London News & Search
The number of London school pupils who have received private tuition is at its highest level since records began, new figures will reveal.
Almost half the secondary-school pupils in the capital have been helped by a tutor, the highest rate in the country, in what has been described as an “educational arms race”.
Experts have warned the rise in private tuition is fuelling social inequality and creates a “glass floor” which stops richer pupils from failing while putting poorer children at a disadvantage.
The Sutton Trust research to be published tomorrow shows that 48 per cent of 11- to 16-year-olds in the capital have had private tuition in their school life.
This has risen steadily since the charity started recording data in 2005, when the London figure was 34 per cent.
In the past year, the number of children who said they have had a private tutor jumped from 42 to 48 per cent.
Sir Peter Lampl, founder and chairman of the Sutton Trust, said: “Outside of the classroom, an educational arms race has entrenched advantage for those who can afford it.
“This is especially true in London, where pupils are much more likely to have received private or home tuition.”
Sir Peter called for the Government to step in to level the academic playing field.
A spokeswoman for the Sutton Trust said: “The Trust is concerned that the growing prevalence of private tuition is harming social mobility by creating a “glass floor” for pupils from richer homes in danger of low achievement.
“Students who receive private tuition disproportionately come from those who are already advantaged and our past research has shown that about twice as many attend private schools as in the population as a whole.”
The Sutton Trust is calling for the Government to pay for private tuition for poorer children on a means-tested basis.
It would mean lower-income families could buy tutor time using means-tested vouchers, funded through the pupil premium. It also wants non-profit and state tuition programmes to be expanded, and private tuition agencies to be encouraged to provide a proportion of their tuition to disadvantaged students for free.
The Sutton Trust, dedicated to improving social mobility through education, commissioned an Ipsos MORI survey of 2,800 young people.
London News & Search