The Reality Check on Private Tuition
According to a report in The Guardian, there has been a sharp rise in the number of pupils who have private tuition. More than 40% of pupils living in London have a private tutor for a certain period of time, raising concerns on whether private tuition is creating “education inequality”.
Why is Private Tuition on the Rise?
With the future job market becoming more competitive, especially in the graduate job sector, it feels as if children are under more pressure to perform and achieve good results to improve their career prospects. Whether it is for GCSEs or grammar school entrance exams, those who can afford to pay for private tuition seem to have an advantage.
Indeed the private tuition industry has become a booming market, and it was valued at a whopping £2 billion. Most tutors typically charge £27 an hour, with some even charging £45 per hour. These charges do depend on experience and skill level but it is up to the tutor on what they charge.
Interestingly, a report by charity The Sutton Trust, which aims to increase social mobility across the education sector, has revealed that many state school teachers are boosting their income with private tutoring. The report shared that four out of 10 teachers have earned money as private tutors in addition to their full-time teaching.
This just shows while students (or parents) want better grades, teachers have recognised this demand and are willing to subsidise their time. And with the current hourly-rate, who wouldn’t want that extra income go into their bank account.
As for subjects where students tend to struggle with the most, they include Maths – the most tutored subject, English, the three sciences, Spanish and French.
Why Is Private Tuition So Expensive?
Those in the private tuition sector say that it should be seen as an investment since it helps to boost grades and confidence. Plus people are willing to pay for the quality of education that improve grades.
The rates are determined based on the number of qualities a private tutor has, which are:
- Skillset and qualifications
- Professional experience
- A plethora of online reviews
For new tutors, they would have to charge a low fee since they don’t have any professional experience in private tutoring and neither do they have a reputation. It is only when they establish themselves, develop a reputation and generate high demand, that’s when they can demand a higher fee. After all, people want a quality education that has been proven to deliver results.
What are the Concerns About Private Tuition?
As mentioned, one of the main concerns about private tuition is education inequality. Students from poorer backgrounds will struggle to afford to pay for private tuition and will feel they will be at a disadvantage. And as a matter of fact, they are.
Speaking to the Guardian, Sir Peter Lampl, chair of the Sutton Trust, had this to say, “Private tuition is widespread and increasingly so. Nearly half of teachers have tutored and a quarter of teenagers have been tutored. But with costs of at least £25 per session, many cannot afford to benefit from this extra support, which exacerbates education inequalities.”
Lampl continued to say that the trust is calling for the government to introduce a means-tested voucher scheme to allow lower-income families to provide private tuition for their children.
Is The Demand for Private Tuition a Reflection of The Current State of the Education Sector?
While there is demand for private tuition, and it is on the rise, is it really because the parents want to see their children get good grades, or is it because the education sector isn’t doing enough?
That latter question is a harsh one to ask since teachers are already putting in 60+ hours a week, according to a report in the BBC. The bottom line is, teachers are doing the best they can, and the fact that this younger generation will go into a job market that will be extremely competitive, the private tuition sector is here to stay.
Thanks for reading! What are your thoughts on this topic? Please let us know in the comments section below.