Schools Plus helps young people to achieve their academic potential by matching them with university student tutors.
1-2 hours a week, during term time throughout the academic year
One of our partner schools across the city
What is Schools Plus?
Schools Plus is a volunteering programme which aims to tackle educational disadvantage through placing university students in schools as tutors to provide extra support to pupils. We work specifically with schools in areas of Bristol with high-levels of socio-economic deprivation, or in schools where pupils are at risk of not reaching their educational potential due to indicators of disadvantage.
We work closely with schools to create projects which meet their needs, and have projects across a wide range of subjects : English, Maths, Science, Languages, reading support and the creative arts. Tutors volunteer 1-2 hours a week on one of these projects. Tutors support pupils learning by sharing their knowledge of and enthusiasm for their subject, and can raise pupils' aspirations by being positive role models.
Volunteering with Schools Plus
Volunteering through Schools Plus is a rewarding and challenging experience. You may be looking to gain experience in teaching or working with young people, or you may just want to find a way to make a difference in the local community.
Becoming a tutor
You must be a student at the University of Bristol.
You must complete an online application form and attend a selection workshop.
You may need a DBS and will need to complete online safeguarding training.
You don't need any previous experience! Just plenty of enthusiasm and an interest in making a difference to the lives of young people in Bristol.
Schools Plus tutors are supported by the Bristol Hub Programme Manager and Schools Plus student committee - we'll be on hand to answers you questions whilst you're volunteering!
There will be training opportunities for you to learn more about teaching and working with young people.
Reasonable travel expenses to and from schools can be reimbursed.
Why do we run Schools Plus?
Schools Plus tackles educational disadvantage. Educational disadvantage most affects children from low socio-economic backgrounds, and has significant implications for their future prospects and serves to reinforce inequality in society. For instance, only 16% of children in receipt of Free School Meals progress to university, compared to 96% of children from independent schools.
The socio-economic challenges of Bristol are reflected in the poor educational achievement of young people from disadvantaged areas. Children in underperforming schools and experiencing social disadvantage typically demonstrate literacy or numeracy rates below the national average, and are less aware of Higher Education and future career opportunities. A report on educational attainment in Bristol Schools, found that disadvantaged students in Bristol do not perform as well as their peers (Bristol: A Learning City, 2015). In 2015, only 35% of students in Lawrence Hill, an area of with high levels of deprivation, attained 5 GCSEs a grades C or above, compared with over 90% of students in Redland & Clifton East, an area with very low levels of deprivation (State of Bristol: Key Facts 2015). Further to this, over 20% of districts in Bristol are in the most deprived 10% in the UK for Education, Skills and Training deprivation (Deprivation in Bristol, 2015).
This evidence shows that there is a need for educational interventions within Bristol that are aimed at tackling low-levels of educational attainment in areas with high levels of deprivation. By raising the educational attainment of young people we can reduce inequality and improve the future lives of young people.
Our Impact in 2017/18
In 2017/18 Schools plus supported:
113 volunteer tutors
8 schools across Bristol
342 school students
What our community partners say....
“Volunteer tutors from the university are helping us to provide high quality teaching and reduce student-tutor ratios. The majority of pupils that come to Bristol Best Tuition are from very deprived backgrounds and Black and Ethnic Minority groups. They can’t get private tuition and often don’t have enough space to study at home. Schools Plus is breaking the divide between Clifton, the affluent University of Bristol area, and Easton, the area in which Bristol Best Tuition operates. The university students bring their skills to support the community. They get to know local young people and the challenges they are facing. At the same time, Schools Plus helps pupils to learn and see that university students are also diverse. I strongly believe that we should keep investing in young people’s skills.” -Khalif Noor, Founder and Project Manager at Bristol Best Tuition
What our volunteers say.....
“Volunteering with Schools Plus for the last three years has been an amazing opportunity. As students it can be hard to escape the uni bubble and mentoring in Bristol offers a great way to give back to the local community. It’s astounding to see the difference just a few sessions can make to a student’s academic performance. This individual help can give students the crucial confidence boost needed to help them meet or surpass their targets.”-Celine Nonde, Schools Plus tutor.
Have any questions about the application process or need reasonable adjustments made? Please contact Emma at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are inclusive and encouraging of all University of Bristol students who want to volunteer, and welcome BME, LGBT+ and Disabled applicants.