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AIBU?

Does everyone get a tutor for their child from year 3 ?

48 replies

redbrickhouses · 11/10/2022 13:15

I didn't go to primary school in the UK, so I don't know exactly what to expect.

I spoke to my MIL, who said all children pretty much had a tutor from year 3 - at prep schools.

Is that normal or is that a bit excessive ?

I also met a mum who told me she didn't send her kids to prep school but paid thousands on tutoring them for the 11 plus instead, so they can get to a grammar school.

Is that another approach ?

OP posts:
Hoolihan · 11/10/2022 13:21

Well obviously not given the vast majority of kids in the UK go to non-selective schools, for which no tutoring is required.

If you are trying to get into a grammar or academic fee paying school you might want to consider getting a tutor, depending on your kid and the school in question. Year 3 sounds ridiculous to me but then again mine go to the local comp.

AriettyHomily · 11/10/2022 13:40

No of course they don't.

Are you in a grammar area?

NameChangeNemo · 11/10/2022 13:45

Our DC are in prep schools. They don't have tutoring. The school already teaches 1 year above national curriculum so they don't need extra. I won't get them tutoring for entry into an academically selective senior school either. If you have to extensively prep a child to get them over the minimum pass mark for a selective school, they are never going to be able to keep up with their peers whilst having an enjoyable childhood.

I have been to senior school open days recently, and Heads have actually said they can tell a tutored child from a mile off (independent schools often have interviews so it becomes very clear who has been tutored) and it's not at all what they want. One Head went as far as saying tutoring was done for the sake of the parents' ambition. Not for the sake of the child. I'm inclined to agree.

As for tutoring from as early as year 3? No. I think it's far too early. At our current prep, kids can take a lunchtime club once as week to practice exam papers from year 7. That's it.

You're better spending your money/child's free time, on music lessons, a sport or involved hobby. If they are bright they don't need tutoring, and the extra-curricular pursuits will help in interview. If they are not at the level for the academically selective school you are heaping pressure on them and setting them up for failure.

Buggsilla · 11/10/2022 13:45

Tutoring can be rife in some areas.

Buggsilla · 11/10/2022 13:46

& if you don't jump on the bandwagon in these areas, your dc fall behind, as happened to me.

Chattycathydoll · 11/10/2022 13:47

If you can afford it…
I can’t, so I don’t.

MrsBennetsPoorNerves · 11/10/2022 13:49

Er, no. Most kids don't have a tutor at that age, nor do they go to prep schools.

In some very anxious, competitive circles, this may be the norm, but most families are not like this, and they allow their kids to be kids.

It is perfectly possible for children to excel in school without tutoring/prep schools/11+ cramming etc. Personally, I would only have considered tutoring if it had become clear that my dc was struggling in some way.

Itstarts · 11/10/2022 13:50

If you already pay thousands for prep and your child still needs a tutor...then your private school isn't worth it, is it.

5zeds · 11/10/2022 13:50

Nope. Just go to school and help them do well at their homework.

ThrowingSomeCrumbs · 11/10/2022 13:51

I will probably consider it in year 10, but not before that

Itsallyellow22 · 11/10/2022 13:52

In a competitive grammar area maybe, but I'd be pretty pissed if we'd paid for private school then had to fork out for tutoring too, I'd wonder why we'd chosen that particular school !

redbrickhouses · 11/10/2022 13:52

Itstarts · 11/10/2022 13:50

If you already pay thousands for prep and your child still needs a tutor...then your private school isn't worth it, is it.

That's kind of what I thought when she said that. But then this other mum I met recently, said everyone needs a tutor, even the private school children. It does not make sense to me.

OP posts:
flingingmelon · 11/10/2022 13:53

No tutors here, unless your child is falling behind expectations. Even then the school should be providing extra support.

However extra tutoring to prepare for common entrance / 11+ to a increasingly common.

AriettyHomily · 11/10/2022 13:55

Private schools prep them for 11+, pretty intensively, if my child need a tutor on top of that I would think think they weren't grammar school material.

BUT - we live on the edge of a grammar counties and have a brilliant catchment secondary that DTs got into (non selective). Some of their classmates in primary (state) lived across the border and the non grammar schools are quite frankly shit and they were tutored from y4 as they would never have got in to the school in our catchment.

PollyIndia · 11/10/2022 13:58

My son is in year 5 and I thought I'd see about a bit of tutoring, as even though his state primary teaches a year above where they should be, it's very narrow and focused only on passing sats. For 11+ exams, they need to convey the information in a different way, so it's very difficult without some tutoring. At this stage, I just want him to have all options available to him then see next easter whether the exams for selective grammar or private scholarships make sense for him. I spoke to tutors who said I was way behind, that kids of his age were already doing 10 extra hours per week and had been since year 3. I'm not buying into the sharp elbowed bullshit, not that I could afford to. These tutors have groups of of up to 10 only for the 5 hours per week (+5 homework), so are making incredible amounts of money capitalising on parents' fear it seems to me.
If he needs 10 hours + extra work to get into an educational setting, what's he going to have to do when he gets there to keep up? And what is it going to do to his self esteem and mental health. No way.
It's up to him, and I'll facilitate his choices as much as I can as a single parent with my own demanding business but I'm not making his education a pressure cooker when he's only 9.

OoooohMatron · 11/10/2022 13:58

If my children needed extra tuition I would, but otherwise no.

passport123 · 11/10/2022 13:59

Those who are sitting the 11+ in a competitive area usually start tutoring at some point in year 4. Everyone else doesn't, though some might get targeted help in a particular area, or might get help outside school with things like dyslexia.

FusionChefGeoff · 11/10/2022 13:59

Depends where you live.

No selective state schools near me so no tutors!

superplumb · 11/10/2022 14:06

I'm in a grammar area and tutors for the 11+ say end of year 4 or start year 5. Their fees are massive.. 65, 70 quid an hour!

Lopilo · 11/10/2022 14:36

There are a greater number of clever children than there are places at the most sought after schools.If you are going for very popular, academically selective schools, bear in mind your child will be up against very bright children who also have tutoring/parent tutoring.

ouch321 · 11/10/2022 14:41

In certain circles, yes - from experience.

PeekAtYou · 11/10/2022 14:43

If your child is in a school that goes up to 13 but you plan to leave at 11 then you might need a tutor because your school might only prepare for 13+ tests.
If your child is in a school that goes up to 11 and you plan for them to go to a state grammar then you need to check if they prepare for state or private 11+. They aren't the same - different schools have different tests.
If your child is at a non-selective private and their next school is selective then you might need a tutor to check that they are selective standard. Children at non-selective schools can be smart but selective schools range in difficulty.
Also it depends where you are. If you're in SW/W London then competition will be super fierce and have no problem paying plus the other parents will be very secretive about their preparations for the next stage.

x2boys · 11/10/2022 14:47

Well most children in the UK don't go. to prep school and neither do they sit the 11 + as Grammar schools only exist in very few areas these days.

Dixiechickonhols · 11/10/2022 14:48

We have a grammar and some tutor from yr 5.
unless your mil is a tutor or similar I’d query how she knows.

Newuser82 · 11/10/2022 14:52

My year 5 son has just started tutoring for maths. He goes to an independent school. We started as he was finding it difficult and loosing confidence. He is a bright boy and we didn't want him to continue to be upset about it. He has done it for a couple of months and the difference in his confidence is dramatic.

We certainly don't think we are pushy parents and don't want to pressure him but it's really helping him so far.

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