Why We Need More Personalised Learning At School

Why We Need More Personalised Learning At School

Educational inequality Improving attainment Narrowing the gap Parents What's new?

The concept of personalised learning is centred on providing a more tailored education programme for each learner. It starts by examining and understanding each learner’s needs and then it looks to provide the necessary and challenging educational opportunities to assist them in their learning and overall development. 

In more practical terms, personalised learning is based on the belief that all young people have the right to receive support and challenges that are tailored to meet their individual needs, abilities and interests. For this concept to prosper it needs commitment from the pupil, responsiveness from teachers and engagement from their parents or carers 

How does current learning at schools take place?
In most schools, pupils are taught the curriculum in a classroom setting where there is one teacher engaging with a number of pupils at the same time. On average, there are about 20 pupils in each classroom in the UK. In this classroom setting, the teacher shares the same information with the whole class and the class is then assessed on that information in the form of tests, assignments, group work, engagement and eventually exams. 

The above method has been and continues to be the current functioning method in most schools. However, this learning method can be problematic for many pupils for a number of reasons. These include:

  • Some pupils may be over-talkative or disruptive which makes it difficult for other learners to concentrate and to engage with the teacher and other pupils
  • Some pupils may be intimidated to speak in front of their peers which hinders their participation during the lesson
  • Some pupils may not be able to understand the way the teacher presents the information as everyone learns differently or may be afraid to ask the teacher for help
  • The teacher has to hold the attention of the entire classroom which can be difficult and this can lower the amount of teaching time

Personalised learning at schools is the solution to most, if not all, of these challenges as each learner would have individual attention and supervision from a teacher and which will allow them to easily learn and understand topics.

Benefits of personalised learning

  • Increased engagement from pupil – This method of learning ensures that each pupil engages for longer which means they will spend more time learning and taking in the information being taught to them. Their engagement can also be further ignited by the pupil taking an active role in choosing their learning methods such as choosing the font and colours that they want to use, choosing the specific subject topics they want to study and the manner in which they wish to study. 
  • Increased motivation – Increased engagement results in increased motivation for the learner to choose a learning path that best suits them, making them much more invested in their studies. This is an important factor because unmotivated learners are known to be disruptive in class and missing important information which results in overall poor performance. Motivated learners, on the other hand, are known to focus and perform better in class.
  • Less time wasted – Teachers only have a specific amount of time to teach each subject topic, while pupils learn and take in information at different rates. Personalised learning can make the most use out of the pupil’s time by either getting straight to the point during a lesson or allowing more time for a teacher to go over any topics that a pupil struggles with. This method allows for teachers to assess the educational needs of a pupil before the course even begins, so as to avoid the traditional way of reading large chunks of information they may already be familiar with before they can begin with the course.
  • Better understanding and better results – A personalised learning system encourages pupils to share their individual concerns and ask for assistance on topics they may not understand without feeling intimidated by other pupils. This will strengthen their ability to handle any tasks the teacher gives to them to do which guarantees better results from the learner. In addition, pupils will complete tasks not just because they have to pass but because they actually understand the information and instructions provided.
  • Learning on your own time – The personalised learning method is much more flexible which allows pupils to take their learning wherever they go. This allows pupils to be in a comfortable environment when learning and it enables them to focus, learn for a longer time and absorb more learning material than they would in a traditional classroom setting.
  • The school also wins – The impact of personalised learning in schools is that of improved academic results, a superior learning culture and more efficient allocation of teaching resources. 

Although personalised learning is the most effective way to learn at schools, it needs more financial support and resources to be able to be implemented at all schools. It can also be difficult to ensure that schools meet their targets in terms of time management and ensuring that all pupils are taught all the information in their curriculum by the end of each year.

However, personalised learning methods can still be implemented through after-school programmes such as private and one-to-one tutoring. GT Scholars runs after-school programmes that include one-to-one tutoring in Maths or English for young people between the ages of 11 to 16. Contact us if you would like to know more about any of our programmes and courses.

7 Reasons Why State School Pupils are Still Not Getting into High-Income Careers

7 Reasons Why State School Pupils are Still Not Getting into High-Income Careers

Educational inequality Narrowing the gap Parents Social mobility What's new?

