In my 20 years in the business of UK education, tutoring was almost always seen by governments as ‘the love that dare not speak its name’.
That political and ideological taboo has been shattered as a result of Covid-19, and in England we now have a state-funded, 3rd party-managed and 4th party-delivered National Tutoring Programme (NTP) £350m+.
This is the largest part of the government’s £1bn ‘Coronavirus catch-up package’, but is it needed, will it work, who runs it and is it the best use of taxpayers’ money?
The short answers are:
|Yes||For 2m government school students, decades of advances in education have been erased. Funded by parents from every level of society and income, tutoring has helped some, despite tutoring being out of favour at a policy level for the last 20 years, with overt objections from Labour and only tacit support from the Conservatives|
|No||The NTP is based on the narrow views of a small, self-interested, interconnected elite who have the ear of government. Despite their claims around evidence and research, they have steered the government into putting too much money into a single project when there are equally credible ways to help close the ‘attainment gap’. But these are structural, hard to deliver and would require making some tough and politically unpalatable decisions|
|No||In the rush to score public approval and sector support the NTP, as it’s currently structured, managed and delivered is inefficient, is too varied in the quality and models of tutoring, gives schools limited choice, is probably anti-competitive and won’t make a substantive difference to the long-term life chances of the students who need the most help|
|No||£350m+ (and likely much more) is as, if not more, expensive than sourcing high quality tutors from the far larger (£5bn+), well-established, private tutoring sector (agencies and platforms)|
|No||It may actually damage the in-school provision sector by distorting the market in the short term, delaying and/or reducing long-term investment|
|No||It has consolidated the power of a small number of interlinked, insular educational organisatons who have very specific social, political and educational agendas but whose views don’t necessarily represent the wider education community|
It’s a neat, palatable and expensive political package that will not fix the attainment gap, a huge challenge that can only be addressed by considered, long-term policy, structural and spending changes.
This article falls into several sections:
- Is the NTP the right solution?
- What we should have done but didn’t before Covid-19
- The different response of private schools
- The untapped talent pool for education advice
- The media
- Process problems
- Selective evidence bias Deficient due diligence
- Competition law concerns
- An ideological bias against the mainstream tutoring sector
- Is the NTP value for money?
A – Link to my analysis of NTP suppliers
B – Selection of research relating to tutoring
2020 has been a seismic year in education. So far we have seen:
- Disruption having a negative impact on as many as 2m K12 students
- Exams replaced by teacher assessment overlaid by standard statistical modeling, then complete teacher assessment
- A £1bn education ‘Coronavirus catch-up package’ from the English government, which includes
– 400,000 low-cost computers and internet access devices for schools and students
– £6m for edtech demonstrator schools
– £350m for a National Tutoring Programme (NTP)
- Creation from scratch of arguably the most impactful edtech initiative ever in the UK, Oak National Academy (ONA)
- A substantial widening of the education/opportunity gap between the government and independent school sectors.
These are just some of the significant themes to emerge in the 9 months of the post-Covid-19 UK education landscape. Equally huge will be the impact in FE, HE and corporate learning, but for this extended article I am focusing on K12, England and tutoring, areas where I have domain expertise.
In England, the government spent ~£76bn in 2019 on K12 education, the bulk of which (>70%) goes on salaries and pensions. In real terms, the amount spent has fallen slightly from a historical high in 2010. The extra £2.2bn announced by the Chancellor in his Spending Review (3%) is helpful but minor in the wider context of the burgeoning £2.008 trillion deficit.
I have already written about the procurement of computers and devices for schools and students from the ‘catch-up’ £1bn here. But there’s a bigger story around the £350m+ for the NTP.
The NTP was,designed and developed by a collaboration of five charities – the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), Sutton Trust, Impetus – The Private Equity Foundation, Nesta and TeachFirst – working in partnership with the Department for Education (DfE), and has two elements:
- NTP Academic Mentors is delivered by TeachFirst who receive £6.4m to train graduates to, ‘provide support tailored to their school, but most Academic Mentors will support subject-specific work (both one-to-one and in small groups), revision lessons, and provide additional support for those shielding or not in school’. Mentors will be paid £19k p.a.but it’s unclear whether this is from the £1bn fund, the £350m for tutoring or elsewhere. Since launching in 2002, TeachFirst’s programs have had a major impact on improving education standards initially in London (as part of London Challenge) and more recently across England and Wales (not Scotland).
