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In thinking Private Tutors may be considered 'unfair'

(94 Posts)
pingu2209 Wed 25-May-11 16:00:22

I am not wishing to be contentious, but the thread on private or state education certainly got people thinking.

But what about private tutors?

There was a (sad I know) Radio 2 programme an age ago about private tutors not being fair in a grammer school area. That children whose parents could afford private tutors have an unfair advantage over those that didn't. Apparently a high percentage of grammer school children were privately tutored before they took their 11+ exam.

Personally I use a private tutor for my DS1 but that is for his SEN, because the state system is so shockingly crap at meeting SEN needs.

coccyx Wed 25-May-11 16:02:09

Well if someone can afford it, good luck to them.
Life's not fair

ExitPursuedByAKitten Wed 25-May-11 16:02:11

Bit life isn't fair is it?

ExitPursuedByAKitten Wed 25-May-11 16:02:28

x post coccyx

IgnoringTheChildren Wed 25-May-11 16:07:34

It's also pretty unfair that some children have parents who have the ability/level of education/interest/time to help prepare their children for exams. Don't know what you can do to level the playing field though! wink

PlanetEarth Wed 25-May-11 16:11:27

Of course private tutors for grammar school entrance are unfair. So are private schools (preparing for grammar school). So is practising at home. But you can't ban these things can you?

LeQueen Wed 25-May-11 16:12:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

maypole1 Wed 25-May-11 16:12:56

my lo has a private tutor cannot afford private school but can strech to a tutor

Insomnia11 Wed 25-May-11 16:19:44

It isn't - which is why I don't get too judgey about those who choose private education.

I think it's slightly nuts when people have their kids tutored from reception, but hey, each to their own. Only if my daughters look like they would be suited to grammar school or other particular selective school with its own test when they each get to Y5 respectively then we will consider tutoring.

I like the grammar school system, well not the current one exactly but the tutoring aspect means it isn't a level playing field on ability.

leonoravonwagner Wed 25-May-11 16:23:57

I agree with LeQueen. No point having a private tutor to 'get' a child through the 11+ and then they are going to struggle all through senior school. For some children school is a rotten time, without not being able to complete work added to it.

I think if a child needs additional help, via a tutor and you can afford it, brilliant. Anything to help your child is wonderful.

leonoravonwagner Wed 25-May-11 16:26:57

Grammar school system would work if it was soley based on ability. But it's not.sad

ReindeerBollocks Wed 25-May-11 16:27:30

I had a private tutor to 'get' me through my school maths exams. I worked bloody hard for an extra two hours. My parents couldn't really afford it but they valued my education and it wasn't a financial commitment that would last for a long time. It was six months.

I think they are fair as the student/pupil is putting in that extra time and effort to study. But a private tutor doesn't mean that the child will automatically pass the exam.

I agree with privates tutors but then I agree with private school (didn't attend one though).

Bennifer Wed 25-May-11 16:29:15

It's plainly unfair (like private school), but what can you do about it? (although I'd be tempted to take it into account when assessing university entrance, etc)

ScousyFogarty Wed 25-May-11 16:30:15

Yes, I see the private tutors tutoring away in our library occasionally.

I asked one if she she could spare me 30 minutes; but she took it the wrong way and went sulky

Perhaps I could have phrased it differently

sue52 Wed 25-May-11 16:32:09

When every other child has a private tutor for the 11plus, the parent who doesn't is very brave indeed.

wordfactory Wed 25-May-11 16:32:52

Yes it is unfair, as is independent school, buying a house in a good catchment, attending a faith school, coaching your child yourself and even home education...

you could even say that my reading to my children each day is unfair on those children whose parents won't.

But this is life, no?

LeQueen Wed 25-May-11 16:32:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

GiddyPickle Wed 25-May-11 16:35:37

Prep schools don't prepare children for Grammar School here. Prep schools go upto age 13 so they have no interest in losing a big chunk of pupils for Year 7 and 8. The vast majority of children who are going to sit the 11+ test (both state and private) are tutored.

A few years ago children were tutored a bit in Year 5 but now parents start much earlier (Year 3 or Year 4) and sometimes get more than one tutor!!

But the facts are that the Grammar Schools have no catchment area so nearly 2000 children apply for 120 places. It is nolonger enough just to be very clever to get a place. If you consider that a score over 90% is going to be required to beat off the competition, then speed and accuracy also have to be instilled.

It is also not the case that clever children are denied places by less clever yet highly tutored children. This is because the tests are so competitive and difficult (using extracts of Dickens for comprehension and algebra sums that have most parents stumped!) that unless your child is predicted all Level 5's for their Year 6 SATS, they would not be entered for the tests anyway. Only children in the top sets sit the tests and very few of them from each school pas.

And on top of that, it is not just enough to pass the test. About 500 children pass the test each year but there are only 120 places so the places get allocated to the top 120 scores. In short to get a place you have to be one of the 2000 top-set children sitting the test and score well enough to be one of the 500 who passes the test and then beat off 380 other children by making sure your pass mark is even higher than their's

Bearing all that in mind you can see why every single mark and every single point is vitally important and parents daren't leave it to chance when everyone else's child is being coached like mad.

wordfactory Wed 25-May-11 16:36:52

I figure if a kids willing to graft to get in and willing to graft to get his qualifications...then he's earned his place.

I bet teachers would rather bright enough and hardworking over super-bright but lazy any day of the week.

ReindeerBollocks Wed 25-May-11 16:37:20

Thing is though, DH is naturally very intelligent. Never studied a day in his life (bugger) and did very well in all of his exams and has a great career.

However, some of his friends have had to work very hard to get to the same level in their careers. It doesn't make their achievements any less significant, just because they have had to apply themselves mores than DH. If anything I would value that more than natural ability as those people clearly will work hard.

ReindeerBollocks Wed 25-May-11 16:37:59

X-post with word factory, who got to the point quicker smile

maypole1 Wed 25-May-11 16:38:22

sue52 my lo is not being tutored for the 11+ its to bolster the frankly lacking state education and my lo will be going to an outstanding school but sadly i recognize even a outstanding state is not as good as private so have to supplement.

but again sour grapes because i cant afford it your child should have it do you think we shouldn't take our lo to the theatre as well because you may not be able to afford that

wordfactory Wed 25-May-11 16:38:41

And there is absolutley no evidence that there are tons of overtutored kids failing at GS - the results tend to be very good indeed.

ScousyFogarty Wed 25-May-11 16:39:42

Because the world is unfair does not mean we should stop trying to make it a tad fairer.

Wormshuffler Wed 25-May-11 16:44:14

My DD is now in year 7 at grammer school. In the first 2 terms they had soooooooo much homework in all subjects, sometimes up to 4 subjects per night. When I queried it I was told in a round about way that it is to "weed out" the students who were tutored to pass the 11+ but not actually cut out for it.
We didn't go down the private tuition route, but did spend 2 hours a week ourselves for 5 months helping DD prepare. Some preperation has to be done as the question types need learning. In particular the non-verbal reasoning would be impossible IMHO for someone to pass without having been taught the techniques.

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