To help tackle inequality of opportunity in education by providing high quality tuition to children needing extra support whose families are unable to afford it.
The MST Foundation is the initiative of Muhammad Ali, an experienced tutor who went to school in Moss Side, Manchester, one of the most deprived areas of the UK. He struggled at school with English and other subjects but his parents didn’t have the finances or education to give him any extra support and he got very poor results at GCSE, having to sit his English exam three times before finally passing. At sixth form he benefited from an exceptional Physics teacher who inspired him to go on to study Physics at Manchester University then eventually gain his PhD from Cambridge.
As a tutor Muhammad has seen the transformational benefit that personalised tuition can give children, often boosting their confidence across the board as well as providing the specific help they need to fulfil their potential when they come to sit their exams.
Muhammad also saw first hand how much difference tuition can make to children whose families would not be able to afford it when he worked for a social enterprise that targeted help to those from schools in deprived areas of Manchester. However government cuts to education funding brought an end to this project.
Muhammad has now worked as a private tutor in Islington for over a decade. He is very aware of the vast disparity in opportunity between those children attending private schools and often having multiple 1:1 tutors as well and other local children in large classes at state schools with no extra help. Having built up extensive connections with other tutors he is well placed to facilitate the best personalised tuition for the children who need it most, regardless of their parents’ ability to pay.
“I have been a full-time biology tutor for 32 years, the last nine years totally online and have taught students in 43 countries to date. I have always taken on one or two pro bono students every year whom I felt might be deserving, with varying degrees of commitment and success on their part. When Muhammad started his foundation I jumped at the chance of being able to do my pro bono tuition through this, as the foundation is better placed to find and recognise truly deserving students than I am. I look forward to helping at least one student a year via the MST Foundation who would otherwise not be able to benefit from extra help due to their financial circumstances.”
Matthew J. C. Barnes MA (Oxon), MSc, DIC (Lon.), FRES.