As tutors, we know that the one-to-one support that we provide makes a difference. There is evidence of this in the emails that we receive from students and in the feedback that they offer if we ask for their views about the impact of the support. This sort of evidence, however, is often labelled by managers as ‘anecdotal’: they are looking for statistics and ways of measuring the impact of the one-to-one work that supports wider agendas around retention and success. To address this, the Accessibility Centre at Leicester University drew on a small sample of 60 students with SpLDs – 30 who had accessed regular one-to-one study skills support and 30 who had not – and analysed their attainment over 2 years of study. Those accessing regular support saw an improvement in their attainment, with the biggest gains seen by those who had accessed the most support sessions. 10% of those who had not accessed support withdrew from their courses. This data has been helpful to our service in providing evidence of impact – and last summer, the outcomes of the study were published in the Journal of Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning. As well as thanking ADSHE for this award, I would like to thank my colleagues in the Accessibility Centre: the results reflect the value of their work with students. In partnership with ADSHE, we are hoping to expand the study in the coming months in order to build a wider evidence-base about the impact of one-to-one study skills support.
Claire Graham, University of Leicester