Tutoring from uni students can help primary pupils struggling in maths

Training university students and recent graduates to give disadvantaged primary pupils small-group tuition can boost their maths results by three months’ over the course of a year, according to the results of a  trial published by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF).

The Tutor Trust’s affordable tuition model was tested on 105 primary schools in Leeds and Manchester with double the average numbers of disadvantaged pupils. Year 6 pupils who were struggling with their maths were selected to receive the extra support.

The tutors were all students and recent graduates recruited to support schools in challenging communities. They were given structured training to help them plan tuition sessions, manage behaviour and assess pupils’ grades.

The pupils taking part in the trial received 12 hours of tuition, usually one hour per week for 12 weeks in groups of three.

The independent evaluation by a team of researchers from Durham University and the University of York found that the pupils who received tutoring from Tutor Trust tutors made three additional months’ progress in maths compared with a similar group of pupils who were not tutored. They also found some emerging evidence that pupils with low prior attainment tended to benefit more from the tutoring.

The EEF tested the Tutor Trust’s model to find out if it could be a cost-effective way to boost disadvantaged pupils’ attainment by giving them access to tuition.

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