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Is private tuition an advantage to young people?

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
Many pushy parents are making their children “miserable” by subjecting them to academic coaching in the evening, said Gail Larkin, president of the National Association of Head Teachers.
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Are parents who pay for their children to have extra tuition being cruel by forcing them to do extra work, or are they being kind by paying their children to have extra help so they can get better exam results?

Should schools provide more extra tuition, so children whose parents can’t afford private tuition aren’t disadvantaged?

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    This is actually very interesting, I've been having private tutoring since the age of 7 (yr3) for English and maths, I stopped during the yr 11 and have took up maths again at yr12.... I feel that doing 2h 15 mins a week extra tuition since the young age is hard.... lots of work and has helped, however did not really put me up a level by much. I agree i'd have much rather do activities such as swimming or music lessons, as a child I had to stop singing due to tuition and since I've regretted this. I wouldn't go as far as it calling it child abuse, however at times it does feel like that. I know there have been many times I have faked to be ill as I've not wanted to go as I didn't enjoy it, and still feel similar sometimes I feel that its very beneficial at the younger age however as you reach secondary/high school your teachers and you have a closer bond therefore you tend to get more help and support anyway. During my GCSE years I felt that tuition was no help at all, apart from for past paper help and help on one or two more tough questions. For alevels it helps, however due to the work load I feel it puts more pressure on me and has made me grow to slightly dislike the subject as I have added pressure from the tutors and parents. I've been at the same place for tuition since I started and they know me very well, which I feel helps, however yes ultimately I believe it can be a disadvantage for some children. If tuition was less time eg an hour it may benefit a child more as paying attention for that long is hard (trust me, there have been many times I've been close to falling asleep) It did benefit my test results during the years of yr 3-yr9 then at yr10-11 less so.
    so yeh, there is my experience... I'd love to hear from some people who haven't ever experienced tuition!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I've worked at tutor centre for the past few years, and I hate the system. I taught kids from the age of 3 who were doing half an hour's homework a day, up to 6 year olds who could be doing up to 2 hours on a bad day. I don't know if it had any affect on their school work, but either way I can't help feeling that 3 year olds should not be doing homework, they should be playing.

    Saying that, I had tutoring for my 11+ exam, and I don't regret it, although it was entirely my choice to have it. So really, as long as the child's chosen I think it's ok..
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ninaballet wrote: »
    I've worked at tutor centre for the past few years, and I hate the system. I taught kids from the age of 3 who were doing half an hour's homework a day, up to 6 year olds who could be doing up to 2 hours on a bad day. I don't know if it had any affect on their school work, but either way I can't help feeling that 3 year olds should not be doing homework, they should be playing.

    Saying that, I had tutoring for my 11+ exam, and I don't regret it, although it was entirely my choice to have it. So really, as long as the child's chosen I think it's ok..

    gosh 3 year olds is way to young!!!! I thought being 7 was young.... I feel that children shouldn't have tuition till the age of maybe 8 as like you said they should be doing homework, also at that young age, most parents or family member are able to help the child with work. 2 hours of work a day is ridiculous! I would get around 3 hours of work a week to sometimes up to 6..... but often being the rebellious one I am, id not do all of it!

    But like you said, if the child chose's it. I think it's okay.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I agree - 3 is far too young.

    I never had private tuition because it was something my parents could never afford. I did however, get a lot of help from a friend of mine when I was doing my GCSEs, which benefitted me greatly. I missed a lot due to various reasons and the teacher didn't have time to go over what I'd missed. I am for numerous reasons, having to now consider private tuition (struggle with self teaching) for GCSE English.

    I don't see the problem if it's something the child feels they need, like in my situation. But I think at the age if 3, it's silly. Who exactly does that benefit? At that age, it's better if that money is spent on I don't know, activites for the child if that's what the child wishes to do.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Melian wrote: »

    I don't see the problem if it's something the child feels they need

    This.

    As with anything, as long as the tutoring isn't detrimental to a child's welfare and wellbeing then I don't see an issue with it.

