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Explained: Your School’s Tuition Funding Options

Back in 2020, as part of their catch up funding and Education Recovery Plan, the Department for Education introduced a number of different initiatives to help schools implement and fund in-school interventions, especially tuition. Since then, these initiatives have been through several iterations. This article outlines the different funding streams available for tutoring in 2022/23 and 2023/24. 

It’s no secret that school closures and the disrupted learning of recent years have had a significant impact on pupils’ attainment.

Overall, pupils have made less progress than in previous years, and the attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers has widened. Many studies show an increased learning loss in maths when compared to other subjects.

As a result, schools now have additional funding available to help these pupils catch up, and tutoring plays a key part in how the DfE expects schools to spend this funding.

Why the emphasis on tuition?

Research from the EEF also suggests that tutoring is one of the most effective ways to raise attainment. Evidence indicates that the best way to make sure this tutoring is effective, targeted and aligned with classroom learning is to ensure the tuition is led by the school.

This tutoring might be in small groups or on a one to one basis, depending on the needs of the schools and pupils. One to one tutoring, in particular, delivers approximately five additional months’ progress on average.

Traditionally, however, tutoring has been seen as expensive for schools, and limited school budgets have meant it’s not always something that schools have been able to prioritise.

This is where Third Space Learning’s model of affordable tuition focused on individual pupils’ gaps has proved extremely cost-effective for thousands of schools and over 150,000 UK pupils over the past 10 years. If you’re new to how this works, take a look at the KS2 maths interventions and secondary school interventions on offer .

What are your options for catch up and tuition funding in your school?

Funding Summary: Downloadable guide for SLT

Funding Calculator – see exactly how much funding your school will receive in 2023/24:

Amid all the announcements and the changing policies, it can be difficult to understand what the options are and what they’ll actually mean to you.

Here we break down the different routes schools have to receive subsidised tuition and other targeted Covid-19 catch up support to help school leaders best allocate their budget, staffing and interventions over the next academic year.

A Third Space Learning session taking place in a primary school.
Guide to Funding Your School’s Maths Interventions

Guide to Funding Your School’s Maths Interventions

An in-depth review for decision-makers on how to fund your school’s interventions, including everything you need to know about the 3 main funding streams.

1. The National Tutoring Programme

The National Tutoring Programme is a government funded, sector-led initiative designed to support schools to address the impact of coronavirus on pupils’ progress and attainment.

It provides schools with additional per-pupil funding to spend specifically on tutoring across three key ‘routes’:

  • DfE-approved Tuition Partners, such as Third Space Learning
  • School-led tutoring: internal school staff including retired, returning or supply teachers and support staff
  • Academic Mentors

This article contains a summary of the three NTP routes and other funding available for tuition. You can find more information about the National Tutoring Programme here.

What this means for your budget in 2022/23

All state primary and secondary schools in England will receive an additional £162 per pupil eligible for Pupil Premium in Years 1-11, but schools have discretion over who to put forward for tuition and are not limited to their Pupil Premium cohort.

How this is changing in 2023/24

According to the latest information from the National Tutoring Programme, each pupil eligible for Pupil Premium will receive a minimum of £67.50 in ring-fenced funding to spend on tutoring in the next academic year. Schools are given the flexibility and choice to use this funding to support any student.

What you should know about the National Tutoring Programme

  • In 2022/23, it can be used to cover up to 60% of the cost incurred to school for tuition, up to a maximum hourly per-pupil rate of £18 (rising to £47 in special schools)
  • In 2023/24, schools can use their NTP funding to cover up to 50% of the costs
  • Schools have the flexibility to manage their own allocation. They can pay above or below the assumed cost of £18 per hour, but NTP funding can only be used to cover costs within the guidelines above.
  • Schools will be required to report on total cost of tutoring, total hours of tutoring delivered, and total pupils supported at the end of the academic year.
  • Any NTP funding unspent or spent incorrectly (e.g. not on tutoring or not within the guidelines) will be clawed back at the end end of the academic year.

There is no need to apply for this funding and schools will automatically receive their funding in three stages across the year.

DfE-Approved Tuition Partners

Through the Tuition Partner route of the programme, schools can use their National Tutoring Programme on an approved list of Tuition Partners. These Partners have all been through a rigorous Department for Education application process assessing their efficacy and impact as well as their tutor recruitment and training processes and safeguarding policies. 

