5th Anniversary celebrations at Tutor Trust


The Tutor Trust is overjoyed to be celebrating exactly 5 years since our Co-Founders Nick Bent and Abigail Shapiro secured our prestigious launch grant from the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) on 7th September 2011.  That was the day that we began work tackling the serious education inequality in Britain.

Upon receiving the grant, The Tutor Trust was registered as a charity at the end of September 2011; we delivered our very first tuition session in February 2012, at Whalley Range High School for Girls in Manchester.

Since then, Tutor Trust has:

  • Recruited and trained over 1,000 tutors, mostly talented university students
  • Provided over 50,000 hours of academic tuition to schools
  • Supported over 10,000 pupils
  • Partnered with over 250 primary and secondary schools
  • Opened an office in Leeds (2015) and worked with over 20 schools already
  • Grown to a staff team of 11
  • Secured further funding from EEF for an independent evaluation of our tuition during 2016/17, involving 100 primary schools
  • Seen our first ever tutee become a tutor – the first of many!

As one of the most exciting and innovative social enterprises in Britain, Tutor Trust’s impressive work has already been recognised further afield.  In the 2016 Charity Times Awards we are a Finalist in the 'Best New Charity' category.  Locally in Manchester, we have been nominated for a 2016 'Spirit of Manchester Award' by MACC, for our commitment to partnership working.  Both sets of awards will be decided later this autumn.

Across big cities like Greater Manchester and Leeds, educational disadvantage is acute, and the percentages of looked after children and pupils on free school meals who secure the basic qualifications necessary to give them decent choices in life are shockingly low.

Tutor Trust redresses this injustice by making sure every child who needs some additional academic support can get a great tutor.  It should not just be middle class children who get the benefits of one-to-one tuition.  Schools that want to bring in tutors should not have to resort to faceless, profit-making tuition companies.  We are a radical new delivery model, with the potential to help tens of thousands of young people across Britain.

By way of illustration, this year saw our first ever tutee become a tutor. MJ, from a Somali refugee family in Manchester, got a C in English GCSE after six months of help from Tutor Trust.  So he was able to do A-Levels and is now at the University of Manchester - he's also one of our Maths tutors, working with pupils at his former high school.

Once a small Manchester-based charity, we have now worked in all ten local authorities across Greater Manchester and expanded into Leeds as well, where we have been delivering tuition for over a year.  On top of the EEF launch grant, additional start-up funding was provided by the Oglesby Charitable Trust, SHINE and Manchester Airport Group, plus pro bono support from firms such as PwC and Pannone Corporate.

The raw figures of our progress are astounding to consider; we have now delivered over 50,000 hours of tuition in English, Maths and Science; over 1,000 tutors recruited and trained; our tutors have helped over 10,000 pupils; and we have worked in 250 Primary and Secondary schools.

One of our key partnerships since the start has been Teach First, and Tutor Trust is now an important source of fantastic new recruits for the teaching profession, as so many tutors get the teaching ‘bug’.  In 2016, one quarter of all the new teachers recruited by Teach First in Manchester were Tutor Trust tutors.

After only five years, we are all immensely proud of the amount that The Tutor Trust has achieved.  Our Co-Founders Nick Bent and Abigail Shapiro said:

“After five years, The Tutor Trust has surpassed all our expectations in its success.  We are so proud of all the incredible work our tutors do in schools.  We have an outstanding team here, but there are many partners to thank – not least the EEF, without whose grant we would never have been able to begin to realise our charitable mission.  Over the years we have been lucky enough to work with so many amazing, like-minded organisations, from Teach First to SHINE, and Frontline and we cannot wait to see what the next five years will bring.”

We aren’t the only ones who think The Tutor Trust is impressive! Nominated for both the 2016 Charity Times Awards’ ‘Best New Charity’, and the Spirit of Manchester’s ‘Best Partnership Initiative’ accolades, our achievements are being recognised by many leading charity and educational faculties – The Tutor Trust is proud to be a member of the Fair Education Alliance, as well as a partner of the Universities of Manchester and Leeds.

Looking at the growth and achievements of The Tutor Trust since 2011, we are looking forward to another exciting five years here at the Tutor Trust; with two award ceremonies coming up, as well as the launch of a major evaluation of our work, namely a randomised control trial that will involve 100 primary schools across Greater Manchester and Leeds and which will be carried out by York Trials Unit and Durham University.  This is another reason to be thankful to the Education Endowment Foundation, who are funding this independent research – we are looking forward to seeing more and more evidence of our impact on education.  Here’s to another five years of success!


The Tutor Trust

Closing the gap through volunteer tutoring: Action Tutoring joins the Fair Education Alliance

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