Template for each pupil.

Tutoring received through NTP Tuition Partners will be subsidised by 75%. This means that a school can purchase tutoring for four pupils for the normal cost of purchasing tutoring for a single child.

SP Tutors costs per session are as follows:


Mode Total cost for 15-hour block of tuition Cost to school of 15-hour block with subsidy applied
1-1 in person £50 for qualified teacher tutor (with QTS) £12.50 for qualified teacher tutor (with QTS)
1-1 in person £40 for tutor (no QTS) £10 for tutor (no QTS)
1-3 in person £50 for qualified teacher tutor (with QTS) £12.50 for qualified teacher tutor (with QTS)
1-3 in person £40 for tutor (no QTS) £10 for tutor (no QTS)

Schools are free to use to use additional catch-up funding, announced by the Department for Education in 2020, to pay for the remaining costs.

NB  In addition to this, as end-users of the service, schools are required to pay VAT on the fully cost of the tutor session.  This can be recovered in the usual way.

Yes.  As the consumer of the service, schools will be asked to pay VAT on the full cost of the tutoring session, rather than the subsidised rate.  This is recoverable in the normal way.

  • e.g.  If the session costs the school £12.50 (unsubsidised cost of session £50) £10 VAT will be charged (20% of £50)
    Therefore, the school will be invoiced £22.50 for each session (£12.50 for the session and £10 recoverable VAT)

Sessions delivered by tutors that hold QTS (qualified teacher tutors) cost £50 in total (£12.50 to the school).

We pay the qualified teacher tutor the equivalent* of £28 per hour, plus holiday pay.

The difference in the two rates is down to employment on-costs, our extensive tutor training offer, vetting (DBS etc), administration (quality assurance, school liaison, data collection etc).

SP Tutors was established to ensure the government’s catch-up funding remained in education – we are a not-for-profit organisation.

*We say ‘Equivalent’ because we pay tutors £22.40 per hour for each session completed, and after completing 15 hours (1 block) tutors receive a completion bonus (if they have delivered every tutoring session).  We opted for this pay set-up to incentivise tutors to complete a block so that pupils’ learning is not disrupted.

Schools will be able to decide whether to use tuition sessions in addition to their pupils’ normal school day, or during their timetabled day.

Typically, we would expect sessions to occur within the school day, or before or after school, rather than weekends.

We offer face-to-face tutoring and online tutoring, but both will take place in school.

More information and advice on deciding when best to schedule tutoring is available in the ​Best Tutoring Practice for Schools’ guide.

Yes!  SP Tutors actively encourages you to recommend someone you have already worked with.  There are so many positives around recommending someone to tutor at your school.  Not only does it streamline the application process (no interview required) but it overcomes one of the biggest barriers to success – forging of successful relationships.

Tutors already familiar with the school, its pupils and its school-specific procedures, policies and curriculum will have an immediate advantage. Communications are fluid, trust and credibility are already established and expectations are already aligned.

This is not to say that tutors you don’t yet know won’t be equally apt at establishing relationships in a short amount of time and we have included lots of aspects in our training modules to facilitate this.

To recommend a tutor, ask them to apply using our online form and inform us they wish to work with your school. https://sptutors.unitysp.co.uk/register-with-sp-tutors/

Your recommended tutors can either elect to work solely at your school, or be available to other schools too.  If you have recommended a tutor, they will appear at the top of your search in our T Reach Tutor-School matching IT system.

Yes, but there are rules around this and it has to be in keeping with ‘the spirit of the National Tutoring Programme’ which is to provide extra capacity and/or expertise to schools, to supplement high-quality teaching.

Part-time members of staff can tutor in your school as long as they have the capacity to do so and have applied to be employed as a tutor by SP Tutors.  They have to be employed by a tuition partner for your school to receive the subsidised tutoring.

SP Tutors will still need to run the normal, necessary pre-employment checks like DBS and Teacher Prohibition check, plus ensure they have a valid Safeguarding certificate. There are some core training modules that the tutor will have to undertake before being able to tutor in your school.

Full-time teachers are not able to tutor in your school.  They can, however, tutor in another school, perhaps a linked, neighbouring school, before or after class time, as this would provide outside expertise. Please always consider the practicalities of delivering the tutoring (travel time) and the teacher’s capacity.

Our bespoke schools-tutors matching IT system (T-Reach) will allow you to choose a tutor that is best suited to your school and your pupils’ needs.

Tutoring will be most effective when it is closely aligned with the curriculum and guided by the classroom teacher. Once you have chosen a tutor with whom you would like to work, you should liaise with your tutor and provide information about the needs of individual pupils, as well as any important information about the school, for example related to its Covid policies (a school induction pack – as laid out in the MoU).  It is important to agree suitable, achievable aims for the block which can be used to monitor the progress of the pupils, and SP Tutors can use as a measure of the tutor’s effectiveness.

More information on working effectively with Tuition Partners is available in the ​Best Tutoring Practice for Schools’ guide.

SP Tutors, during the application to become an official Tuition Partner of National Tutoring Programme, went through a rigorous assessment and approval process conducted by the Education Endowment Foundation.

The quality criteria set for approval included an assessment of:

– The tutor recruitment and training process;
– The provider’s experience of working with schools;
– The tutor training process;
– The systems and processes for communication with schools
– The provider’s experience of supporting disadvantaged pupils;
– The provider’s monitoring, quality assurance and tracking processes;
– The provider’s prior evidence of impact.


  • We have systems in place, and a team of people to liaise with the Key Teacher at your school.  At key milestones, we will contact your Key Teacher to establish whether the aims of the block are being met, and if not, we will discuss strategies of how to support the tutor so they can adapt plans/resources/approaches so that the aims are met.
  • We have an internal support mechanism for tutors too, which involves on-demand access to training modules, live workshop support from educational experts, peer support forums and a network of experienced teacher mentors that we can call on for support and advice.
  • Many of our tutors are experienced education practitioners, many of whom hold QTS – those that do not will have undergone extra tutor training in the pedagogy of tutoring.  You can choose whether you opt for a qualified teacher tutor (with QTS) or a tutor (no QTS) and verify their level of educational experience during the matching process.

No – you will not miss out.  The NTP has put measures in place to encourage a fair spread of tutoring across the regions and schools and will be monitoring all activity via Tuition Partners.

However, we would encourage you to register your interest with us using this form, so that once we reach a certain limit, we can advise you to register and book your blocks.