Private tutoring puts children at risk, says independent schools head

(90 Posts)
muminlondon Fri 11-Oct-13 16:51:29

Interesting topic. Apparently there are twice as many tutors as school teachers in England. I haven't found any statistics that reveal the most popular age at which children are tutored, but it must peak at 9-10 before entrance tests?

tiffinboys Fri 11-Oct-13 17:02:04

Grammars are negligible portion of total secondary schools. So 11+ tutoring can't peak at 9-10 age group.

I think most likely that tutoring might be more at GCSE level or A level for those who wants to improve grades for university admission.

tiffinboys Fri 11-Oct-13 17:03:25

Grammars are negligible portion of total secondary schools. So tutoring can't peak at 9-10 age group.

I think most likely that tutoring might be more at GCSE level or A level for those who wants to improve grades for university admission.

handcream Fri 11-Oct-13 17:06:10

Private tutoring is rife around here. I dont know anyone who took the 11+ who didnt use it.

However what is PT - is it extensive a couple of times a week to pass say the 11+ or does it also cover someone who struggles with Maths and needs some 1-1 attention. I think there is a place for it tbh (and I have never used it!) Paying too much on school fees. When I think a DS is slipping behind I ask the school to assist. And they do. There is Maths Club for the boarders at DS's school and you drop in and get taught by the Head of Maths (who people fight to have allocated to their son's class)

handcream Fri 11-Oct-13 17:06:57

Lots of people on Mumsnet saying that kids shouldnt go private but use state and tutors so there is clearly a place for them.

muminlondon Fri 11-Oct-13 17:26:15

I've found the Sutton Trust press release that says 40% of 11-16 year ods in London and 24% in the country have had a private tutor at some point (not that 40% are being tutored at this very moment).

Would it include music tuition? Many parents pay for piano, guitar, violin lessons, etc., after a taster term at school because there is no other provision. (Does anyone remember the days when the whole class learned the recorder in class?)

Sparklingbrook Fri 11-Oct-13 17:33:37

My friend is a tutor. She does all age groups, her work will be picking up soon after the first round of Parents' Evenings. DS1 had a tutor in Year 2.

handcream Fri 11-Oct-13 18:00:49

I also think some kids parents never reveal they are paying a tutor until the child blabbs to someone....

Sparklingbrook Fri 11-Oct-13 18:01:33

That's true hand we swore DS1 to secrecy.

muminlondon Fri 11-Oct-13 18:05:18

They're boasting about tutors by Y5 though, if it's preparation for 11plus.

handcream Fri 11-Oct-13 18:07:47

There are some on MN's who claim their children NEVER had a tutor and just turned up to 11+ after just a few test papers and passed with flying colours - the little fibbers!!

NoComet Fri 11-Oct-13 18:21:34

I suddenly realised I can't be smug anymore.
DD1's singing teacher is a retired head of music and is kindly adding GCSE stuff onto normal grade work, because he realised that was what was most use this year.

NoComet Fri 11-Oct-13 18:27:58

Also what = a tutor

Does money have to change hands?

DCs with parents who teach at the gramma school and know the entrance requirements inside out aren't tutors as such, but they still get their DCs to practice the right skills.

DH and I both talk science dawn to dusk DD1 gets rather nice science marks.

SanityClause Fri 11-Oct-13 18:29:24

DD2 had a tutor For a while in year 4 and 5. She would help with her spelling homework, and maths. She also covered things not on the curriculum that she thoughht DD might enjoy. She really helped her confidence, and DD decided for herself that she no longer needed help.

She does go to a selective independent school, but that wasn't the reason we had a tutor for her.

DD1, who is at a superselective grammar had no tutoring, at all. She did do quite a lot of practice tests, and worked rough some "how to" books for VR and NVR, though.

NoComet Fri 11-Oct-13 18:34:39

DD just read this over my shoulder an says her DF thinks Scientific parents do count as tutors.

Bonsoir Fri 11-Oct-13 18:35:27

I thought that the arguments put forward in the article linked in the OP were very weak.

We have used tutors for our DC at various points - in particular, when in one subject the standard of the national curriculum was way below our family expectations and all three DC had tutors supplied by the same agency. We have also used a tutor for a DC who was taking high stakes exams and need reassurance. That tutor was supplied by his school at our request and did a very good job.

Parents are surely the best judges of their DCs' needs?

Bonsoir Fri 11-Oct-13 18:36:01

If parents count as tutors - yes, then we have used hours and hours of them!!!

muminlondon Fri 11-Oct-13 18:39:03

I never had a tutor at secondary school (it was unheard of at primary in my comprehensive schools area) but a couple of my friends did for language O-level. They passed but one went on to fail at A-level. It obviously wasn't enough.

NoComet Fri 11-Oct-13 19:04:39

State MFL provision is very patchy.

