The focus is on leading each pupil to think for himself and to work on acquiring the balanced strengths that he will need in adult life. Through his rapport and friendship with the pupil, the tutor provides an effective service of personal example, guidance, and advice. He helps the pupil develop positive habits and qualities in areas of character development such as responsibility, thoughtfulness and good use of time. A young person who has received this support throughout the years of his schooling will draw great long term benefit: he will have grown in qualities of character, he will have learned to look more objectively at issues, to better reflect on his strengths and weaknesses, and to set and monitor his own goals.
The tutorial is also an effective reinforcement for parents. Parents comment on how helpful it is, particularly when their sons are teenagers, to be able to rely on a trusted mentor to reinforce key values. The tutor is ideally placed to coordinate, on behalf of the parents, the efforts of all who are contributing to the education of their son. He is able to provide objective suggestions and useful observations for both the parents and the pupil's teachers. Close co-operation between parents and tutor ensures success.
The tutorial system that operates in PACT Educational Trust schools is, we believe, unique within the UK. It requires a considerable increase in staffing, but the benefits are immeasurable, as demonstrated by the wealth of recent research highlighting the importance of a mentor or significant adult outside the home, particularly to boys.