School led tutoring grant – what are the options and things you need to consider

    Published: 09 December 2021

    Disruption cause by the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in significant missed education by pupils. The government has provided schools with ring fenced funding – ‘catch up funding’ to source their own tutoring provision for disadvantaged and vulnerable who have missed the most education due to the pandemic. 

    With this funding, schools have the flexibility to use tutors who they are more familiar with. This will enable schools to use internal or external capacity to meet the diverse needs of their pupils.

    School-Led Tutoring should focus on providing tuition to disadvantaged pupils. This should include pupils eligible for pupil premium but could also include pupils with other types of disadvantage or additional needs, including Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), children who have a social worker, previously looked-after children, young carers and other vulnerable pupils


    All state-funded primary, middle and secondary schools in England with pupils in Year 1

    to 11 eligible for pupil premium (eligible for free school meals, or have been eligible in the

    past 6 years) will receive a School-Led Tutoring grant. This includes:

    • primary, secondary and all-through local authority-maintained schools, academies and free schools
    • local authority-maintained special schools
    • special academies and free schools
    • non-maintained special schools, including independent special schools, where the placement is funded by the local authority
    • pupil referral units
    • alternative provision academies and free schools
    • local authority-maintained hospital schools and academies

    The Education Endowment Foundation has published a toolkit… which some schools may find useful. The toolkit provides extra information on one-to-one and small group tuition, including links to related resources.

    The School-Led Tutoring route offers flexibility for schools to identify their own tutors.

    so, they may wish to consider the following sources of tutors:

    Internal staff:

    • teachers
    • teaching assistants or staff with similar roles supporting teaching, including
    • learning mentors
    • Initial Teacher Trainees

    External staff:

    • supply teachers
    • retired or returning teachers

    Private tutors:

    • individual tutors
    • tutoring organisations


    Schools may consider using staff teachers to deliver tuition to pupils. However, this should not affect their Planning, Preparation and Assessment (PPA) time. Schools should continue to meet their obligations to teachers as detailed in the School teachers’ pay and conditions document. Teachers without QTS and who have less than two years’ experience in the subject and phase they wish to tutor in will not be able to deliver tuition until they have successfully completed the training course.

    Teaching Assistants

    Schools may wish to ask their teaching assistants, or staff with similar roles in supporting teaching, to deliver tuition. When deploying these staff as tutors, schools should continue to have appropriate support in place for the pupils they usually work with, including those with SEND, and consider this when planning staffing requirements. Schools should ensure that support staff have strong experience of supporting teaching in the subject and phase they wish to tutor in. Teaching assistants will not be able to deliver tuition until they have successfully completed the training course.

    Initial Teacher Trainees

    Schools may want to consider using Initial Teacher Training (ITT) trainees to deliver tutoring. Should this be considered, schools should discuss this with the ITT provider to determine suitability, timing, and capacity to undertake any additional work. Schools should make it clear to trainees that tutoring is a separate activity to teaching and therefore cannot be used as evidence towards teacher standards. Additional paid tutoring work might also have implications on student loans. ITT trainees will not be able to deliver tuition until they have successfully completed the tutoring training course.

    Supply Teachers

    Schools could consider sourcing supply staff to tutor. Where schools are using recruitment and employment agencies, they must ensure that the agency is transparent about the rates they charge, have relevant accreditation and complete thorough background and safeguarding checks on all their workers

    Retired or returning teachers

    Retired or returning teachers can also be asked to deliver tutoring. This could be particularly useful where the teacher has recently worked at the school and is familiar with the needs of the pupils. When selecting retired or returning teachers, schools should ensure that they have up-to-date knowledge of the curriculum, and the skills and experience to deliver high-quality intervention.

    Individual tutors and tutoring organisations

    Schools may wish to look to external capacity and employ a local private tutor or approach a tutoring organisation to deliver tuition. When doing so, leaders should use their professional judgement to ensure that tutors are of a high quality and can meet the needs of their pupils and ensure the tutors have the appropriate qualifications, competencies and experience to deliver effective tuition, as well as appropriate subject and pedagogical knowledge.

    Schools should also carry out the appropriate checks on external teachers, including preemployment, DBS and reference checks.


    A free online training course focusing on best practice tutoring will be offered to all school staff who are nominated as tutors by their school leaders. Ed Dev Trust has designed the training, which is an evidence based, self-directed and accessible course focusing on best practice tutoring.

    There will be three pathways to this training:

    • QTS Pathway;
    • non-QTS Primary Pathway
    • non-QTS Secondary Pathway

    Participants will have up to four weeks, from when they begin, to complete the virtual, self-directed training and assessment regardless of which pathway they are enrolled on. However, they may complete training sooner if they wish. Upon successful completion of the online course, tutors will receive certification which will be recognised by the Chartered College of Teaching to certify individuals as a School-Led Tutor.

    For teachers with QTS, and teachers without QTS who have at least two years of experience teaching the subject and phase they wish to tutor in, training is optional. However, the Department recommends that these teachers complete the optional 2-hour QTS pathway.

    For all other staff, including teaching assistants, trainee teachers and teachers without QTS who have less than two years’ experience in the relevant subject and phase, the training is mandatory. These staff will not be able to begin delivering tuition until they have successfully completed the School-Led Tutor Training Course. This is expected to take approximately 11 hours to complete.

    Grant allocations and school contributions

    Grant funding for School-Led Tutoring will be based on the proportion of pupils in Year 1 to Year 11, eligible for pupil premium. Funding will be allocated for around 60% of eligible pupils per school. Schools can check their funding allocations, including the number of pupils funded and the number of hours of tuition that we expect to be delivered with this funding:

    Gov.UK: School-led tutoring: guidance and tracker tool

    The grant for 2021/22 is expected to cover 75% of the cost of tuition up to an £18 per pupil, per hour, unit cost. Schools have the flexibility to manage their own allocation and pay above or below this figure, where necessary, but in all cases will need to contribute 25% of the cost. It is expected that schools deliver one 15-hour package of tutoring support per pupil.

    For further detailed information please see:

    Gov.UK: School-led tutoring grant guidance


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