There is still an increasing trend of educational inequality that affects young talent attempting to enter into the job market. A recent study from the Social Mobility Commission concluded that young people from more advantaged socio-economic backgrounds, including those who’ve attended private school, are more likely to be in top jobs. 

What is the root cause of the increase in this trend and what can society do to prevent us from slipping back into an age of educational oppression?  

Here are a few reasons as to why privately-educated pupils are getting the benefit of the doubt when going head to head with a state-schooled pupil:

  1. Untimely graduation – Few state school pupils who make it to college complete their studies on time. Pupils from low-income backgrounds may have access to grants for tuition, but they still have to make provision for living expenses. Many pupils cannot afford to study and work part-time and they end up being forced to seek full-time employment. Of course, there is the argument that working and learning at the same time can result in better education and stronger career prospects and future options, especially when working in jobs related to subjects studied, however, working too much can reduce completion rates for low-income and first-generation college pupils. A spokesperson for The National Union of Teachers said their report “gives a sombre warning to Government that unless investment and the correct interventions are in place, the attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers will continue”.
  2. Career threshold – Most employers have strict recruitment procedures that ensure all aspects of a new job application is covered. When considering job applications from new candidates, they look at educational background including the school attended, academic attainment and the university attended. What they fail to realise is the fact that ticking these boxes is not an accurate prediction of the applicant’s strength. A more adept way to interview would be to focus on non-academic factors such as articulacy, assertiveness and other important soft skills. Employers that access a wider pool of diverse talent will provide real benefits for employees and the business alike.
  3. Not enough equivalent experience – When employers refer to equivalent experience in a job posting, they could be referring to experience as a substitute for not having the educational requirements or they could be referring to unpaid experience, such as volunteer work or an internship. Most state pupils are obviously not able to meet this requirement due to time or financial constraints that prevent them from taking on volunteer work or unpaid internships.
  4. Incorrect business destination and intent – Many employers have the incorrect focal point when it comes to success. Their considerations lean more towards prioritisation of tasks and general commerce when they should rather be paying more attention to what individuals can attribute to their overall financial growth. Employers should be looking to employ people who are going to complement the community that they are trying to build. The graduates who clearly articulate their interests, goals and aspirations are often overlooked because of their lower percentage performance in university or due to a lack of educational prestige.
  5. Restricted personal development –  Young people from advantaged backgrounds are more likely to be extroverts and have substantially higher economic aspirations since private schools have the resources to work on personal development. On the other hand, state schools don’t focus on personal development enough, and their pupils are not able to develop self-confidence or high career aspirations.
  6. Budget deficits – With the entire world moving into a technology-based environment, it is becoming clear that tech-savvy thinking is one of the things that employers are looking for. Unfortunately, state schools are lacking behind in this area, especially when it comes to the use of tech devices in class. Pupils cannot afford their own devices and unless there is some sort of independent funding along the way, the schools are also not able to provide this for all pupils.  This suppresses the learning potential of the pupils and they will not be able to develop the necessary skills to keep up with the changing working world.
  7. Educator challenges –  State schools employ a disproportionate share of teachers, relative to the number of pupils they educate, with class sizes being far too high for one teacher to handle. This creates many challenges for individual educators such as learner performance and disciplinary problems. Learner performance is affected there is less time for the educator to give individual attention. Learners attention is also affected as classrooms tend to be more noisy and disruptive during lessons. Furthermore, the educator’s time management is affected as they do not have the time to attend to test papers and assignments with as much detail, so they often overlook vital areas where improvement may be needed.

Even though pupils are facing these challenges based on inequality and the lack of adaptability by many employers, they should not be discouraged.  Young people entering the job market should assess what they can offer and why they can be an asset to their potential employer. They should include their best qualities in a personal cover letter when applying and focus on their unique credentials and skills.

GT Scholars is a not-for-profit social enterprise and registered charity. We run after-school and weekend programmes that help young people achieve their academic and career aspirations. Our programmes include tutoring, mentoring and enrichment sessions for young people aged 11-18. Contact us if you would like to know more about any of our programmes and courses.

Why equality in education and private tutoring is a realistic and worthwhile pursuit

Why equality in education and private tutoring is a realistic and worthwhile pursuit

Educational inequality Improving attainment Narrowing the gap Social mobility Volunteers What's new?

