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Project information

Schools Plus at Oxford Hub

Schools Plus is an innovative, high impact initiative connecting university students to local classrooms in Oxford. Volunteer tutors help to raise grades, confidence and aspirations. The project addresses stark educational inequality existing in Oxford City.

January 2019 - December 2019

Charity information: Student Hubs

Student Hubs logo
  • Need


    Despite their elite and wealthy image, Oxford City experiences high levels of educational inequality. In particular, children from disadvantaged backgrounds struggle to achieve good results throughout primary school and at GCSE exams.

    Such educational disadvantage earlier in life lowers future job prospects, and reduces the number of young people able to consider further and higher education.


    Through Schools Plus, university students provide capacity to classrooms by offering one-to-one support to pupils. The project produces positive results. For example, through Oxford's Reading Plus project a literacy inspector reported that the additional support helped the class to increase literacy rates by 10%. In Maths Plus, 12 students on the GCSE C/D grade borderline were supported and at the end of the academic year all achieved a C or above, with two getting Bs and one an A.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    In local primary schools - raise attainment, particularly in the area of literacy and numeracy


    » Connect tutors to classrooms to provide targeted support in English and Maths, particularly for students speaking English as a second language

    What success will look like

    Monitoring grade improvements and receiving feedback from school teachers as to the value added by Schools Plus

    Aim 2

    In local secondary schools - boost GCSE grade achievement in order to enhance future job prospects


    » Ensure that pupils in early years of secondary education are equipped with core competencies around literacy and numeracy
    » Work with pupils on key grade borderlines at GCSE level to fill gaps in their knowledge and improve progress

    What success will look like

    Monitoring grade improvements and receiving feedback from school teachers as to the value added by Schools Plus

  • Impact


    Schools Plus will help to boost attainment in local schools, that will show in improvements in examination results. This will improve employability for pupils entering further education and training. Finally, for the student volunteers, Schools Plus will set them on a lifelong journey of civic engagement, continuing their involvement in challenging educational disadvantage for life.


    Students may lack the skills to tutor effectively, so we provide a full package of training with partner organisations to build their confidence. Not all volunteers have experience working with children, so we provide Safeguarding Children training and ensure each volunteer is CRB checked. In schools, as there is the chance that children most in need of support will not attend sessions, we market them specifically to these children and ensure parental support for their attendance.


    We fulfil all relevant reporting requirements for our donors to demonstrate how their money has been spent, numbers of beneficiaries and the impact of the scheme. We send our supporters newsletters each term, and we are eager to provide tailored information to each donor on request.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £25,500

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £22,000 Staff and management costs Support for strategy, finances, monitoring, evaluation and liaison with schools and other partners
      £500 Capital expenditure Equipment for projects including revision guides, cooking ingredients and stationery
      £3,000 Volunteer training & costs Travel expenses, DBS checks,volunteer appreciation and marketing and publicity to recruit volunteers

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Oxfordshire Community Foundation £5,000 Guaranteed
    Oxford University £10,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    Schools Plus operates in 13 schools across Oxford. Oxford is a divided city, where 26% of the working age population are students, and in a ten minute drive from North Ward to Blackbird Leys, life expectancy drops by 15 years.

    We work in close partnerships with school leadership and individual teachers to run projects that complement the strategy and priorities of each individual school.


    The primary beneficiaries of Schools Plus are the children who will benefit from improved grades and confidence to pursue their chosen career paths or further education.

    Teachers and schools will also benefit as the differences between pupils’ abilities becomes less pronounced, and they have additional volunteer capacity to support their educational priorities.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Oxford Hub is dedicated to enabling university students to engage with social issues. We work across both Oxford Brookes and Oxford University to mobilise students to use their subject knowledge and experiences of education to 'pay it forward' and help local pupils do their best.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Alice Dann (Educational Programmes Manager)

    Alice oversees Oxford Schools Plus, she is an Oxford graduate with extensive experience in setting up and running community volunteering project

It is fantastic that our children get a chance to be listened to when reading daily; it is an opportunity they rarely experience

Headteacher at Oxford City Primary School