Inspection and Advisory Service (HIAS)

One-to-one tuition

The one-to-one tuition programme was a Government-funded initiative (2009 – 2011) to help children gain more confidence and understanding in English and mathematics. it was designed for the pupils who would benefit the most and complements classroom teaching by addressing barriers to learning that are personal and particular to each child.

Please visit the Learning, behaviour and attendance team Moodle, there is a specific one-to-one programme support area where tutors and one-to-one co-ordinators can access information about training courses, download useful resources and access further guidance materials

Why are some pupils being offered one-to-one tuition?

Ensuring that the right support and intervention is in place for all children, regardless of class or social background is important in narrowing the attainment gap. For those who can afford it, individual tuition has always been the preferred method of additional support for pupils not achieving their potential.

While the current catch-up arrangements are effective for many, the Department for Education (DfE) know that they are not working for all pupils. Some need a level of support which is beyond their control to deliver in the context of whole-class or small groups. Without an individualised approach it will be very hard for this group to make the progress needed to achieve their full potential.

Even in the personalised classroom, some pupils would benefit, at key moments, from an intensive burst of individual tuition, which the class teacher can guide and reinforce, but simply does not have the time to deliver.


Who can benefit?

Pupils who can benefit are those who have been taught a skill in the classroom but who have failed to secure it. Those whose understanding and application of the learning has been hampered by a previous misconception. Pupils who may have difficulty in grasping a new concept and then transferring it into practice and pupils who are new to English and have a limited vocabulary or have not had much opportunity to participate in sustained talk or reading.

Who is a priority for one-to-one tuition?

Tuition has a dual focus – Partly it is about addressing the needs of those pupils who are already below national expectations when they enter the key stage, and partly it is about the needs of the pupils defined by the making good progress investigations as being stuck or slow moving.

Pupils can be selected if:

  • they entered the key stage below the age related expectations
  • they are falling behind during the latter stages of a key stage
  • they are looked after children who would particularly benefit from this support.

As part of the focus on closing the gap, some tuition has been directed towards looked after children who would particularly benefit from this support.

Looked after children

Looked after children have been specifically identified as a group who can benefit from one-to-one tuition. This is because their attainment is often below that of their peers. Nationally, in 2008 just 14% of looked after children achieved at least five A*-C grades compared with 65% of all pupils. There is no difference in the expectations of one-to-one tuition for looked after children but additional guidance is available, which should be considered when working with them.

One-to-one tuition: Supporting looked after children Download Acrobat Reader to view this PDF 1mb – DCSF 2009

Addressing the needs of English as an additional language (EAL) learners

Attainment gaps for EAL students can often be addressed by the use of wave 1 and wave 2 interventions. One-to-one tuition should be used to address specific learning gaps, eg: in grammar or mathematical concepts.

Who is not it for?

One-to-one tuition is not:

  • a replacement for poor quality first teaching or where several pupils from within the same class fail to grasp a skill
  • a replacement for specialist help which is part of the schools existing provision
Existing provision may include:
  • behaviour support
  • catch up classes
  • enrichment classes
  • group intervention:
    • extra classes for small groups or year groups for example.

Issues to consider when selecting pupils for one-to-one tuition.

  • Is the pupil a looked after child?
  • Does the pupil receive free school meals?
  • Has the learning stalled?
  • Do several pupils from the same group have similar issues?
  • Is the pupil EAL? Has wave 1 and wave 2 intervention been used to support this pupil?
  • Is the pupil underachieving or do they have special educational needs?
  • Does the pupil have good attendance data?
  • Are there other issues outside the school environment for which one-to-one tuition can not impact?
  • Who will benefit the most?

One-to-one Tuition News

While the newsletters contain some operational details, they also have important information about the delivery and impact of one-to-one tuition.