- NTP Tuition Partners is the larger part of the scheme, led by EEF. Phase One will cost £79m. On Oct 20 the D
- DfE published a Pre-Procurement Notice (2020/S 217-533975) ‘investigating options and seeking market input on the provision of tutoring services across England’
- Is the NTP the right solution?
Schools closed on Mar18; on Apr 22 EEF published their ‘new evidence’ about remote teaching and learning’ along with ‘resources for schools and parents to help them make the most of remote learning during Covid-19 closures.’
On Jun 3, EEF announced a pilot of four ‘different models of tuition’ covering 1600 students and run by the Sutton Trust, EEF, Nesta and Impetus.
Simultaneously, EEF published a letter from CEO Professor Francis, in which she claimed the educational impact of Covid-19 was, ‘a test of a generation’, and that ‘the gap at the end of primary school could widen by between 11% and 75% between March and September’, ending with, ‘What matters now is how we respond’.
Fifteen days later on Jun 18, the government, via Secretary of State for Education, Gavin Williamson, announced the NTP, run by EEF, Sutton Trust, Impetus, Nesta and DfE.
Despite a lack of consultation and any vestige of transparency, on Jun 25 Professor Francis wrote again to justify the NTP and, by proxy EEF‘s role in running it, as necessary despite teachers ‘herculean efforts’ and schools becoming a ‘fourth emergency service’
She goes on, ‘There is extensive evidence showing the impact of tutoring as a catch-up strategy. However, as the Sutton Trust and others have documented, tutoring is currently widening rather than narrowing the gap’. Yet the same Sutton Trust research cited says, ‘Two thirds of children who previously received private tuition were reported to no longer receive such support, while a third continued to access tuition through online services. The effect of these changes has been to narrow the ‘tuition gap’, but this is likely to be temporary’.
Running meta research analysis around online learning; conceiving, organising, funding and running tutoring pilots; and creating a £350m scheme using public funds to tackle significant educational disadvantage in just 12 weeks from school closures seems at odds with EEF and Sutton Trust’s mantra that the only credible evidence comes from using Randomised Control Trials (RCTs), something you can’t do in a few weeks. In the pre-Covid era, Green Papers (consultations) and White Papers (official government policy) took at least two years.
Equally, the idea that tutoring is the best, most cost-effective solution seems predicated on weak, cherry-picked evidence, ignoring more substantive long-term ideas to help disadvantaged students and improve schools and education overall.
The lack of wider consultation within the education community and reliance on an elite cadre of trusted advisors has given us a rushed £350m solution to the deep and potentially long-lasting problems in education caused by Covid-19. An example of this is to ask why the DfE ignored research from the Sutton Trust that pointed to other factors and possible approaches to the growing attainment gap. Their research notes, ‘Pupils from independent schools are twice as likely to take part in online lessons every day’, but does not look into why this occurred and whether the successful adaptation seen in private schools was applicable in government schools (see point 4)?
- What we should have done but didn’t before Covid-19
Could the extent of the damage have been ameliorated? Yes, if we’d implemented some straightforward changes pre-2020, such as:
- Implementing several years ago what is now the Temporary Continuity Direction that came into force on Oct 22 and mandates that, ‘schools have a duty to provide education to children at home, as they do when children are in the classroom’
- Having a pragmatic edtech spending strategy not driven by a committee of the usual suspects or the government’s go-to edu advisory clan (EEF, Sutton Trust, Impetus and Nesta) or the current DfE EdTech Strategy. What schools still need is clarity, with focus for school leaders on priorities (educational practice, impact, saving time, improving systems, etc.) and on where they will get the most return from spending their limited edtech budgets (e.g. low-cost devices not iPads). The core of this should be an Opportunity Cost calculator to help schools decide whether their spending on X might have an evidenced impact better than Y (what they already use).
- All schools should have fully implemented either Google’s GSuite for Education or Microsoft 365 before 2020. These products are largely ‘free’; school leaders who hadn’t should have been disciplined rather than receiving £2k from catch-up funds for consultants to implement the software
- Teachers’ employment contracts should require them, with appropriate training and systems from school management, MATs, LEAs, etc, to teach online when and where necessary
- Diverting 20% of the BBC’s Education budget to be allocated to initiatives that have demonstrated success in helping schools and students. The BBC has failed in their Reithian remit and new Director General Tim Davie should focus on dumping the follies of his predecessors, e.g. Tony Hall’s Open School idea and avoiding the getting into another financial disaster like BBC Jam (under DGs Greg Dyke and Mark Thompson)
- Ending the ill-considered, ad hoc edtech funding that comes out of DfE/Nesta/BEIS/Innovate UK, etc to combine, along with diverted BBC funding, into a larger, better-managed and professionally staffed edtech unit modelled along the lines of the former DfES Business Development Unit.
