National Tutoring Programme: guidance for schools, academic year … – GOV.UK

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Published 23 May 2023

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The National Tutoring Programme (NTP) provides primary and secondary schools with funding to spend on targeted academic support, delivered by tutors and mentors.
The government is committed to narrowing the attainment gap and improving outcomes for the most disadvantaged in society. Strong evidence suggests that the model of targeted academic support, through trained tutors working with small groups and individuals, can make several months’ difference to academic progress.
We expect you to target tutoring towards pupils who are eligible for the pupil premium (PP) or who are below the expected standard or grade boundary in an applicable subject, but recognise that tuition may be used to support a variety of pupils’ needs. Our approach therefore provides a high degree of flexibility and choice, so that you can develop tutoring that suits your school’s requirements.
All eligible state-funded schools will receive NTP funding over the course of the academic year 2023/24. This funding is paid in termly instalments by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), directly to academies and non-maintained special schools or to maintained schools via local authorities. Local authorities will also receive funding for looked after-children (LAC) and children they have placed in independent special schools. It is intended to cover 50% of the unit cost of tuition, with your school making up the remainder of the cost using PP or other core school budgets.
NTP funding can be used to subsidise tuition delivered by one, or a combination of, the following routes:
To help ensure that tutoring is high quality, Education Development Trust provides free, comprehensive training for the academic mentor and school-led tutoring routes.
The academic year 2023/24 is the fourth and final year of the NTP. We hope you will use this final year of NTP funding to consider how you will deliver and fund tutoring in your school in the future. We want tutoring nevertheless to continue into the long term, providing targeted support for those children who will benefit. We are also considering how we can support delivery of this long-term ambition.
State-funded schools with pupils in years 1 to 11 who are eligible for the pupil premium will receive NTP funding. We have published funding allocations that tell you how much funding your school will receive and whether it is for mainstream pupils, pupils in special schools or both (as they are funded at different rates).
Schools that receive the higher rate funding, including special schools, alternative-provision schools, pupil referral units, special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) units and resourced provision, will collectively be referred to as special schools throughout this document. For a full list of schools that receive the higher funding rate, please refer to the funding for special schools section.
Your NTP allocation is based on pupils eligible for the pupil premium, as recorded on the October 2022 school census. The Authority Proforma Tool (APT) is also used to identify any eligible pupils with SEND in specialist units or resourced provision within mainstream schools who will be eligible for the higher rate of funding.
The NTP grant uses the same classifications as the pupil premium grant in determining PP numbers. This includes eligible pupils with no recourse to public funds (NRPF), pupils recorded as eligible for free school meals at any point in the last 6 years (FSM6) and previously looked-after children (Post-LAC).
To find out how much funding your school will receive for the academic year 2023/24, see the school-level funding allocations.
For the academic year 2023/24, we will provide the following funding for NTP:
Funding will be paid to your school in 3 termly instalments – you do not need to apply for NTP funding. Any unspent funding, or funding spent outside of grant conditions, will be recovered by the ESFA in the academic year 2024/25.
For the academic year 2023/24, NTP funding can be used to pay for 50% of the total cost incurred by your school to deliver tutoring. The total cost of tutoring should not exceed the maximum hourly per-pupil rate that applies to all NTP tutoring you provide, to ensure the cost of tutoring is not excessive.
The hourly per-pupil rates are:
We recommend that you use PP to fund the school’s portion of the tuition cost. Tutoring is an effective use of PP and is included in the menu of approaches in the guidance for school leaders.
You can use the NTP calculator tool to work out how much your school will need to contribute, and track information during the academic year to add to your year-end statement.
Your NTP funding allocation can be used to contribute towards on-costs (also known as employer costs) such as National Insurance and pension contributions. It cannot be used for onboarding costs, such as providing Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks, induction training or setting an employee up on school systems.
We will ask you to report how you used your NTP grant in the year-end statement, including:
We will calculate the hourly rate for your school by dividing your total spend by your number of hours delivered. If your hourly rate is £18 or less (£47 or less for special schools), we will cover 50% of the cost you have incurred, up to your allocation.
