One to one tutoring: Building a quality framework
One to one tutoring has convincing evidence as to the impact it can make on young people’s academic results. Mentoring provides role models for young people to aspire to, and coaching can help them to join the dots in how to achieve their aspirations. A wide range of social organisations have recognised this and are providing innovative opportunities for young people to benefit from these types of programmes.
We’ve been supporting a number of organisations mobilising volunteers to provide tutoring, coaching or mentoring to young people. We’ve also been working with Third Space Learning on a large evaluation of the impact of their remote tutoring in primary schools. Late in 2014 we brought together a wide range of organisations providing these kinds of opportunities. Patrick Taylor blogged about the range of issues that were discussed, and the feedback we got from attendees was that it was very valuable to be able to share experiences and best practice.
There is so much expertise and experience in this field, but it often exists in relatively small organisations. These organisations are, rightly, very focused on delivery of their services to young people rather than sharing what they know with others working, or starting something new in the area. We wanted to help them to share their knowledge, and create a space for bringing together the best practice in this growing area.
We partnered with Teach First Innovation and Brightside Trust, who are both also supporting organisations in this area. Originally we planned to run a series of seminar style events with guest speakers and a chance for networking. We thought instead we would try something different, and bring together the organisations around the common purpose of making a document that would capture their expertise and experience in a structured way that could be used by others.
Our early sessions brought some fascinating discussions, not least on the nature of tutoring, mentoring and coaching which was blogged about here. We moved on to discuss all aspects of providing programmes to young people, from design and delivery, to training of volunteers, and engaging schools and parents. Different organisations clearly excel in different aspects of provision, and while there were some debates on details there was also a lot of building and filling of gaps by pooling collective experience.
Last week we published the product of this, a quality framework for 1:1 interventions. It contains the collected thinking of many organisations working across the UK with young people and schools. It’s already been a valuable process of pooling the understanding of the organisations involved in producing it, but we also hope it will provide a useful resource for others. In particular, we are keen to see how those starting new social ventures might use it to ensure they are not re-learning lessons already hard earned in the sector.
One to one interventions are some of the most powerful tools we have for providing opportunities for young people, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds. This quality framework is a resource to ensure that it is a field that continues to develop and bring these opportunities to increasing numbers across the UK.