On Tuesday we published our 2014-2015 Impact Report and one of the findings we are most proud of is the continued growth and passionate commitment of our network of volunteer tutors.

Our community of dedicated and extraordinary volunteer tutors is the backbone of our programme – they deliver hundreds of hours of free, expert tuition every week.

Our students are matched one-to-one with their tutors, so the wider our community of volunteers the more students we can reach, and 2014-15 saw a near exponential expansion of our volunteer tutor network. From 319 tutors in 2012-13, to 548 in 2013-14, we now work with 925 high-flying graduates across London and the West Midlands.

The expansion of our tutor network in 2014-15 also meant we were able to deliver a 45% increase in the number of hours of tuition to our London students and an extraordinary 12,727 hours of tuition overall. This is equivalent to just under seven working years of highly-skilled, free tuition in a single academic year. In short, the past year has seen more hours of tuition delivered to more pupils, from an expanded tutor community.

One of the most inspiring aspects of our programme is that our volunteer tutors invariably get as much out of tutoring as the students they teach.

“Setting up meetings independently and walking into shiny city offices in school uniform are quite daunting things to do, particularly at the start. For me, one of the most fulfilling aspects of tutoring is seeing the students gain in confidence as they get used to coming into the office.”

– Isabel Taylor, Partner, Slaughter and May, partnered with Central Foundation Boys’ School

This year’s tutor survey found 99% of tutors who responded said “tutoring allows them to use their skills in a meaningful way” and 99% said “tutoring gives me a sense of accomplishment”.

But tutoring doesn’t only bring a sense of personal fulfilment for our volunteers, it also helps them develop skills that have a direct, positive impact for their own careers and employers. Our tutor survey found nearly two-thirds of volunteers who responded said tutoring had “developed my professional skills”.

The powerfully reciprocal nature of the tutor-student relationship was summed up by one respondent to our tutor survey, who said: “I feel that I get as much out of the tutoring sessions as the student. Maybe more. The student may get academic help in the subject, but the tutor gets the challenges of refreshing their knowledge and sharpening interpersonal and coaching skills.”

Whether this was their first year tutoring with us or if they have been with us for a while, we would like to thank each and every tutor who has volunteered their time and made it possible for us to expand our programme and tackle the issue of widening participation.

If you are interested in volunteering some of your time to tutor one of our students, click here to express an interest.