Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Is Private Tuition The New Ed Tool Amid UK Parents?

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The tuition industry in England is thriving. More number of parents are hiring tutors for their children. But is the growing trend the outcome of the wary of the English parents ? Or, Does the private or home tuition does really help the students to get good grades? While the debate doesn't seems to end many feel that tuition is essential whereas others warn about the growing trend. Some argue that the desire and need to attain good grade has led tuition industry to prosper. Parents and students consider it a significant aid to extricate the educational doubts and hindrances. The data showing growth in the tuition industry indicates that leniency towards hiring tutor in Britain is rising. Though, the majority of the parents and students perceived tuition as need, expert bodies warn against about the incline. The argument against the tuition reasons that, tuition industry is thriving out of the fear of the parents. The Sutton Trust termed it, “an escalating arms race in education.”

Augmentation of Tuition

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In the last one decade the tuition industry has grown significantly. It has sprouted the number of tuition agencies and tutors across the country. In 2005 total 18% of students took tuition. In 2015 the numbers of students engaged in after school tuition has increased to 25%. More numbers of parents are hiring private or home tutor to ensure good grades of their kids. Compare to the 34 % in 2005, in 2014 44% students in UK were engaged in tuition. It's evident from the popular trend that parents tend to heavily rely on the tutors. A survey conducted by the Durham University has revealed that, to surpass the 11 plus exam, 62% of parents engaged home tutors for their children. According to the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) the dependency on tutor is deleterious for the students.

The Fixation Of Exam

Many criticise the obsessions of the UK schools with the exam culture. Though, do not downplay the essence of evaluation system, they allege, UK schools tend to overdo. A conference, held by the IAPS (Independent Association of Prep Schools), has, too, raised the issue of test culture in the schools of UK. Lee Elliot Major, Sutton Trust said, “You are four times more likely to get a private tutor if you are in the top fifth of the income range, so we are worried about the gap outside the school gates. It’s also true that this escalation in families investing in children’s’ education is fueled by the most anxious generation of parents ever.”

Change Of Perception

Anna Osella (18) studying at Brighton Hove and Sussex Sixth Form College didn't liked taking tuition during the days of junior school. However, things changes when Anna was attending secondary school. As she struggled she decided to take private tuition and her academic performance improved. Filippo Osella, Anna’s father said, “We tried to help her but it’s hard if you don’t have a clue about what you’re doing. Tutoring is a specialised skill, especially where there is dyslexia or some other learning difficulty.”


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The debate over tuition doesn't seems to end. The advocates and non-advocates cross fighting with their opinion regarding the merits and demerits of the tuition. David Hanson, Chief, IAPS believes that tutors are making out of the fear of the parents. He said, “Children are far better off going to a school where they will flourish, be happy and achieve good results.” However, people involved with the tuition industry have different version. According to them tutors are hired for different reasons. Students who can't attend school for several reasons like sudden illness, to involve the children with specific perquisite or to aid the home learning. Henry Fagg, Founder ,The Tutor Pages says that different levels of the society have access to the home tuition. In broader perspective it meant that more number of parents in England gained faith in tuition.

The Trend To Continue...

Going by the trend, I am convinced that the trend will continue and tuition industry will grow further. In the modern education system child needs more support. It may not be possible either for the school and the parents to extend additional support to the students all the time. Since a tutor spends individual time with the students, it's easier for the tutor to track the weaknesses of the learner. At times weak or rather say special child may seek extra assistance. Is it possible for the school to understand the need of that student ? I think the, worried, non-supporters of the tuition can redesign the school education system to lower down the dependency on the tutors. Moreover, I (and let me guess you'll too agree) feel that exam culture of the UK schools are one attribute that let parents to depend on the tutors.