- The response of private schools
In their report on the impact of school shutdowns on Social Mobility the Sutton Trust noted that:
- pupils from independent schools are twice as likely to take part in online lessons every day
- private schools were much better prepared, with a large proportion (60%) already having a platform to use, compared to 37% in the most affluent state schools and 23% in the most deprived schools.
But this document assumes, without any real analysis, that this is due to the differences in funding between government and independent schools and the children who attend them. It makes reference to a survey done on the app TeacherTap on Mar 26, just eight days after schools closed. The Research Brief was published just seven days later, suggesting PR spin rather than substance.
Across my career in the UK, US and Australia, I have observed that private schools have always been skeptical users of edtech. They have more devices and better home access but spend up to 60% less per student on edtech (hardware, software and systems) compared to many government schools, as seen in some of the successful bids for the now defunct £80bn Building Schools for the Future (BSF) program.
So why were private schools better at delivering online education at the start of the crisis? Simply, they are charities or businesses where parents spend their post-tax discretionary income. If a school can’t or won’t teach then parents won’t pay and the school closes or is taken over by someone who can deliver. Teachers in these schools had to adapt overnight to almost complete online education, whether they liked it or not. Private schools also gave fee reductions (10%-20% backdated to Mar). Some even imposed 10% pay cuts for all staff. In evolutionary terms, private schools went through a ‘rapid fitness adaptation’, something that couldn’t happen to the same extent or at the same speed in most government schools (30% of who have done as well as private schools). This is a key reason for the worsening education gap.
- The untapped talent pool for education advice
In the world of UK education, which other organisations are qualified to either participate in or possibly deliver parts of the Coronavirus catch-up package? Aside from TeachFirst (for whom I have huge respect), the list might include:
- BESA – long experience and understanding of the UK K12 edu sector
- researchED – the ground-up, educator-led organisation challenging the top-down academic model of educational research and promoting research literacy amongst classroom teachers
- Tutors Association – the most relevant industry association whose significant input was ignored by both the DfE, EEF, Sutton Trust, etc.
- The Key – credible and experienced school support organisation
- The Education Policy Institute – serious research and thought leadership
- Teacher Development Trust – research and delivery of CPD and professional development within the sector
- Oak National Academy – the largest reach and impact of any UK edu organisation during the crisis
- The media
There has been little public comment in the mainstream or specialist education media sector, a notable exception being SchoolsWeek. In the small world of educational advice and influence any criticism of the DfE, NTP, EEF, Sutton Trust, Nesta et al is seen as both business and career-limiting. A good example can be seen at the TES, whose content (print and now digital) has been the market leader in the UK for 110 years. They have covered the NTP but with little depth, critical analysis or commentary. One of the successful NTP bidders was TES Supply Ltd (via subsidiary recruitment and supply agencies Vision for Education, ABC Teachers and Smart Education) owned by the TES, via a complex structure –- TES BidCo Ltd, then TES TopCo Ltd and ultimately by US firm Providence Equity Partners L.L.C. Worth noting also that the TES’s Editor and Digital Publishing Director, Ann Mroz, sits on the EEF’s Education Advisory Committee.