Imagine a world where every student is able to reach their full academic potential,  it would be an incredibly amazing world. A good education is one of the most important keys to achieve success in life. A population that is educated is needed for a prosperous nation.  Education develops foundation skills such as reading, writing and numeracy, which are essential for further learning. Ideally, all students all over the world should be learning in small classes, under the direction of dedicated, skilled and motivated teachers.  But the reality of the world is quite different.

Even the most democratic countries in the world do not provide equal education. The unfortunate truth is that money gives a student access to a  better-quality education. Students from financially stable and secure backgrounds have access to top-notch schools with state of the art laboratories, libraries and technology. Students from a disadvantaged background are left at the mercy of state schools. Even the very best state school cannot compete with the lowest ranking private school. State school classrooms are more often than not overcrowded and manned by overburdened, overwhelmed and stressed educators who must deal with bureaucracy and poor teaching environments. Even the brightest and most motivated students battle to achieve their full potential in these circumstances.  In many of these situations, students who need extra support are likely to fail and eventually drop out of school. The future is bleak for these kids who will either end up doing lowly paid, menial jobs or worst- case scenario, end up in a life of crime with the cycle continuing when they have their own children one day.

The negative impact educational inequality has does not stop at the students. It sets off a chain reaction of events.

Inflated costs to society
Failure to provide equal access to educational opportunities imposes inflated costs on society. A poorly educated population limits a country’s capability to produce, grow and innovate. It damages social cohesion and enforces additional costs on public budgets to deal with the consequences such as higher spending on public health and social support and greater criminality. The study found that students who have enriching school experiences will be more likely to pursue further education and successfully transition into the labour market.

Increases National Interest
Giving more students access to better education can increase national interest.  Students that receive quality education gain better reasoning intelligence and learn to form their own conclusions from facts that they are given. Educated people work towards the common good of the country and understands the importance thereof and works towards protecting the national interest.

‘’The children of today are the future of tomorrow’’
With more and more children gaining access to better schooling they also become well-cultured.  Good schooling can motivate and provide for higher quality education. If someone can learn to be a good student, they will learn to be good citizens one day. Imagine if we could measure the loss we’ve endured as the human race due to exceptionally talented students who could not reach their full potential because of educational inequality. What could they have possibly invented or contributed to society?

A nation that works together
It is possible to improve educational equality as a nation. Everyone can contribute to making equal education for all a reality. Governments can manage school choice to avoid segregation and increased inequities. They could also develop an incentive system to make disadvantaged students attracted to high-quality schools. Governments can also find a way to improve the access that disadvantaged families’ have to information about schools and give them the necessary support to help them make informed choices. To ensure equity and quality, the government can also promise  access to quality, early-childhood education.  The main focus should be to recruit and support good teachers. Teacher education is vital to ensure that teachers receive the requisite skills and knowledge to do their best. Creating mentoring programmes for novice teachers and developing supportive working environment will help retain good teachers.

It is not only up to the government to promote educational equality. It is just as much the communities responsibility to uplift the youth to ensure a better future awaits them. Communities members should become more involved in mentoring the children in their community. Local business, community and political leaders can play a key role in providing recreational and tutorial support to encourage learners to study rather than to become involved in anti-social activities.  They can also give financial support to improve school facilities.

Teachers also play an important role in promoting educational equality.  A good teacher can be a great influence on a student. A teacher can inspire, educate and motivate learners to give their best. However disadvantaged schools are not fertile grounds to bring out the best in a teacher. It is therefore important for teachers in these schools to come together with government support, to create a platform to motivate and help each other give their best.

Early intervention from a young age is needed to prevent educational equality gaps from widening. Whilst achieving educational equality may elude some governments, there are some organizations and social enterprises which have picked up the baton to close the gaps in educational inequality.  Society, therefore, has a moral obligation to make sure that all children receive equal access to education to give them the vital skills needed to become contributing adults in society. Educational equality ensures that all learners irrespective of their race, religion, gender and socio-economic standing have access to the same learning resources and educational opportunities.

