The Evening Standard is reporting new research that suggests children in London are twice as likely to receive private tuition than those in the rest of the country.
Some 44 per cent of London children admitted having had a home tutor, compared with 22 per cent of those outside the capital.
The London figure has rocketed by 10 percentage points in the past decade, raising fears that poorer children are being left behind. The Sutton Trust has surveyed 2,500 young people about their education every year since 2005 and the latest results, to be published tomorrow, show how private tuition in London has spread. In 2005, 34 per cent of London pupils aged 11 to 16 said they had a private tutor.
The Sutton Trust, which works to improve social mobility through education, is calling on the Government to introduce a means-tested voucher system which poorer families could use to pay tutors. A spokeswoman said: “London pupils are now twice as likely to have received private or home tuition as their peers in the rest of the country. But those children whose parents can’t afford it are put at a disadvantage.”
“We need to make sure that the academic playing field is levelled outside of the school gate by the state providing funding for private tuition on a means-tested basis…”
I am increasingly concerned about the impact of private tutoring.
I have no objection in principle but, unlike most other types of educational advantage, such as going to a certain school or having more educated parents, it bothers me that tutoring can be completely invisible so it effectively becomes a secret weapon.
It is hard enough for disadvantaged students to compete when it comes, for example, to getting places at the best universities or the best jobs, but if they are against people who have been extensively tutored as well – and no one assessing them knows this – what chance do they stand?
Bearing this in mind, how do you feel about the Sutton Trust proposals for means-tested vouchers?
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