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QBE urges insurance industry to join tutoring initiative in support of social mobility

  • Tutors commit one hour a week to help pupils with maths or English
  • Action Tutoring trains volunteers and provides lesson plans
  • Sessions take place in schools or online

QBE employees who are volunteering with Action Tutoring are inviting industry colleagues to do the same and support children from disadvantaged backgrounds to improve their prospects.

On average, pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds are 18 months behind their peers by the end of secondary school.

The QBE Foundation signed a partnership agreement with education charity Action Tutoring in July, pledging £1.5m to plug the academic attainment gap in the UK.

Action Tutoring tackles that attainment gap by forging relationships with schools and providing them with trained volunteer tutors to support pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds at risk of not reaching national standards.

QBE has signed up over 40 volunteer tutors to work with primary and secondary school children one hour a week over 10 weeks in maths or in English, most of them online.

Grant Clemence, Chair of the QBE Foundation said: “It’s great to be able to support the work that Action Tutoring do by providing both funds and volunteers. I know from volunteering myself on this programme, how easy it is to do and how much the children look forward to it every week. I’d encourage individuals and corporations to join us in helping Action Tutoring to reach more and more pupils.”

Susannah Hardyman, Chief Executive Officer, Action Tutoring commented: “Action Tutoring are delighted that QBE have recognised so powerfully the critical importance of supporting children and young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to reach their potential. Through both their funding and volunteering efforts, we will be able to ensure that many more young people are given the opportunity to benefit from the significant impact that tutoring delivers, making a tangible difference to young lives as well as wider society."

Tutors give one hour of their time every week over 10 weeks to state school pupils who wouldn’t otherwise access private tutoring in Years 5, 6, 7, 10 or 11. Using lesson plans prepared by Action Tutoring, they help up to three students in maths or English. The sessions take place with the tutor at the school or online, using a virtual classroom.

Evidence shows that one to one or small group tutoring makes a big difference to children from disadvantaged backgrounds, helping them improve their learning, achieve stronger SATs and GCSE results, enhance their employment prospects and widen their life choices.

The QBE Foundation has committed to a minimum of three years funding with an annual contribution of at least £500,000, but also with the expectation that the partnership and funding will extend to five years and beyond. QBE employees across the UK have been able to volunteer and provide tutoring, using Action Tutoring’s structured programmes and resources.

To drum up support, QBE and Action Tutoring have collaborated on a new video explaining why volunteering can make such a difference: