Pioneering tutoring project is a winner at Herald Higher Education Awards

By Press Office

A tutoring project, which has helped senior school pupils catch up with learning lost during the pandemic, has just had a big win at the Herald Higher Education Awards.  

Having helped over 1000 school children to reconnect with learning, Queen Margaret University’s Enhanced Learning Tutoring Initiative (ELTI) was recognised for its ‘Outstanding Contribution to the Local Community’.  

This pioneering tutoring project was established in 2020 by Queen Margaret University as a response to the impact that Covid-19 school closures were having upon disadvantaged young people living in local communities.  

Now in its final year, ELTI is Scotland’s largest tutoring project, supporting 300 pupils per week, and offering 1-2-1 and small group tutoring sessions in East Lothian and Midlothian secondary schools. It also provides tutoring to community organisations working with disengaged young people.  

Confirming the success of the project, research covering a sample of the students who took part in the tutoring project in 2021/22 confirmed that 70% maintained or improved their predicted exam performance.   

The project not only helped students who had initially disconnected or needed more support with learning during the challenges of the pandemic, it also provided tutoring jobs for young graduates who had recently qualified from QMU and from other universities across the UK. This allowed graduates to build their teaching skills and experience, which in turn, helped equip some of them to progress careers in educational teaching roles.  

This impressive initiative was only made possible through support of the STV Children’s Appeal which fully embraced QMU’s vision to ensure that young people were supported with learning challenges and not disadvantaged by the difficulties encountered during the pandemic. The Herald Higher Education Award also recognises the success of the strong partnership between East Lothian Council and Midlothian Council, which worked incredibly hard alongside the University to ensure that their pupils were supported to succeed in their educational journey during the crucial final years of school.  

Queen Margaret University’s Principal, Sir Paul Grice, said: “There has never been any doubt that the Enhanced Learning Tutoring Initiative is a winner for young people. However, we are proud that this ground-breaking partnership initiative has been recognised by the Herald Higher Education Awards for the positive impact it has made on so many young learners at such an important period in their educational journeys. The addition of tutoring support has ensured that many pupils have not become disadvantaged in learning and have the chance to move forward with confidence and fulfil their potential in life. 

“I pay tribute to the incredible teamwork across Queen Margaret University, East and Midlothian Councils, and the STV Children’s Appeal which has helped make this widening access initiative such a success.”

In addition to this success, QMU's BSc (Hons) Sports Rehabilitation course was recognised in the Partnership category of the Herald Higher Education Awards.   Edinburgh College submitted this latter winning entry, celebrating work they have done to provide students studying on our course with exciting placements in the NHS and with the SRU.  Furthermore, work to which QMU has contributed was recognised in  Edinburgh Napier University's winning submission in the Widening Access category, focused on the Hub for Success. QMU is an active partner in this initiative supporting care experienced young people considering college or university.




Notes to Editor

For further media information contact Emma Reekie, Media Relations and Content Officer, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, E:; and copy to or E:

Herald Higher Education Awards 

The Herald Higher Education Awards celebrate the extraordinary things that are going on in universities and colleges across Scotland. They highlight innovation in teaching and explore how colleges and universities market themselves, support students, and engage with employers, as well as recognising those amazing students who make a significant contribution to student life as well as academia. 

The awards help to build future excellence by facilitating the sharing of good practice thus strengthening the status of learning and teaching in the Scottish higher education sector. 

2024 marks the ninth year of the Herald Higher Education Awards. This year the panel of expert judges worked their way through 120 submissions to come up with a shortlist that reflects the high standards and exceptional achievements of Scotland’s higher education sector. 

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