Condition category
Not Applicable
Date applied
Date assigned
Last edited
Retrospectively registered
Overall trial status
Recruitment status
No longer recruiting

Plain English Summary

Background and study aims
Numeracy (the ability to understand and work with numbers) is an important skill, but many children struggle in this area. Studies have shown that small group teaching might be able to help pupils who are struggling in maths. Many schools have teaching assistants that often work one to one or with small groups of children that need extra help. Tutor Trust is a registered charity based in Manchester that offers affordable tuition to schools. Tuition is provided by specially trained university students in small groups (maximum three students). The aim of this study is to investigate the effectiveness of Tutor Trust Primary Tuition to help improve pupils’ maths skills whilst in their final year at primary school (Year 6) who are currently working insecurely at or below age-related expectations in maths who are willing to participate.

Who can participate?
Pupils in Year 6 in the 2016/2017 academic year who attend participating schools.

What does the study involve?
Schools are randomly allocated to one of two groups. The schools in the first group receive tuition support from Tutor Trust trained university students to supply tuition for pupils in Year 6 who are working below or insecurely at age related expected levels in maths. This involves taking part in 12 small group tutoring sessions throughout the school year. The schools in the second group continue as usual in their approach to mathematics and are given an option to take part in the program after the study. At the end of the school year, participant's math and English exams results are reviewed to see if there has been any change in their achievement levels.

What are the possible benefits and risks of participating?
Participants may benefit from potentially improving their mathematics skills. There are no notable risks involved with taking part in this study.

Where is the study run from?
The study is run from York Trials Unit, University of York and the School of Education, Durham University and takes place in primary schools across Leeds and Manchester (UK).

When is the study starting and how long is it expected to run for?
November 2015 to March 2018

Who is funding the study?
Education Endowment Foundation (UK)

Who is the main contact?
Dr Kerry Bell

Trial website

Contact information



Primary contact

Dr Kerry Bell


Contact details

York Trials Unit
Department of Health Sciences
University of York
YO10 5DD
United Kingdom



Additional contact

Prof David Torgerson


Contact details

York Trials Unit
Department of Health Sciences
University of York
YO10 5DD
United Kingdom

Additional identifiers

EudraCT number number

Protocol/serial number

V3 04/07/2016

Study information

Scientific title

Independent evaluation of Tutor Trust primary tuition: A pragmatic two-arm cluster randomised controlled trial



Study hypothesis

Primary research question:
What is the impact of the Tutor Trust intervention on mathematical achievement of children at Key Stage 2?

Secondary research questions:
Does the intervention have any effect on attainment in English at Key Stage 2?

Ethics approval

1. Durham University School of Education Ethics Committee, 23/08/2016
2. Chairs Action University of York Department of Health Sciences, 14/10/2016

Study design

Multi-centre two-arm cluster randomised controlled trial

Primary study design


Secondary study design

Randomised controlled trial

Trial setting


Trial type


Patient information sheet

Not available in web format, please use contact details to request a participant information sheet


Numeracy skills


Randomisation is implemented at the school level. Schools are asked to identify approximately twelve pupils who are performing below or insecurely at age expected levels in maths to participate in the intervention. Schools receive the intervention at a heavily discounted rate due to subsidies from the Education Endowment Foundation. Participants are allocated to one of two groups, the intervention arm or the control arm.

Participants in the intervention arm receive a minimum of twelve one-hour weekly tutoring sessions in maths delivered within the school. Some tuition takes place during the school day, with pupils being withdrawn from lessons (although it is recommended that this is not a Maths lessons). Other tuition sessions can take place after school or even on weekends or during school holidays. Sessions will be provided on a maximum ratio of one tutor to three pupils, as determined by the class teacher. Tutors develop their own session plans under guidance from the class teachers and provide regular feedback to teachers. The format and resources used during sessions can vary substantially according to the school’s requirements. The personalisation of the tuition service is considered fundamental to its success. This individual tailoring for pupils comes about through close collaboration between tutors and the classroom teachers at each school.

Participants in the control arm will receive teaching and support as usual. Schools that are allocated to the control condition during the trial are able to uptake the intervention at the end of the trial at an equal rate.

Follow-up for both trial arms will be at the end of the intervention year via the Key Stage 2 assessments.

Intervention type



Drug names

Primary outcome measure

Maths attainment measured using Key Stage 2 maths assessments at the end of the academic year.

Secondary outcome measures

English attainment measured using Key Stage 2 English assessments at the end of the academic year.

Overall trial start date


Overall trial end date


Reason abandoned (if study stopped)


Participant inclusion criteria

1. Enthusiasm for the project and for their own professional learning
2. Willingness to identify all eligible pupils using pre-specified criteria
3. Provision of school characteristics and baseline data about pupils in Year 5/6
4. Willingness to allow random allocation to the intervention in the 2016/2017 academic year
5. Willingness to identify approximately 12 current Year 5 children in June 2016 to receive the intervention (or at the latest by the Autumn half-term when the children are in Year 6)
6. Willingness to implement the intervention throughout the academic year 2016/2017
7. Willingness to implement the intervention only to those identified
8. Agreement to be in the independent evaluation
9. Willingness to follow the guidance provided by the researchers
10. Provision of a designated space for tuition sessions for pupils
11. Provision of pupil data to allow us to link KS1 and KS2 data for all Year 6 pupils (2016/2017) from the National Pupil Database
12. Willingness to pay the highly subsidised costs of the intervention

Year 6 pupils working insecurely at or below age related expectations in maths.

Participant type


Age group




Target number of participants

100 schools (1200 children)

Participant exclusion criteria

Not meeting inclusion criteria

Recruitment start date


Recruitment end date



Countries of recruitment

United Kingdom

Trial participating centre

York Trials Unit
University of York
YO10 5DD
United Kingdom

Trial participating centre

Durham University
School of Education Leazes Road
United Kingdom

Sponsor information


University of York

Sponsor details

Research Innovation Office
Innovation Centre
York Science Park
YO10 5DD
United Kingdom

Sponsor type




Funder type


Funder name

Education Endowment Foundation (UK)

Alternative name(s)

Funding Body Type

Funding Body Subtype


Results and Publications

Publication and dissemination plan

1. Publication of a final report by the Education Endowment Foundation
2. Planned publication of the outcomes of the research in academic journals

IPD Sharing Plan:
Data is available upon request from Dr Kerry Bell

Intention to publish date


Participant level data

Available on request

Basic results (scientific)

Publication list

Publication citations

Additional files

Editorial Notes