DD2 did French club at primary (sort of tutoring, I suppose) and would like to continue to GCSE. Given our comps turn over of French teachers I'd certainly look for a tutor if necessary

onemorenhance Fri 11-Oct-13 19:13:27

I have a tutor for my dd for French.
I am really worried about the way in which languages are taught at school so enlisted the help of a tutor.
I am eternally grateful to my mother for getting me a maths tutor when I was young as I struggled with maths.
If you get a good tutor it can be very beneficial.

nancy75 Fri 11-Oct-13 19:18:41

my dd has had a tutor since year 1 primary, she struggled with maths & reading, it has helped her with her work and confidence. Not everyone does it to get in to school

Sparklingbrook Fri 11-Oct-13 19:54:49

Quite true nancy. We got one for Ds1 in Year 2 because the teacher told us we had to 'do something'. I believe this to be because she was charging ahead with the favourites top table in Maths and she didn't want to help. She said she didn't have time and yet she had a class of 14.

He's in Year 10 and top sets now.

Elibean Fri 11-Oct-13 21:49:07

Us too, nancy. dd1 had a tutor for one term in Y4 as she was bursting into tears over maths homework (though doing fine in school terms - it was a confidence issue rather than ability). She ended the year with the maths prize, which also boosted her confidence and maths is now her favourite subject smile

Tutoring for school entrance is something I really, really don't want to have to do. But as our state primary doesn't address those needs, a little bit looks necessary if we end up using the indie options sad

HomicidalPsychoJungleCat Fri 11-Oct-13 21:54:03

Elibean, we have a similar situation in y4 with our dd. how did you find your tutor?

Kenlee Fri 11-Oct-13 22:50:17

Actually on the face of it If you tutor to fill gaps knowledge its not a bad thing. I had my daughter tutored for Chinese language. I just dont have the skill set to teach her. We tutored once a week so she could understand the basics.

What I hope will not happen is what is happening in HK.Whereby the teachers say they don't want the kids tutored as they will be bored at school. Yet all the kids are expected to be tutored within an inch of their lives.

I have colleagues whos children are tutored from after school to well past 10 pm....This is the norm in HK.

Thank goodness for UK indie boarding schools...

O btw I didnt tutor for the entrance exams. We went through a few questions at the weekend. So I suppose we did. It was fun as some of them took us longer than expected to understand.

daphnedill Fri 11-Oct-13 23:12:29

Maybe I'm being cynical, but the article in the OP seems like a PR release for the recently launched Tutors' Association. The people behind it run the big tutorial agencies, who take a big cut from tutors' fees and are miffed that many tutors work entirely independently.

I work as a private tutor and currently tutor for 11 hours a week and have never used any of these agencies, although my details are posted on the "contact" websites First Tutors and Tutorhunt, which don't take a cut from the tutors. It's quite interesting that Neil Roskilly (the CE of the ISA) should be quoted in the article - he had a letter published in the Telegraph a couple of days ago

It appears that the people behind the Tutors' Association would like private tutors to operate as mini private schools, which would massively increase the cost of tutoring, because tutors would have to pay a registration fee.

People need to use their common sense when hiring private tutors. My leads now come mainly from personal recommendations and I give parents a folder with my qualifications, a CV, a copy of my DBS certificate and references. However, somebody just looking for somebody to give a primary school child a bit of guidance with homework (for example) might really be looking for a bit extra with after-school babysitting.

Mummyoftheyear Fri 11-Oct-13 23:41:40

Conversely, tutoring a child who'd benefit or who is in NEED, when you have the means to do so (out of principle) also puts them at risk of:
Falling further behind
Becoming demotivated
Diminishing self-esteem
Worsening behaviour during lessons

I'm not for one moment implying that refusing to tutor a child would necessarily engender any / all of the above. However , I'm absolutely convinced that these can be the consequences of failing to support a child who is in need. Of course, it
shouldn't be down to the parents to provide such support. Schools ought to identify and appropriately meet needs (weakness in subject ability, lack of confidence, etc.). But we live in the real world. And it'd be at our children's cost to hold on to principles while our children fall further behind.

Mummyoftheyear Fri 11-Oct-13 23:46:35

However, tutoring a pupil who is already at a HIGHLY academic and competitive school, just to keep them en par with their peers would lean me towards asking whether it's the right school for them.

daphnedill Fri 11-Oct-13 23:52:22

Did you make a typo in your first post, because it's a bit confusing?

I agree with your second post. This article from 2002 is interesting

Note that this is the same Tom Maher who now thinks tutoring is dangerous...hhhmmm

I would be very annoyed if I were paying thousands a year for a private school and still feel that my child needed tutoring. I really wonder how such children cope when they don't have tutors on hand to guide/cram them.

Shootingatpigeons Sat 12-Oct-13 01:42:10

Tutoring for indie 11+ in this part of London is an industry, fuelled by parental anxiety which in part it helps generate. It's like an arm's race and bears little relation to what the schools actually require. I agree with the article that many of the tutors long ago lost touch with modern educational methods, if they were ever acquainted at all, my DD has been paid handsomely for tutoring and clearly I think the tutees lucky wink and they love her but as to the requirements of 11+, well she sat it 10years ago.... I know many parents who realise they got it wrong sending their children to sit around a crowded kitchen table where their DCs were bored out of their minds, and hated doing boring and old fashioned exercises with little personal attention, all for the reassurance of a back up view on whether they were bright enough to get in. Whatever anyone says on here what the schools want is bright stimulated and interesting kids not those who have been bored rigid. I have no problem with tutoring that addresses a weakness, and is enjoyed and stimulating but around here some of what goes on is not far short of child abuse, and Kenlee on a par with what I saw in Hong Kong.

