With GCSE results day fast approaching, the attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their more affluent peers will be at the forefront of the minds of those of us at Action Tutoring and our fellow education charities. Frustratingly, the gap in GCSE results still sits at 27% between those pupils in receipt of free school meals and the more advantaged, despite the efforts of many to work against this trend.
The prevalence and cost of private tuition can contribute to this gap, but Action Tutoring open up the benefits of small group tuition to those that would otherwise be unable to access it. We do this through our network of dedicated, high quality volunteer tutors, who work with pupil premium pupils in our partner schools as they approach their exams. We’re proud that we’ve supported over 1350 pupils across nearly 50 schools this year, as they work towards the C grade in English and maths that will allow them to go on to further education, employment or training. But, closing the huge attainment gap across the country will undoubtedly require a collaborative approach of schools and organisations and Action Tutoring is determined to contribute.
We are therefore excited to announce that from September we will be working with the Fair Education Alliance, an umbrella organisation comprising of leading organisations as diverse as UCAS, Achievement for All and Business in the Community. We’re looking forward to joining forces with others passionate about creating a more equal education system, to bring about change, provide a voice to government and learn from our collective experiences.
The FEA seek to address the link between socio-economic background and achievement at primary, secondary and higher education level through collaborating with members working in line with their 5 Impact Goals. Action Tutoring will be working towards Impact Goal 2- to narrow the gap in GCSE attainment at secondary level by 44% by 2022.
It’s a big goal, but one that we are all committed to reaching. We firmly believe that the voluntary sector working with schools and pupils can make a real contribution to achieving this end. Across the country, we have almost 800 dedicated high quality volunteer tutors working with us to narrow the gap across 6 cities. With them, and through drawing on the expertise of the FEA’s vast pool of members, we want to put fairer education firmly on the agenda and effect a much-needed change in the UK, ultimately benefitting thousands of young people up and down the country and enabling them to progress to a productive and brighter future.
Elly Turnbull, Action Tutoring