If your hourly rate is greater than £18 (or greater than £47 for special schools), we will fund £9 per-pupil per hour (or £23.50 for special schools), up to your allocation.
These hourly per-pupil rates apply to all tutoring you deliver, whether this is through:
We will not provide any subsidy beyond your funding allocation, although you may fund and deliver more tutoring if you wish.
If a tutoring session has to be cancelled at short notice, you can still include this in your year-end statement. This is intended to help schools or tuition partners avoid being financially penalised for circumstances beyond their control. We expect this will apply only to sessions that are cancelled with less than 24 hours’ notice.
More information on record keeping and data returns can be found in the data, reporting and accountability section.
The following examples illustrate some of the funding scenarios that may occur and how you should address them, when managing your  NTP  funding.
Yours is a mainstream school with a funding allocation of £5,130. By the end of the academic year, you have provided 480 pupil hours of tutoring delivered by your tuition partner, at a total cost of £8,400.
Your hourly rate is within the maximum hourly rate of £18. We will subsidise 50% of the total cost you have incurred, which works out at £4,200.
This means that £930 of your initial £5,130 funding allocation is unspent. This will be recovered by the ESFA in the academic year 2024/25, following your completion of the year-end statement.
Your remaining cost is the difference between the total cost you have incurred and the amount met by your funding allocation. This works out at £4,200, and you will need to meet this from other funding sources such as PP.
Yours is a special school with a funding allocation of £2,115. You have provided 192 pupil hours of tutoring delivered by your own staff, at the maximum hourly per-pupil rate of £47, at a total cost of £9,024.
50% of this total cost is £4,512, which is greater than your funding allocation. Your NTP funding will cover £2,115 of the total cost you have incurred.
Your remaining cost is the difference between the total cost you have incurred and the amount met by your funding allocation. This works out at £6,909, and you will need to meet this from other funding sources such as PP.
Yours is a mainstream school with a funding allocation of £33,750.
You provide 2,200 pupil hours of tutoring using a tuition partner, at a total cost of £39,600. You also employ an academic mentor, at a total cost of £25,500 (salary and on-costs), who provides 1,500 pupil hours over the academic year. In total, your school has spent £65,100 on 3,700 pupil hours of tutoring.
Because your hourly per-pupil rate is below the £18 maximum, your funding will cover 50% of the total cost you have incurred, which works out at £32,550.
This means that £1,200 of your initial funding allocation is unspent. This will be recovered by the ESFA in the academic year 2024/25, following your completion of the year-end statement.
Your remaining cost is the difference between the total cost you have incurred and the amount met by your funding allocation. This works out at £32,550, and you will need to meet this from other funding sources such as PP.
Yours is a small mainstream school with a funding allocation of £1,890.
You’ve paid a classroom teacher to provide tutoring for pupils after school. Your hourly per-pupil rate was £20, and the teacher delivered 150 pupil hours over the academic year, incurring a total cost of £3,000.
Because your £20 hourly per-pupil rate is above the £18 maximum, we will cap your subsidy at £9 (50% of £18) for each of the 150 hours. This works out as £1,350, which is within your £1,890 allocation.
This means that £540 of your initial funding allocation is unspent. This will be recovered by the ESFA in the academic year 2024/25, following your completion of the year-end statement.
Your remaining cost is the difference between the total cost you have incurred and the amount met by your funding allocation. This works out at £1,650, and you will need to meet this from other funding sources such as PP.
Schools can design and deliver a tutoring offer that meets the needs of their pupils.
Pupils in key stages 1 to 4 (years 1 to 11), in a state-funded school, are eligible for the NTP.
The principal objective of the NTP is to improve the attainment of disadvantaged pupils. Schools are required to consider offering tutoring to all of their pupils who are eligible for the pupil premium.
