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Maximising impact in short term interventions

Maximising the impact on our students’ outcomes is always a priority for us here at Tute. We want to make a difference for our students and we always put them at the centre of all we do, but what is the best way to ensure a short-term intervention programme has the greatest impact?

It is well known that small group and 1-2-1 interventions are effective in supporting students to make progress. The Education Endowment Fund’s Teaching and Learning Toolkit has collated significant evidence in this area and state: 

“Small group tuition approaches can support pupils to make effective progress by providing intensive, targeted academic support to those identified as having low prior attainment or at risk of falling behind.” 

Our years of experience have taught us this: to maximise impact in interventions, there must be a laser focus on plugging very specific gaps in students’ learning. Students’ individual needs from a programme must be identified and then the lessons should work on addressing the most urgent of those needs.  It is futile to think a short programme of 15 hours (as per the NTP) could possibly cover every single gap and a scatter gun approach, trying to hit every curriculum area, simply doesn’t work.  Rather, a bespoke programme tailored to enhancing student outcomes is what works best. For example, rather than trying to cover all the areas in which a student might be struggling in English, identifying specific objectives for just reading comprehension would be more impactful. Likewise, rather than attempting to cover all the Mathematics curriculum, a programme tailored to the students’ specific gaps in relation to just the area of Number would have greater impact.  

One way to identify gaps accurately is to undertake a diagnostic pre-assessment BEFORE selecting an intervention programme for students.  This can be done via your school’s own usual assessment methods or Utilising assessment tools from a third party, such as our partners, EdPlace.  

Once the data from the pre-assessment is in, you should be able to clearly identify where the gaps are and plan a programme accordingly.  Our Tute teachers are excellent at advising and supporting in this regard too, so you can always list your objectives and ask our team to create a programme based on this information. 

The use of a diagnostic pre-assessment also gives you the opportunity to gauge the impact of the intervention too more accurately.  Once lessons are complete, a post-assessment can measure exactly how much progress has been made.  

There is no one-size-fits-all solution in education, but there are tried and tested methods for maximising impact and this is definitely one!  

Should you want further support or help in measuring the impact of Tute’s lessons for your students, please do get in touch with me.  As Tute’s Impact and Evaluation Manager, I’ll be more than happy to help!

Dr. Sharon Smith
Impact and Evaluation Manager

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