GT scholars provides high-quality individualised tuition by tutors who are passionate about academic success. They match students with mentors who can assist them to set and achieve academic, career and personal development goals. They also run enrichment programmes to help build confidence and make students aware of the academic and career opportunities available to them. These programmes are provided at a low price or free of charge to young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. The aim of these programmes is to address educational inequality by giving children, particularly those from lower-income households, the strategies, skills and support required to achieve their academic and career goals. To find out more about GT Scholars, register your interest here or give us a call on 020 881 68066.

6 Misconceptions that young people need to address before embarking on a degree or an apprenticeship

6 Misconceptions that young people need to address before embarking on a degree or an apprenticeship

Narrowing the gap Social mobility University What's new? Young people

University debt has now risen to £100 billion in the UK and it’s set to keep rising. Many young people are now looking into alternatives to university. But what happens if you’re not sure which path to take.

There is no reason for anyone to throw themselves into an apprenticeship or go to university just for the sake of going! There are a lot of things to consider. In this blog, we’ll do our best to address some of the typical misconceptions that young people have about apprenticeships.

  • If I do an apprenticeship, I’ll earn less than a graduate. When you’re studying for a degree, you’ll need to pay for your course and for most people, this means taking up a student loan. During an apprenticeship, you get paid to work and gain your apprenticeship certification and you won’t have a student loan to pay off. The reality is that your salary as an apprentice and even beyond your apprenticeship will pretty much always depend on the profession you’ve chosen, the type of apprenticeship you’ve chosen and the company you work with. The same applies for graduates, it will depends on the work-experience you gained before and during your degree, your qualities and what you have to offer, the degree that you studied, the university you attend and the profession you’ve chosen. There are so many variables that it’s almost impossible to say that one is better than the other.
  • An apprenticeship is easier than studying for a degree. Again this is not necessarily true. So many young people believe that doing an apprenticeship instead of a degree is an easy way out. There is a belief an apprenticeship doesn’t require good grades and it’s a safety net that will secure them a well paid job after school and ensure that they are debt free. I’ve seen so many students mess around in their final year of school because they believed that all they needed was 5Cs to get a good apprenticeship. They didn’t attend any revision sessions, hardly prepared for exams and did the bare minimum to get 5Cs at GCSE and who could blame them? Why work so hard if you feel that you have the safety net of an apprenticeship waiting for you. Instead of looking for the easy way out, you should probably take the time to decide on your ideal career and then choose the path that will take you in the right direction.
  • It’s easy to get an apprenticeship with a top company. The reality is that the top apprenticeships and school/college leaver programmes are competitive. Just like graduate programmes, you’ll face a lot of competition. Top companies want top quality candidates so you’d better be prepared to have a brilliant CV and get good GCSEs and/or A-levels if you want to get a job with the highest paying companies. There are some of the more glamorous apprenticeships that will pay £400 per week but most apprenticeships will pay about £200 per week. You only need to take a look online at the apprenticeships on offer for you to fully understand what is available.
  • Doing an apprenticeship means I’ll never have to study again. Unfortunately, this is not true. Most apprenticeships will require some form of assessment or examination as part of the apprenticeship. And of course, even after your apprenticeship your career may still require you to take regular exams or build qualifications if you want to move up the career ladder. Instead of thinking about how to get out of exams, why not look for a way to get better at doing them?
  • Apprenticeships are for people that didn’t get good grades or don’t like studying. Doing an apprenticeship or studying for a degree is something that requires a lot of thought. The decision shouldn’t be based purely on your grades. The real question should be – what are you passionate about? What would you like to do with your life? If the career you want requires a degree – then you’ll need to get good grades, go to a top university and get your degree! If the career you want doesn’t require necessarily a degree eg Accounting, IT or Management – then you’ll need to get good grades and go and work for the best company that you can find that will support you to achieve your career aspirations. If the career you want requires you to go to a specialist Art/Fashion/Music/Dance college – then you’ll need to get good grades so that you can get into the specialist college.
  • I’ve been predicted low grades. I probably won’t get good GCSEs and I’ll have no choice but to do an apprenticeship. Predictions at school based on a range of factors. Even as a teacher I remember being baffled by what the computer spurred out as the predicted grades for my students. The problem is that many students then rest on their laurels believing that there’s just no hope and they’re only as good as the prediction. My view on this is work hard. Don’t give up because your predictions aren’t that great. I’ve met bright students who gave up on themselves at the most important point in their lives and I’ve always wondered what would happen if they put in just a little more effort to get better grades.