We recognise that schools may also wish to offer tutoring to pupils who are not eligible for the pupil premium. When considering this group, schools should focus on pupils who are below the expected standard or grade boundary in an applicable subject. This means:
Schools continue to have the discretion to offer tutoring to pupils not in the groups outlined above.
Focusing on test or grade boundaries may not be appropriate for some pupils with SEND. Schools are instead advised to refer to the supporting pupils with special educational needs and disabilities section when considering pupils with SEND for tutoring.
Tutoring can be delivered in group sizes from 1:1 up to a maximum of 1:6, to maintain high-quality and impactful tuition.
Schools may also want to consider tutoring for those pupils in receipt of pupil premium who move schools. These children may find tutoring particularly beneficial.
NTP funding can only be used to subsidise tutoring for pupils currently on roll at your school.
For primary school pupils, tutoring can be provided in mathematics, English and science.
For secondary school pupils, it can be provided in mathematics, English, science, humanities and modern foreign languages.
Alternative tutoring interventions are available for pupils with SEND.
NTP funding can be used to support pupils with English as an additional language (EAL), but the focus of the tutoring cannot be teaching the English language – it has to be an approved subject, as outlined above.
Tutoring courses should be 12 to 15 hours long to have a meaningful impact on pupil attainment, as evidenced through research. Schools should plan their tuition with this in mind and avoid less effective piecemeal tutoring. You may also wish to deliver longer courses, if this meets the needs of your pupils.
Tuition can take place in-person or online and should be agreed between the tutor and the school.
We expect you to organise tutoring at an appropriate time for pupils to encourage high attendance. If a pupil has to be taken out of lessons for tuition, you must ensure they still have access to the full curriculum. Tutoring can also take place outside of core school hours, as detailed below.
If a pupil cannot attend a scheduled tutoring session due to factors beyond the school’s control, you should try to make alternative arrangements. This may involve rearranging the missed session for a time that is convenient for all parties or nominating another pupil to attend the session. If a tutoring session is cancelled with less than 24 hours’ notice you can still include this in your year-end statement.
You may wish to provide tuition outside of core school hours, including after school, at weekends, during school breaks or the summer holidays. This is optional and is voluntary for pupils. Teachers should work closely with parents and pupils to ensure the right decision is made for each child.
If an NTP tutor is employed outside of core school hours, their primary purpose should be to deliver tuition. NTP funding should not be used to provide childcare, enrichment, meals or entertainment.
The delivery guidelines for term-time tutoring arrangements also apply to tuition outside of core school hours, along with the following additional considerations:
You are welcome to combine tutoring with independently organised initiatives outside of core school hours, such as private summer programmes taking place on school premises. However, NTP funding should be spent only on tutoring.
You may wish to consider working with universities to enable university students to deliver tutoring to your pupils. As tutors, university students could potentially help to raise aspirations of pupils whilst also sharing their specialist subject knowledge.
To facilitate this, we have provided a guide for universities outlining suggested models that can be implemented using the existing tutoring routes within the programme. Universities can adapt these models to suit their circumstances and interested universities may get in touch with you to offer their students as tutors.
DfE is committed to supporting pupils with SEND to improve their progress and achievements.
Pupils with SEND can engage with traditional tutoring in specific school subjects, especially when it is adapted to meet additional needs.
To improve the tutoring experience and enhance academic outcomes for these pupils, you can consider taking the following steps:
We recognise that some pupils with SEND would benefit from a boost to their progress in other academic areas, such as learning capabilities, sensory development and communication.
Tutoring subsidised through the NTP may include alternative types of established, evidence-underpinned intervention for pupils with SEND, which can be tailored and targeted to meet individual needs. An example of an alternative tutoring intervention is speech and language therapy.
Special schools are eligible for a higher rate of funding to reflect their smaller group sizes and higher tuition costs. Your allocation will tell you which rates of funding your school has been awarded.
