Out of school tuition for just £5 per head trialled in Durham

Tute is an online service which has set out to make tuition accessible to all students, regardless of ability, location or social class. Sessions are run by UK qualified teachers trained in online tuition skills. They use a Smartboard, a chat service, voice and video and a 45 minute session costs parents as little as £5. A full half term of weekly lessons will cost a school around £30 per student.

Pupils from Seaham School of Technology and Dene Community School in Durham are using the system in lesson times, at homework clubs and at home. The schools are especially interested in helping the children who are lagging behind at KS3 and hope tp boost their grades in English and Maths.

It is early day as yet but pupils have had pre-tests and follow up test results will soon be available. Research by the Sutton Trust has shown that ten sessions of tutoring improves a child’s development by five months but personal tuition typically costs £25 an hour which is beyond the reach of 60% of parents

Helen Feetham, Assistant Head teacher, Dene Community School thinks it could be a good solution for many schools. "Tute+ gives teachers and senior leaders a flexible and targeted intervention strategy. The platform allows students to focus and engage in their learning and feedback from students has been incredibly positive."

Advantages for a school

• In secondary schools, the Tute+ services have been used mostly to raise standards in English and maths with students in years 7, 8 and 9 who are underachieving
• Schools can pay using the Pupil Premium
• Children are being taught in small groups using online media and headsets. This cuts down on distractions
• Schools are in effect providing extra teachers
• Children with special needs are being taught by teachers who know the curriculum, rather than by LSAs

Advantages for parents

• There are over 250 lessons running every week across all main subjects and levels
• There are search tools which help registered Tute users locate the lesson they need
• It links to Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms so parents can invite others to join the session and drive down the price per child
• Bespoke sessions can be arranged
• Parents can take an active role in their child’s education and find tutors at a time which fits with their family commitments

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