Even worse is the super selective tutoring industry, there can never be any educational value in making children sit tens even hundreds of reasoning tests. It is shameful that state grammars have allowed tutorable tests to prevail.

Adikia Sat 12-Oct-13 02:43:00

I actually agree with the article, there's a woman i used to work with who is now a tutor and she has mediocre GCSEs, no A-levels and has done one OU course (AA100), She's lovely but has no more knowledge about the 11+ or national curriculum than any interested parent could find on google.

She is also very rarely asked by a parent to see her DBS

I know there are some very good tutors out there bit there are also some terrible ones.

handcream My brothers (11 and 13) and sister (15) passed the 11+ without any tutoring, as did quite a few of their friends, it does happen, admittedly I had some tutoring to pass mine but that doesn't mean MNers who claim their DC didn't are fibbers.

daphnedill Sat 12-Oct-13 03:30:30

I know there are some very good tutors out there bit there are also some terrible ones.

It seems the tutoring business is like indie schools. There are some excellent ones, but also some which are truly awful. Regulation still allows the awful ones to operate - until the parents get wise and start to withdraw their children. I am very doubtful about whether the Tutors' Association will raise standards, although it will certainly provide jobs and income for the regulators ie. the owners of big tuition agencies.

I tutor French and German, mainly to pupils in state comprehensives. Other posters have pointed out the patchy provision of MFL, which is one of the reasons pupils benefit from 1-1 tuition. It doesn't help that languages are usually taught in classes of 30 and often in mixed ability groups. I know for a fact that all the pupils I have ever tutored have achieved higher grades than the schools predicted. The pupils who have shown least improvement have been those from indie schools, where they have already had the advantage of small class sizes. There is a limit to how much some pupils can improve, unless the work is done for them (which I won't do).

I think this kind of tutoring is very different from the cramming for London selectives described above.

Bonsoir Sat 12-Oct-13 07:01:38

MFL are a bit of a special case because all DC can benefit massively from extra exposure to the MFL they are learning, be that tutoring, home stays, summer courses, films and TV or pretty much anything. No-one is going to learn a MFL purely from classroom exposure.

Kenlee Sat 12-Oct-13 07:03:25

Anyway I say its courses for horses. Some parents tutor the hell out of their children sone want their kids to actually enjoy their childhood.

I think tutors for understanding is a great idea. Although I do think aggressive pass paper tutoring is wrong.

Btw at my daughter's indie she did the tests but they had a nice conversation with her. I think all schools should be able to do the same. Just to see if the kid is really bright or just tutored bright.

Elibean Sat 12-Oct-13 11:19:27

HomicidalPJC (great name) we found one through word of mouth. dd's friend had a bit of maths tutoring, dd heard her friend enjoying it, and actually asked to go....

I would never, ever, ask my child to spend an hour learning with someone who makes her feel bored, less competent, or miserable - let alone an hour a week for a term. But I know people whose kids have been shouted at, made to feel inadequate, etc etc by so called tutors - all in the name of getting into their parent's choice of school. Mostly out of fear.

As dd has a good relationship with her ex-tutor already, we'll be able to ask said tutor to do a bit of verbal reasoning with her, for confidence's sake, and to cover the maths that she won't have covered at school. No more. And we're only looking at schools that give interview at least as much weight as tests.

Thankfully, there are some tutors out there who love kids, focus on enjoyment of learning, and know how to raise confidence smile

wordfactory Sat 12-Oct-13 12:20:20

Thus far we've never used tutors in the academic subjects, but I've never really understood people's aversion to them.

Why is it so different to swimming lessons, music lessons, tennis lessons?

muminlondon Sat 12-Oct-13 12:35:50

'I know people whose kids have been shouted at, made to feel inadequate, etc etc by so called tutors - all in the name of getting into their parent's choice of school. '

shock Elibean that's awful. I think the original comments by the independent schools head may have referred to that kind of damage. Not all tutors are like that, obviously.

Tutoring has become associated with gaining an unfair advantage, but I think most of it is probably catch-up tutoring, specialist provision and exam revision, etc. It's often a short-term thing with a specific goal. Some schools also offer revision classes, free instrument tuition, catch-up classes etc. (which is better as not many can afford to pay). What you describe is hothousing. I also think children should have a say in which school they go to!

Shootingatpigeons Sat 12-Oct-13 12:42:35

* word factory* I would avoid making my DDs endure swimming or music lessons etc. if they were miserable experiences. The problem around here is that amongst anxious parents faced with a selection process they cannot control some of these tutors have managed to build up mythical reputations for somehow having the magical formula to get their DCs into schools, without which they stand no chance, their names and contact details are passed around in secret code "Mrs W" being a famous one, and they are even able to run waiting lists and interview and test children for entry to the tutoring factories they have been running for decades ( which are anything but magical sat crammed around a kitchen table doing old fashioned worksheets with little personal attention, and certainly no focus on encouraging the creative thinking and imagination the schools own preps will be focusing on). I know many parents who regret in hindsight putting their DCs through that miserable experience.

