Tutoring is a large and increasingly important part of the UK’s education economy, but as a sector is hidden in the shadows. Estimates of the number of students being tutored and the number of tutors vary widely, as does the economic value of the sector and its educational impact.
Tutoring stands out as the single most popular way for parents to seek to assist their children’s education. The demands for tutoring in the UK continue to increase, a consequence of the increasing pressures on schools and the need for children to succeed academically. The demand for home tuition and home schooling in the UK has grown significantly in recent years as increasing numbers of families are dissatisfied with the level of education their children are now experiencing at school; often where there is high staff turnover, a diminishing quality of teachers, abundant use of supply staff, increasing class sizes, pressures on resources and reducing SEN support. Many more parents are now looking to supplement (or to replace) school using tutors.
Tutoring tends to be most prevalent at the end of Key Stage 2, Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5, at those stages of schooling associated with high-stakes testing. Often the demand comes from professional and educationally aspirational families; a significant number of families are from the independent sector, many are parents of Primary or SEN children. There is also significant growth in home schooling in the UK, which is already a significant sector in the US. Ethnicity is also a major factor in the tuition market: White European (25% of children are tutored), Indian (45%), Chinese (35%), African (41%), Other Asian (29%), Pakistani (28%), Caribbean (27%), Other White (27%).
There are a number of options for tuition in the UK, which families can consider:
- A large number of tutors operate independently, advertising their individual services through word of mouth, their own website or in directories such as Gumtree and Yell. Many of these tutors are not qualified teachers, often do not travel and generally charge low tuition fees.
- There are a growing number of large online agencies, that operate rather like dating websites. Families can compare profiles of a large numbers of tutors and then message or e-mail them to check for suitability. Families often have to register or pay a fee upfront before making contact with a potential tutor.
- There are a number of tuition centres now available across the UK. Families are required to travel to the centre for lessons. Children are generally taught in groups, with parents not able to sit in on the lessons. Often the tutors are not qualified teachers and generally payment is required in advance, and for a fixed number of lessons.
- There are a small number of very exclusive tuition agencies, generally based in London, and are often focused on supporting tuition for international families and access to the most selective Public Independent Schools. Tuition fees can be very high.
Teachers To Your Home is a rapidly expanding Tutoring Business, based in the UK, who appoint only qualified and experienced teachers to provide high quality home tuition for families. It aims to established itself as the market leader in the UK for high quality home schooling and home tuition.
They are developing a reputation for a high quality personal service appointing qualified and current teachers to families, clients, schools, Local Authorities and businesses. It also speaks with increasing authority for the sector, providing advice and support for families, schools, Local Authorities and businesses across the UK.
Teachers To Your Home currently provides over 18,000 qualified and experienced teachers who also offer their skills as high quality home tutors, across England and Wales. All of their teachers are subject-specialists and up-to-date with the current demands of the changing curriculum. Their teachers teach across all ages and abilities; across all academic subjects and exam boards. Lessons are taught at the family home.
The benefits of tutoring
- A tutor has the opportunity to focus on the specific subjects and areas that a child may be struggling with. At school, a teacher can only give limited individual attention to each student, as there is limited classroom time available and the requirement for the teacher to meet the needs of the whole teaching group.
- There are fewer distractions when tuition is provided in a home setting, with little noise or distractions from classmates, which can often impact on a child’s concentration and performance.
- A tutor can quickly gauge the current achievement, future potential and learning style of a child and will be able to adapt their teaching to this to bring the greatest benefit.
- A tutor can provide academic challenge for a child, if they do not find this at their school. This can enthuse and motivate learning and enjoyment for a particular subject, which can also then impact on other areas of their school life.
- A tutor can offer academic support for a child, if they have missed out on some of their learning, whether through illness, absence, a lack of understanding at school … or a lack of effort. A short, direct and intensive course of lessons can have a profound impact on your child’s performance and confidence.
- A tutor can help develop a child’s confidence in a subject. The more confident a child feels with their schoolwork, the more they are able to develop and progress their skills and knowledge.
- A tutor can help a child develop the right exam technique, so that they are able to perform to their full potential in an exam situation. Often children to need a lot of practice doing trial exam papers, with a tutor alongside helping them to be precise and concise, to spot the traps that are set, to organise their timings, …
- If a child is shy then often they will not ask questions in the classroom. In a one-on-one teaching, your child will feel more able to ask questions when they are unsure of a concept.
- If a child is struggling with homework from school, the tutor can provide support to help them with this. If your child is not receiving enough homework from school to consolidate their learning, the tutor can provide this.
- Regular lessons with a tutor will help a disorganised child begin to focus on their work, with the responsibility that they will have to be ready for the next lesson. Once momentum builds, a child will begin to feel less anxious and more enjoyment, as they begin to sense that they are making progress.