Over the past year, one tenth of all state-educated 11-16 year olds—280,000 pupils—were tutoredby Lee Elliot Major / September 8, 2016 / Leave a comment
It is perhaps appropriate that the academic term for tutoring is “shadow education.” Little-regulated and ever-growing, the private tuition industry has become the hidden secret of British education. It entrenches advantage for many children whose parents can already afford school fees or homes close to good comprehensives and grammars.
The Sutton Trust has been polling young people about their experiences of tutoring for over a decade now. Our data shows a steady rise in the proportion of state secondary school students who have had private tuition at some point in their lives, from 18 per cent in 2005 to 25 per cent today. In London the current numbers exceed 40 per cent.
During the last year alone, one tenth of all state-educated 11-16 year olds—or 280,000 pupils—were tutored. It is no surprise then that tutoring is common amongst teachers, with almost half of state school teachers having had some employment as a tutor outside of their main teaching job.
But with the average cost of private tuition now at least £24 an hour—£32 in London—its growth has serious implications for social mobility. Private school pupils are twice as likely to have been tutored as state school students and, as you might expect, young people from poorer homes are less likely to have been tutored than their richer classmates.
Differential access to tutoring is almost certainly exacerbat…