One in four teachers take on private tuition outside school

By agency reporter
September 27, 2019

A quarter (24 per cent) of secondary school teachers have taken on private tuition outside school in the past two years, according to new polling published by the Sutton Trust on 26 September 2019.

The survey of 1,678 teachers, conducted by the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) through their Teacher Voice Omnibus Survey, found that two-thirds of the teachers who had tutored had done so after direct contact from parents. A much smaller proportion had tutored through an agency, or a non-profit organisation. This highlights the importance parents place on tutoring.

The teachers were also asked if their school had promoted paid-for private tuition to parents. Despite secondary school teachers being more likely to have tutored outside of school than primary teachers (24 per cent vs 14 per cent), heads in primary schools were more likely to say that their school had sent parents information about private tutoring (18 per cent vs 11 per cent).

Also published is the Sutton Trust’s annual barometer of how prevalent private tuition is in England and Wales. The polling by Ipsos MORI of 2,809 11-16-year olds in England and Wales finds that 27 per cent of 11-16 year olds say they have had tuition, up from 18 per cent when the survey first began in 2005. This figure rises to 41 per cent in London (up from 34 per cent in 2005), where young people are more likely to say they have had private tuition than in any other region of England.

However, students who receive private tuition disproportionately come from better-off backgrounds. Those from ‘high affluence’ households are more likely than those from low affluence households to have received such tuition at some point (34 per cent and 20 per cent, respectively).

The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), the Sutton Trust’s sister charity, has identified one-to-one and small group tuition as a very cost-effective way to boost attainment. To level the playing field outside the classroom, schools should consider prioritising one-to-one and small group tuition in their Pupil Premium spending. The government should also look at ways of funding access to such tuition sustainably, for example, through a voucher scheme.

The Trust would also like to see more private tuition agencies provide a certain proportion of their tuition to disadvantaged pupils for free, as well as an expansion of non-profit tuition programmes that connect tutors with disadvantaged schools. Agencies like Tutorfair, MyTutor and Tutor Trust operate innovative models in this area.

Sir Peter Lampl, founder and chairman of the Sutton Trust and chairman of the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), said: Private tuition is widespread. Twenty-seven per centof teenagers have been tutored, rising to 41 per cent in London. A quarter of teachers have provided tutoring. With costs of at least £25 per session, many parents can’t afford it. The government should look at introducing a means-tested voucher scheme to enable lower income families to provide tuition for their children. Schools should also consider the implications of teachers offering paid tuition outside of lessons and how this is promoted in school."

* See the polling details here

* Sutton Trust https://www.suttontrust.com/

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