The National Tutoring Programme: An Overview

Learning Hive recently announced that we have become a proud approved tuition provider for the National Tutoring Programme (NTP), delivering high-quality after-school academic support to children across the UK. 

We wanted to take this opportunity to discuss more about why the NTP scheme was started and what it is the programme provides for students across the UK. 

What is the NTP?

The NTP is a scheme that was set up by the UK government in November 2020, it was intended to provide further targeted academic support for children and young people in education after the nationwide lockdowns. The support hopes to help those who have been badly affected by the disruption to education caused as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent national lockdowns in 2020 and 2021.  (graph and stats for lockdown struggles?) 

The scheme provides access to high-quality tutoring for students who have struggled academically since returning to school after the disruption of national lockdowns. Extensive research undertaken by the Department for Education has found that hundreds of thousands of students across the UK benefited from catch up tutoring even within the first academic term last year. 

books and papers for revision

The NTP has an ambitious goal of delivering over 2 million courses within the next academic year, hopeful that this will catch most students up to be on track with their schools standard expectations. Each student that takes part will receive a 15 hour block of tutoring for the year that can be spread over a course of weeks and months. 

What does the NTP do?

Numerous researchers have found that one of the most effective ways to increase students' academic progress is through tutoring. With findings of small group and one-to-one tuition classes boosting progress of students' academic performance by up to 5 months the NTP seemed like the most sensible and efficient option for helping students to catch up post pandemic.

The first academic year that the scheme was implemented was 2020-2021, during this time state primary and secondary schools in England were provided access to high quality and heavily subsidised tutoring provisions for students from the age of 5 up to 16 years old. The tutoring was provided in two ways; tuition partners and academic mentors. 

The success of the first year of the tutoring programme and feedback from education professionals has encouraged the government to extend the scheme and add an additional provider so that in the current academic year 2021-2022 tutoring would be rolled out using three providers; 

  • Tuition partners
  • Academic mentors
  • School-led tutoring

How does it work?

The NTP scheme is fairly straightforward as the process is almost the same for tuition partners, academic mentors and school-led tutors.

To begin with, the school, tutor or academic mentor will identify the students who they deem suitable for access to the 15 hour tutoring blocks, this will be determined by the students academic progress over a certain period of time.

The school will then select an NTP tuition partner - such as Learning Hive. The school will share the appropriate data of the students progress and capabilities with the allocated tutor, partner or mentor. From the data provided the tutor will draw up an intervention plan and schedule the 15 hour tutor blocks to ensure the students needs are met and progress is made. 

The tutor has a responsibility to provide the school, student and parents with regular updates regarding the students progress. When the 15 hour tutor block is complete the tutor will complete a post-intervention assessment that will measure the students overall progress to determine if they will need to continue with further tutoring or not. 

Due to the pandemic the NTP has ensured that there are both online and in person tutors available on the scheme, allowing the tutoring sessions to be generally flexible.

tutor and child sat at computer

Is tutoring effective?

We’ve already mentioned that there have been numerous studies into the effectiveness of tutoring but haven’t yet explained the conclusions and benefits that have been drawn from such studies.

One-to-one tutoring is generally regarded as an option for further education that is not accessible for disadvantaged students from poorer backgrounds. This is because it comes at such a cost that many disadvantaged students cannot afford, but something of which their more affluent peers can take advantage of. 

In one study from the US, the researchers found that students who attended regular tutoring had a higher pass rate in every class they examined than those who did not use tutoring at all; 15.5% more in anatomy, 15.4% more in biology, 16/3% more in business, and 13.7% in English. Many other studies correlate with these findings suggesting that academic performance and progress is one of the biggest benefits of tutoring.

The benefits of tutoring:

  • Tutoring gives students individualised attention that is not always possible in the classroom, allowing them to ask for help without feeling embarrassed or unheard. 
  • Tutoring will provide students with study skills that they can take with them for future studies and employment opportunities.
  • Improves attitude to learning and school. Quite often students have a bad attitude to learning because they are struggling in a certain subject or find it difficult to ask for help, tutoring provides them the opportunity to improve and ask for help.
  • Improves self-esteem and confidence by giving students the ability to succeed in school work in and out of the classroom.


When the NTP scheme was announced in 2020 the government pledged to initially allocate £215 million. Later as part of the wider education recovery programme, the government invested a further £1 billion to support up to 6 million students across the UK. 

The £1 billion budget includes £218 million of new funding which has been allocated directly to the Tuition Partner and Academic Mentor pillars of the NTP. £579 million has also been allocated to the School-Led Tutoring strand of the NTP. Within the £1 billion it includes an investment of £222 million to fund an extension of the 16-19 tutoring provision and training and resources for the Nuffield Early Language Intervention (NELI) programme.

The NTP Impact so far

Tutoring has a strong evidence base, making it a cost-effective way to boost attainment and support disadvantaged pupils. Two years after being implemented the NTP scheme is widely regarded as a fantastic opportunity for disadvantaged children and young people to further educate themselves at a subsidised cost. 

After launching in 2020, over 240 thousand pupils across the UK were enrolled for tuition in the 2020 to 2021 academic year.

By July 2021, NTP tuition partners were working with nearly 6000 schools. Around 46% of schools on the programme have a greater than average percentage of pupils receiving pupil premium funding - funding for students from disadvantaged backgrounds that may be struggling academically compared to their more affluent peers. 

The NTP tuition partners, like Learning Hive, have recruited almost 27,000 tutors in the last year alone. This exceeds the end of year target and means supply is well developed across all regions.

The NTP have also placed over 1000 academic mentors in almost 950 schools. 83% of placements have been in schools with a greater than average proportion of pupils receiving  pupil premium funding. By May 2021 these academic mentors have supported over 62,000 pupils nationwide. 

The future of NTP

The success of the NTP over the last two years has meant it has evolved and will continue to be implemented across the UK, but the next few months will see some changes to the way the programme is run. 

From September 2022, £349 million will be distributed directly to schools for them to administer their own catch-up tutoring activities using school-led tutoring. Schools and tutors will experience quite a shift from the three options that schools have had for the last two years as school-led tutoring becomes the default way of accessing NTP funding for the academic year 2022/23. 

School-led tutoring enables schools to select their own tutors of their own accord, they can choose from specialist tutors to supply teachers, to current (and former) staff. This change is being implemented to make the process of employing academic mentors much quicker and easier, as the schools take on the services of acting as tuition partners without having to go through a central supplier.

NTP partners and our tutors

You can find the full list of approved tuition partners online to search for organisations and partners in your region and to contact them directly. 

learning hive tutor wearing LH logo tshirt

Learning Hive has partnered with over 40 schools across the London area, as well as having a Learning Centre in Hackney, and has also begun to branch out across England partnering with multiple schools further afield. 

What does the NTP mean for Learning Hive?

Learning Hive’s approved partnership with the NTP is extremely exciting and an opportunity that will enable our friendly team to bring catch up tutoring programmes to even more schools across the country, thus helping thousands more students who are desperately in need of extra support. 

We are dedicated to providing our students with the appropriate knowledge and skills to fulfil their potential and we have a fantastic team of tutors who feel the same way. We can’t wait to work with more students over the next few months to build up their confidence, improve their academic performances and help to close the attainment gap. 

If you’re a tutor looking for a new position we are expanding vastly across the UK and have several opportunities for new tutors to join our team. If you’re a school looking for a tuition partner we have the capacity to help, please get in touch with our team for more information on the partnership process. 


Phone: 02071128658 (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm)

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