If you’re not sure about what you want to do then you should probably take some time out to get work experience in a field that you are interested in before embarking on an apprenticeship or signing up to a degree.

Do your research into universities and the types of degrees that you could study. Meet people that are currently on an apprenticeship and ask them about their experience. You may also want to look into apprenticeship-degrees where you work full time while gaining a degree through your employer and graduating debt free! Just remember that no matter which path you choose – you’ll probably still need to work hard and get good grades by the end of school.

How we provide affordable private tutoring for children from low income homes

How we provide affordable private tutoring for children from low income homes

Corporate Social Responsibility Narrowing the gap Our story Private tutoring What's new? Young people

Research from Sutton Trust’s shows that 42% of students in London have paid for private tutoring at some point in their academic careers. In addition to this, privately educated pupils are more than twice as likely to have received tutoring at some point in their academic lives compared to state educated pupils.

Research from the Education Endowment Foundation shows that tutoring can accelerate learning by up to 5 months within a year.  So why aren’t more young people from lower income homes making use of tutors? The reality is that high quality tutoring is simply not affordable. The average rate for tutoring in London about £30 per hour.

When we launched GT Scholars one of the first things we noticed was that there were more online search enquiries for private tuition from families from higher income homes than those from lower income homes. This was initially surprising as we couldn’t understand why we weren’t getting many more enquiries from families from low income homes.

Despite our relatively low costs and our offer of free places, the programme seemed to attract more people from higher income homes.It took us a while for us to see that many of our target market – parents of young people from lower income homes – were not looking for private home tutoring.

Their families were less likely to look for a tutor because tutoring can be expensive and from a parent’s point of view, particularly parents with a relatively low income – private tutoring was seen as risky especially if you don’t have the money or the right network to help you find or afford the right tutor.

When we discussed the search for a private tutor – many explained that they had stopped looking for a tutor because they believed there was no such thing as affordable private tutoring. It’s hard to justify paying a private tutor £40 per hour if you only earn £10/hour. We realised that many parents from lower income homes often saw private tutoring is a luxury that they just could not afford.

On the other hand, parents from wealthier homes, even those that that were already paying for private schools, saw private tutoring an essential part of learning that they cannot afford to miss out on.

Most people would agree that young people from low income homes should be able to access additional support through after-school tutoring – if they need it.

Over the past few years, we have found that that the best way to reach young people from low income homes is to reach them directly through their schools and offer free or low cost workshops and courses for parents to access additional support.

This gives parents a chance to meet us in person and understand some of the benefits of the programme and access support through our short courses and workshops when needed. We also encourage parents to sign up to our weekly newsletter ‘In the know’ which gives parents an idea of activities and opportunities that are available to their child.

There is no denying that private tutoring is here to stay. It’s a booming industry and becoming a way of life for many people especially those from higher income homes. The only way to make this fair is to offer some form of means-tested tuition including some free places – and this is the story of GT Scholars.

The GT Scholars programme is a not-for-profit after-school tutoring, mentoring and enrichment programme open to pupils in your school in Years 7 to 11. Pupils on the programme receive support from volunteer tutors from some of the top universities in London and volunteer mentors from top companies and organisations in London.

Parents pay means tested fees based on total household income and private tutoring fees range from £9 to £26. We use all 100% of our profits to ensure that 1 in 7 places are entirely free of charge to pupils from the lowest income groups. Our goal is to increase this to offer 1 in 3 free places by 2020.

The programme is entirely free of charge for schools to participate and we ensure that free places only go to young people from low income homes that have a genuine need for the programme.

If you work in a school in London and would like to know more about how the GT Scholars programme can benefit pupils in your school, contact us using the following link: www.gtscholars.org/contact-us

Find out how we are able to provide free private tutoring to young people from low income homes

Find out how we are able to provide free private tutoring to young people from low income homes

Narrowing the gap Social mobility University Volunteers What's new?