I think some sort of regulation and proof of professional development should be brought in. I and my DDs have had very positive experience of tutoring which has helped my DDs immensely (both are dyslexic), with literacy skills prior to 11+ and with French prior to GCSE but they have been trained teachers who made the sessions fun and stimulating as well as addressing particular weaknesses in proven ways that we have talked through ahead.

Mummyoftheyear Sat 12-Oct-13 15:18:34

I tutor. I do think that tutors should all be CRB checked, hold teaching qualifications and have insurance. That said, I've met a number of CRB checked, trained teachers who I'd not want as a tutor for my children! Much is also to be said for HOW material is delivered and the importance that a tutor places on developing a pupil's self- esteem ( in regard to a subject) and motivation. Having a 'can do' attitude is an essential ingredient to success - one that needs to be fostered.

daphnedill Sat 12-Oct-13 17:41:39

I agree with you. A CRB, teaching qualification and insurance don't guarantee a good tutor any more than the opposite is true.

I'd hate to see a situation where unregistered tutors are forbidden from tutoring. Registration will push the price up, because will pass on the costs, so tutoring will be even more inaccessible to pupils of poorer parents. As I wrote before, I really am very cynical/suspicious about the motives of the agencies behind this.

People really need to use their common sense when employing tutors. If children are sitting around a kitchen table doing outdated worksheets, maybe parents would be better off going to WH Smith and buying a few of the many books/CDs available and spending a couple of hours a week with their children themselves.

Elibean Sat 12-Oct-13 17:52:28

muminLondon yes, awful sad Thankfully, I've only heard a few stories like that - but then again, I don't know many tutored kids and their families, so I've no idea of numbers! But one girl in particular (aged 7) is already at a selective indie, and was being tutored to move to a different selective indie, in SW London. Thankfully her parents were also horrified, and asked around for an alternative - but as Shooting says, they were hugely anxious parents just trying to do what everyone told them to do. They've now taken their little girl to the same tutor dd1 had, who is a) a trained teacher and b) lovely.

As for extra-curricular misery, I've witnessed plenty of horrible swimming lessons - and pulled dd2 out of one a few weeks back, in fact. She's now swimming with a lovely teacher, and doing brilliantly - having been traumatised (for 5 minutes, till I pulled her out) by the sort who shouldn't be teaching young kids at all. Makes no difference whether its academic or extra: teaching via misery, fear or boredom is not ok.

MagratGarlik Sat 12-Oct-13 19:48:20

I tutor, have a CRB check, qualifications etc etc etc. I still provide all my paperwork to parents when asked and will not tutor under 18's without a responsible adult being accessible (not necessarily in the same room, but certainly not in the house alone with a tutee or behind a closed door). I know some tutors are unqualified, don't have CRB/DBS etc, but I do think parents need to check, rather than relying on regulation.

There is a very real danger that regulation will not improve standards, but will ensure lots of paperwork (rather like the Ofsted effect on schools). I think there is a very real question to be asked that if school standards are increasing due to increased monitoring, why is parent confidence in the school system seemingly decreasing?

Regulation and monitoring will not necessarily increase quality, but will increase the standing of those with the time and admin capabilities to 'play' whatever monitoring (and no doubt, eventually, grading) system.

daphnedill Sat 12-Oct-13 20:28:01

Agree with you 100%, Magrat.

losingtrust Sun 13-Oct-13 14:06:44

Tutoring is rife round here too and we have no grammars but parents want good Sats results. A lot of peer pressure on those of us who don't get tutors in.

muminlondon Sun 13-Oct-13 14:24:56

Perhaps it depends on the school but with new Level 6 SATs it's a way of stretching the brightest children. In some schools even if children don't pass the paper, they still benefit from teaching at that standard. In other schools, the government has included the new measure of 4B in the latest league tables, as well as progress rates from KS1. There are also the new SPAG tests - spelling, punctuation and grammar. And from 2014 there is a new primary curriculum. So I don't see the need for tutoring, especially if the tutors aren't themselves practising teachers who are completely up to date.

MagratGarlik Sun 13-Oct-13 21:30:46

I think tutors do have a responsibility to be professional in their approach to their work and that, like in any other profession means following CPD and keeping yourself up to date, just as classroom teachers must.

I can't comment on tutoring primary children, as I never tutor at primary level - it is outside of my experience and expertise. I focus on older students, given my background. I also work first and foremost identifying and focusing on weaknesses in subject knowledge/understanding rather than coaching exam 'tricks'. Many students benefit from having someone go through key concepts with them, spot and iron out misconceptions before they become too deeply set and to act as support to their learning at school. Other students are particularly able and want someone who will explore the subject beyond the school curriculum and encourage a wider interest in the subject - not all extra-curricular interests and hobbies have to be sports or music based.

daphnedill Sun 13-Oct-13 22:40:49

Would you/do you pay to go on courses? I charge £25 per hour (of which over £5 is usually spent on travel), I pay for insurance and materials and I'm registered as self-emloyed. With travel and preparation and the tuition itself, I spend at least three hours on each individual pupil, but only get paid for an hour, so I actually earn less than £7 per hour. If I had to pay for courses and professional registration, there's no way tuition would provide me with a viable income. The tuition agencies (who are behind the registration) often pay their tutors even less, when preparation time and travel is taken into account.

morethanpotatoprints Sun 13-Oct-13 22:52:58

Does this include H.ed children too. My dd has private tuition for language and 3 music lessons. It depends on what criteria they used in the research and whether they were looking at purely academic subjects and dc in the system.