The following institutions, collectively referred to as special schools, can receive the higher funding rate outlined in funding and paying for tutoring:
The tuition partner route allows you to build partnerships with expert tutoring organisations that have been quality-assured by DfE. They can provide you with tutors with particular specialisms, including SEND, tuition for pupils who have English as an additional language (EAL) and subject and key stage specific support. This route may help schools that would benefit from external resource to coordinate and deliver tutoring to pupils.
Your school can only use NTP funding on approved tuition partners listed on the find a tuition partner service. These organisations are subject to rigorous quality assurance, which will include ensuring they offer value for money to schools.
Tuition partners are quality assured, which means they have demonstrated compliance against our delivery partner Tribal’s safeguarding, safer recruitment, organisation and quality requirements.
Tutors are recruited and employed according to the standards set by each individual tuition partner. If you choose to work with a tuition partner, you should agree with them how they will deliver tutoring to your pupils.
You can only spend NTP funding on quality-assured tuition partners. If you would like a tutoring organisation to register as a tuition partner so you can work with them, advise them to apply through Tribal.
You can use the find a tuition partner service to select a tuition partner to meet your needs. This service can filter tuition partners by location, subject and delivery method (online or in-person). Search results allow you to compare tuition partners by price and include contact details so you can contact organisations directly to make tutoring arrangements.
You can use NTP funding to continue to work with the same tuition partners you may have previously engaged, provided they are still approved and are registered on the find a tuition partner service.
If you choose to work with a tuition partner you will need to establish your own commercial and financial arrangements with your selected organisation. This should include agreeing:
In establishing a commercial relationship with your chosen tuition partner, it is your responsibility to ensure the tuition partner complies with policies or procedures relevant to your organisation.
Academic mentors are salaried, in-house members of staff who work alongside teachers to provide one-to-one and small group subject-specific tuition. This means they can reach a large number of pupils and embed tutoring within the school. Academic mentors are therefore well-suited to schools with high levels of disadvantage or high numbers of pupils in receipt of PP.
You can request an academic mentor from our delivery partner, Cognition Education. Academic mentors provided by Cognition Education have successfully completed a rigorous selection process and qualifications check.
Academic mentors are responsible for one-to-one and small group tuition. The role involves:
To apply for the role of academic mentor, candidates must meet either of the following qualification requirements:
Or, at a minimum, both:
Before being placed in a school, academic mentors must undergo online training provided by the Education Development Trust. This training consists of various pathways so it can be tailored efficiently to the skills and experience of each tutor. You may request that your academic mentor undertakes specific parts of the training if you feel these are relevant to the needs of your school. The length of the training will vary for each individual, and will last approximately 14 hours for those without QTS.
The core training is mandatory for all academic mentors except those who completed it in a previous academic year. You may nominate academic mentors and school staff to undertake a refresher course, if required.
You can apply to our delivery partner, Cognition Education, to be assigned an academic mentor. Cognition Education will register all academic mentors they recruit for training delivered by the Education Development Trust. In most cases, academic mentors will have completed training before deployment, although you can choose to employ an academic mentor while training is in progress, if you wish.
You will be able to request an academic mentor with a specific skill or qualification, such as a background in a particular subject. Cognition Education will provide an academic mentor for you to consider if one is available.
If your school already has an academic mentor you wish to re-employ, there is no need to follow this application process. Instead, you can continue to employ them directly, using the following employment guidelines.
The minimum salary for an academic mentor is £19,000 per year, or £21,000 for those with a university degree. You may choose to set higher salaries at your discretion. You must also ensure that salaries are set in line with relevant employment requirements, including the National Minimum Wage and the National Living Wage. All subsidies will be applied to the hourly per pupil cost of delivering tuition, not the total annual salary. For more information, see funding and paying for tutoring.
An academic mentor’s standard working hours are structured around the school day, with flexibility to deliver tutoring sessions at lunchtimes or after school. If an academic mentor will be required to provide tuition during the school holidays, they should be notified of this at the start of their employment.
You are responsible for providing employment contracts, which should run to the end of the academic year 2023/24 and must cover school holidays, including the summer holiday. You may employ academic mentors full-time or part-time, with working patterns to be agreed as part of putting in place employment contracts. You must also organise safer recruitment, DBS and employment history checks in line with standard practices for onboarding new staff.
