What is Vertical Tutoring?

About this Book


This book provides the basic philosophical, psychological and managerial explanations as to why linear learning systems inhibit potential. It explains how vertical tutoring counters industrial thinking allowing schools to think for themselves. 

About This Site

vertical tutoring: a systems thinking approach to school improvement

(free training for Lts & Govs)

Vertical Tutoring is not simply a change to the school's pastoral system, it is a complete reculturing or transformation of the school's entire operational learning and teaching system. It has three goals:


1)  to improve learning outcomes

2)  to make teaching easier and fun

2)  to improve interconnectivity of all players.  


Systems thinking rejects all piecemeal change and most reforms: Instead it looks at a school as a complete organisation to reveal how it works and where it breaks down and why. This includes looking at learning relationships between parents, students, teachers and tutors. Understanding the system and how its linear nature restricts flow and creates waste is key to understanding how to redesign it from the inside out.


Vertical Tutoring, once properly understood and implemented, completely transforms the way a school operates. In effect, it changes school management, enhances teaching and learning and improves all outcomes. This, however, requires significant unlearning and deep management training to prevent recourse to orthodoxy.





This site is designed to give schools and those interested in school improvement, an insight into what VT is, how and why VT can go wrong and information about the training available to secure a safe transition to a VT culture. The training offered is based entirely on systems thinking principles and values.


Included on the resources page is web access to draft and published papers on the TES.co.uk (The Times Educational Supplement) website where they are stored. You may need to register (free). Go to Peter Barnard's resource page on the TES site where papers can be downloaded for free.


Visitors are warmly invited to contact me via this site regarding training / speaking requests, general enquiries and questions. All enquiries will be answered.


Many thanks to the many, many thousands who have shown an interest in VT and especially those schools that want to learn and have been sensible enough to seek advice and get VT right.



Hi! I'm Peter Barnard. Welcome to the Vertical Tutoring website. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or enquiries about VT and training.

This book is available from Amazon and all good book-shops. Also avaible on Kindle.



'Hi Peter, I just wanted to say that we couldn't have asked for a better start to the year thanks to VT.   We have followed your guidance to the letter and it really has worked.   Everyone is singing its praises including the students.   Our VT/learning time (just before break) has a fantastic atmosphere throughout Hans Price Academy and punctuality has shot up. Please keep in touch.'

Armando Di-Finizio: Principal Hans Price Academy 19/09/13


Former Principal of two outstanding schools and now writer and trainer in systems thinking approaches to school improvement. Intensively trained over 400 schools in UK, Germany, Qatar, China etc.

Recognised as the national expert in VT and systems thinking for schools as organisations.