MagratGarlik Sun 13-Oct-13 23:16:02

I charge a sliding scale depending on level and subject, but I'm outside London, which probably makes a difference. On average, my rate is similar to yours, Daphne.

I'm also registered as self employed, pay for insurance (though get a massive discount via one of the unions). I do still keep up my registration of professional societies, which provide CPD opportunities, I attend courses via one of the teaching unions, I'm an examiner for one exam board which helps keep up curriculum knowledge and I'm still a research active scientist. Being research active has an advantage in that I regularly peer-review for journals and I'm an active editorial board member for three journals.

I do spend far longer preparing for lessons than my hourly rate covers, but my thinking is that when I was teaching at school and university I did the same, so I think it is just par for the course.

daphnedill Sun 13-Oct-13 23:26:34

I'm an examiner for an exam board too, but I no longer belong to any professional associations, because I don't think they're very good. I teach languages part-time in a special school and keep up-to-date by reading various blogs and message boards. I rely on my tutoring income (10 hours a week) to survive and I honestly don't think I could do it for any less, so registration (£100+) and paid-for courses (£250+) would push my rate up. I already feel guilty enough that some people can't afford it - and I know some parents struggle to pay me - but I can't afford to be a charity. Going back to the OP, I certainly don't think I'm dangerous!

Bonsoir Mon 14-Oct-13 08:33:19

Regulation is good for tutor agency owners (business people) and the government (reduces black market) but not necessarily good for families or individual tutors. Personally, before employing any kind of specialist for one on one tuition, I want to meet that person, talk to them and see whether we are on the same page. Often my requirements as a parent are very specific and I want someone who understands that and helps my DC work towards our family's goals which may have little to do with any form of national curriculum.

MagratGarlik Mon 14-Oct-13 09:48:09

I think it is good for the big agency owners, but not for small companies. I employ another person who offers a subject I don't cover, as well as offering tuition myself. There is obviously a concern as to how this will influence future growth and development, e.g. ability to take on others in the future.

Clearly there are tutors out there who don't hold qualifications, are not CRB checked etc, but it should be for parents to decide if this is important to them and to check any qualifications etc, not the role of regulators. It assumes that parents are not capable of checking these things and adopts a 'nanny-state' mentality where the government must check and control all.

My concern is that any regulation must be manageable and will not simply lead to a ton of box-ticking which only takes time out of actually teaching. Checks and regulation have not necessarily improved schools, but improves the status of those who are good with the data (I'm sure we all know 'Outstanding' schools who are actually not very good). My concern is that tuition may become very prescribed and yet one of the benefits of tuition is the fact that it is not prescriptive, meaning you can adopt different approaches and find something that works for an individual student.

The most important thing should be working closely with a student and his/her parents (where the student is under 18) to provide a service they are happy with. The idea should not be to provide something some regulators think is good, if it does not meet the needs of clients.

Bonsoir Mon 14-Oct-13 10:28:36

Indeed, Magrat. I fear the prescriptive too. I am not at all convinced that tutors need to be trained and qualified teachers. One on one coaching is a very different skill to classroom teaching.

MagratGarlik Mon 14-Oct-13 10:47:23

I would agree. I think tutors need to be familiar with the latest approaches and thinking adopted in school, but if those approaches were working for the students who come for tuition, they wouldn't be seeking additional help in the first place. If a student comes for tuition because they have gaps in their understanding of the subject, simply repeating what they have already done at school on a smaller scale will not help. It is necessary to get to know the student and find ways that work for him/her individually.

I'd agree too that one-to-one coaching is a very different skill to classroom teaching. Being an excellent classroom teacher does not necessarily mean you will be a good tutor and vice versa. I find the skills I use as a tutor are actually closer to those I used to use to supervise my postgraduate students (albeit different level) than those I used when teaching in the classroom.

ohnoimnot Mon 14-Oct-13 15:03:38

Our prep school has given up teaching and introduced sport into every afternoon. So many parents tutor the school has switched off. Needless to say we are pulling him out.

LaQueenForADay Tue 15-Oct-13 14:34:25

There's plenty of tutors around here, and many (most) parents use them, or provide tutoring themselves for the 11+.

Our DD1 saw a very highly regarded tutor, for one hour per week (plus one hour's homework), for a year prior to the 11+. In the 2 months before the actual tests, she did 2 past papers per week, for practice. It was an enjoyable, steady, learning curve for her.

She has passed smile with a decent score smile

However, some parents I know, kinda looked down their nose at us using a professional tutor - but then blithely insisted their DCs did 2 past paper every day of the summer holidays, with other extra stuff thrown in.