- Process problems
Here are a few of the process challenges that I’ve identified so far:
- Most EEF staff appear to be inexperienced, lacking knowledge of the tutoring sector (in schools and outside) and of the world of enterprise outside the quango charity sector
- Applicants were asked to provide evidence of impact and learning for their bids to succeed. It became apparent that only a minority (10-15%) of the 400 applicants would be able to do this to the level mandated by the EEF. Arguably this is a good thing but equally it skewed the process in favour of larger organisations with deeper pockets and towards those such as schools groups and universities who had existing research and evaluation programmes to cross-subsidise this element. When private sector companies raised this issue they were recommended to apply as they (EEF) would take this into consideration
- The NTP did not focus on the wide variation in pedagogical and delivery models, e.g. whether the tutoring is delivered by undergraduate students or qualified educators (from TA to QTS), uses direct instruction or child-centred approaches, uses gamified software, and so on. These may be far more critical than student to tutor numbers (1:1, 1:2, 1:3, even 1:4) or the delivery model (face-to-face or online)
- Lack of capacity in schools to host tutoring sessions due to limited space and the need for open windows and no heating in Covid-safe classrooms
- A lack of joined-up policy. There is an existing teacher recruitment crisis, something the NTP will make worse. At least six of the winning bidders are teacher recruitment or supply agencies
- A lack of transparency over differences between successful and unsuccessful bids
- Inadequate disclosure and governance around the relationships between the NTP’s controlling partners and their complex relationships with some NTP bidders
- A lack of transparency at every level from the application process, evaluation and allocation to a lack of disclosure. For example, Professor Francis was a director of Pearson Education Ltd from Sep 2019 to Oct 20 2020, after NPT bids had been submitted. Her protestations that she took, ‘no part in…its assessment’, and resigned when she was, ‘made aware [the organisation] was being recommended for funding’, ring hollow when Pearson Education’s annual return for 2019 states that upon appointment, ‘Non-Executive Directors participate in a detailed induction programme in which they meet with all the leaders from all main areas’
- The NTP will boost the market for a limited period only (18-36 months). This will bring opportunistic supply from recruitment agencies but hamper longer-term investment in private tuition suppliers to schools
- Does the NTP’s pupil and school allocation system break competition law by using its market power unfairly and by distorting the market?
Is the fact that the NTP’s procurement was weak and lacking transparency a fatal flaw? No. As the founder of a successful UK company specialising in the tender sector commented, ‘Yes it looks weak, but by appointing a large number of suppliers, the market will quickly sort the wheat from the chaff’. This practical advice overlooks one key issue. Successful suppliers have been given inflexible allocations, so those for whom there may be high demand won’t be able to deliver more than their quota (£79m in total for Phase One). Part of the allocation by the EEF is based on geography and the desire to deliver in-class tuition but this is tricky. Many headteachers don’t want to buy services from relatively unknown suppliers, nor do they want a bunch of students and educators of unknown quality potentially disrupting an already complex situation in their schools, including students who are in Covid-related isolation at home or out of school for other reasons.
The NTP is slowly being rolled out. On Oct 20, the DfE, as funder of the project, published a Prior Information Notice (PIN), ‘to notify the market that the Department is currently investigating options and seeking market input on the provision of tutoring services across England.The Department is seeking advice and information from the market in order to help inform the delivery options available for the next stage of the NTP’ (Phase Two).
- Selective evidence bias
Well before the pandemic we already knew a lot about what worked in education in almost every area because various UK and international organisations have been doing serious and publicly available research for decades. The problem is that elite edu bodies like EEF and Nesta seem to think getting someone else to fund their own research (and organisations) is the only quality information out there. I saw this firsthand at the launch of the DfE’s £4.6m EdTech Innovation fund: the audience laughed out loud when someone asked the panel, including Nesta’s Director of Education, DfE’s Head of Digital & Edtech and DfE Team Leader Edtech Delivery Unit, why they seemed to be ignoring 40 years of research into education and technology? I doubt I was the only person feeling a sense of schadenfreude at the laughter and waffling reply that Churchill would have described as terminological inexactitude. In terms of tutoring, its impact and cost benefit, there is a huge amount of relevant research and evidence stretching back almost 40 years. See Appendix B for a list.
- Deficient due diligence
I have done basic due diligence on the 32 suppliers. I didn’t dig too deep; many companies file abbreviated accounts although the larger the entity or if is also a charity audited accounts are available. So what did I find of concern?
- A mismatch between the allocation of students and schools and the experience and likely capacity of at least 50% of suppliers
- An imbalance of risk, with some suppliers with sizable allocations being owned by a single director with less than 3 staff with almost zero current assets to scale-up to meet their NTP allocation
- Several large companies who claim to be specialists in recruitment of teachers and supply staff, but who have no history or actual experience of delivering tutoring
- Multiple suppliers with no Registered Data Controller with the Information Commissioner’s Office (check registrations here)
- Companies with sizable allocations who employ no staff in the NTP-listed entity but contract them from elsewhere, e.g. Smart Education Ltd, a subsidiary of TES Supply Ltd, say, ‘the entity contracts services from 331 full-time employee agency workers’
- Mistakes on the NTP website about the actual companies with whom they have contracted, e.g. Smart Teachers Ltd is listed as one of three companies within TES Supply Ltd, but this is actually a dormant subsidiary of Smart Education Limited, another TES Supply Ltd subsidiary. TES Supply’s own accounts show that it is dependent on intercompany support and funding and that the fall in turnover (‘transactional advertising and supply Net revenue has reduced by 60-80%’) could cause them to breach their financial covenants. The same is true of multiple providers owned in complex corporate structures that track back to private equity companies. Related entity NTP suppliers share contingent liabilities as much as £80m!
