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Recruitment• 3 Min read

3rd September 2020

Closing The Gap: The Benefits Of Small Group Tuition

Now that schools are returning up and down the country, it’s time for education professionals to focus on closing the attainment gap created by the school closures. With £650million pledged by the government to help close the gap, we are seeing schools looking for innovative and effective ways to bring students back up to their expected attainment levels. We’ve broadly covered some of the options available in our recent post, Tuition and Intervention Planning For Disadvantaged Pupils. In this article, we’ll cover some of the specific benefits of creating small tuition groups of pupils that require extra support.

What Is Small Group Tuition?

A small group is defined as two to five pupils. An initial assessment may be required to establish which pupils are in need of extra support.  The group might be taught by a teaching assistant, a trainee teacher or a qualified teacher – visit our Intervention Hub to read how we can help with additional staffing needs created by providing intervention and tuition.

What Are The Key Benefits?

Working in a smaller group gives pupils more of a chance to absorb information and receive attention than in a larger class. For teachers with classes of 30 pupils, it’s impossible to tailor lessons to the exact needs of each child! For children that are struggling or who need extra support to produce quality work, small group tuition has lots of benefits:

  • Tutors can reinforce knowledge gained during lessons and ensure information is absorbed with extra discussion or tasks
  • Pupils can receive more emotional support and encouragement than in a larger group
  • Tutors can more easily personalise teaching to suit the needs of pupils within the group
  • Sharing knowledge in a smaller group creates confidence for introverted pupils
  • Tutors can monitor individual pupils academic progress effectively without testing and report back to the class teacher

Is Small Group Tuition Effective?

In the EEF’s research, small group tuition has received an assessment of being ‘moderately effective’, in relation to the number of pupils in the group. If the group size increases past 5 pupils, the effectiveness of this form of tutoring goes down. You can read more of the research into the effectiveness of various types of tuition and intervention strategies on the EEF’s website here.

How Can Schools Pay For Small Group Tuition?

We know that school budgets are already stretched, especially now. Finding the budget to fund additional TA’s or teachers to staff intervention programs could be a worry – but there are lots of schemes in place to help. Schools will be allocated funding which they can choose to spend on new hires or training new teachers – which could be a great longer-term investment in your teaching staff. Your school can also utilise the Apprenticeship Levy to fund training for a brand new teacher.

What Other Intervention Strategies Might Schools Look At?

From one-on-one tuition tailored to a specific pupils needs to full class intervention programs, we can help you to build your strategy to close the attainment gap. Our expert consultants can recommend ways in which you can utilise schools funding and the Apprenticeship Levy to pay for additional teaching support to staff your intervention strategy and suggest ways to build intervention into the school day. Government guidelines also recommend utilising trainee teachers to provide additional support and tuition to pupils that have fallen behind – a fantastic opportunity to take advantage of our unique Teaching Training programme to staff your intervention strategy! More information about other options for intervention, including virtual tutoring and out-of-hours clubs can be found at our Intervention Hub here.

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