Extending support through tutoring

The Volunteer Tutor’s Organisation (VTO) has been successfully providing additional educational support to young people who need it most for nearly 50 years. As a primarily Glasgow-based organisation, our aim was to design, test and refine a range of education interventions, specifically targeted at care experienced children. We set out to achieve this by building on our experience of supporting young people, particularly during the Covid pandemic and our extensive work done in partnership with Glasgow’s Care Experienced Team (now known as the Glasgow Virtual School), and extending these techniques initially to two pilot areas, Edinburgh and Perth & Kinross before rolling out across Scotland. VTO successfully secured a three-year-grant  from the British & Foreign School Society to support this goal.

Since receiving funding from BFSS in April 2021 for our project Learning beyond Covid, VTO has successfully achieved the goal of expanding into Perth & Kinross and Edinburgh. We have a full-time member of staff on the ground in each local authority and have supported nearly 250 young people outside Glasgow in that time, as well as the hundreds we already supported within that city, with both one-to-one tutor support and Learning Hubs. We currently run four Learning Hubs over the two local authority areas with a fifth set to launch in early 2024.


Our aims for outcomes were to see at least 70% of young people show improvement in the areas of literacy, numeracy, confidence and engagement with education. In the 30 months of funding to date, we have surpassed all of these measures at each progress report period. In addition, we have made great strides in making key contacts and building strong relationships with local stakeholders such as education services, schools and social work.

The following quotes give an idea of the personal impact that a volunteer tutor has on a young person and shows how vital our support is.

“S has always felt his education has suffered due to feeling unable to complete his maths tasks in school and he was often absent from school due to these anxieties. He is now more confident and attending school all the time and is now more eager to learn. The tutoring sessions have improved his confidence, and he is now enjoying going to school.” Parent


“Tutoring has been a lifeline when my daughter is not able to cope with school. It has been a route back into education.” Parent


“I am finding school hard just now. I enjoy learning with my tutor – I feel I learn more with her than in school. I don’t feel as anxious, and she makes it fun.” Pupil


“R.’s engagement with the VTO tutor was the first kind of learning she had done in some time as she does not attend school. I believe it has helped with her desire to learn. She is now also working with our school outreach teachers twice a week in the local library which is going very well.” Teacher

This short film showcases some of the work that VTO do and the impact our service has on young people, with BFSS support, and you can find out more on the VTO website here.