Tutoring ‘waste of money’ as teachers can tell ‘in a nanosecond’ if a child has potential

The Telegraph is reporting claims from Westminster School head Patrick Derham that spending thousands on tutoring is a waste of money as teachers can ‘tell in a nano second’ if a child has the natural ability to thrive. 

…Addressing parents at the Independent Schools Show, the world’s largest exhibition for British private schools, Mr Derham said: “When children have gone trough the first hurdle which is the academic test then they can get an interview and within a nano second you can tell whether a boy at that stage has a real spark.”

“No matter how well coached they are you can soon unpick the coaching and the tutoring and the great thing about 10 and 11 year olds is that they are disarmingly honest and they’d tell you exactly how they are feeling.” 

“You can’t at all have read Dickens from start to finish and they can be exposed pretty quickly in a nice humane way.”

Speaking after the event, he told the Daily Telegraph the content of what the child talked about during the interview mattered less than their enthusiasm when discussing a subject.”

He said as headteacher he made sure he told children “off script” from all the preparation given by tutors…

More at: Teachers can tell ‘in a nanosecond’ if a child has potential


If Mr Derham is right, parents are wasting an awful lot of money on tutoring.

What do you think? Does he make a valid point or is it more complex than he suggests?

Please let us know your opinion in the comments or via Twitter…


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Categories: Parenting and Private Schools.


  1. thiskidsthinkin

    All the coaching in the world to help a child get into a particular school won’t help them if they can’t cope with the workload.

  2. A_Weatherall

    SchoolsImprove He’s talking about coaching for private school entry exam/interview. Different to GCSE/A Level tutoring.

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