One-to-One - Upwardly mobile

26th March 2010 at 00:00
Individual tuition not only brings students up to speed with their peers but keeps them there and raises their ambitions for higher education

Higher aspirations and expectations are among the benefits of one-to-one tuition, according to David Linsell, headteacher at Ratton School in Eastbourne.

He says the students who were tutored have made good or even exceptional progress, and that the gains have been maintained. The school has been able to monitor continuing progress since individual tuition was first introduced more than two years ago.

"Pupils are not only catching up with their peers, they're staying up with them," Mr Linsell explained. "Originally there was a fear that tuition would create dependency, but successful tuition builds pupils' skills and makes them more confident and independent."

One looked-after Year 10 pupil is now aiming for university after receiving tuition in English and maths. At Level 3 in English in Year 7, she moved to Level 6 by the end of Year 9.

"One-to-one tuition has made a real difference in my life because now I can go to university, something I never thought would be possible," she said.

Mr Linsell, who has now been seconded as a tuition adviser, explains that tuition has particularly raised the expectations of pupils who are significantly underachieving or disaffected with school. These students are the ones who have gained most from the undivided adult attention provided by the tutors.

"They re-engage with school and learning because they recognise that they can do it," he said. "They - and we - realise that they can succeed if they are given the right support."


"We've been focusing particularly on giving pupils the language skills they need to access the whole curriculum. One-to-one is ideal for this as students develop the confidence to discuss their learning with adults." (Ms Strode, English teacher, Archbishop Beck Catholic Sports College, Liverpool)

"I do all my tutoring after school, and I'm able to do an hour at each school, because they finish at different times. I like the variety of age groups, and although my background is more on the English side, I also really enjoy the maths tutoring because pupils make huge leaps forward very quickly." (Angela Clark, tutor at Ling Bob Junior and Halifax High schools, working with primary and secondary pupils, in English and maths)

"Pupils are keener to correct their mistakes because they now know why they have gone wrong. Normally when they make a mistake in maths, students sometimes just carry on or get stuck trying to understand where they have gone wrong. With the tutored kids you can see that they want to put into practice what they have learnt."

(Maths teacher, secondary school)

"In Year 5, I had a lot of children who were being tutored and I noticed a real change in attitude." (Teacher, primary school)


- Every LA has a tuition lead. If you want more information on how to get involved, ask to speak to yours.

- For advice on one-to-one tuition, visit

- If you are interested in being a tutor, go to the TDA website:

- For more information about the new scheme to accredit private agencies able to provide suitably qualified and vetted one-to-one tuition tutors go to:

- The independent evaluation into the Making Good Progress pilot is at

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