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Tutor Trust Affordable Primary Tuition

The Tutor Trust is a Manchester-based charity that aims to provide affordable small group and one-to-one tuition to primary and secondary schools. Our trial found that children who received Tutor Trust tutoring made three months’ additional progress compared to children receiving usual schooling. However, the effect size was not statistically significant.

Why did we do this research?

The Tutor Trust is a not-for-profit social enterprise (and a registered charity) offering high-quality, flexible, affordable and professional tuition. In a previous efficacy trial of Tutor Trust employing a quasi-experimental design, the impact of tuition on learning was unclear.

What did we do?

We undertook a two-arm effectiveness cluster-randomised controlled trial to determine whether the Tutor Trust tuition model  (twelve one hour sessions with a Tutor Trust tutor) delivers improvements in children's Key Stage 2 maths outcomes compared to business as usual.

We also evaluated the process to assess implementation and fidelity, and explore the perceptions and experiences of stakeholders.

Who was involved?

One hundred and five schools in Manchester and Leeds participated in our trial between September 2016 and July 2017. Schools in the trial had twice the national average of pupils eligible for free school meals. 

What did we find?

Children who received tutoring from Tutor Trust made three months’ additional progress compared to children in control schools. There was a 0.19 effect size benefit which was not statistically significant (95% CI -0.05 to 0.44). This finding has a high-security rating. Further exploratory analyses suggest that the approach may be particularly beneficial for disadvantaged pupils. Tutored pupils and their teachers consistently reported increased pupil confidence.



Carole J Torgerson, Kerry Bell, Elizabeth Coleman, Louise Elliott, Caroline Fairhurst, Louise Gascoine, Catherine E Hewitt, David J Torgerson. Tutor Trust: Affordable Primary Tuition. Evaluation report and executive summary. November 2018

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The research was commissioned by Education Endowment Fund. The project was started in April 2016 and completed in March 2018.


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