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What is the National Tutoring Programme?

The National Tutoring Programme is a Government-funded, sector-led initiative to support schools in addressing the impact of Covid-19 school closures on pupils’ learning.

The National Tutoring Programme (NTP), which is now into its second academic year, was designed by a group of five independent charities: The Education Endowment Foundation, Impetus, Nesta, The Sutton Trust and Teach First. It was established in response to clear evidence that Covid-19 is likely to widen the attainment gap between poorer pupils and their peers in English schools. It is funded as part of the Government’s coronavirus catch up package .

The two pillars of the programme, NTP Tuition Partners and NTP Academic Mentors, will widen access to high-quality tutoring and academic mentoring for disadvantaged pupils who have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic.

Extensive evidence shows that children can make significant progress with high-quality tutoring. Recent analysis of polling by the Sutton Trust for the NTP highlighted the “tutoring gaps”, which the NTP aims to address:

  • The Disadvantage Gap : Pupils from the least affluent families are significantly less likely to have been tutored compared to those from the most affluent (18% vs. 43%), a gap that likely widened during lockdown.
  • The Regional Gap : The availability of high-quality tutoring varies widely across England, with many coldspots where tutoring is unavailable. Pupils in London are significantly more likely to have accessed tutoring (50%) than their peers outside the capital (29%).

The National Tutoring Programme (NTP) aims to support schools in providing a sustained response to the coronavirus pandemic and to provide a longer-term contribution to closing the attainment gap. 


The programme has three pillars – NTP Tuition Partners, School-Led Tutoring and NTP Academic Mentors:

NTP Tuition Partners

Schools can access high-quality tutoring from an approved list of tutoring providers known as Tuition Partners, who have passed a set of quality, safeguarding and evaluation standards. Tuition Partners offer a range of subjects and provide targeted support for pupils in small group or one-to-one sessions. This option offers additional tutoring capacity to schools, especially where this is scarce. It also provides a high level of flexibility to schools and academy trusts without them having to use their own staff and a selection of providers who can tailor their expertise to support particular needs. Tuition Partners will work in partnership with schools to ensure quality is assured.

All state-funded schools and academy trusts are eligible to apply.

70% of the cost is subsidised in academic year 2021/22. Schools and academy trusts need to fund the remaining 30% through other budgets, for example recovery premium or pupil premium.

Schools and academy trusts can register their interest in Tuition Partners on the NTP website, as well as search for Tuition Partners in their area.

Find out more about how it works here: Tuition Partners – NTP (nationaltutoring.org.uk)

SP Tutors have been providing tuition for NTP Tuition Partners since November 2020 and have enhanced their tuition programme again this year.

Find out more about SP Tutors and the Tuition Partners Pillar:

School-Led Tutoring

New for AY 21-22, the DfE have introduced another pillar for tuition, designed to complement the other pillars. Schools do not need to apply for this funding. It will be automatically awarded to schools via ESFA and all schools, whether choosing to use the grant or not will be required to complete data returns. Any monies not spent at the end of the Academic Year will be clawed back.

Find out more here: School-Led Tutoring – NTP (nationaltutoring.org.uk)

This grant will give schools and academy trusts the flexibility in determining how best to provide tutoring intervention to support catch-up for lost education due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 

DfE – School-led tutoring: conditions of grant – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

This grant funding is ring-fenced for expenditure on school-led tutoring only and cannot be pooled with other premia. It should entail staff costs of delivering tuition only and cannot be used to cover costs such as: diagnostic tools, room hire, equipment, laptops, transport, stationery or record keeping.

You can read more about how to use the grant in the school-led tutoring guidance.

This funding cannot be used for the non-subsidised element of the National Tutoring Programme (NTP) including costs related to support provided by NTP tuition partners and academic mentors.

Funding is allocated for around 60% of pupils eligible for pupil premium per school. 75% of the cost is subsidised in academic year 2021/22. Schools and academy trusts will need to fund the remaining 25% through other budgets, for example recovery premium or pupil premium.

The school-level allocations will be published on GOV.UK. Academy trusts will be funded directly and maintained schools will be funded via the local authority.

Although there is no requirement to apply for this ring-fenced funding, there are conditions attached including the completion of an end of year financial return.

For more information on the conditions of grant, access to the allocations spreadsheet, funding tracker and guidance please click here: School-led tutoring: guidance and tracker tool – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

NTP Academic Mentors

Trained graduates will be employed by schools in the most disadvantaged areas to provide intensive catch-up support to their pupils, allowing teachers in these schools to focus on their class teaching. The proposal here focuses on NTP Tuition Partners but should schools in the area qualify for NTP Academic Mentors, these graduates could be offered training and support too.

Academic Mentors are salaried members of staff and will work alongside teachers to provide a range of interventions, focusing on small group and one-to-one sessions. They will provide support tailored to schools, including subject-specific work, revision lessons and additional support. Academic Mentors are graduates or teachers who undergo intensive training before being placed in a school.

Schools and academy trusts based in one of the qualifying Local Authority Districts can apply to be matched with an Academic Mentor. However, if your school or academy trust is not based in a qualifying area but has a higher than average percentage of pupils eligible for free school meals and pupil premium, you may still be able to access support. Please contact the NTP via email at academicmentors@nationaltutoring.org.uk

95% of the Academic Mentor’s salary is subsidised in academic year 2021/22. Schools and academy trusts need to fund the remaining 5% through other budgets, for example recovery premium or pupil premium. The subsidy rate for 2022/23 will be 50%
and for 2023/24 will be 25%.

Schools and academy trusts can register their interest to apply for an Academic Mentor, or keep their existing one, on the NTP website.

Official Tuition Partner