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Intensive Tutoring to Fight Early-Age School Difficulties
Last registered on August 13, 2014


Trial Information
General Information
Intensive Tutoring to Fight Early-Age School Difficulties
Initial registration date
August 13, 2014
Last updated
August 13, 2014 11:38 AM EDT
Primary Investigator
J-PAL Europe/PSE
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
PI Affiliation
Additional Trial Information
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Learning difficulties can emerge very early in a child's life. If these problems are not addressed at an early stage, children can fall further and further behind in class, making it even more difficult for them to succeed to school. Additionally, low self-confidence and frustration may compound the problem, threatening the child’s future forever. For this reason, identifying and addressing learning problems at an early age is an important challenge for any education system. Remedial education is one possible way to tackle these difficulties. The intervention, provided by a publicly funded NGO, consists of offering to five underachievers in first grade an intensive tutoring program (four 1.5 hour sessions each week) focused on reading books and informal language games. The intervention was provided to some schools randomly selected.

The comparason between treatment and control schools did not exhibit significant positive treatment effects, compared to school routine work with underachievers.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Goux, Dominique, Marc Gurgand and Eric Maurin. 2014. "Intensive Tutoring to Fight Early-Age School Difficulties." AEA RCT Registry. August 13. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.222-2.0.
Former Citation
Goux, Dominique, Marc Gurgand and Eric Maurin. 2014. "Intensive Tutoring to Fight Early-Age School Difficulties." AEA RCT Registry. August 13. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/222/history/2454.
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details
Grade 1 children whose school was randomly selected for treatment received intensive tutoring delevered by a public funded NGO, consisting of four 1.5 hour sessions each week for the remainder of the year. These tutoring sessions took place after school hours and consisted in reading books and language related games. The stated objective is to compensate for lack of cultural input in low income families. In addition, counseling was provided to parents on how they could support their child’s learning process at home.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Reading scores; Taste for maths, reading and sports; Teacher appreciation; Parents opinion.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
A total of 109 schools participated in the trial. At the begggining of the school year (November), each first grade teacher was asked to designated a list of five underachievers who were the most in need for tutoring ("priority list"). The "priority lists" were then transmited to the research team before randomization. The schools selected in the treatment group offered the intensive tutoring to the pupils on the priority list during the first year (2010/2011). The control schools benefited from the program on the following school year (2011/2012). Since the lists were collected before randomization, the "priority list" pupils in the treatment group can be compared to the ones in the control group. This gives the direct treatment effect of the intensive tutoring. Likewise, the students not included on the priority list in the control can be used as conterfactual for the ones in the treatment school. This also identifies the indirect effect or externalities of the intervention.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by a computer
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
Sample size: planned number of observations
5101 Students, of which 913 in the "priority list"
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
72 in treatment, 37 in control
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
29% of a standard deviation (full compliance, ICC on overal first grade test score 7.4%)
Supporting Documents and Materials

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IRB Name
Comité d'éthique de J-PAL Europe
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Is the intervention completed?
Intervention Completion Date
June 01, 2011, 12:00 AM +00:00
Is data collection complete?
Data Collection Completion Date
November 01, 2012, 12:00 AM +00:00
Final Sample Size: Number of Clusters (Unit of Randomization)
109 Schools
Was attrition correlated with treatment status?
Final Sample Size: Total Number of Observations
3874 respondants (first grade measures), 2994 respondants (second grade measures)
Final Sample Size (or Number of Clusters) by Treatment Arms
70 in treatment, 37 in control, actually observed
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
Program Files
Program Files
Reports and Papers
Preliminary Reports
Relevant Papers

"Evaluation d'impact du dispostif Coup de Pouce Clé", Dominque Goux, Marc Gurgand, Eric Mauri, and Adrien Bouguen, Rapport pour le Fonds d'expérimentation pour la jeunesse, Mai 2013.