Autumn Statement: Our Response

We are disappointed that today’s Autumn Statement has not extended funding for state tutoring – meaning that as things stand, there will be no dedicated funding to support tutoring after August 2024.  

Three years post pandemic, there is still a clear need for an evidence-based intervention to address the impact of learning loss and the ongoing challenges across our education system. The rise in absenteeism in education is alarming. Disadvantaged primary school pupils remain months behind their peers in reading and maths. The attainment gap at GCSE is at its widest since 2012. This is a generational problem that will take years to resolve.  

Tutoring has demonstrated a positive impact on all these areas. Furthermore, the potential of tutoring goes much further than education recovery. Tutoring has long been known to be one of the most effective interventions in today’s education toolkit. It has always had the potential to play a fundamental role in tackling the country’s enduring attainment gap that exists between disadvantaged young people and their peers. Since national tutoring polices, including the 16-19 Tuition Fund, were first introduced in 2020, the gap in access to tutoring between rich and poor families in England has all but disappeared. To date, the 16-19 Tuition Fund has reached 94% of eligible young people with engagement from 1,567 colleges, sixth forms and training providers. 

Over the past few years, we have had the privilege of witnessing firsthand the transformative impact that having a tutor can have on the confidence and skills of the young people we support. We have also had the pleasure of hearing from former Get Further students about the opportunities securing gateway English and maths qualifications unlocked for them, as they pursue and thrive during Level 3 courses, apprenticeships or university. 

However, we know from all our work with colleges, sixth forms and training providers across the country that without ringfenced funding, they would not be able to deliver tutoring at anywhere near the same scale next year. Almost two-thirds (64%) of parents cite cost as a barrier to accessing more tutoring, with poorer parents half as likely to be able to afford private tutoring than their wealthier counterparts. Without dedicated funding, tutoring will return to being the preserve of those who can afford it.  

During his speech at the Conservative Party Conference back in October, the Prime Minister promised that education will be a priority in every future spending review. We call on the Government to honour that promise by making the necessary funding available to ensure that tutoring remains accessible to all students regardless of background.