Exam tuition can and should be for all, not just the wealthy

Evidence has shown that private tuition remains popular but is it just the wealthy that have access to this service?

Recently a study into the attainment gap has shown children from lower-income families have fallen behind children from richer families. This education gap has grown between 16-year-olds in all areas of England since the pandemic.

At Explore Learning, we believe that tuition can help to reduce this attainment gap, and to do that we want to ensure tuition isn't just for wealthy families.

Preventing the education gap: tuition for everyone

Tuition should be a tool accessible to everyone, not just the wealthy, as a means to close the education gap.

In 2013 research from a survey commissioned by education charity, The Sutton Trust, revealed that of those interviewed more than double the number of wealthier pupils had received private tuition last year compared with those from poorer families. This has led to a concern that private tuition is only serving to place children whose parents can't afford it at an increased disadvantage.

Sir Peter Lampl, Chairman of the Sutton Trust and an early investor in our tuition company, Explore Learning said that it was "crucial" to narrow the learning gap for less advantaged children.

How do we prevent the education gap from widening?

The first step is to tackle the affordability of tuition. This is certainly something that we feel very strongly about. We have been working hard to do this since our launch.

Tuition across the UK

We currently have over 90 tuition centres located across the country, and over 20,000 families who come from all economic demographics benefit from our tuition service.

Children receive an individualized programme of work, that is supportive and challenging where appropriate, and most importantly unique to them and their individual needs. Our tutors will work with a maximum of 6 children - all focused on their own unique tasks and able to support their learning needs. The results are proven and all children are found to have benefited from attending our service.

So we have proved that tuition doesn't need to cost the earth to be effective. Our model goes some way to narrow a gap and additionally, we have been able to reach out further with a scholarship programme for those in most need and our acceptance of childcare vouchers means that for many families there are even more savings to be made.

Narrowing the education gap - making tuition accessible

To really narrow the education gap, however, tuition needs to be made accessible for all families, not just those on higher incomes. That's something we've been working hard to address here at Explore Learning.

That's where our Big Dream Programme comes in. Over the next two years we've made it our ambition to support over 500 children through part of fully subsidised memberships. We're working with a number of charities, trusts and donors to close the attainment gap in areas where the cost of private tuition isn't an option for many families.

We also work with schools to provide free workshops to support our local communities.

Ensuring families can access tuition

We've made it our goal to ensure as many families as possible can access private tuition with Explore Learning. That's why we continue to make families aware of the financial support, such as a membership discount for in-centre members who are eligible for free school meals, that they can use to access tuition, alongside our work with education charities.

We're confident that we can narrow the education gap between low-income and high-income families by ensuring that extra tuition is affordable and accessible to everyone!

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