Research from Sutton Trust’s shows that 42% of students in London have paid for private tutoring at some point in their academic careers. In addition to this, privately educated pupils are more than twice as likely to have received tutoring at some point in their academic lives compared to state educated pupils.

Research from the Education Endowment Foundation shows that tutoring can accelerate learning by up to 5 months within a year.  So why aren’t more young people from lower income homes making use of tutors? The reality is that high quality tutoring is simply not affordable. The average rate for tutoring in London about £30 per hour.

When we launched GT Scholars one of the first things we noticed was that there were more online search enquiries for private tuition from families from higher income homes than those from lower income homes. This was initially surprising as we couldn’t understand why we weren’t getting many more enquiries from families from low income homes.

Despite our relatively low costs and our offer of free places, the programme seemed to attract more people from higher income homes.It took us a while for us to see that many of our target market – parents of young people from lower income homes – were not looking for private home tutoring.

Their families were less likely to look for a tutor because tutoring can be expensive and from a parent’s point of view, particularly parents with a relatively low income – private tutoring was seen as risky especially if you don’t have the money or the right network to help you find or afford the right tutor.

When we discussed the search for a private tutor – many explained that they had stopped looking for a tutor because they believed there was no such thing as affordable private tutoring. It’s hard to justify paying a private tutor £40 per hour if you only earn £10/hour. We realised that many parents from lower income homes often saw private tutoring as a luxury that they just could not afford.

On the other hand, parents from wealthier homes, even those that that were already paying for private schools, saw private tutoring an essential part of learning that they cannot afford to miss out on.

Most people would agree that young people from low income homes should be able to access additional support through after-school tutoring – if they need it.

Over the past few years, we have found that that the best way to reach young people from low income homes is to reach them directly through their schools and offer free or low cost workshops and courses for parents to access additional support.

This gives parents a chance to meet us in person and understand some of the benefits of the programme and access support through our short courses and workshops when needed. We also encourage parents to sign up to our weekly newsletter ‘In the know’ which gives parents an idea of activities and opportunities that are available to their child.

There is no denying that private tutoring is here to stay. It’s a booming industry and becoming a way of life for many people especially those from higher income homes. The only way to make this fair is to offer some form of means-tested tuition including some free places – and this is the story of GT Scholars.

The GT Scholars programme is a not-for-profit after-school tutoring, mentoring and enrichment programme open to pupils in your school in Years 7 to 11. Pupils on the programme receive support from volunteer tutors from some of the top universities in London and volunteer mentors from top companies and organisations in London.

Parents pay means tested fees based on total household income and private tutoring fees range from £9 to £26. We use all 100% of our profits to ensure that at least 1 in 7 places are entirely free of charge to pupils from the lowest income groups. The majority of our pupils are from low income homes with household income under £25,000. We are currently using our social enterprise to provide 1 free place for every 6 paying pupils. Our goal is to be able to offer 1 in 3 free places by 2020.

The programme is entirely free of charge for schools to participate and we ensure that free places only go to young people from low income homes that have a genuine need for the programme.

If you work in a school in London and would like to know more about how the GT Scholars programme can benefit pupils in your school, contact us using the following link: www.gtscholars.org/contact-us

Do Apprenticeships Perpetuate a Two-Tier System?

Do Apprenticeships Perpetuate a Two-Tier System?

Corporate Social Responsibility Narrowing the gap Research Social mobility University

A report has shown that doubts over the value of a university degree means that 4 out of 5 parents would prefer their child to pursue a form of apprenticeship over a university education. But GT Scholars wonders if it is this attitude towards higher-education that has helped strengthen the UK’s two-tier education system?

Raised university fees and the scrapping of the bursary will most likely have a negatively impact social mobility

With parental pressure towards vocational training, as well as fears over taking out large student loans, it’s no surprise that official figures suggest that poor teenagers are almost half as likely to go on to university than richer classmates. It’s likely that this means many gifted and talented children from less wealthy families are put off applying to university because of their socio-economic situation.

This is in stark contrast to parents from wealthier families who aren’t just more encouraging towards their children’s higher-education ambitions, but they are more likely to spend money on private tuition to help them gain access to the best colleges and universities. These parents have often taken on student debt themselves, have positive experiences of university and understand the value of a degree.