Third Space Learning is an approved DfE Tuition Partner and, since the launch of the National Tutoring Programme in 2020, we’re proud to have provided subsidised online one to one maths tutoring to tens of thousands of pupils across the UK.

What you should know about the NTP Tuition Partners

  • Tuition Partners cover a range of different subject areas, although it is expected that most tutoring will be in English and maths.
  • Partners also cover face to face and online tutoring, as well as small-group and one to one.
  • External tutoring organisations must apply to be an approved Tuition Partner in order to be eligible for any National Tutoring Programme funding
  • Prices vary by partner and individual partners can charge above or below the assumed £18 per hour average.
  • Because all Third Space Learning tuition is delivered online via our global tutor community, we’re able to provide one to one tutoring for the price many providers charge for small group sessions.

Find out how to get subsidised online maths tuition from Third Space Learning and How to choose your tuition partner

School-Led Tutoring

Through the school-led tutoring route of the National Tutoring Programme, schools can use their tuition funding to cover tutoring delivered by ‘members of a school’s own personnel, either currently employed or specifically engaged for this purpose.’

This includes:

  • Teaching Assistants
  • Retired teachers
  • Returning teachers
  • Supply teachers
  • Support staff
  • Classroom teachers

What you should know about school-led tutoring

  • Schools must ensure NTP funding is used only for tutoring, and the provision of tutoring must be in addition to any staff member’s core roles and responsibilities.
  • A specific tutor training programme has been developed to ensure school-led tutoring is of the highest-quality.
  • The training is free and available online
  • Training is optional for any tutor with Qualified Teacher Status.

Academic Mentors

Academic mentors are ‘salaried, in-house members of staff who work alongside teachers to provide one-to-one and small group subject-specific tuition’.

What you should know about Academic Mentors

  • Schools should apply to Cognition Education, one of the three NTP providers for 22/23, to be assigned an Academic Mentor.
  • The minimum salary is £19,000 per year, rising to £21,000 for those with a graduates. Schools are free to set higher salaries if they wish.
  • Small schools are able to ‘share’ an Academic Mentor with other schools in their trust or local authority.

2. Recovery Premium

The Recovery Premium was introduced in 2021/22. This fund is in addition to Pupil Premium and can be used as schools see fit to support their disadvantaged pupils.

“Building on the pupil premium, this funding will help schools to deliver evidence-based approaches for supporting the most disadvantaged pupils.”

Government guidance on the Recovery Premium, June 2021

The Recovery Premium will work alongside Pupil Premium funding, and all schools eligible for the Pupil Premium will be eligible for the Recovery Premium. Funding is allocated on a per-pupil basis, using the same criteria as the Pupil Premium.

What this means for your budget in 2022/23

  • £145 per eligible pupil in primary schools
  • £276 per eligible pupil in secondary schools

With a minimum payment of:

  • £2,000 for primary schools
  • £6,000 for secondary or all-through schools

What this means for your budget in 2023/24

The Department for Education has confirmed that Recovery Premium will be continuing in the 2023/24 academic year and the funding allocations will be the same as above.

What you should know about the Recovery Premium

  • Guidance published in September 2021 states that schools should use the Recovery Premium to fund evidence-based approaches to supporting pupils, including ‘targeted academic support, such as tutoring’.
  • The recovery premium will automatically be paid to schools in 4 payments
  • Unlike Pupil Premium, The Recovery Premium cannot be used to cover the remaining costs of tuition that are not covered by the National Tutoring Programme.

Read more: Effective one to one maths lessons: what works best for disadvantaged pupils

3. Pupil Premium

As well as the funds that make up the government’s Covid recovery plan, schools will also receive their Pupil Premium funding as usual.

The Pupil Premium Grant is designed to help schools support their disadvantaged pupils, as the evidence shows that these pupils face challenges that their peers do not, and will not perform as well in school.

What this means for your budget in 2022/23

Free School Meals: £1,385 for every primary pupil and £985 for every secondary pupil.

Looked-After Children: £2,410

Find out more: 45 most effective pupil premium strategies

What this means for your budget in 2023/24

Pupil Premium is increasing by 5% in the next academic year.

Free School Meals: £1,455 for every primary pupil and £1,035 for every secondary pupil.

