Catch-up tutoring to be led by private outsourcing firm

DfE confirms that Dutch multinational Randstad will be the supplier of the National Tutoring Programme from September, with support from Teach First

John Roberts

Covid: The National Tutoring programme will be led by Dutch outsourcing firm Randstad from September.

The National Tutoring Programme will be operated by a multinational outsourcing company from the start of the next academic year.

It was confirmed today that the Dutch firm Randstad has been awarded the contract to run the programme from September, with the charity Teach First supporting it.

The news was contained in a Department for Education announcement on a new catch-up package outlining how an extra £1 billion of funding will be going into tutoring. 

However, the majority of the funding announced today will be going directly to schools to fund their own tuition catch up rather than to the government's flagship NTP. 

Teach First will help “to ensure the programme is successfully set up for effective delivery and continuous improvement in academic year 2021-22”, according to the DfE announcement.

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The DfE has also set a new target for at least 65 per cent of the tuition delivered under the NTP to be targeted at pupils who qualify for the pupil premium.

The NTP was launched last year by the government with £350 million funding and has been led by the Education Endowment Foundation charity.

The EEF had supported the creation of a new independent charity, the National Tutoring Foundation, chaired by former Ofsted chief inspector Christine Gilbert, to compete for the NTP contract for 2021-22.

However, the government has instead chosen to have Randstad operate the scheme from September. 

The department said that it followed a standard procurement process to select next year’s supplier. 

It also said that the NTP would continue to operate both tuition partners and academic mentors programmes.

The tuition partners arm of the scheme involves pairing pupils up with approved providers to offer subsidised catch-up tuition sessions.

The mentoring arm of the NTP saw Teach First given £6.44 million to recruit and train mentors to work in both primary and secondary schools to provide one-to-one and small-group support.

The government’s decision to award Randstad the NTP contract was questioned by Labour shadow education secretary Kate Green after first being reported last month.

She said that it was “rumoured that the National Tutoring Programme is being taken out of the hands of experts and given to Randstad, a multinational outsourcing company”.

Of the £1 billion additional funding announced today for tutoring, £218 million will go to the NTP.  

Another £579 million will fund schools to develop local tutoring provision using new or existing school staff.

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John Roberts

John Roberts

John Roberts is North of England reporter for Tes

Find me on Twitter @JohnGRoberts

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