Making sense of funding options: how schools can find and use the money they need for tuition programmes

The pandemic caused all sorts of disruption to schools, from learning gaps across the board to a widened disadvantage gap. This is of course the last thing that teachers want to happen, but it doesn’t have to stay that way.

Personalised tuition helps pupils catch up quickly, and make a whole grade of progress over just one term. Happily, there are plenty of funding options designed to subsidise tuition for your pupils, and lots of different things you can do with them.

These options have different requirements and funding amounts, and working out the right decision for your school can be hard. To make things a bit easier for you, we’re here to help you make sense of it all so you can work out the best move and get on with helping your pupils. Let’s dive in.  

What funding is available, and how much money will my school get?

For KS3 and KS4 pupils, there are a few options available, with significant amounts in place to help get pupils caught up on lost learning. Here are the major ones:  

National Tutoring Programme (NTP) 

The National Tutoring Programme is now in its second year, set-up to help schools bring in tuition providers and help disadvantaged students catch up with lost learning. 

With the NTP, schools can access 3:1 group tuition at a heavily subsidised price: schools pay 30% of the tuition cost on purchase, the remaining 70% will be covered by the government.

The NTP has a strong focus on Pupil Premium, with 15 sessions of tuition and one subject per pupil. For a normal programme with 15 sessions, this would be a cost to the school of £72 + VAT per pupil. 

If you have a pupil who needs help in two subjects, it may be worth looking at the School-Led Tutoring Grant as well.

Read more: What we’ve learned from delivering 150,000 NTP lessons

School-Led Tutoring grant (SLT)

The SLT can be used by school leaders to set up tuition at their school at a local level or with an online provider. It’s due to run for the next three academic years; great news to help everyone get back on track.

This grant supplements the National Tutoring Programme (NTP), and it’s a bit more flexible. Although it’s funded on a Pupil Premium formula, it’s not only for kids on pupil premium, and, unlike the NTP, they have the option to study more than one subject.

For the 21-22 academic year, eligible schools will get an extra £203 for 60% of their PP pupils, which is for tuition. This fund covers 75% of tutoring costs, and each school will be responsible for the remaining 25%. The grant will be paid directly to the school in instalments. And make sure you spend the full amount, as you’ll lose it if you don’t!

Read more: Everything you need to know about the School-Led Tutoring grant

Pupil Premium and Recovery Premium

The Pupil Premium fund has been around for a while, but was recently supplemented with a one-off Recovery Premium fund for the same pupils. This can also be spent on interventions that help vulnerable pupils, including tuition programmes and the NTP. That means more money for your programmes.

Each secondary school child who’s eligible for Pupil Premium funding gets £955 per year, as well as an extra £145 boost with the Recovery Premium this academic year.  If you choose to use the Pupil Premium and Recovery Premium budget for tuition, you can use your own teachers or a tuition provider like MyTutor. You can use this fund to pay the difference on the funding routes above. 

16-19 Fund

If you support Key Stage 5 pupils, there was the option to opt in to accessing the 16-19 fund for GCSE Resit and A-level support earlier this academic year.

This fund is mainly for those pupils who missed a grade 4 English and/or Maths at GCSE. Each school is given funding for every pupil who fits these requirements, and it can be spent on tuition with your own teachers and TAs, or on a third party like MyTutor. 

This fund is mostly aimed at small group tuition (groups of 2-5), but can also be used for 1:1 sessions. Any leftover funds schools have from last year can be rolled over, and payments will be made from December onward. 

How do schools pay for the non-subsidised stuff? 

It’s possible to combine funding pots to cover costs. As the NTP has more strict criteria, it’s definitely worth combining it with the SLT to cover all your pupils’ needs. Then you can use your Pupil Premium to fill in the gaps. You can reach out to MyTutor to set up a tuition programme in your school. Our friendly team is always on hand to help you set up everything you need.

How can my school get what it needs?

We offer bespoke programmes, personalising the tuition that’s right for your school or trust. Once you know exactly what you want, we’ll work with you to set up a plan, making sure it meets all your needs. MyTutor offers customised tuition that complements in-class lessons, freeing up time for teachers while giving them peace of mind. 

We ran a webinar a few weeks ago all about how to fund tuition and how educators can set up a programme for their pupils. We were joined by guest speaker Ben Carter, Assistant Headteacher at Bohunt School Worthing, who talked about how schools can successfully roll out programmes to boost attainment and bridge the attainment gap.

If you missed out, you can still watch it below Learn all about the tuition pots in more detail and hear first-hand advice from a school who’s really worked hard (with amazing success) to help their pupils get the support they need. 

Watch the webinar: Tuition 101: how to fund and roll-out a tuition programme

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