QBE partners with Action Tutoring charity nurturing future talent

QBE partners with Action Tutoring charity nurturing future talent

 July 21, 2023

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The foundational arm of QBE European Operations, QBE Foundation, has struck a partnership with the charity Action Tutoring, and will invest over GBP 1.5 million to support children from disadvantaged backgrounds and plug the academic attainment gap in the UK.

Creating a healthy workforce

QBE - education

With QBE Foundation funding, the Action Tutoring charity aims to double within five years its number of pupils supported and reach more remote locations.

By the end of their General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE), an academic qualification across the UK, children from low-income backgrounds are on average 18 months behind their wealthier peers. This attainment gap was already one of the largest in the developed world before Covid-19, but lockdowns exacerbated inequalities so much that it would take a decade just to bring it back to pre-pandemic levels. Yet, the government is set to end the funding for the national tutoring programme in 2024.

QBE Foundation Chairman Grant Clemence said: "QBE is embarking on a different approach from traditional corporate philanthropy. At the point government funding is about to end, QBE is stepping in with considerable financial support to allow Action Tutoring to achieve specific outcomes that we both believe will dramatically improve the prospects for many underprivileged children. The money we provide is geared to achieving measurable progress in tackling the education attainment gap. I am delighted QBE is leading the charge in breaking new ground. Not only in relation to helping vulnerable children but also in securing their place in the workforce of the future."

“Achieving good GCSEs in both English and Maths is critical to young people being able to progress to further education, employment or training. This not only benefits their individual lives, but creates a healthy workforce and ultimately benefits the wider economy,” said Action Tutoring CEO, Susannah Hardyman. "Skills shortage is a chronic problem for businesses. This partnership aims to accelerate the recovery and fight inequality. This funding will help us tutor twice as many pupils as we do today within five years, and also expand our reach from urban to rural areas.”

Educational attainment gap is a persistent inequality

The attainment gap is the persistent inequality between children from different socioeconomic groups in academic performance. 27 per cent of pupils in state education today are classified as disadvantaged. On average, they are 18 months behind their peers by the end of secondary school.

QBE Foundation and the Action Tutoring charity are committing to reduce this gap by providing free tuition to disadvantaged pupils, through partnerships with non-selective state schools, enabling these children to make meaningful academic progress and opening doors to future employment and other opportunities.

The QBE Foundation has committed to a minimum of three years' funding with an annual contribution of at least GBP 500,000, so a minimum commitment totalling GBP 1.5 million, but also with the expectation that the partnership and funding will extend to five years and beyond.

QBE employees across the country will be able to volunteer to provide regular tutoring in local schools, using Action Tutoring’s structured programmes and resources.

Focusing on four key outcomes

This outcomes-based partnership will be a step change for Action Tutoring, enabling the charity to increase the number of UK schools it partners with.

The partnership will focus on four key outcomes over three years:

  • Increasing reach, with 30 per cent of delivery based in schools outside the eight current urban hubs, with a particular focus on often overlooked rural and seaside locations
  • Growing the number of pupils supported, from 6,000 in 2023 to 10,000 by 2026 and then to 12,000
  • Reducing the attainment gap in English and Mathematics, with Action Tutoring pupils matching the national average pass rates for all pupils in reading standardised assessment tests (SAT) and English GCSE.
  • Advocating for tutoring for disadvantaged pupils

Supporting charities around the world 

The QBE Foundation was set up in 2011 to support charities around the world, and to date the Foundation has donated more than GBP 10 million to good causes. As a recipient, the Action Tutoring charity works to unlock the potential of children and young people facing disadvantage, through tackling the attainment gap head-on by forging partnerships with schools nationwide. Action Tutoring's trained volunteer tutors are empowered to enable pupils to make meaningful academic progress, opening doors to future opportunities.

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