Looked-After Children: £2,530

What you should know about Pupil Premium

  • The main aim of this funding is to raise attainment, although schools are also free to use Pupil Premium funding on ‘non-academic’ outcomes and improvements, such as improving pupils’ mental health and boosting attendance. Schools can use their Pupil Premium on activities that also benefit non-eligible pupils.
  • Schools are required to demonstrate ‘how their spending decisions are informed by research evidence’ and publish a Pupil Premium strategy using the government’s strategy statement templates.
  • Ofsted is also likely to interrogate your use of Pupil Premium funding.
  • Since we started supporting schools with online one to one tuition in 2013 – prior to the creation of the specific Covid recovery funds and schemes – the majority of the schools using Third Space Learning used a portion of their Pupil Premium to fund the programme.
  • Pupil Premium can be used to cover the remaining costs of tutoring from Tuition Partners not covered by the National Tutoring Programme.

“Third Space was an attractive proposition because it was one to one and all the tutors were maths specialists. It was also a great way to use our Pupil Premium allowance. “

Catherine Prole, Deputy Headteacher, St Michael’s Primary School, Trafford

Read more: How St Michael’s Primary School used Pupil Premium to raise attainment in their disadvantaged pupils.

About Third Space Learning

Here at Third Space Learning, we’ve been helping schools to close the maths attainment gap through one to one tuition since 2013.

Since then, we’ve helped over 3,800 schools improve educational outcomes for more than 150,000 pupils. Up until the 2019/20 academic year, the majority of our schools used Third Space Learning as a way to ensure their Pupil Premium funding was going towards something that would have a real and lasting impact on their most disadvantaged pupils.

“The resources are high quality and up to date with recent research. The one to one tuition is a great addition to our support for Pupil Premium pupils.”

Abi Hann, Deputy Headteacher, Holy Trinity Primary School, London

During the 2020/21 academic year, we were really proud to be selected as one of the first approved Tuition Partners of the National Tutoring Programme. In its first year, over 14,000 pupils across 1,000+ schools received subsidised support from Third Space Learning.

Pupils begin their time with us with a diagnostic assessment, and lessons are chosen specifically to plug their individual gaps, and tutors are trained to adapt the pitch and pace of each lesson according to their needs.

An example one to one lesson slide from Third Space Learning’s online maths intervention.

“After this year’s lockdown, we wanted an intervention that could support all of our Year 5 and 6 pupils at once. The diagnostic assessment is really great. Although it personalises the lessons to each pupil, it still allows us to have input, and we really enjoyed having that flexibility. It’s also really great how the actual teaching is personalised to the pupil’s specific interests – it creates an instant connection between pupil and tutor, and the slots are consistent so it’s the same tutor each session.”

Lindsay Lind, St Paul’s Catholic Junior School, Deputy Headteacher, Liverpool.

Read more about how one to one tuition helped the pupils at St Paul’s to catch up in maths after school closures.

We’d love to have a chat with your school about how we can help, or to help you make sense of the different funding options available to your school. You can schedule a call directly here and we’ll be in touch on the day and time that suits you best.

Further reading

Online 1-to-1 maths lessons trusted by schools and teachers
Every week Third Space Learning’s maths specialist tutors support thousands of primary school children with weekly online 1-to-1 lessons and maths interventions. Since 2013 we’ve helped over 150,000 children become more confident, able mathematicians. Learn more or request a personalised quote to speak to us about your needs and how we can help.

Subsidised one to one maths tutoring from the UK’s most affordable DfE-approved one to one tutoring provider.

Lottie Bates
Lottie Bates
Third Space Learning
Content Team
As a member of the content team, Lottie makes sure that the amazing blogs and resources on offer from Third Space Learning arrive safely in your inbox every week!
Guide to Funding Your School’s Maths Interventions

Guide to Funding Your School’s Maths Interventions

An in-depth review for decision-makers on how to fund your school’s interventions, including everything you need to know about the 3 main funding streams.

Find Out More!

Guide to Funding Your School’s Maths Interventions

Downloadable resource

An in-depth review for decision-makers on how to fund your school’s interventions, including everything you need to know about the 3 main funding streams.

Find Out More!

The Third Space Learning Guide to Effective One to One Interventions [FREE]

Find out how to plan, manage, and teach one to one (and small group) maths interventions in Key Stage 2.

Includes a 20 point checklist of techniques to improve your one to one teaching.

Download free