Only 41% of young people on free school meals pass English and maths GCSEs, compared with 69% of all other pupils. With the right support, we can make life after school fairer.
There is extensive high-quality evidence demonstrating the potential of one-to-one and small-group tuition as a cost-effective way to support pupils who are falling behind.
Why do we exist?
The Maths Society (TMS) is a charity which aims to make a practical improvement in learning outcomes for disadvantaged young people. The TMS was started in 2016 in order to provide opportunities, and networks of support for 9-17 year olds who are unable to get them from their schools or families.
We support disadvantaged pupils by providing free, independent and evidence-based tutoring to boost learning and confidence.
In the years that have followed our students have experienced great success.
The Maths Society supports young people facing socio-economic disadvantage to achieve a meaningful level of academic attainment, with a view to enabling them to progress in education, employment or training. We do this by partnering high-quality tutors with pupils to increase their subject knowledge, confidence and study skills.
Our plan includes reaching more of the children and young people who need us the most: our aim is to increase the number of children and young people we work with by 100%. In addition, by 2022, our aim is that 75% of the pupils we work with will be within our target population - from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, care-experienced, in Alternative Provision or at risk of exclusion from school.
Our vision is for all children to achieve the best possible qualifications, so that they can leave school with real choices for their future lives.
TMS provides high quality tuition at a competitive rate to primary and secondary school pupils who can afford to pay.
This funding is utilised to cover the cost for disadvantaged pupils in over 25 schools who cannot afford to pay. Disadvantaged pupils on Free Schools Meals (the best available proxy measure of economic disadvantage) do not pay for any fees for the tuition delivered as it is subsidised by fee paying pupils.
Disadvantaged pupils receive 36 hours of tuition, in Maths, English and Science, one hour per week per subject for 12 weeks in groups of six, every Saturday.
The tuition fees generated from our parents is utilised for our charitable activities thereby making our free tuition model for disadvantaged pupils sustainable and long-lasting.
Our reputation for delivering results. Our data shows that every single hour of tuition makes a difference to the young people we tutor.
Sadly, the academic attainment gap is still a stark reality across the country but we are passionate that with targeted interventions like ours we can make an impact on reducing it, and ensuring that no pupil’s life chances are limited by their background or circumstances.
Our data for primary and secondary Maths, English and Science tuition show a strong correlation between the number of hours tuition received and outcomes attained.
For example, evaluating the impact of our small group tutoring on GCSE maths attainment in 2017-18 academic year for a cohort of Year 11 pupils is provided below. We are thrilled with the results, our work examined the impact of TMS's Year 11 Maths tuition on GCSE results, with KS3 & Year 10 results as the baseline. The outcomes are very strong: pupils who received our tuition made considerable additional progress in Maths, the outcome from just 30 hours of tuition, delivered on a 1:6 tutor to pupil basis. The cost of the intervention remains low, at just £270 per child for the whole academic year.
Academic Year 2017-18 (Sep-Jun)
Year 11s - GCSE Mathematics
Disadvantaged FSM pupils : 85
Paid pupils : 60
Group size : 6 pupils per tutor
Cost per paid pupil : £15 per hour
School represented : 18 across Harrow and neighbouring boroughs
Delivered by : Qualified teachers
Location : Stanmore College
Intervention length : 1 hour per week, 30 weeks across 3 academic terms leading up to GCSE maths exam
Student questionnaires provided information on the nature and extent of prior private tuition received. Information on pupils prior level of attainment was collected supplemented with inhouse testing at the start of academic year of all 145 pupils.
The analysis of effects on attainment is based on a sample of 145 year 11 students in 18 schools who completed questionnaires and sat GCSEs in June 2018.
The main explanatory variable of interest was whether the students had received any private tuition during Key Stage 3 & 4. In all analyses, the end of Year 10 test results were adjusted for, so that the analyses examined the effect of tuition upon the progress in attainment since the beginning of Year 11.
End of Year 10 tests were used as measures of prior attainment in the subjects. Results were obtained through retesting at the start of Year 11 in September 2017 for latest data.
The effects of private tuition on GCSE results were then examined using regression analysis, which adjusted for End of Year 10 tests attainment in maths.
Results of the Year 10 tests are taken as both a ‘raw score’ and a ‘scaled score’. Scaled scores, from 80 to 120, ensure that results are directly comparable year on year; a scaled score of 100 will always represent the ‘national standard’. Based on the scores a working grade level and a predicted grade level is assigned.
FSM pupils participating in the intervention received 30 hours of tuition for free.
The cost of TMS under usual circumstances for a ratio of 1:6 the hourly rate is £9 per hour.
The cost of TMS tutoring is subsidised by the charitable status of the organisation and prices have been frozen since 2016.
What impact does tuition have?
Variability between students was greatly reduced with tutoring.
Evidence shows that saving received an average of thirty hours of tuition, 78% of our Year 11 tutees achieved a Grade 5 or above in maths, and the average progress was 0.99 of a grade.
We are committed to making a measurable impact and continually seek to learn and improve the work we do.