If you are considering employing an academic mentor, and yours is a small school, you may wish to consider arrangements with another school in your academy trust or local area to share this tutoring resource. In such cases, both schools should include their total cost incurred and the number of pupil hours delivered in their year-end statement. This flexibility is encouraged if it works best for schools and extends the benefits of tutoring to a higher number of pupils in need of support.
The school-led tutoring route offers flexibility for your school to identify their own tutors. These may be people recruited from your own staff, such as classroom teachers or teaching assistants. Alternatively, retired, supply or returning teachers can provide tutoring. Your school leaders can decide who will be an appropriate tutor with the skills and experience to deliver high-quality tuition to meet the needs of your pupils.
If your current staff are delivering tutoring, you should ensure that activity they are undertaking is formally recorded and that remuneration arrangements are set out in writing. You must ensure  NTP  funding is used only for tutoring activity for which your school has incurred additional costs.
If you are engaging new staff as tutors, you should ensure that all safer recruitment checks have been completed. It is the responsibility of your school to agree with tutors the terms of their employment.
Engaging an external organisation to provide external tutors falls under the tuition partner route, which is covered in tuition partners.
To ensure school-led tutoring is high quality, a comprehensive training package is available from the Education Development Trust. Training content will vary according to the professional background of individual tutors, in recognition of the fact that staff hired as tutors will have different levels of experience working in a school setting. Training is optional for staff with qualified teacher status (QTS) or those who have completed the recommended training in a previous year and mandatory for all other tutors employed by schools and funded by the NTP.
Training is free of charge to schools and tutors and will take place online. If you are hiring new staff as tutors you will be required to provide proof of employment and can nominate them for training via the Education Development Trust website.
You should keep up-to-date, clear and accurate records of the tutoring you have delivered. Doing so will inform any data returns requested by DfE, including your year-end statement. 
We recommend that you record: 
This will help you to fulfil data returns when requested by DfE. For the academic year 2023/24, you will be asked to provide the following returns: 
Further information on making your termly school census return is available in the school census guidance.
All organisations in receipt of the NTP grant are required to submit a year-end statement to report how they have used their funding. We plan to release this, via the ESFA, in summer 2024 and will notify you when the form is available. Detailed guidance on completing the form will be released nearer the time.
We remain committed to publishing data on overall NTP performance and school delivery. This may include in-year publications during the course of the academic year 2023/24 showing the volume of tutoring delivered, and year end statement publications which show delivery at school level.
Ofsted will inspect all schools by summer 2025, in which they may look at available tutoring data.
Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is everyone’s responsibility. You must ensure that appropriate safeguarding and safer recruitment measures are in place for all types of tutoring you are delivering. The following advice is intended to support your school to fulfil this.
Our delivery partner, Tribal, will review each tuition partner’s application of safeguarding and safer recruitment requirements as part of its regular assurance activities, but it is crucial that you continue to recognise your own role in ensuring the safety and wellbeing of your pupils.
Each tuition partner is responsible for recruiting its own tutors, including making decisions on their suitability for employment. If you are engaging a tuition partner to provide tutoring, you must continue to meet all the requirements set out in keeping children safe in education (KCSIE) to ensure tutors are suitable and the tuition partner has effective safer recruitment arrangements in place.
As would be the case for any third-party staff deployed in regulated activity, this will include checking the identity of an individual, obtaining satisfactory assurances of which pre-recruitment checks have been carried out by the tuition partner in relation to the individual tutor, and a copy of the tutor’s DBS certificate, as appropriate. Evidence requirements will vary depending on the type of school. These requirements are the same regardless of whether tuition is delivered in-person or online, paid or unpaid, and whether or not the tutor is based in the UK.
