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Free tuition to disadvantaged children

Words by Smiley Team

A community interest company is intervening in the education of young people who may be disadvantaged, to provide them with tutoring and support.

Ask The Question offers private tuition to students who have experienced adverse childhood experiences that may negatively impact their learning. Their aim is to prevent poor exam outcomes for children who have had an unfairly unbalanced experience by providing tutoring, mentoring and support.

ATQ are particularly focused on children who have endured abuse, trauma and neglect, to help them to reach both their academic and personal potential.

“We are passionate about helping young people who've experienced adversity to fulfill their potential, whatever that may look like," says Mazifur Worswick, who is involved in Ask The Question.

“Our office is a safe space, where young people are able to come and learn in a warm, secure environment.”

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ATQ was founded by Jo Austin who had 30 years of experience as a tutor and educational consultant. 

She has her own private tuition company in Hebden Bridge, and has always worked with children from disadvantaged backgrounds, providing them with free lessons.

In 2017, Jo formally established as a CIC under the name Ask The Question to enable her to support more students, and to build a team and board.

Studies have found that a child who is experiencing an ACE (Adverse Childhood Experience) will have poorer educational outcomes and fewer opportunities, something that Jo hopes to prevent.

These children perform significantly better when they’re tutored one-to-one for their education, compared to students who are tutored in a traditional classroom setting.

So far ATQ have worked with 120 students and more than half of those children have been in local authority care due to varying circumstances.

ATQ’s sister company, Read The Question, also run by Jo, has been going since 2000 and has now taught over 1,000 students of all backgrounds. 

“Even when I was having the worst day, going to RTQ would change everything and I would leave feeling lighter and so much happier. The positive effect RTQ had on my grades, but most importantly my mental health, was invaluable and something I will forever be grateful for," says one ex-student, Kate.

“The positive effect on me and my life really can’t be underestimated. Jo helped me to believe in my own ability and gain back a confidence that I had lost and that I now rely on daily.”

Inspired to act?

DONATE: To find out more about Ask The Question and how you can support their venture, visit their website

VOLUNTEER: You can also volunteer with The Childhood Trust, a child poverty charity alleviating the impact of poverty on children in London.


This article aligns with the following UN SDGs

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