Research from The Sutton Trust has found that more than one in four secondary school pupils go for private tuition.
Based on the 2,809 pupils surveyed, the Trust found that 27 percent of 11-16-year-olds in England and Wales had received private tuition in the past two years, compared with 18 percent when the survey started in 2005.
Students from wealthier families are more likely to have additional help than students lower down the economic ladder, with 34 percent of those from “high affluence” households receiving private tuition, compared with 20 percent of those from “low affluence” homes.
Sutton Trust also found that young people in London are more likely to have had private tuition than those in any other UK region; 41 percent of students in London reported receiving private tuition, up from 37 percent in 2014.
Secondary school teachers working as private tutors
“Findings show a number of secondary school teachers have taken on paid-for private tuition outside of the classroom, with most having done so after direct contact with parents. This highlights the importance parents place on tutoring,” said the Trust.
A quarter – or 24 percent – of secondary school teachers have taken on private tuition outside school in the past two years. Two-thirds of the teachers who had tutored had done so after direct contact from parents while a smaller portion had been tutored through an agency, or a non-profit organisation.
“Despite secondary school teachers being more likely to have tutored outside of school than primary teachers (24 percent vs 14 percent), heads in primary schools were more likely to say that their school had sent parents information about private tutoring (18 percent vs 11 percent).
In their report, the Trust makes several recommendations to “level the playing field outside of the classroom”, including:
- More one-to-one and small group tuition is provided through Pupil Premium spending, but the government should look at providing sustainable funding for access to tuition, potentially through a means-tested voucher scheme.
- Tutors should be experienced and well-qualified (not all tutors have specific teaching qualifications).
- Schools must ensure they are adequately resourced to provide a quality education to all pupils regardless of background, adding that evidence from the Education Endowment Fund (EEF) suggests that good teaching skills are crucial in improving the attainment of disadvantaged students, who often lag behind their advantaged peers.
- More private tuition agencies should provide a certain proportion of their tuition to disadvantaged pupils for free, as well as an expansion of non-profit and state tuition programmes that connect tutors with disadvantaged schools.