National Tutoring ProgrammeFFT Tutoring with the Lightning Squad

A tutoring programme which improves reading skills for pupils in Years 1 to 5

NEW — Includes Reading Assessment Programme
Attend a free online CPD literacy session

Face-to-face tutoring in small groups


Assessment & feedback


Tracking & reporting


Move left and right to preview all of the activities!

Pupils learn in small groups with a tutor to improve reading skills as they work through 65 stories

Welcome to Tutoring with the Lightning Squad

Pupils practice reading stories together to improve reading fluency

Improve both phonic and phonemic awareness, and the sounds in new words

Pupils learn to read new words for each of the 65 stories

Pupils practice spelling new words with their tutor

Pupils will learn new vocabulary and work on cloze activities and definitions

At the end of each story, pupils will demonstrate what they’ve learnt by reading a story and answering comprehension questions

Find out more at one of our live online events

Want to find out more about FFT Tutoring with the Lightning Squad? Join us at one of our school workshop events.

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How it works

Tutoring with the Lightning Squad is a reading tutoring programme where pupils work in small groups with a tutor to improve their reading skills. The tutoring is a blended approach with face-to-face tutoring supported by an online tutoring platform. The tutoring activities are designed and structured to improve reading skills, fluency, comprehension, spelling and phonics. Pupils work through 65 specially written, engaging and illustrated stories. 

For the National Tutoring Programme, pupils will work with a tutor for 6 weeks to catch-up their reading skills, with daily 30-minute tutoring sessions in school. Research has demonstrated that pupils using Tutoring with the Lightning Squad make learning gains of between 3 and 5 months in reading attainment.

Assessment and feedback

NEW — Includes Reading Assessment Programme

All pupils take a short online reading assessment at the start of the tutoring programme to help the tutor and class teacher decide which groups of pupils should work together and at what point in the programme they should start.

Regular tutor checks are built into the tutoring programme. Pupils complete a set of reading activities with their tutor related to what they have been learning. The tutor will then decide whether pupils are ready to move on to the next story in the tutoring programme.

Tracking and reporting

We provide online reports for tutors, teachers and school leaders which monitor pupils’ progress and reading attainment.

The reports include the new words learnt, reading age, reading fluency and a measure of reading progress.

FFT’s tutoring reports will help schools to monitor the impact of the tutoring on pupils’ reading skills and development.

Tutoring reporting

Approved by the National Tutoring Programme

The National Tutoring Programme provides subsidised high-quality tutoring from an approved list of Tuition Partners.

FFT’s Tutoring with the Lightning Squad has been approved as a Tuition Partner by the National Tutoring Programme to provide reading tutoring for primary school pupils in Year 1 to Year 5 in all regions in England.

70% of the tutoring cost is subsidised by the National Tutoring Programme with schools paying the remaining 30%.

We provide the tutor for your school

As part of the National Tutoring Programme, FFT will recruit the tutor for your school. Our tutors will be experienced Teaching Assistants or Qualified Teachers with experience of working with primary school pupils

We will find the right tutor for your school with the tutor recruitment process including full background and employment checks, interviews, references and DBS clearance.

FFT’s tutor will work full-time as part of your school’s staff team for six weeks. The tutor will work with 20 to 30 pupils, delivering 10 tutoring sessions each day for groups of 2 or 3 pupils at a time (30 minutes per session).

Once the six-week tutoring period has been completed with FFT’s tutor, you will have the option to continue using Tutoring with the Lightning Squad for another 10 weeks with your pupils, using your own teaching assistants as tutors (we will train your teaching assistants to continue with the tutoring).

View the full brochure


£71 per pupil

with the 70% NTP subsidy

15 hours’ tutoring

over 6 weeks with daily 30-minute tutoring sessions

National Tutoring ProgrammeSchool price per pupil
(with 70% subsidy)
1-4 face-to-face tutoring£70.50 (excl VAT)
1-3 face-to-face tutoring£82.50 (excl VAT)
1-2 face-to-face tutoring£112.50 (excl VAT)

How much does the tutoring cost?

With the 70% subsidy from the National Tutoring Programme, the tutoring costs from £70.50 per pupil for the school. This provides daily 30-minute tutoring sessions for 6 weeks and 15 hours’ tutoring per pupil.

Schools will need to register between 20 and 40 pupils for FFT’s reading tutoring programme so that the tutor can work full-time in your school as part of your staff team for six weeks to deliver 15 hours’ tutoring for each pupil.

Once you have decided how many pupils you would like to register for the tutoring, please use the table below find the price for your school and how the pupils will be grouped.

How many pupils would you like to register for FFT Tutoring with the Lightning Squad?

 40 pupils30 pupils29 pupils28 pupils27 pupils26 pupils25 pupils24 pupils23 pupils22 pupils21 pupils20 pupils
Pupils: 1-2 tutoring002468101214161820
Pupils: 1-3 tutoring0302724211815129630
Pupils: 1-4 tutoring4000000000000
School price per pupil with 70% subsidy (excl VAT)£70.50£82.50£84.57£86.79£89.17 £91.73 £94.50 £97.50 £100.76 £104.32 £108.21 £112.50
School total price with 70% subsidy (excl VAT)£2,820£2,475£2,453

Buying with the School Led Tutoring programme?

If you have your own in-school tutors, then we offer a basic annual price to subscribe to the platform to train your tutors. Subscription Service schools get a copy of printed resources which includes a set of stories, pupil worksheets and a tutor support guide as well as online training and support.

Size of schoolPrice
Half form entry£400
1 form entry£700
2 form entry£950
3 form entry£1,200


We've answered some common questions about Tutoring with the Lightning Squad. If your question is not answered, please get in touch.

Join the Lightning Squad

FFT Tutoring with the Lighting Squad has now been approved by the National Tutoring Programme for primary schools in all regions in England.

Please register your school's interest here to find out more or get started

Alternatively you can phone us on 01446 776262 to talk about how the tutoring could work for your school.

About you
About your school

Interested in joining as a tutor?

Please register your interest with our recruitment partner, Operam Education Group.

Email Operam

Our partners


Success for All (UK) joined with FFT in September 2021. FFT is a non-profit organisation with 20 years’ experience in supporting schools with literacy and improving educational outcomes. We believe that success in life is built on a solid foundation of learning. A first critical step is to learn how to read. From our research we know that children who cannot read at the expected standard by the end of Year 2 have a much lower chance of achieving a Grade 4 or above in GCSE English. Our mission is to give all children a solid, full start to literacy and learning to read.

Our Success for All programmes provide schools with evidence-based literacy programmes which are fully aligned to the National Curriculum and help schools to teach English from Reception to the end of Key Stage 3. Our literacy programmes have been proven to be effective in a wide range of schools, including those schools with a high proportion of disadvantaged children.

Learn more

Operam is an agglomeration of four highly respected teacher and school workforce recruitment organisations (Provide Education, The Education Specialists, Teachers UK and Key Stage Teacher Supply). They have 20 years’ experience of understanding what schools need and how best to support them, providing around 150,000 teaching days to schools each year.  

Learn more