If a tutor is based overseas, evidence of in-country checks should supplement a UK-issued DBS certificate, but must not be accepted as a substitute. If the tutor is to be engaged in the provision of education for children aged 5 or under, your school should seek such additional assurances as may be necessary to satisfy your obligations with respect to childcare disqualification. KCSIE makes clear that inspectors will always report on whether or not arrangements for safeguarding pupils are effective.
If the tutor is employed by a tuition partner, the organisation must comply with the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations 2003. These require them to provide schools with confirmation of the identity of the tutor and information about their qualifications and experience, as well as any positive disclosures returned from the safer recruitment checks. They should also offer to provide copies of the tutor’s qualifications and references.
Academic mentors and school-led tutors will require pre-appointment and safer recruitment checks. Your school should complete these checks itself, remaining compliant with your school’s obligations under part 3 of KCSIE.
Where an existing member of staff, such as a teacher or teaching assistant, has been engaged as a tutor, it remains your school’s responsibility to ensure they have been engaged in compliance with all safer recruitment requirements.
As with any activity, your school should consider the risks of tutoring and any appropriate mitigations. For instance, it is good practice for small group and one-to-one tuition to take place in a visible area such as an open-plan workspace, a library, or an information and communication technology suite, where possible.
If tuition is delivered online to pupils who are accessing it from the school site, a staff member should always be present to supervise given the unique nature of online delivery. Your school must also satisfy themselves that appropriate safeguarding arrangements are in place for any online tutoring provided to pupils at home, taking into account your statutory obligations under KCSIE.
Your school must have regard to the requirements in KCSIE for any activities arranged by, or on behalf of, your school outside of core school hours such as on weekends, after school, or over the school holidays.
Your school should remember that annex C of KCSIE outlines the role of the DSL. It reads: “It is a matter for individual schools and colleges and the DSL to arrange adequate and appropriate cover arrangements for any out of hours/out of term activities.”
Duty of care still applies out of core hours and outside of term time, and the DSL or a deputy DSL should always be available. Your school should review its DSL responsibilities and ensure arrangements are in place before tuition is offered outside of core school hours, ensuring DSL contact details are up to date, and that the DSL or deputy DSL is contactable at all times.
Funding for PP eligible pupils placed by local authorities in independent special schools (ISSs) will be paid directly to the local authority. Local authorities can retain this funding to organise tutoring for these pupils themselves, or pass on NTP funding to applicable ISSs to enable them to provide tutoring for eligible pupils. Funding should not be passed on to non-maintained special schools, maintained special schools or special academies as these receive their own NTP allocations.
When transferring NTP funding to ISSs, local authorities are expected to:
Local authorities will need to include information about the tutoring delivered by ISSs in their year-end statement. This will include:
Local authorities will also need to report on any NTP funding spent centrally in their year-end statement. This will include:
The ISS should decide how best to use the funding to provide tuition support for pupils, in line with the guidance provided. It will be the responsibility of the ISS to work with local authorities, where necessary, to decide which PP-eligible pupils will be supported and what constitutes a suitable tutoring offer for those pupils. ISSs will not need to complete a year-end statement, but should inform local authorities how many hours of tuition they have delivered using the grant.
Funding for looked-after children (LAC) will be paid directly to the local authority. We expect local authorities to pass the NTP funding for LAC to their virtual school head (VSH).
The VSH should decide how best to use the funding to provide tuition support for the pupils they are responsible for, working with relevant schools as necessary.
It is the responsibility of the VSH to:
We understand that, in some cases, VSHs will want the flexibility to pass on funding directly to the relevant schools, which will be able to arrange tuition provision locally. Schools may also choose to provide NTP tuition for LAC, using the funding provided. In such cases, it is important to remember that the VSH will still need to fulfil the responsibilities outlined.
All local authorities, via their VSHs, will be required to complete and return their year-end statement, detailing how much tuition has been delivered to their pupils using the NTP funding provided to them and the VSH’s contribution.
If you have any general queries about NTP, or would like support to decide which tutoring route will meet your school’s needs, you can contact us by:
Don’t include personal or financial information like your National Insurance number or credit card details.
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