Shortly after Covid-19 began, the government shortly introduced the National Tutoring Programme (NTP).
This scheme is focused on providing extra support to students whose education has been most disrupted by the pandemic.
By providing students with additional tutors, the government aim to get students’ learning back on track for their targeted grades.
Introduced in November 2020, the National Tutoring Programme is aimed toward both primary and secondary school students; ranging from five to sixteen-year-olds.
So far, it is estimated that the government have invested £349 million into the NTP.
Randstad, a Dutch human resources firm, was given responsibility in distributing the tutors and were awarded £25.4 million to lead the scheme.
However, recent figures reveal that Randstad had only reached 15% of their overall target – causing MP’s to have “huge concerns”.
This resulted in the government cutting ties with Randstad in March, to help simplify the programme for schools.
Many schools and tuition providers have reported that they were unable to access the scheme, helping to explain why a large percentage of schools haven’t participated.
The Education Secretary, Nadhim Zahawi, has since urged for the usage of NTP as over 40% of schools have failed to join.
In an attempt to persuade teachers, Zahawi declares to publish data that reveals which schools have and haven’t used NTP this academic year.
In response to this, the public and education sector have responded with anger towards Zahawi’s statement.
Recent data reveals that two in five schools have not offered any NTP sessions, with the General Secretary Dr Mary Bousted stating: “The National Tutoring Programme is not working”.
Paul Whiteman, General Secretary of School Leaders’ Union (NAHT) explained: “Ongoing delays, conflicting guidance, and a shortage of high-quality tutors… has meant many schools have simply not been able to use the National Tutoring Programme”.
Whereas, in contrast to this, the National Tutoring Programme states that they have “developed options that make it easier for schools to access tutoring”.
Even for schools that did participate with the NTP, most chose the schools-led tuition route; where they were awarded funding to spend directly on tuition.
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