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Our support for STEM tutors during a pandemic

Published: Feb 8, 2021 2 min read

Stephen Lyon

Mathematics Lead

National STEM Learning Centre


Parents employ private tutors to help their children for a number of reasons: perhaps their child lacks confidence in mathematics or was not progressing as well as they hoped; often it was in preparation for an upcoming examination.

The effects of the pandemic on student progress is not known but a number of well-respected organisations such as the Sutton Trust have been considering the likely impact. The report – ‘COVID-19 Impacts: school shutdown’ published in April, looks at the effects. It analysed aspects of the support offered by schools during the lockdown and compared the uptake of the provision of online lessons and online learning in affluent areas with that of disadvantage’ students.

Here's one key recommendation from the report: ‘Disadvantaged pupils should have access to additional one-to-one or small group tuition to reduce the impact of school closures.’ And so the National Tutoring Programme was born.

The National Tutoring Programme consists of two strategies:

Academic Mentors: Schools are supported to employ in-school academic mentors to provide intensive support to their pupils.

Tuition Partners: Subsidised high-quality tutoring for schools from an approved list of Tuition Partners.

However, the tuition now required is more complex. The tutoring role demanded in the current situation, supporting disadvantaged and vulnerable groups, has a different focus: to identify gaps in learning in order to create a firm foundation for future learning.

If you are looking to transfer your skillset into tutoring of mathematics, whatever your background, then this course is essential to equip you with key teaching strategies and resources you require to ensure you can identify gaps and support individual students whatever their background, ability and level.

If you would like to help support the National Tutoring Programme by becoming an Academic Mentor, or provide tuition in secondary mathematics and science but would like some training, then STEM Learning can help. Our remotely delivered courses

 Based on academic research, the course centres on eight principles of good teaching exemplified using quality science and mathematics resources designed to help develop long term, deep understanding of these two core subjects.