Increase in summer holiday private tuition
In the past year, there has been an 120% increase in the number of parents seeking summer holiday private tuition
The school holidays are in full swing, which means youngsters up and down the country are enjoying some serious rest and relaxation right? Erm, not quite. A recent survey has found that in the past year, there has been an 120% increase in the number of parents looking for summer private tutors for their children.
One of the main reasons behind the rise is the changes in the way exams are being marked. With Year 6 SATs pupils being penalised for misshapen punctuation marks and teenagers facing a “torturous” English GCSE, which is now based solely on exams and graded in numbers not letters, some parents fear their children are being tripped up by a fast-moving system and are turning to home tutors to give them some extra help.
I’ll be honest, I don’t think the standard of examination and assessment is the problem here. The issue is schools not equipping pupils with the resources to deal with what is required of them. Unfortunately, rapid and frequent changes in the curriculum and the way pupils are being assessed mean some teachers feel that they’re on the back foot and having to cram students with the new information in double quick time. It can result in a pressurised, and sometimes demoralised, teaching and learning environment.
This is where home tuition comes into its own. Tutors can work at your child’s pace and focus on an individual’s weaker areas to bring them up to standard. And it’s not just parents in the independent school sector who are asking for a helping hand. According to the survey from online service provider Bidvine, more than two thirds of home tutors are teaching state school educated kids.
Ironically, those extra lessons in the long summer holidays can also help your child enjoy learning.
Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, Kevin Courtney, the General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers fears many English GCSE students will not continue with the subject at A Level as the new exam “which values rapid reading and rote learning above deeper understanding [is] a torturous and unrewarding experience.”
Large class sizes, funding cuts and a focus on exams mean finding the time and resources to explore a “deeper understanding” is not always possible in school. However, learning at home in a one-to-one situation with more time and fewer distractions enables youngsters to ask more questions, receive more detailed answers and gain a greater insight into the subject at hand. Home tuition can also help you work with a specific goal in mind, be it a looming exam or a grammar school test. By preparing a child for what to expect, they feel more confident and are less likely to panic. The same goes for the parents.
But hey, don’t forget that the holidays are a chance to recharge and all children need a break. We would never recommend a hothousing situation where youngsters are made to study every day. Remember, school’s out for summer – at least some of it.
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