Interestingly, their DCs scored more highly than DD1 and yet don't work in as high a literacy/numeracy group as she does at school hmm

Just because you're not paying someone else to tutor your child, doesn't mean that what you are providing them with isn't tutoring/hot housing.

LaQueenForADay Tue 15-Oct-13 14:41:43

Neither do I think a teaching qualification is actually necessary.

I have an English degree, and the C&G 730/1, which would entitle me to teach in an FE college (thogh never have).

I was shit at trying to help/explain the NVR problems to DD1.

However, DH with no teaching qualifcations/empathy whatsoever (but with very impresive maths qualifcations/background) could instantly work out the answers to all the NVR, and more importantly explain clearly how to work them out.

Private5 Mon 23-Dec-13 22:54:40

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

TalkinPeace Tue 24-Dec-13 15:12:31

I was tutored because I skipped a year at school
DS was tutored - two sessions - for a specific issue that was dealt with

neither had anything to do with passing exams or getting into selective schools

monet3 Tue 24-Dec-13 16:47:59

Schools should tutor children for entrance tests so every child gets a fair shot at GS not just children with well off parents.

TalkinPeace Tue 24-Dec-13 17:48:54

or even better, abolish grammar schools in the whole of the country, rather than just most of it fgrin

Att100 Tue 24-Dec-13 23:44:51

I for one am very grateful for choice of the local highly selective grammar which takes the top means we saved about 15k p.a. x 7 years in private day school fees to get the equivalent selective educational environment for my child, who got in to the grammar entirely on his own merits. Sorry to say it, none of the other state alternatives appealed or offered anything close to the same. If the grammar didn't existed, we would have gone private...we simply don't want a comp.

Att100 Tue 24-Dec-13 23:45:32

"if the grammar didn't exist...".too fast

Att100 Tue 24-Dec-13 23:49:27

I also don't blame anyone for tutoring if they don't want to leave to chance...even with tutoring the child still has to put in many many hours of practice for the 11+ ...they have to be ready and willing to do that ...which in itself means they may deserve to be in or have the character to be in a hard working grammar school environment....and everyone knows tutoring is no guarantee of success.

MoreThanChristmasCrackers Fri 27-Dec-13 16:54:56

My dd has private tutors for music and language and this also has no relevance to wanting to pass exams to gain a place in a school.

Branunion Fri 27-Dec-13 17:10:28

A grammar is not the equivalent to a good independent school.

Att100 Fri 27-Dec-13 18:46:59

Braunion....that is a sweeping statement ....and probably the wrong thread to debate this.....but believe me we looked hard at both..if one of the privates had been easy to commute to we might have gone for it, but it wasn't worth moving for ....and we have experienced a "top" private prep ...and it depends on what you are measuring it on....too many folk get taken in by expensive brochures and the spin on websites of some of the senior indies and don't ask the hard questions.

I know many families whose children have gone to the glossiest indies because it's the done thing. If you are very wealthy and want a certain "product" at the end of it and a higher socio -economic peer group for your child (i.e. from equally or more wealthy families) then fine....but they won't necessarily get a better academic education than at the best grammars....remember that in terms of real value add even the top indies are superselective choosing not only from the whole of say London and the South East but internationally.

They start off with cherry picking the best even at their prep feeder schools at 7+ , then at 11+ and with qualifying levels at 13+ ....and then take more carefully selected students including foreign ones at sixth form to boost their results (at some schools after culling the ones that won't help their figures) they also use more selection tools than the grammars can use since the latter only have one 11+ test, don't interview or ask about music or sport, have selective feeder schools etc.

If the rowing or rugby coaching or expensive facilities and picnics on manicured lawns are your ultimate goal and your child is a sports or musical star then fine...and that is what you will be paying for...but we were more focussed on the academics

But I also know several private parents who have become disillusioned at paying £££ for a glossy private senior school and then having to pay lots extra to have their child tutored outside of school to make up for significant teaching gaps.

Att100 Fri 27-Dec-13 19:21:44

I should add, instead of handing over a hefty cheque next term and planning our usual Easyjet trip to France or Greece this summer, we are booking a visit en famille to the Galapagos...that is what we do with the money saved - we plan to enrich the education my son gets in school... next year it will be something equally special Borneo or doing an Earth Sciences camp in Hawaii. Again, you have to weigh it all up...unless the private school fees are a mere drop in the ocean to your finances.

Kenlee Fri 27-Dec-13 23:44:57

I think it also depends on your views of socio econmics..It seems to me that a lot of the rich opt for grammar schooling as a free alternative to private schooling...Grammar schools were really designed so the poor can get ahead...

Im rather disappointed that the rich will go on holiday to swanky destination and take up a place at grammar where a kid is deserving but would never see the other side of town unless s/he gets a good crack at education.

It actually galls me to hear that some people are proud that they could afford private and didnt so to save money to go on holiday.

Att100 Sat 28-Dec-13 00:10:33

oh please...state education is free for all in this country ...that is what we contribute so much in taxes for...and it's educational holidays that we are paying for.....not swanky 5 star hotels if you read my post ...why should we be forced to move when the best local academic school with better academic results as I said is the grammar and it suits my DS down to the I also said he is very bright and got in entirely on his own tuition apart from some DIY ....

