Private Tuition – The new normal

As far back as 2016, The Sutton Trust said that in London, 40% of pupils were receiving private tuition. At the time, that represented a sharp rise and current figures show that across England and Wales, 27% of secondary students are being privately tutored.

Which of course means that for every 4 pupils, at least 1 is being privately tutored.

The main thrust of The Sutton Trust was highlighting the potential disadvantage of those unable to afford private tuition.

My regular readers will have seen my commentary on private tuition not being the preserve of the rich and famous. Here at Maths and Science Tuition, we’ve been doing as much as we can to ensure accessibility for as many families as possible. After all, social mobility isn’t going to happen on its own!

Over the years, I’ve had the pleasure of tutoring the children of several household names, but here’s the thing. Most of my clients aren’t famous broadcasters or actors. They’re regular working people with what I would regard as regular jobs and lives.

Sure, there are a fair number of professionals represented. However, there are also nurses and people for whom the main wage earner is in what has traditionally been viewed as a blue collar job.

The key point I’m making is that private tuition at some level is available to all who have the desire to take it up. Cost is often regarded as the main obstacle to engaging a tutor. Although I will often ask, compared to what? Lots of families spend considerably more on takeaways than the services of a good tutor would cost.

I am fully aware that some families are stretched so thin there is no room for any frills. That is one of the reasons I am in contact with numerous schools and offering services there for free.

It’s worth saying that in my extensive experience as a tutor, much of the decision boils down to short-term priorities outweighing the longer term considerations. Of course, it is down to each person to decide what they spend their income on!

The truth is that there isn’t such a thing as a level playing field. Private tuition is far more common than you may think. One of the reasons for this is that many don’t shout about it, but simply go on their way, taking as many actions as possible to gain the desired outcome. That may be a general improvement in attainment and understanding of key subjects, or a more specific goal such as higher achievement in exam grades.

The other factor is that private tuition provides a competitive advantage. So why share the best kept secret with the competition?

Food for thought indeed!

For more information on private tuition and our social mobility and accessibility provisions, please contact Muhammad Ali directly on 0207 686 4307 or by emailing [email protected].