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Tutor 246Tutoring for disadvantaged students

In their recent 'Shadow Schooling' report, Sutton Trust estimate that more than four in ten (43%) state school teachers have been paid to tutor outside of their main teaching role at some point during their careers.

The report values the British private tuition market at up to £2bn a year and the proportion of pupils receiving private tuition has risen by over a third in the past decade, from 18% in 2005 to 25% in 2016.

In the last year alone, 10% of all state-educated 11 – 16 year olds in England and Wales, about 280,000 students, were tutored. One quarter said they had received private tuition at some point in their schooling, a proportion that is as high as 42% in London.

The most popular subjects tutored are, in order: maths, English, chemistry, physics, biology, Spanish and French. These are followed by specialist tuition in passing 11+ admissions tests, advanced maths and piano lessons.

The most common reason young people gave for receiving private tuition was extra support with school work (47%). Over a third (38%) had a tutor to help them do well in a specific GCSE exam while nearly a fifth (18%) received tutoring for a grammar school entrance exam.

However, students who receive private tuition disproportionately come from advantaged backgrounds. Independent school students are twice as likely to have received private tuition as state school students. Of those aged 11-16, 17% of pupils who are eligible for free school meals (FSM) have received private tuition at some point in their schooling, compared with 26% of students who do not receive FSM.

There is an obvious concern that the growing private tuition market is further exacerbating educational inequalities.

There are several recommendations, that:

  • The government introduce a means-tested voucher scheme to provide tuition for their children.
  • Tutors should be experienced and well-qualified (not all tutors have specific teaching qualifications).
  • Private tuition agencies should provide a certain proportion of their tuition to disadvantaged pupils for free. (Some agencies, such as Tutorfair (for every student who pays, they give free tutoring to one that can't) and Tutor Trust (social enterprise), support less advantaged students with the fees they charge better off families).
  • Non-profit and state tuition programmes that connect tutors with disadvantaged schools should be expanded.

There are a couple of commercial franchises that a Christian business person could take on and run and use fees from better-off families to subsidise tuition for disadvantage children - Tutor Doctor and Kumon Education. These are detailed on my Impact Franchises site - Tutor Doctor here and Kumon here.

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From a report by Sutton Trust, 06/12/2016

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