Developing Digital Tutoring Solutions

Since March 2020, students of all ages and phases have been experiencing unprecedented disruption to their education as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. With schools and colleges across England closing, opening and now closing again to nearly all students, teachers have had to be quick to adapt the way they deliver education and support students, and we have seen online learning become embedded as a key element.

The pandemic has affected different groups of students in varying ways and research from Sutton Trust and Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) has highlighted the concerning impact on disadvantaged students. With the attainment gap expected to widen and educational inequalities increasing, access to high-quality tuition and support is more important than ever.

Supporting digital tuition

As part of Nesta’s role in supporting online tutoring through the National Tutoring Programme (NTP), we have awarded five NTP Tuition Partners grant funding to increase the quality, accessibility and impact of their digital tutoring provision for disadvantaged students in England. They will be developing new features, functionality and innovations to better meet the needs of students, tutors and teachers.

The funding is part of the Nesta and the Department for Education EdTech Innovation Partnership, which aims to support schools and teachers to make more effective use of technology to support all students, with a focus on those who have been most disadvantaged.

We’ll be working with the five Tuition Partners until June 2021, so check back for updates on their progress and what we learn along the way.

Introducing the NTP Digital Development Grantees

Schools Partnership Tutors

Schools Partnership Tutors are developing and piloting a pupil facing app to provide learning resources and support for students to access outside tutoring sessions. They are also creating resources to support implementation. They are receiving a grant of £99,999.


TalentED are making developments to their digital tutoring platform, including embedding assessments into their tool to better target their tutoring interventions and expanding their tutor training portal. They are receiving a grant of £50,000.


FFT are creating a low bandwidth version of their online platform, making it more accessible to disadvantaged students and extending its functionality to deliver remote tuition. They will also develop the reporting and analytics provided through the platform. They are receiving a grant of £99,999.


Manning’s Tutors will develop functionality to support independent learning in small group tutoring sessions and will work with tutoring platform Bramble to build a tutor training coach. They are receiving a grant of £99,393.

The Brilliant Club

The Brilliant Club are undertaking user research with the students and teachers who use their online platform to inform changes to address barriers and support implementation, such as producing guidance videos, resources and developing live chat functions. They are receiving a grant of £91,600.


Lucy Turner

Lucy Turner

Lucy Turner

Senior Analyst, healthy life mission

Lucy is a senior analyst on the healthy life mission team.

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