Parents on modest incomes and families from ethnic minorities are behind a massive boom in Britain’s multimillion-pound tutoring market, according to an investigation by the Guardian…
Hundreds of thousands of children – some as young as two – now receive private tuition at a cost of between £7 and £60 an hour. Parents say the extra study gives their children confidence and helps them secure top grades, but headteachers are warning that the tutoring market is beginning to spiral out of control and is “trading on insecurity”.
Interviews with seven tutoring agencies reveal that:
• One already large tuition business has seen 42% growth over the past year.
• One agency is recruiting 100 new tutors a month to cope with demand.
• One has opened more than 50 extra study centres over the past year.
Parents, such as Batool, from north-west London, who does not want to give her full name, said many in her social circle now paid for tuition. “Private tutoring has become normal,” she said. “Parents are more aware of the failings of the state education system and the importance of which university your son or daughter goes to than they used to be.”
Batool, who is a single parent on £29,000 a year, spent £1,400 over Easter on an A-level revision course for her daughter, Wafa, and pays £36 a week for two hours of chemistry and physics tuition.
Those in the tuition business say there is rising anxiety among parents that unless their children achieve top grades, they will not get a place at university or a good job.
Private tuition has ceased to be just the preserve of the white middle classes, the tutoring agencies say. They claim the growth comes from parents on low incomes and ethnic minority families who are making substantial sacrifices to give their children extra academic help.