The number of children receiving private tuition is about half the figure reported in the media, according to new research from Thetutorpages.com.
It is commonly reported that around 1 in 4 children (25%) in the UK are receiving private tuition. However, new research based on a YouGov poll, now puts that figure at closer to 1 in 8 (under 15%).
The reason for the error is a confusion between the number of pupils who have ever had tuition, and the number who are currently receiving tuition. Media stories have consistently misreported the former figure, rarely mentioning that it relates to the lifetime of the student.
However, the calculation by Thetutorpages.com is based on a poll commissioned by EdPlace which quizzed parents about their use of private tutors over the past year. It reveals that over the last year around 8% children had a traditional ‘at-home’ tutor, 6% attended a private tuition centre, and 1% were working with an online tutor.
‘The figures are a useful corrective, helping to cool the hysteria in some sections of the media over private tuition,’ remarked Henry Fagg, Director of The Tutor Pages, an online hub for private tuition in the UK. ‘They also reveal a growing interest in tuition centres and online tuition’.
‘Private tuition can be a very sensible option for parents to choose, and for a wide variety of reasons. Despite this, sections of the media often focus on inflated private tuition numbers, stories about ‘super-tutors’ charging the earth, panic over 11+ tutoring (despite only 5% pupils attending grammar schools), or headteachers decrying the use of private tuition when it is often their own pupils who are seeing the benefits’.
‘The popularity of private tuition in the UK needs to be seen as part of a worldwide trend,’ Mr Fagg continued. ‘The effectiveness of private tuition is corroborated by research, and it is used by families right across the social spectrum. Private tuition reflects values of personal choice and flexibility in education, and its take-up has certainly been accelerated by the digital age’.
For further information see: www.thetutorpages.com/media-room/uk-private-tuition-numbers-greatly-exaggerated-new-study-reveals/18