A project funded by the Nuffield Foundation looked at the effect of out-of-school-time (OST) study programmes on GCSE performance in England.
Using data from the Next Steps longitudinal study of young people, Francis Green and Nicola Pensiero from the Institute of Education recorded the results of those who undertook their GCSEs in 2006. They found that teacher-led OST study groups were moderately effective in improving overall GCSE performance, particularly for children from disadvantaged and lower socioeconomic backgrounds. For children whose parents were unemployed or in routine occupations, an improvement equivalent to approximately two grades was shown on their overall GCSE score.
While OST study programmes are available to children from all backgrounds in the vast majority of secondary schools in the UK, the research showed that 42% of children whose parents are unemployed take part compared to 46% of children from a professional background.
The research found no statistical benefit from programmes that were self-directed by students.
Source: Are out-of-school-time (OST) study programmes an effective way to improve the academic performance of socially disadvantaged children? (2016), UCL Institute of Education