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Student volunteers win praise

Student volunteer tutors make a real contribution to education, helping to raise levels of understanding among pupils and offering valuable classroom support to teachers, according to new research.

In its latest report "Learning Together - The added value of student tutors in schools" the national charity CSV (Community Service Volunteers) proclaims the benefits of the scheme which began 20 years ago.

There are now more than 15,000 students spending over 450,000 hours as volunteers.

Pupils and teachers told how lessons were more enjoyable when student-tutors were involved. They also encouraged pupils to aim for further and higher education.

Toni Beardon of Cambridge University's department of education carried out an evaluation of good classroom practice involving 49 volunteers and 20 teachers between September 1993 and March 1995.

This showed that 90 per cent of teachers said pupils learned more with tutors in the classroom; three-quarters said the volunteers helped them keep pupils on task; and almost three in four pupils said talking their work through with someone helped them to understand it.

"Learning Together": Pounds 12.95 from CSV Education, CSV, 237 Pentonville Road, London, N1 9NJ.

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