Tutoring is soaring in popularity, with one in four families hiring a tutor to prepare pupils for tests such as the autumn 11-plus, and state school parents hiring private tutors in the holidays and during term time to give pupils confidence in exams and interviews.
Tutoring companies have reported a boom in requests and enrolments for tutors at the beginning of the six-week holiday. Fleet Tutors, with a huge 4,000 tutors on its books, reported a 33% rise in tutor requests this July in comparison to last year. Top agency Bonas MacFarlane has seen a 10% increase in bookings. And the online marketplace Bidvine, which has 2,000 tutors, reported that requests were up 120%.
Founding chief executive of Outwood Grange Academies Trust, Sir Michael Wilkins, introduced private tutoring when he was head of Outwood Grange, Wakefield. It is now used across all 21 schools in the chain and is transforming exam results; for example, at Outwood Academy Portland, in Worksop, Nottinghamshire, the percentage of teenagers achieving good passes in maths and English GCSE increased massively from 41% in 2011 to 88% last year.
The London Academy of Excellence boasts a track record of helping children get into Oxbridge, and works with tutors from Bonas MacFarlane, where prices begin at £70 an hour, and tutors coach A Level students for 10 months as they apply to universities. Other schools following the same private tutoring programme include the Seven Kings in Ilford, east London, Spires College in Torquay, and Christ the King College on the Isle of Wight.
The tuition, much of it over Skype, includes weekly English and Maths tutorials as well as a research project.
A 17 year old student at Christ the King said he did not mind having classes over the summer. He said, “It’s definitely improving my chances. I think all state school pupils should be offered private tuition.”
Tutors working with the teenagers include Dr Frank Hutton-Williams, 30, a teacher at the private Charterhouse school in Surrey, and Yolanda Ohene, 26, a physics graduate at Imperial College London, now studying for a PhD. Ohene also tutors three students who are paying their own way. She said, “One wants to go to Imperial but is worried he won’t get an A* in his A-level physics so he wants extra tuition this summer to push ahead before the big exam year.”
Credit: The Times, full article can be found here