So the argument has now apparently moved on to how grammars should only be open to kids that are means tested and even bright kids with no tutoring should be barred from applying so nothing to do with any academic meritocracy at ridiculous galls me that you choose to send your child several thousand miles away her to the UK to buy an "education" and lecture other people on educational ethics for sending their kid to to their local best state school. A lot of people here would have strident views on you doing that to your child but hey each to his own...everyone tries to do what is best for their child I guess but please don't pretend to be going for private because of socialist principles and because you are doing society a favour.

Why would my child thank me for moving when he didn't want to to get to a private that is as good as the grammar in my view, when the local grammar is the one he wanted to go for after visiting it and the privates, where he is very happy there surrounded by bright kids like him and he gets to have a much more enriched education at home outside school also in the holidays with his parents, he won't have a large debt to look forward to when he goes to uni because we would have saved more money for him...why the hell should i not be able to apply for it as a significant tax payer and be forced into private education? I have no need to justify going to a grammar at all to anyone.

If you are so civic minded why not educate your own child in your home country and contribute your vast $$$ spent in your child's boarding fees and plane fares to a deprived child in your country that "would never see the other side of town unless s/he gets a crack at education otherwise"...

duh ...humbug and hypocrisy at its finest, my friend.

Kenlee Sat 28-Dec-13 00:30:55

Well you see Att from your response we can all conclude that I may have hit the nail on the head. Yes I can afford a nice private school for my daughter and yes we do have holidays in 5 star hotels all over the world. Yet I do think your missing the point that your basically rich and can afford to go private and choose not too.

That's ok....but you seem to be proud of the fact that your saving money for your child going to a grammar. Which lets face it is a free independent school paid for by the state.

As for living aboard and sending my child to a Private boarding at my own expense paying full fees...You are galled at what? That I pay for the best education money can buy. That my child understands the need to a good education.

Well actually now you have mentioned it I have mentored a fee children from the deprived parts of China ....One who I have mentored for 10 years is now starting his degree at HKU.....

So yes I do earn a substantial amount but I unlike you spend it on philanthropy rather than screwing some poor kid out of a good school place to go galloping around the Galapagos islands....

Att100 Sat 28-Dec-13 00:35:15

yow know the more you comment Kenlee the more you are hoisting yourself on your own petard's not even worthy of a reply this you are resorting to tell us of your great charitable works...sad....really.

Att100 Sat 28-Dec-13 00:43:23

Has anyone else heard of a more stupid argument...that it's your civil duty not to spend your own hard earned highly taxed money as you wish ...educational holidays, saving for uni (and hey perhaps even a MBA or masters), saving for a deposit so your child can afford a house, and not sending your child to the best state school within commutable distance but no - THOU SHALT BE FORCED TO GO PRIVATE AND MIX ONLY WITH RICH KIDS BECAUSE THOU HAS SOME SPARE CASH !!! ...I am laughing so hard at this ...

Kenlee Sat 28-Dec-13 00:53:27

I suppose you could use your grammar as your own free private independent school....Then to make out others are not as clever as you for not taking the same route as you. Then bragging you can go on expensive holidays because you have been clever and saved that hefty cheque.

I suppose you have lost the argument and its not worth going off thread to admonish such dreadful behaviour.

Att100 Sat 28-Dec-13 01:15:00

You totally lack logic again ...and completely ignored the facts that I said, 1) it's the best academic school (private or state) within commutable distance and so suits my son who is very academic, so why woudl i send him to an inferior school in my view and pay for the privilege of it? 2) that my son really wanted to go there ahead of any privates he saw, and 3) that he got there entirely on his own merits so he hasn't "screwed" anyone out of anything or bought his way in....and not only that, he will get the added bonus of a better "socio-economic" education but being surrounded by very bright kids whatever their background, rich or poor, rather than just rich kids and he may even learn a thing or two about how the other half lives which is an education in itself ....

I also said that people also need to look beyond the clever branding and spin of private schools....yes, the money saved is an absolute bonus, and we discussed what else we would do with it in the future with my son when weighing it all up (liking give him options he may not have otherwise like studying in the US or having money to spend on a house deposit as well as educational camps and holidays in things he is mightily interested in doing)- it affects his future not mine, and he is intelligent enough to make his own judgements....but hey stick to your silly point scoring.

My points were made to those who may be weighing up as we did for a long time the pros and cons of state grammar vs private and we have many friends who have weighed up the same...some went private because they did not think their child would suit a grammar...we went grammar because we thought it absolutely would.

By the way, nothing is free, like i said that is why we pay hefty taxes for our state education. What you should be arguing for is more grammars and better access to them not attacking those with clever children who manage to get there on their own merits...all the while happily advancing your child at boarding school thousands of miles from home probably because of the kudos value back home in HK China that the brand of British boarding school brings and because you think it will get her ahead somehow.

Kenlee Sat 28-Dec-13 01:42:29

Hmm you seem to be trying defend your position. In fact I know of many people who use the local grammar as a good free independent school. That is okay.

Changing subjects to focus on my reasons for my daughter schooling will still not alter that fact either.

In fact I am a great advocate of enlarging the number of Grammars available. Although, I am being swayed towards academies....

