September 7, 2015
The below article has been written after private tuition featured on both Radio 5 Live and BBC London last Friday. Emily from Kings Tutors spoken on both of these programmes:
“In the time when the pressure put on school children constantly increases, private tutoring is becoming more and more popular. Whether it is for confidence boosting, improving exam results or for the 7+ and 11+ entrance exams, statistics have shown that 44% of the children in London receive private tuition.
However, as private tuition becomes more common, it raises some controversial issues. This subject was brought up in the BBC radio 5 Live show and the BBC London 94.9 radio show with Eddie Nestor on migrants and tuition last Friday, featuring several guests including Kings Tutors’ founder Emily Jack, as well Sir Peter Lampl, the chairman of Sutton Trust.
Many parents send their children for private tutoring because one to one tutoring has shown to boost self-esteem for children that lack confidence in class, and are too shy to speak or ask questions in front of their peer. Schools provide environments where children can interact with other children as well as learn, and private tuition supplements what schools do. By boosting their confidence, it also motivates those who have ‘lost their way’ to do well in school.
Parents have said, because different children have different learning styles, private tutoring is a good way to target each child’s need, their strengths and weaknesses. Kings Tutors give out feedback forms every month in addition to having sit down sessions with the parents, the tutor and the pupil. This allows the parents to keep track of the progress their children are making. Research has shown 1 to 1 tuition is very effective in improving performance of pupils; and as getting into secondary schools become more competitive, many parents hire private tutors to assist their children with entrance examinations.
The Radio 5 Live programme revealed that some parents think that having these private lessons take away childhoods from their children and the society is putting too much pressure on children to do well. However, Sir Peter Lampl from Sutton Trust, an education charity that strives to improve educational inequality, responded ‘In general, one to one tuition gives kids confidence and boost their exam results. It has also been proven that private tuition is very effective.’ ‘Tuition isn’t for every child, just for those who need it. We started out because we wanted to help take the pressure off the children who were struggling by offering one to one tuition, and assisting children who did need that extra bit of exam technique and confidence boosting’, Emily Jack from Kings Tutors also agreed.
However, some other questions have been raised. Is this fair? Sutton Trust, an education charity that strives to improve educational inequality, thinks this could mean the children from wealthier backgrounds are getting an unfair advantage. During the show, both the organization and Kings Tutors’ agreed that the government should introduce Means Tested Voucher Scheme, possibly linked to the pupil premium, so that people who can’t afford private tuition can afford certain amount of it. Jack stated, ‘I whole heartedly agree that it would be great if the tuition we provide was available for everyone, and I think the educational system, the fact that it has become so competitive is very sad. Last month we had three parents asked us if they could use Kiddivouchers towards our half term courses. If thes vouchers could go towards tuition then that would be brilliant, and I think the fact the governments are looking into some sort of scheme is a great idea.’ Jack also confirmed that even though more of their pupils are from private schools, there are also plenty of children from state schools receiving their private tuition.
There is no doubt that private tuition isn’t for every child. But in the world of growing expectation from the society, the demand for private tutors is constantly rising. The one to one lessons can help those that are falling behind in school, as well as those who want to get a head start; they can provide the extra confidence the pupils need and equip them with the essential techniques. This was the idea Kings Tutors’ started with and continues to believe in.”
Click here to find out more about Kings Tutors.