One to One Tuition: A Successful Utilisation of Pupil Premium Funding

With Pupil Premium funding on the rise in the UK, many schools are turning towards personalised tutoring programmes to help students reach their academic goals and beyond. Across the country, many academic institutions already rely on Tutor Doctor’s services because we know how to help students achieve desired results and tailor our programmes to ensure national curriculum standards are met. We also work hard to instil invaluable study and life skills that pupils can use outside of the classroom.

Our most recent case study from Brownedge St Marys Catholic High School in Lancashire shows just how successful the utilisation of Pupil Premium Funding can be. Head Teacher Martin Reynolds contacted Tutor Doctor in March 2013 with regard to support for students in core subjects. He wanted a tuition service which would bill the school but deliver one-to-one tuition in free periods on the school premises or at students’ own homes. With 650 pupils at the school, 14.5% qualified for Free School Meals and therefore were eligible for Pupil Premium.

Brownedge St Marys Catholic High School in a nutshell

Brownedge St Mary’s was described by Ofsted in May 2012 as a ‘good school’, with one parent summing up the ethos of the school in a questionnaire: “There is a strong sense of mutual respect.. I would not wish my child to be in any other school.” Ofsted continued: ‘Some features of the school’s work are outstanding, notably the students’ contribution to the other and wider community and the extent to which students feel safe. Students express real pride in their school and the very large majority of parents report they are happy with their child’s experience.’

How Tutor Doctor worked with the school

Following an initial meeting with the school Tutor Doctor visited with each of the three pupils and their families to explain how we would match pupils and tutors effectively, and how progress was assured. Students were supported from April to June- two students received Maths support and the third received help with English. Each pupil received 11 hours of personal one-to-one tuition, with continuous liaison with the Head Teacher and the guardians of the students throughout the process.

“Tutor Doctor was an ideal way of getting quick and reliable one-to-onee tuition to the pupils that needed it. They worked both in school and in pupils’ homes and provided an extra level of intervention for our most needy pupils.” Martin Reynolds, Head Teacher.

Throughout the Pupil Premium tutoring process there were a few challenges which required overcoming. This included:

  • Organising times around school revision sessions
  • Delivering support which assured results in spite of the short period available to work with each student
  • The modular nature of the courses meant ¾ of the marks had already been awarded.

How Pupil Premium made a difference

Tutor Doctor worked with each student on an individual basis to overcome the specific challenges they faced and help them achieve their goals. Not only did each pupil progress academically but they also developed an increased positive attitude towards learning. Here’s just a summary of the achievements of each student and how Pupil Premium made a big difference in supporting their learning.

Student A

With their Mum in hospital and Dad with long term illness, Student A was getting by but was extremely unmotivated and wasn’t enjoying Maths. Their school attendance was interrupted due to the family situation and their previous grades varied from A-Cs. Tutor Doctor established regular sessions at home and although these were frequently moved and postponed, all the tutoring sessions were completed. The student achieved a C grade at foundation level GCSE Edexcel Maths.

Student B

Student B was studying foundation Maths and was motivated to secure a place at college to pursue a BTEC course, which required a minimum of a grade D. However, due to their changeable family situation their grades varied from F-D. The tutor completed a large number of hours in a short period after the Easter break onwards, which helped Student B achieve] a C in his final unit of Maths. This resulted in an overall D grade enabling him to go to college and showed a significant improvement on his previous modules.

Student C

Student C was studying Foundation level WJEC English but found themselves struggling to reach the C grade they needed for their college course. They completed 11 hours of tuition, with a further 5 hours booked by the school. Initially, student C wasn’t committed to the learning process and a number of tutoring sessions were missed. However, once a rapport with the tutor had been established, extra hours were asked for by the family. This created a positive impact in lessons resulting in the student achieving the C grade they were aiming for.

These three examples really hone in on just how much of an impact just 11 hours of one-to-one tuition can have, not only on a student’s grade but on their mentality towards learning. At Tutor Doctor, we know that working with schools like Brownedge St Marys is where we can really start to make a difference, especially in helping pupils who might not consider getting a tutor. Through our support, the right approach to teaching and great communication we know that every student can reach goals they never thought they could achieve.

We make it our priority to liaise with class teachers frequently to ensure revision classes do not clash with tuition hours and take time to monitor each student to ensure they’re committed to the sessions and are utilising them properly. We also request feedback from subject teachers half-termly to establish success and widen offer to other pupils.

For more information on Tutor Doctor’s Pupil Premium services, click here.