Att100 Sat 28-Dec-13 02:13:39

Why you are so interested in grammar vs academies in the UK when you live in HK and send your child like so many from HK to what they consider to get an "elite" education in British boarding schools is mystifying - you are not a British tax payer, you don't live here and obviously don't deem your own country's or even neighbouring country's educational systems even with their international schools as good enough for your child...but you come on this board to attack someone for sending their child to the best local state school they can easily commute to and get into fairly and squarely in their area - I feel no need to defend that at all but can't let your ridiculous arguments lie unanswered (I know I shouldn't take the bait).

I never boasted about swanky holidays but replied to someone who said generally that indies are better than grammars that that is not a general truth and not only that but you should consider how much you can use that money saved to enrich your child's education in the broader more holistic sense since education does not stop at school - really your efforts on improving education for all would be better spent figuring why so many rich people in HK and China feel the need to abandon their won education system and resort to sending their teenage children half way across the world to buy such a British brand of education which really has little to do with their own culture tbh.....I find that mystifyng too, very successful Hogwarts branding, I guess, but that's another topic for another thread and this back and forth is becoming boring now....let's kill

Kenlee Sat 28-Dec-13 08:05:36

hmm that was a rather aggressive swathing attack. It still does not alter the fact that in some cases rich people have and will tutor their child to get into a grammar school. Which will be to them a free indie school. Therefore allowing them to have nice swanky holidays all over the world....

It seems you want to distance yourself from your original statement by changing the subject.

I am sure the truth has upset you which i apologize for but the truth is the truth. You may not see it that way but your statement blantantly puts two fingers up at people who are in a less fortunate position than you are.
Which I think is unfortunate

Att100 Sat 28-Dec-13 08:27:40

i am not upset at all Kenlee...just like to call out BS when i see it.....and some are full of it!

Att100 Sat 28-Dec-13 09:49:28

I just hope Kenlee you checked out your child's boarding school thoroughly as we did our son's local state school..before sending her 1000s of miles away ...and did not just buy the "brand" remotely or on a flying visit like some do... ....and as for effect on the British education system ....the courting or should we say pandering of some of the second tier and third tier British private/boarding schools to a rich global elite based on money not academics has changed them forever and taken them out of the reach of the middle classes here, as pointed out by the Good Schools Guide and others like here.

"When the wheel turns and the Chinese, Russians, and Nigerians weary of their English experience, those second- and third-tier schools will be beached like a whale amid the theatres, music centres and hockey pitches, and then they will close down, having betrayed the dreams of the men and women who founded them."

Food for thought huh? Don't address if you don't want to though....but money doesn't always buy a great education no matter what the glossy prospectus and website says.

LoveSewingBee Sat 28-Dec-13 11:17:51

Money can buy influence, sometimes even jobs, entrance to good universities but luckily enough it cannot buy a good brain (yet).

Att100 Sat 28-Dec-13 11:31:39

aah "yet" is the operative word...I keep telling my boy that is his biggest asset and he should use it well...I have no doubt in the future though, someone will come up with and patent a genetic manipulation method to significantly boost IQ in a bid to create genius at embryo stage and the rich will buy into that or a chip that can be implanted in the brain that will help you improve exam performance by vastly improving processing speed or memory (there are already so called smart drugs) or speak multiple languages...only a matter of time....but hopefully a long long time.

Att100 Sat 28-Dec-13 11:34:27

the idea is not science you go:

Kenlee Sat 28-Dec-13 12:06:42

I do agree that money does not buy the best education but then it also depends on what you are looking for. It does help in choice but I consider a school with good pastoral care of the utmost importance. In as far as academic results go I think most indies of any standing can make sure your child hits their targets.

As for overseas it is quite ironic my daughters best friend is Russian... haha...

I do hope you have a great holiday with your children.

Att100 Sat 28-Dec-13 12:23:46

you too Kenlee....have enriching things to go do with my boy in the holidays...lots of which don't cost money at all...IMO, education in the wider sense is as much what you learn outside the classroom (and sometimes more) than in it....and targets are just an unnecessary evil which hopefully don't get in the way of education.

LoveSewingBee Sat 28-Dec-13 16:08:05

Brain enhancing drugs ..... Yes, in the Netherlands GPs dish them out like sweets to university students. Most students I know use them .... I find it outrageous, but what can you do? It is legal here. Soon after the exam they seem to have forgotten almost everything, so I presume the effects are short lasting.

MoreThanChristmasCrackers Sat 28-Dec-13 17:15:43

Att100, I totally agree with you there.
I am so glad that we are not letting targets, levels, and tests for the sake of it, get in the way of a good education for dd. She is H.ed and we so wish we had done the same for ds1 and 2.
When you get away from the confines of systems and classrooms there is no limit to the things you can learn.

Att100 Sat 28-Dec-13 20:15:02

“The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.”
― Albert Einstein

MoreThanChristmasCrackers Sat 28-Dec-13 22:57:47


"I never let school stand in the way of education" Mark Twain.

Att100 Sat 28-Dec-13 23:37:48's another one from the great man himself, AE:

"It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education."

Sadly for many, it does not survive...

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