Is Tutoring Common in the UK? An Expert's Perspective

Tutoring is a common practice in the UK, with 98% of UKAT respondents confirming that all students have personal tutors and more than a third having more than one. Private tutoring is also widespread and on the rise, with 34% of students from more prosperous households using it compared to 20% of those with fewer resources. Teaching is still a craft industry, with no qualifications or mandatory formal regulations, meaning anyone can establish themselves as a tutor. This creates a risk for parents who may not be receiving adequate support for their children and also raises protection issues. It's not surprising that almost half of young Londoners take private lessons at some point in their lives.

The UK tuition market accounts for approximately £2 billion in annual revenue, making it one of the most spendent on tutoring worldwide. Parents seek tutoring services to complete their children's education, while students feel pressure to succeed academically. The National Tutoring Program is on track to meet its ambitious goal of two million courses this academic year, with more than 300,000 courses starting last semester. The supply of private tutors could be further expanded if the UK went into recession and unemployment increased, as people could seek alternative sources of income.

The effectiveness of online tutoring is mixed and extremely limited when it comes to international tutors. If a single tutor could teach 20 students for a week, and with around 8.9 million schoolchildren in the UK, this would mean the need for 445,000 private tutors. Outsourcing can help keep costs down but raises questions about the quality of teaching. The report reveals that many state school teachers increase their income with private tutoring. It's encouraging to see that so many students from all backgrounds have been directly reached through the government mentoring program, and schools should take advantage of it.

The charity uses volunteer tutors such as college students, former teachers and retired professionals who are reviewed by the DBS and receive training from the charity.

Reginald Thomson
Reginald Thomson

Reginald Thomson is an experienced IB tutor with a passion for education. He is committed to helping students excel in their studies and achieve their academic goals. Reginald holds a Bachelor's degree in Education from the University of Liverpool.

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