Thursday, June 20, 2024

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New Platform Heralds Breakthrough In Learning

A new resource for families who may not be able to afford a private tutor is set to level the learning playing field. Swotties, a new online tutor platform, uses university students to provide both academic and softer skills development to primary school and secondary school age children at half the price of some traditional tutors to tackle educational inequality.

Currently around 25% of UK 11 – 16 year olds have a regular tutor with privately educated children being twice as likely to have a private tutor than state-educated. It can create a system whereby only the privileged have educational advantages. Swotties is on a mission to give access to high quality tutors for every UK family, not just those who can afford it.

Advisor to Swotties, educational psychologist Dr Clare Daly, the current Director of the Doctorate in Educational Psychology at the University of Strathclyde, has designed a badge reward system to make learning fun, as well as reflecting the English and Maths curriculum. Children are motivated by getting badges for a variety of achievements including problem solving, perseverance and resilience, as well as literacy and numeracy skills. The balance between academic learning and softer skills development is critical to the healthy development of young people.

The pandemic means many children will have to ‘reset’ their learning habits and regain confidence in core subjects again. However rather than inflicting more academic focussed lessons on children during the holidays, Swotties believes that it can help develop and grow these positive study habits, through peer-to-peer style mentoring to build a solid foundation so all children can flourish at school and in life.

“We’ve created a safe space for children to develop their true potential, using research-based techniques, including concepts like gamification and peer-style study buddies,” explains Dr Daly. “We’ve considered every aspect of a learner’s journey, from initial planning, to transferring new knowledge into the real world and confidence in everyday life.”

Velocity SEIS & EIS Fund is the lead investor in the business, citing the chance to help make tutoring affordable as a key driver to invest. It has committed to invest £1million in the platform to ensure as many families as possible can benefit from it.

CEO and Swotties founder Tracey Blake says: “As a mother of two primary school-age children, I was amazed at the cost of private tutors, and could see that it was rapidly becoming the norm for many families to make sacrifices to pay for them, meanwhile those that couldn’t afford tutoring worried that their children were at a disadvantage and falling further behind. I wanted to help level the learning playing field and make tutoring as accessible as possible so kids from all backgrounds can thrive.”

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