Why more and more parents are turning to tutors.
Since 2012, there have been so many changes in education that it has left parents and staff quite bewildered. We have had: five education secretaries (with their own private agendas); three Ofsted frameworks; two national curriculums and billions of pounds in budget cuts. In September 2018, hundreds of head teachers marched to Downing Street and delivered a letter to the then Chancellor, Philip Hammond, setting out the worsening funding crisis in schools. One of the big impacts of this funding crisis has been the ever-increasing number of students in the classroom. It appears that last year hundreds of thousands of children were in classes of more than 30. In 2017 Jeremy Corbyn stated on the BBC News that at least 40,000 primary age children were taught in classes of 36 or more in England in 2016, this has more than trebled over the last five years. The BBC News has even found evidence of children at a school in West Yorkshire being taught in a class of 46 pupils! The simple truth is that I think this is only to get worse.
These rising numbers in the classrooms (both in state schools and in the independent sector) have meant that students are receiving less one-to-one attention; even more so if you are a student with learning support needs. This in a time where there is growing competition for grammar school places, and in light of the fact that the new GCSEs and A’ Levels have got so much harder. This is why more parents than ever are turning to private tutors to boost their children's education. They are seeing the benefits of tuition alongside the work children do at home and at school.
In areas where there are grammar schools parents want to give their children a greater opportunity to pass the 11+ exam. They find that their children need to develop their skills in English, Maths and Reasoning. If their child does pass their 11+, it also can save them over £140,000 over the cost of sending their child to a private school because they have failed the 11+ exam. For selective independent school entry, tuition can provide students with the confidence boost required to sit competitive examinations and to gain access to the first choice school of the parents and students. It has got to the stage where tuition has become a normal activity for children, rather than being seen as something just for those who need extra support. Indeed, it is now an opportunity for all children to enhance their skills.
Whilst many parents may dislike an education system that fosters grammar schools, they are not prepared to risk their child’s education and potential future by not giving them the best chance they can. For many parents this means hiring tutors to help them pass the 11+. For other parents it means hiring tutors to support their child at GCSE, to get the grades required to do their A’ Levels; whilst for others, it means supporting their child to get the grades at A ’Level so they can get to the university of their choice. It is well known that having a degree means you are more likely to have a higher paid job. Four years ago the Daily Telegraph reported: “Jobseekers without a degree could earn up to £12,000 a year less than their graduate peers entering the job market, a report says – the equivalent of more than £500,000 over an average working life. ” And that was four years ago!
Whilst the country is in an educational crisis, with record numbers of teachers leaving the profession, parents are turning to tutors as a way of supplementing their child’s education. Indeed, a good tutor could have a huge impact on a child’s education. This is why Sophia was built: to try and make it as easy and stress-free as possible for parents to have access to great tutors; a place where they and their child could build a lasting professional relationship with their tutor, and the security in knowing that our tutors have passed the rigourous standards of safer recruitment in education and every session is covered by market leading public liability and professional indemnity insurance. This in the comfort that, in an industry which shockingly, currently remains unregulated, they have been vetted by Sophia because all tutors are personally interviewed by our team who have over 50 years of independent school experience. It is the service that parents have been crying out for, and an organisation that I am proud to have joined.