Graduates have traditionally earned more than their non-graduate peers

Scepticism over the value of a degree isn’t uncommon, but a recent study revealed that the majority of graduates are more likely to be in work and earn more than non-graduates. It also found that ten years after finishing university, graduates earned an average of over 25% more than non-graduates of the same age.

Although financial worries are a reality that aren’t going to disappear, nobody should feel like they don’t have access to higher-education because of their socio-economic background. It’s this unfortunate attitude that has helped to create a two-tier education system with students from poorer families less likely to pursue degrees – but the rise of degree-apprenticeships could help change this.

Degree-apprenticeships may be the solution

Degree apprenticeships allow students to do paid work at an accredited company, but also study for a management-related degree alongside it. Many high-profile firms across the UK, including M&S, Nestle, Rolls-Royce and Barclays, have signed up for the government backed scheme.

A student doing a degree-apprenticeship with Nestle spoke glowingly about the opportunity, “I find it incredible that at 21, compared to my friends who did go to uni, I’ll have not only a degree but also a professional status.”

Another student that made the decision to take up a degree apprenticeship because she was worried about getting into debt, saying “It was a worrying thought that I would be paying that off for the rest of my working life…The apprenticeship sounded a better option.”

With Government pledging to create 3 million degree-apprenticeships by 2020, this could be the change that sees working-class students have equal access to higher-education and finally puts an end to two-tier education.

At GT Scholars we believe that everybody should have access to the education that they want, no matter their background. That’s why we charge means-tested fees, to ensure that young people from lower income homes can access our programmes. To find out more about how we support young people through our courses, workshops and programmes, register your interest by visiting www.gtscholars.org/register-your-interest

What makes the GT Scholars Programme different from other education organisations?

What makes the GT Scholars Programme different from other education organisations?

Narrowing the gap Parents Private tutoring Social mobility What's new?

You probably already know that the GT Scholars Programme is a not-for-profit organisation within the education sector but did you know that there are hundreds of other not-for-profit organisations in the education sector in England? 

When the GT Scholars programme was launched, we knew straight away that we wanted to offer something that was different from other education organisations. We wanted to a lasting impact on young people, particularly those that would be overlooked by current education charity funding models. So what makes us different?

1. We’re here to support each child’s individual progress and personal ambitions

Most education charities will only work with young people that are low attainers ie. students that are at risk of failing their GCSEs. Others will only work with students that are high attainers with the aim of helping them get into the best careers and universities. But what would happen if we stopped classifying and labelling children as low, middle and high attainers? What if we stopped selecting children based on their attainment and started selecting them based on ambition? What if you weren’t held back by school targets and minimum progress measurements? What if you could just teach a child to achieve his or her best?  It may seem quite radical but giving young people a sense of ownership is exactly how and why the GT Scholars programme works. We still conduct assessments on a regular basis but instead of focusing on past attainment and hard targets, we focus on goals and ambitions.

2. We let young people take ownership of their future

Throughout the year our scholars set up their own projects based on the things that they care about. This  gives young people the opportunity to develop their skills and abilities and develops confidence in our scholars. We give young people a sense of freedom that means that we don’t have to keep limiting a child’s attainment based on the expected progress for that particular term instead we ask them what they would like to achieve and we support them in doing so.

3. We provide more than just tutoring

One of the biggest costs for any programme is the number of contact hours that can be provided. Due to limited funding, most not-for-profit tutoring programmes can only provide a limited amount of tutoring support per pupil. The typical programme will offer 12-15 hours of support in one term. We know that tutoring on it’s own is nowhere near as effective as combining tutoring, mentoring and enrichment. Scholars on the GT Scholars Programme receive a minimum of 25 hours of support per term. This includes 10 hours of one-to-one tutoring and a minimum of 15 hours of enrichment and skill-building support.  

4. You don’t need to be referred by your school to join our programmes

Most education programmes will only support young people from the lowest income homes that live in very specific postcodes in priority areas eg. Hackney and Tower Hamlets. This means that families within these areas and schools in these areas have a huge advantage of gaining external support for their students. But what happens if you don’t live in a priority postcode or you don’t attend the right school? Too many young people miss out on support because they don’t attend the right school, have the right grades, live in the right postcode and this is why our programmes are open to any young person living in London.