- A lack of clarity in how most NTP suppliers employ tutors. Standard DfE requirements are that any contract staff used in schools should be PAYE employees to avoid IR35 challenges from HMRC
- Several providers have previous and/or ongoing relationships with the EEF, Impetus and the Sutton Trust which the NTP should have publicly disclosed in a risk register
Hopefully the DfE will look into this and other matters as part of their current PIN. It won’t see any change in the role of the key players (EEF, etc) but could see the list of suppliers either consolidated or ideally widened.
- Competition law concerns
My view is that competition and diversity of supply is ideal but has the NTP as it relates to tutoring broken Competition Law? The first issue is their non-transparent system of allocating schools and students to vendors. This is market manipulation without any obvious explanation. Given the size of the NTP (£350m) compared to the existing far smaller market for in-school tuition (my estimate is >£50m p.a.) then this looks like abuse of dominant position, prohibited by both UK law as enforced by the Competition & Markets Authority and in the EU. It is worth noting that the Phase 2 PIN for the NTP was published in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEC) a system we will effectively be leaving after 01/01/2021 rather than using the government’s G Cloud Digital Marketplace. It would be up to the CMA to investigate the NTP but I presume they will only do that if someone complains, such as an unsuccessful bidder?
- An ideological bias against the mainstream tutoring sector
The NTP objects to tutoring agencies and platforms that match users (school, families or students) with tutors, as spelled out in the application information for bidders.
‘We expect Tuition Partners to be organisations who can deliver a tutoring programme (consisting of training for tutors, central monitoring of quality and systems to communicate with schools) rather than tutoring agencies who only match tutors with pupils.’
In fact, most reputable agencies do exactly what the EEF wants and the EEF list of approved suppliers includes agencies (e.g. Fleet Education) and a hybrid agency and platform (MyTutor) as the following illustrates:
- Fleet Education Services (Fleet Tutors) say on their website, ‘we have a great network of private tutors and education experts’ and that they provide, ‘work-finding services to its work-seekers (aka tutors)’
- MyTutor say, ‘In providing the Site and the MTW Services, MTW does not provide the Tutoring Services. To use the Tutoring Services, the Client enters in to a legally binding Contract with the Tutor’. MTW Services includes the provision of an online platform i.e. a website whereupon MTW provides an online marketplace for Clients to contact Tutors, the Site plus a database of Tutors.’
- Is the NTP value for money?
So does NTP’s £350m represent good value in terms of closing the attainment gap as part of the government’s catch-up package? In part it depends on the research and evaluation being done by NFER which will take a lot longer than the research and evidence on which the NTP is based.
The linked spreadsheet in Appendix A that breaks the prices down by what the 32 suppliers are being paid broken down not just the student to tutor ratio and delivery model (face to face or online) but also:
What schools pay . The rates listed on the NTP website is the subsidised price per 15 hour block amount. This is 25% of what the actual block costs i.e. the real amount is four times the rate. For example 1-2-1 Mentors 1:1 in person rate for a 15 hour block with the NTP subsidy applied is £252. This means in total the cost of the NTP (subsidised and non-subsidied amounts) totals £1008 or £50.40 per hour.
Benchmarking the total costs against market prices on tutoring platforms shows that the are range from low (Career Tree 1:1 in person £30 per hour) to at the upper end (Pearson 1:1 in person costs £75 per hour) of what can be seen on any platform or major tutoring agency website!
So in terms of value for money, the picture looks pretty good for schools who only se the 255 cost, but for the government and taxpayers you could get similar prices buying by the hour in the nrnal private tutoring market. The real issue for schools though isn’t the price it’s getting access to a quality provider with well trained reliable tutors, two key factors that are already emerging as serious problems for schools who have a limited choice and for quality suppliers whose allocation is fixed. Realistically the NTP could have negotiated much better rates bulk buying from the £5bn existing private tutoring market (using similar minimum requirements as applied to NTP suppliers in terms of child safety, reporting, variable delivery methods, etc). The artificially manipulated internal market of the NTP, along with the variations in models of delivery, qualifications of tutors, etc make an absolute value comparison almost impossible. What’s obvious is that by deliberately limiting supply and ignoring the far larger existing pool of potential tutors from the private tuition sector (agencies and platforms) then there is less diversity of provision and lower competition – meaning less access to quality, experienced tutors and weaker outcomes in closing the attainment gap.
