The Stigma of Private Tuition

I sometimes feel that there’s a stigma associated with private tuition. That may surprise you, coming from a full-time professional private tutor, but it’s something I’ve become more aware of recently.

I’m lucky enough to come into contact with people from a wide range of backgrounds and abilities. It could be argued that many of my students come from similar households, although that is changing. I am personally engaged in doing more to drive social mobility and this is being reflected in my clientele, especially in group tuition.

Interestingly, the perception of stigma comes from places where one may least expect it.

Why would there be a stigma associated with private tuition and helping a child to be the best they can be in one or more subjects or activities?

Is this reflected in extra ballet classes? Or swimming, or cricket? I suspect not! Which only serves to make me more curious.

I’m immensely grateful for parents and students that go out of their way to give me such excellent feedback, some of which is in evidence on my testimonials page. For me, this is the ultimate form of ‘social proof’, when a future client considers getting in touch.

And yet, despite a stellar performance record in terms of exam results at GCSE, A Level, entrance exams, GAMSAT and more, testimonials can be surprisingly hard to come by!

The reason for this, as has recently been clarified for me, is that many families would rather keep the fact that there was a private tutor involved firmly under wraps. Maybe they feel that keeping it quiet affords an advantage? Or that people will think their child is somewhat lacking in intellect if they’re seen as having additional private tuition after school?

Maybe it’s a feeling that a vaguely public acknowledgement would somehow invoke some kind of guilt? Or pit them against friends who are feeling the very real and seemingly interminable squeeze that many, especially the highly taxed middle classes, have been feeling for many a year now (and which is getting worse for many)?

Who knows? I’m always open to fresh perspectives, so if you’ve reached this far, why not drop me a line of connect with me on my Facebook page to discuss it further?

We are living in a more competitive time than ever before. Our children are in an international battle for university places and subsequent jobs. The challenge is now a truly global one, where only those with the best grades and abilities get the top spots.

The top universities are oversubscribed, with many students needing a strong Plan B. With places so heavily contested, it stands to reason that those with average grades will be left with a choice of ‘also-ran’ universities.

Is this what anyone has in mind at the start?

In my opinion, based on personal and professional experience, private tuition should deliver life-long value and is certainly nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, quite the opposite.

I’m always open to fresh perspectives and I’d love to know what you think. Feel free to drop me a line at [email protected] or via my Facebook page.