Tutoring ‘catch-up’ scheme may not be reaching most disadvantaged pupils, spending watchdog warns


A flagship programme aimed at helping pupils catch up on learning may not be reaching the poorest children, the public spending watchdog has warned.

Fewer than half the children who had started to receive tuition by February in the scheme were eligible for grants aimed at helping disadvantaged children, the National Audit Office (NAO) found.

The programme – designed to provide disadvantaged pupils with tuition – is part of government plans to help children catch up on missed learning due to the disruption to education caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

It allows schools to access heavily subsidised tuition from a list of partners, as well as supporting those in the most disadvantaged areas to employ academic mentors to give intensive support.

Some 41,100 pupils had started to receive tuition through the scheme by last month, the NAO report found.


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