Durham student helps found network providing free tutoring for autumn A Levels

By and

A Durham student has helped to found an initiative that will provide tuition to students sitting their A Levels in the autumn. Rowan Morris, a Maths and Computer Science finalist at St Cuthbert’s Society, co-founded Open Tutoring UK, offering free tuition to students taking A Level exams in order to improve their grades.

The network, which is already matching over 600 tutors and hundreds of students, was set up soon after A level results day. The core team of 7 volunteer graduates and current university students “came about organically and rapidly via Twitter”, said Morris.

“I made a tweet also offering free tuition, and my tweet was flooded with replies and retweets of people also keen to help. It was an overwhelming level of engagement, showcasing just how many people cared about helping students in this difficult time.

Grace, now one of our core team, suggested that it might be a good idea to create a network for people willing to help.  I made a group chat, we added people who were interested, and by the end of the day we’d created Open Tutoring.”

The network, which checks all tutor’s qualifications, has enjoyed a high level of success in matching so far. “We’ve already found experienced tutors for the vast majority of students interested. Our network is still growing, and we aim to get back to students and tutors in 2-4 working days”.

A designated safeguarding member of the core team makes sure all communications are monitored between students and tutors, and all students must be over the age of 18.

It was an overwhelming level of engagement.

Rowan Morris

Though the government decision to revert to Centre Assessed Grades (CAGs) meant many students did not feel the need to sit exams in the autumn, Open Tutoring UK works for the many students with lower CAGs who would like to retake.

“We welcome the U-turn on results as a result of direct action by members of the education sector, including students, parents, unions and schools. However, we also recognise that there will still be students who have been harmed by the impact of COVID-19 on their education.

Students with lower predicted grades or CAGs may still seek to rectify this through sitting their exams in the Autumn, and many face financial and other situational barriers to their learning.”

Durham University has stated that it will offer a bursary to students now meeting the conditions of their offer who voluntarily defer their place until 2021.

Image: Roger via Flickr

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