One in four state pupils privately tutored


One in four state secondary school students in England and Wales have received private tuition, a slight increase since last year.

However, students from better-off families are twice as likely to be privately tutored than disadvantaged young people.

A study by Ipsos MORI for the Sutton Trust found that 24 per cent of 11 to 16-year-olds have received private or home tuition at some stage in their state school careers. This compares to 18 per cent in 2005 and 23 per cent last year.

However, in London four in 10 students get extra tuition, with a quarter having received it in the last year alone. In Wales, only nine per cent have ever been privately tutored.

The poll also found that 31 per cent of students from better-off families have received some private tuition, compared to 15 per cent from less well-off families.

An analysis by private tutoring website First Tutors earlier this year found that the typical cost of a tutor is £20 an hour for secondary-age students.

The Sutton Trust’s sister charity, the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), is currently working on a project to offer students from low-income backgrounds private tuition.

It has granted £263,000 to fund an evaluation of the work of the Manchester-based charity the Tutor Trust, which selects and trains able university students and recent graduates to deliver tuition in challenging schools. Tutors are paid for their work, but deliver one in every seven lessons free of charge.

Sir Peter Lampl, chairman of the Sutton Trust and EEF, said: “Parents naturally want to do the best for their children. Providing private tuition for them puts those children whose parents can’t afford it at a disadvantage. 

“That’s why it is so crucial that we find a successful way to ensure that the learning gap is narrowed for less advantaged children. We intend that our work at the EEF with the Tutor Trust will provide a way of bringing one-to-one and small group tuition to pupils from low and lower middle income backgrounds.”



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