    That said, there is a major flaw in the educational system and something I have an issue with as a teacher. Education is rapidly becoming more about exams, assessment and ranking schools and children nationally and globally. Along with that the requirements to be labelled or diagnosed as SEND has changed and become more limited - if a child receives private tutoring for their own personal development then fine, but if they are being tutored because the educational system is failing to support them in a adequate way then there is a problem and sadly that is becoming more and more common, from what I have seen. The most dedicated teacher can put aside time to help children but there simply is not enough hours in a day to bring children to the "standard" curriculum level, in a way that suits their individual learning needs and style.

    Education is for life, not for assessment and I personally feel that I face a moral dilemma when I have my own class because I feel that it is so damaging to force a child, who is working below the expected levels, to sit an exam which they will not do well in and will clearly distress them. Getting a children discounted from exams is a challenge in itself and relying on private tutoring simply isn't possible. Yes it is an advantage but until the education system changes and children aren't treated as statistics then their welfare is being compromised regardless of whether they are additional tutoring or not.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    From reading the responses, it seems that the main issue with private tuition is how much pupils receive. What do you think shoukld be the maximum amount of time pupils shoukld receive private tuition?

    Another issue is children getting private tuition from a very young age. If you think 3 is too young, what should the minimum age be?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ella! wrote: »
    there is a major flaw in the educational system and something I have an issue with as a teacher. Education is rapidly becoming more about exams, assessment and ranking schools and children nationally and globally. Along with that the requirements to be labelled or diagnosed as SEND has changed and become more limited - if a child receives private tutoring for their own personal development then fine, but if they are being tutored because the educational system is failing to support them in a adequate way then there is a problem and sadly that is becoming more and more common, from what I have seen. The most dedicated teacher can put aside time to help children but there simply is not enough hours in a day to bring children to the "standard" curriculum level, in a way that suits their individual learning needs and style.

    Education is for life, not for assessment and I personally feel that I face a moral dilemma when I have my own class because I feel that it is so damaging to force a child, who is working below the expected levels, to sit an exam which they will not do well in and will clearly distress them. Getting a children discounted from exams is a challenge in itself and relying on private tutoring simply isn't possible. Yes it is an advantage but until the education system changes and children aren't treated as statistics then their welfare is being compromised regardless of whether they are additional tutoring or not.

    Miss Ella,

    I think a lot of teachers share your concerns about the amount of time spent on exams.

    Do you think that the availability of private tutoring is a barrier to this problem being addressed? If only the classroom teachers taught pupils who currently get private tuition, would parents demand a more balanced approach, or would they expect more of teachers?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I don't think there should be a minimum age as such. It should be appropriate, I think the word I'm looking for. I mean, someone on here mentioned 11+ and I see no problem with a child receiving private tuition for that, or a child receiving private tuition because, for example, they have a learning disability and are so far behind and school simply don't have the resources to help the child. But, I see no reason why a child of 3 "needs" private tuition.
    but if they are being tutored because the educational system is failing to support them in a adequate way then there is a problem and sadly that is becoming more and more common, from what I have seen.

    Sadly, this is the situation I find myself in. I managed a D in English at GCSE due to a mixture of illness and an undiagnosed learning disability. The local college are unwilling (and they have admitted this) to support me. This leaves me with two options - an 80 mile round trip to another college once a week or getting a friend to teach me instead, if either of us can find the time.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think extra tuition for kids who are struggling with the basics/have an SpLD/want to study the subject more than what's taught at school then great but otherwise I think kids should only have extracurricular stuff. Kids are expected to become mini adults and are only tutored for exams not life so they come out of school knowing how to pass an exam but not knowing about budgeting or how to take meter readings and stuff like that! :(
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    WayneS wrote: »
    Miss Ella,

    I think a lot of teachers share your concerns about the amount of time spent on exams.

    Do you think that the availability of private tutoring is a barrier to this problem being addressed? If only the classroom teachers taught pupils who currently get private tuition, would parents demand a more balanced approach, or would they expect more of teachers?


    At the risk of derailing this thread, there is already a ridiculous level of demand on teachers. I am proud to be a teacher, but every single teacher is so much more than that. Teachers are social workers, parents, doctors, politicians, news reporters, dieticians, confidants, historians, linguists, mathematicians, scientists, athletes, psychics...all supposedly between the hours of nine and three. If only.

    No I don't think that the availability of private tutoring is a barrier: I think the educational system is a barrier. I think the level of expectation placed on teachers, teaching assistants, governors, head teachers etc is not in line with what is possible. Equally the level of expectation placed on children is unrealistic.