5. Our couses, workshops and events are open to all

We know that not every young person will get on the scholars programme. It’s not the best fit for every child, not every child needs support and we would never have the capacity to work with every child. For some young people, a day or a week or support is enough to make that difference. Our courses, workshops and programmes have been created to make sure that any young person can join in, regardless of their postcode, household income, the school they attend or their current attainment.

6. Our mixed funding model makes our courses, workshops and programmes affordable

We are different from most programmes because we charge means-tested fees. We believe that this is a good thing as it means that we do not have huge restrictions on the number of scholars that can join the programme. It also means that we don’t have to wait for grants in order to run the programme. The true cost of the GT Scholars programme is £2100 per year – this is simply not affordable for most parents. Our mixed funding model means that we charge approximately £240 to £480 per pupil for each 12-week term and this is considerably less than the amount that it costs to run the programme and a lot less than the cost a private tutoring company or the typical enrichment programmes that are only affordable for young people from wealthier families.

7. Our tutors and mentors genuinely believe in making a difference

When the GT Scholars programme started, we knew that had to work with tutors that shared the same values as we did. We initially believed that paid tutors would be the most committed tutors. However, we soon realised that we needed more than just committed tutors – we needed tutors and and mentors that cared about our scholars and were personally invested in making a difference. Our courses, workshops and programmes are designed by volunteers that are passionate about potential. We now work with volunteer tutors and mentors that take time out of their week to ensure that scholars get the most from the programme. In exchange, we provide our tutors and mentors with support for their role, we listen to their ideas and suggestions and we provide a rewarding and enjoyable experience.

The GT Scholars programme is an after school tutoring, mentoring and enrichment programme for ambitious young people aged 11-16. To find out more about the GT Scholars programme, get in touch with us online.

 

 

We need to make sure students are well informed about their options post 16

We need to make sure students are well informed about their options post 16

Apprenticeships Careers Narrowing the gap Post 16 University Volunteer mentors What's new? Work experience Young people

Post 16 options

Every young person is required to be in some form of education or training from the ages of 16-18. These years can be an incredibly exciting period, as young people for the first time are in full control over what subjects and qualifications they take. It is an opportunity to begin specialising in certain areas/subjects and to truly begin down the road to independence and adulthood. We at GT Scholars think it essential for all students to know the options that are available to them post 16, so we’ve made a list to help young people make the right choice for themselves. There is most certainly something for everyone.

A levels –

A levels are the next step for many young people post 16. They are subject-based qualifications, taken at school or college, that open up a variety of options later on. Universities and employers hold A level qualifications in high regard. They are a particularly good stepping stone towards university, as they offer a bridge between the teaching styles of schools and universities. A levels are a great academic challenge and give students the chance to further enhance their knowledge of familiar subjects such as English, Maths, History etc, or perhaps to delve into subjects that they may not have come across at school, such as Psychology or Politics.

Vocational Courses –

Another college-based post 16 option are vocational courses. They are different from A levels in that they typically are more hands-on, practical qualifications. They are specialist qualifications which focus on specific subject and employment areas, a few examples from the long list being business, social care and hairdressing . Vocational courses can help students gain employment skills and also provide a path towards a variety of university courses. They are a respected and well-established option post 16.

Apprenticeships –

Apprenticeships are gaining popularity in the UK, as more and more young people are recognising their value as a legitimate alternative to A-Levels. They offer something very different; practical, hands-on experience in a workplace. The skills you gain through apprenticeships are mostly job-specific and offer a fantastic route towards eventual full-time employment in your industry of choice. As an apprentice you can gain qualifications whilst working and earning money. The scope of apprenticeships has widened in recent years, with roles now available in a wide variety of sectors from engineering to IT to business. The modern apprenticeship is a challenging, rewarding and dynamic post 16 option.

Below are a list of links with further information to help you make the right choice for you-

https://www.careerpilot.org.uk/info/your-choices-at-16
https://www.ucas.com/ucas/16-18-choices/getting-started/what-are-my-options
https://www.allaboutschoolleavers.co.uk/articles/article/100/post-16-options
https://www.connexions-tw.co.uk/moving-forward-options-post-16