For over 25 years, Quest for Learning has been working collaboratively with local schools to help reduce the attainment gap between disadvantaged children and their peers. Sadly research just published by the Department for Education showed that nationally the attainment gap at the end of primary school has widened to its highest level since 2011.
Quest for Learning delivers literacy and numeracy support to disadvantaged primary school children in Oxfordshire, who are struggling in school, and training support for teachers and teaching assistants. Oxfordshire is a county of great inequality, and 29% of Oxford’s children live in poverty. Disadvantaged children in Oxfordshire typically end primary school academically over a year behind their peers which in turn has a dramatic effect on their future.
Following a successful project with the ALMT in 2021, this project will continue to address educational inequality by enhancing the numeracy skills and self-confidence of 264 children from disadvantaged communities in Oxfordshire who have fallen behind their peers at school. Experienced tutors will work in five schools to support the children through twice-weekly “NumSkills” sessions for nine weeks to boost their mental maths skills and improve their maths fluency, improve their confidence and self-belief, achieve higher assessment results, and ultimately have better life chances. At least two of the five schools each year will be receiving NumSkills for the first time. Priority schools are working in Oxfordshire’s most disadvantaged communities, as shown by pupil demographics and attainment outcomes.
The project receives some funding from the National Tutoring Programme but this is set to reduce in the second year of the programme. ALMT funding will therefore increase to £13,086 in year two in order to continue supporting the most disadvantaged children.