Kids are suffering from the inequality in the schools system

If there is inequality in the UK’s school system it is not necessarily the fault of teachers or of the system itself; the fact is that not all kids learn at the same pace or have an affinity for the same subjects. It is also demonstrably true that most if not all parents want the best possible education for their children, and that some have more options than others in that regard.

According to a report published by the Sutton Trust, an educational charity set up by Sir Peter Lampl in 1997, more parents are turning to private tutors as a supplement to ‘standard’ schooling, just to get their children’s test scores up to par. However the report also revealed that private tutoring is much more prevalent in wealthier families, and it is extremely regional. In London, for example, 40 percent of parents pay private tutors; in Wales it’s only 9 percent.

Sir Peter said that the rise in private tutoring may leave students from poorer families, who can’t afford the extra costs, at even more of a disadvantage. They may be left farther behind, unable to make the required grades for college entrance even if their parents could afford to send them. The Trust’s survey indicated that at least twice as many kids with well-to-do parents get extra tutoring as the less wealthy.

In the effort to ‘narrow the learning gap’ between advantaged and less-advantaged young people, the Education Endowment Foundation, sister charity to Sutton Trust, is trying out the feasibility of free tutoring through a Manchester-based charity called the Tutor Trust, with £263,000 in funding. The Tutor Trust selects, trains and insures undergraduates and post graduates who are willing and qualified to be tutors.

Currently the cost of private tutoring ranges between £20 per hour for primary and secondary students and £26 for university students, according to figures from the website First Tutors. The cost of online tutoring is substantially less in most cases, and there are several websites available. The bottom line seems to be that any form of personal tutoring gives kids a better chance of grasping a difficult subject, rather than failing and further narrowing their future choices.