Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Private Tutition

I've recently started doing private tuition - Science Maths and English with children of all ages.

I always knew it would be something I could do if I needed to. The revelation has been that I love it. It's reminded me of something I've always known - that children are great, the learning process is amazing - but that schools are difficult institutions.

The children who come to me come to me for different reasons - but often it's because they're not being served as well as they can by the education system. Sometimes that's because the teaching styles don't suit them. Sometimes it's because they're the quite kid, who teachers don't worry about because they don't cause any problems. Sometimes they're the bright kid whose not being stretched. Sometimes they have specific learning difficulties that the parents have become aware of, recognising the need to do something about it earlier on.

I think there's going to be more call for services like mine over the next few years. This is due in part to the English Bacc which puts pressure on schools to get as many pupils as possible to reach the benchmark of 5 A-Cs in Maths, English, 2 Sciences and 1 other subject. That in turn puts pressure on the children and the parents - like it or not pupils as well as schools are going to be judged against this standard. It's particularly hard for those students who are not naturally inclined towards the sciences. But it's bread and butter to me.

But there's something else I think is happening, something that was talked about for a while and then seemingly forgotten about, something that's probably already been happening for a while. That's the Easy Jet model of public services. Your taxes get you the basic bargain price service. If you want anything more, anything better, you'll need to fork out for it.

There'll be a proliferation of people like me, or small organisations of people like me, squeezed out of the education system from one end or another offering those services to parents or to groups of parents who can find a bit extra money to give their child a head start.

I'm not going to even try to make a moral judgement. I think it's probably inevitable. I worry about those children whose parents can't or won't find something extra for their children's education.

But for those that can and will, I'm going to enjoy making learning fun, exciting, personalised and get back some of the joy that the education system too often knocks out of it.

And if none of that has put you off, visit my tutoring website at

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