Published: 3 February 2021

An education charity that was founded to tutor children from disadvantaged backgrounds is on a drive to help thousands of young people affected by Covid-19.

Lifeline IT client ‘Action Tutoring’ will be giving additional learning to 5000 children whose education has been disrupted by the pandemic – a 100% increase from the previous year. Lifeline IT has worked with Action Tutoring for over a year, handling the organisation’s maintenance and support.

The charity, which was established in 2011, is looking to recruit more volunteers to help deliver its online and in person learning programmes across the country. We spoke to Fleur Nicholson, Head of Marketing and Communications, to find out more.

What is Action Tutoring and why was it set up?

The organisation was established by our founder and CEO, who was delivering tutoring locally in South London. Whilst walking home one day she reflected about how many children would benefit from tutoring, if they had access to it, not just those who could afford it. From this, she gathered a group of friends together and offered their tutoring services to a local school for free.

Action Tutoring just grew from there and we now have nearly 60 members of staff. We deliver English and maths tutoring and operate in schools in eight areas – Birmingham, Bristol, Liverpool, London, Newcastle, Nottingham, Sheffield and Suffolk. Also, since the pandemic, we offer online learning to pupils in these cities and are expanding to schools beyond them too.

How has the pandemic affected education?

2020 really brought to light inequality in education and the unfairness of it. The fact that we’re looking to support 5000 children – twice as many as last year – demonstrates this. We have received funding from the government’s National Tutoring Programme to deliver tutoring to children whose learning has been impacted by Covid. We want to be able to provide additional support to as many children as possible, which is why we’re keen to recruit more volunteers who can help us deliver this extra learning.

What does being a volunteer involve?

To become a volunteer, you ideally need an A Level in the subject you want to tutor (English or maths) and a degree and this can be in any subject. We do also recruit tutors who don’t have a degree – it all depends on the individual’s experiences. Even if you don’t live near one of the eight cities where we operate, you can volunteer to tutor online.

It will be for an hour a week for around 8-10 weeks and there will be some preparatory work to do. All volunteers will get full training online and given the necessary resources and workbooks. You will also have a DBS check.

What can people do if they want to get involved and become a tutor?

This year we’re keen to recruit as many volunteers as possible who can help deliver our programmes to children aged 9-12 and 14-16. We’d love to hear from anyone who is interested in getting involved – if you think tutoring might be for you, go to the volunteering section of our website.




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