    Parents who deeply care about their child's education and welfare face a difficult choice, all too often one is compromised for the other. Take a year 6 child who I recently taught. She is diagnosed as SEND, she will be discounted from her maths SATs because she is working below the national curriculum level. However she won't be discounted from literacy because she is just scrapping a 3c/2a (the lowest NC level for SATs is 3c). Without additional tutoring, she is unlikely to actually receive enough marks in literacy to be graded as level 3, so does her mother pay for extra tutoring? Does her mother go ahead with something and watch her daughter become noticeably distressed by the extra work and pressure being put on her, or does she leave it and allow her daughter to take the exam in May and accept that she won't pass. The teacher is already doing extra teaching sessions with her twice a week, plus sessions with four other children. Where is the line drawn?

    In the great scheme of things, SATs don't matter, nor do Year 1 phonics screenings, but try explaining that to an exam fearing child, who is buckling from anxiety. Even the most cock-sure child worries about exams. But what about GCSE exams, when to be what the government view to be a "successful" member of society you need AT LEAST a C in English/Maths/Science.

    NB: I strongly feel that a grade doesn't define a child or adult, but it is one massive hurdle, as Melian has pointed out.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I don't think I was ever at an advantage when I received extra help for GCSE Maths. As I mentioned previously, I missed a lot and teachers simply don't have time to help people who do fall behind. I also struggled to understand some of the teaching methods used. I knoow that if I didn't receive the help I did get, I would have struggled a lot. There was the odd teacher who did give up their lunchtime to help; but I know that not every teacher is able to do that.

    There's far too much pressure these days on children to pass exams, which means very little in the real world.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Melian wrote: »
    I don't think there should be a minimum age as such. It should be appropriate, I think the word I'm looking for. I mean, someone on here mentioned 11+ and I see no problem with a child receiving private tuition for that, or a child receiving private tuition because, for example, they have a learning disability and are so far behind and school simply don't have the resources to help the child. But, I see no reason why a child of 3 "needs" private tuition.



    Sadly, this is the situation I find myself in. I managed a D in English at GCSE due to a mixture of illness and an undiagnosed learning disability. The local college are unwilling (and they have admitted this) to support me. This leaves me with two options - an 80 mile round trip to another college once a week or getting a friend to teach me instead, if either of us can find the time.

    I can see how in a situation like yours, where a pupil is below the required standard because of a learning disability, or in a situation where a pupil falls far behind in their work, private tuition would be useful.

    I wonder though, if in many cases, there isn't alearning disability and the children are not failing or struggling, but their parents simply want them to do better. They want them to get A grades instead of B grades. They want them to get 99% or even 100% instead of 91%.

    Are these parents right to put so much pressure on their children, or will putting that amount of pressure on their children do more damage?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Miss_Riot wrote: »
    I think extra tuition for kids who are struggling with the basics/have an SpLD/want to study the subject more than what's taught at school then great but otherwise I think kids should only have extracurricular stuff. Kids are expected to become mini adults and are only tutored for exams not life so they come out of school knowing how to pass an exam but not knowing about budgeting or how to take meter readings and stuff like that! :(

    Do you think parents would be helping their children more if they got them private tuition for life skills rather than to help them do bettter in exams?

    Perhaps the education system encourrages a focus on exams in private tuition because school life is increasingly about exams., and parents are responding to the culture by participating in it rather than challenging it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    WayneS wrote: »
    I can see how in a situation like yours, where a pupil is below the required standard because of a learning disability, or in a situation where a pupil falls far behind in their work, private tuition would be useful.

    I wonder though, if in many cases, there isn't alearning disability and the children are not failing or struggling, but their parents simply want them to do better. They want them to get A grades instead of B grades. They want them to get 99% or even 100% instead of 91%.

    Are these parents right to put so much pressure on their children, or will putting that amount of pressure on their children do more damage?

    That would just do more damage to the child. It won't benefit anyone.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    WayneS wrote: »
    Do you think parents would be helping their children more if they got them private tuition for life skills rather than to help them do bettter in exams?

    No. Life skills private tuition is called parenting and parents/guardians should be the ones doing it if it's needed on top of what is or isn't taught in schools.
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