Over the past three years we’ve grown from a small team of passionate individuals to become the largest provider of 1-to-1 Maths tuition in English Primary schools, but how did we get here?

Each week thousands of teachers download our resources to help with their class teaching (like our Pupil Premium Guide and Year 6 Wellbeing Guide), but what most teachers don’t realise is that we primarily exist for something else! We are – and always have been – Maths intervention specialists.

We are a team of former teachers and Maths specialist tutors who provide personalised 1-to-1 interventions to schools across the UK, helping over 6000 pupils each week become more confident and able mathematicians.

But where did it all come from? This is our story…

Where did it start?

Our founder, Tom Hooper, worked as a 1-to-1 tutor and saw first-hand the incredible potential that 1-to-1 has to transform a pupil’s attitude and attainment.

He recognised that 1-to-1 tuition is only available to a very lucky few, leaving a large proportion of pupils in the UK unable to gain access to it. What could he do to make 1-to-1 accessible to those who hadn’t received it so far? Cue Third Space Learning.

1-to-1 tuition delivered online

So Tom set about on a mission to make 1-to-1 tuition available to thousands of primary pupils across England.

He knew face to face 1-to-1 tuition was expensive and difficult to organise for schools. He decided to take 1-to-1 tuition online. He wasn’t trying to do anything technologically spectacular – just make the oldest form of teaching available to as many pupils as possible.

By taking it online, it allowed schools to arrange 1-to-1 support for multiple pupils at once (each pupil working online with their tutor in our online classroom via a headset and microphone). This made it much easier for schools to manage. Plus, by using our online platform, teachers could select lessons and review reports in a few minutes each week.

Tom was soon joined by Roshan (former Head of KS3 Maths at a large inner city London secondary school), who was passionate to address underachievement in Maths from an earlier age.

Together, Roshan and Tom approached schools in September 2013 to begin trials. As you’d expect with traditional 1-to-1, it achieved results, and we’ve been expanding across the UK ever since.

We’ve been able to work with a number of great organisations across the sector. In 2016, we ran a trial with Rising Stars using PUMA assessment and found that – on average – pupils made 7 months progress in just 14 weeks. We’ve worked with academics from the Institute of Education and London Knowledge Lab, both of which are part of UCL. We’ve been fortunate to receive funding from NESTA, who were passionate to join us in our mission to help disadvantaged pupils (around half the pupils we work with are recipients of Free School Meals).

Third Space Learning today

And so we reach the modern day. This year we’ve helped prepare 7000 pupils for their Y6 SATs, Each of our pupils had a weekly, online 1-to-1 lesson with their tutor on a topic that has been selected by their class teacher.

All of our tutors are Maths specialists by either degree or training (the majority are STEM graduates) and all of the recruitment, training and on-going CPD is overseen by a team of former UK primary and secondary Maths teachers.

Now that we’ve grown to a team of over 200 tutors and former Maths teachers, we’re able to produce great content like our Year 5 & Year 6 Diagnostic Quizzes, or our Topical Maths Investigations, but making 1-to-1 available to as many primary school pupils as possible across the UK will always be at the very heart of what we do.

In September 2013 we were working with around 10-15 schools. We’re now working with a community of over 500 schools, and it’s still growing! Click here to join the next cohort of our pupils starting in September.

David Leighton , Content Team , Third Space Learning

A former secondary teacher, David keeps a weather eye on the educational horizon. He's responsible for making sure our blog posts and Maths resources reach teachers far & wide.