What is the true cost of tutoring in the UK?

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 Paula Antalffy
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With the end of school closures nearing you may be wondering whether your children will need some extra tuition once schools re-open. However, what might deter you is the potential cost of lessons.

If you want to learn a bit more about the price of different subjects, read on!

The Size of the UK Tutoring Market Today

For many students private tuition is the key to doing well in a test, and obtaining the results which they desire. It may also be key in making sure they are able to get back on track following the COVID-19 School closure.

The reasons for seeking tuition seem to vary greatly, some students will get tutoring to achieve specific goals such as doing well in a test or entrance exam, while others get help with general schoolwork. Students looking for private tuition are spoiled for choice, with 100s of privately owned agencies offering a variety of tutoring services. In fact, tutoring is so widespread in the UK that 41% of young people in London will receive some form of private tutoring during their academic career.

The fact that almost half of all young Londoners will hire private tuition at some point in life is not at all surprising. Today, the UK tuition market represents approximately £2 billion of revenue annually. The ever growing tutoring market of the UK is considered to be one of the top spenders in tutoring world wide.

With the help of technology, and software companies such as TutorCruncher, people today can hire a tutor with the click of a button. Whether it is a one-off online session, or weekly face-to-face meetings the internet has become the new jobs board for tutors all across the world.

Young girl with headphones
Young girl with headphones

The Cost

Based on the figures above it is clear that private tutoring is a lucrative business. In fact, a recent study conducted has revealed that an hour of tutoring can cost almost £40. In Hampshire the average hourly rate for tutoring is £39.56, the highest in the UK, followed by London, Surry, and Manchester, all with hourly rates above £38. The top ten hourly rates by location are as follows:

  1. Hampshire - £39.56
  2. London - £39.01
  3. Surrey - £38.89
  4. Manchester - £38.77
  5. Warwickshire - £38.10
  6. Somerset - £37.35
  7. Buckinghamshire - £37.12
  8. Oxfordshire - £37.02
  9. Sussex - £36.97
  10. Wiltshire - £36.55

Prices also hugely vary based on subjects, with some lessons being far pricier than others. A single Mandarin lesson can put you £53 out of pocket, and a Physics lesson will cost an average of £47.50. The top ten list of hourly cost, is as follows:

  1. Mandarin - £53.00
  2. Physics - £47.50
  3. Chemistry - £45.80
  4. German - £45.20
  5. French - £42.95
  6. Maths - £40.56
  7. Spanish - £38.90
  8. Biology - £37.00
  9. English Literature - £35.40
  10. Psychology - £34.37
Woman writing on a whiteboard
Woman writing on a whiteboard

The Problem

Tutoring has many benefits, on-top of helping pupils academically, tutors can help students gain new tools for learning, and widen their scope of knowledge. However, there is an issue with the tutoring marketing, that organisations like The Sutton Trust are hoping to change.

The charity’s study found that students from a ‘high affluent’ background receive a disproportionate amount of tutoring in comparison to those from ‘low affluence’ households. More specifically, 34% of those from high income families received private tuition, in comparison to 20% of pupils from low income families.

The Solution

Today with the £1bn pound tuition grant announced by the government, private tuition in more accessible than ever. However, this may only be a temporary fix for a much larger and wider problem. Charities like the Sutton Trust Furthermore there are a number of charities such as the Sutton trust looking for ways to make tuition more accessible to all.

One idea is continuing a government funded access to tutoring. This could potentially be done as a means-tested voucher scheme, the program would allow all students to get access to high-quality tutoring, regardless of their household income.

Charities aren’t the only ones trying to make the world of private tuition more accessible. Agencies like TutorTrust are creating innovative new tutoring models to create affordable small group and one on one tutoring.

Want to learn more about tutoring can help your children? Read some of our other blogs here!

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