In the midst of potential grammar school development plans across the UK, private tuition has become a big talking point surrounding this topic. Private tuition has been much criticised in recent times, with many suggesting that families with higher incomes are using private tutors to give their children an advantageous position when preparing for exams.
However, some argue this isn’t always the case and that private tutors can be hired for a number of reasons.
Classroom disruption and teachers not supporting their pupils properly are amongst the common explanations as to why families are engaging private tutors.
One student told The Guardian that her teacher quickly gave up on her because she achieved her expected grade (D), and was told that there would be ‘no point in trying to achieve higher’.
Private tuition has risen 25% in the last decade, with 62% of pupils sitting the 11-plus exam receiving tuition in some form. Lee Elliot, Major of the Sutton Trust, suggests that families within the top income brackets are four times more likely to use private tuition for their children.
Henry Fagg, founder of The Tutor Pages, argues that private tuition is becoming a more diverse service, with over a quarter of children in the UK receiving some sort of private tuition in 2015. Fagg alludes to the fact that the service isn’t exclusive to affluent families anymore and that families from all different backgrounds pay for tutors to help their children.
Private tutoring may be criticised as a way for higher earning families to propel their children to achieve the best grades. However, with recent studies showing a surge in private tuition across the UK for a variety of reasons and families, such criticism may be a thing of the past.