'Catch up' tutoring helping children close lockdown education gap

Extra tuition in Poplar getting ready for secondary school 

Extra tuition in Poplar getting ready for secondary school - Credit: Cade Moulla

A programme to help children from families in poverty to improve their maths and English ready for secondary school after the Covid emergency has been started in Poplar.

The after-school tuition has been set up by Poplar Harca housing organisation with the Tutors United social enterprise, and offered for free. 

“Gaps in the children's education have been made worse by the pandemic,” Tutors United chief executive Joel Davis said. “This can lead to more inequalities. Our commitment is to make sure every child gets the opportunity to succeed.”

The after-school tutoring designed by teachers with special attention to writing and literacy aims to help transfer to secondary school.   

Priority is given to those from low-income families whose main language may not be English and whose families are new to the UK school system.  

Babu Bhattacherjee, director of communities and neighbourhoods at Poplar Harca, said: “This addresses the gaps in education which was increased by the pandemic.” 

The housing organisation is providing learning space at its community centres in Poplar and Bow and is recruiting tutors from universities such as Queen Mary in Mile End, who will get training and be paid for their placement.