- Exclude pure recruitment companies with no tutoring or intervention experience, such as:
- TES Supply (ultimate controlling entity Providence Equity Partners LLC) subsidiaries Vision for Education, ABC Teachers and Smart Teachers
- Supporting Education Group’s (ultimate controlling entity Intermediate Capital Group plc) subsidiaries Teaching Personnel and Protocol Education
- Pearson plc
- Change or abandon the allocation system (details can be found in the linked spreadsheet in Appendix A)
- Connex Education Partnership have a large allocation but are far smaller than other suppliers such as Third Space Learning (Virtual Class Ltd), the largest existing supplier to UK schools who employ 200 dedicated maths specialist tutors
- Pearson plc are redeploying Pearson Edexcel examiners rather than providing experienced specialist tutors
- School Partnership Tutors was founded in 2020, have no substantive experience in tutoring and won’t be bidding in the Norwich Opportunity Area due to a potential conflict of interest
- MyTutor will and similar suppliers who are relying on university undergraduates will probably suffer from a lack of ability as this cadre of tutors will have limited/variable availability at key times e.g. during university exams
- TLC Live – lack of scale, front-end website built of free website service WIX. Serious online companies have fully configured, flexible, secure backend technology platforms that don’t run at basic front end systems like WIX
- Factors that should exclude existing NTP suppliers getting to Phase Two
- Recruitment and supply agencies who use umbrella payroll companies to pay NTP tutors
- Any entity who cannot prove that all tutors (if employed in the UK) are either PAYE employees or on IR 35 compliant contracts
- If they did not at the time of the application for NTP actually employ tutors
- If they failed to disclose any pre-existing financial relationship with NTP partners, specifically EEF, Sutton Trust, Impetus or Nesta
A couple of companies not on the NTP but who could be quality NTP suppliers:
A – Spreadsheet
B – Selection of research relating to tutoring
- Cohen, P.A., Kulik, J.A., Kulik, C.C. Educational Outcomes of Tutoring: A Meta-Analysis of Findings, American Educational Research Journal, 1982
- Mapping and evaluating shadow education, ESRC Research Project RES-000-23-0117 Ireson and Rushforth Institute of Education, University of London 2004/5
- Kunsch, C.A., Jitendra, A.K., Sood, S. The Effects of Peer-Mediated Instruction in Mathematics for Students with Learning Problems: A Research Synthesis Learning Disabilities Research and Practice, 2007
- K.J. Topping, D. Miller, P. Murray, S. Henderson, C. Fortuna & N. Conlin Outcomes in a randomised controlled trial of mathematics tutoring, Journal of Educational Research, 2011
- Leung, K. C. Preliminary Empirical Model of Crucial Determinants of Best Practice for Peer Tutoring on Academic Achievement Journal of Educational Psychology 2014
- Evidence for Learning Australia (a JV with the EEF) a case study with linked meta analysis of peer tutoring
- One-to-One Tuition Pilot Course Evaluation, Brown, Ireson, Shepherd, Bassett and Rushforth, Institute of Education, University of London 2010 An analysis of the £10m Making Good Progress (MGP) pilots in 450 schools in 10 Local Authorities with 10hrs of one to one tuition for 10% of KS2 & 3 students 2008/10. Run by Gordon Brown’s government, the pilot was planned to significantly expand to 600,000 students in 2011 had the Labour Party won the 2010 election despite a PWC evaluation` that described the impact of one on one tutoring on mathematics as ‘less pronounced’ and that due to difficulties recruiting teachers the majority of tuition was provided by a schools existing teachers and not an outside provider
- Developing one-to-one tuition: Guidance for tutors, DCSF, Nottingham 2009
- PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (2008) Evaluation of the Making Good Progress Pilot Interim report. Research Report DCSF-RR065 DCSF, Nottingham 2008
- Report and recommendations of the DfE’s Education Technology Advisory Group (ETAG) 2014/16
- Professor Peter Twining’s blog post about ETAG and the DfE’s Edtech Strategy 2019
- I worked at the DFES Business Development Unit when it was run by EdComs in 2003-2004. This small pilot program was successful in that it raised as much as £17m p.a. in sponsorship to help support initiatives like London Challenge). I was an EdComs employee having previously sold them my business, Educational Communications Pty Ltd (Australia).
- I am an investor in the SOTC Ltd the company who own the tutoring platform Spires.