Secondary school parents set to spend £24 billion on tutors

New survey shows parents think 14 hours a week have been lost on educating their child during the pandemic.

online tutoring


The past 18 months has been a crazy time for schools. Prolonged lockdown, the pingdemic and teacher-assessed exams have meant educational institutions have had to adapt in unprecedented ways.

But so have our kids. New research from Tutorful reveals that 78% of secondary school parents think that the pandemic has had a negative impact on their child’s education, with parents believing that their child (aged between 11 to 18) is behind a whole school year.

A whopping 59% of parents are currently using (or considering) using a tutor, with mums or dads apparently willing to spend up to £41 an hour to help their child progress.

Mitesh Vaghea, 43 (pictured), is from Leicester and is a phase 1 Medical School Coordinator. He has two children.

online tutoring

“My son’s understanding of English comprehension was lacking, partly due to not being able to understand the basic concepts,” he says. “Plus, schools were closed for long periods of time, which meant a significant ‘stop-start’ education. As face-to-face tuition was difficult to arrange, I started looking for an online tutor.”

But what did he feel his son Shiven missed out on especially during lockdown?

“As schools were in lockdown, Shiven missed out on the social interactions that he would have gotten in school with his friends that would have helped him improve his English comprehension,” he says. “Whilst trying to homeschool Shiven, I noticed that I could only teach him a limited amount. What I needed was a tutor who was trained to teach the specific subject.”

One of the big issues parents faced was the amount their particular school did. Some had a full day of lessons, others handed out a weekly sheet of tasks. Parenting forums were inundated with dads and mums comparing teaching and learning levels.

“Shiven’s school provided an online whole classroom teaching classes weekly,” says Mitesh. “This was supplemented with learning material to work through ‘parent with child’ and some ‘self guided’. There was a mechanism to send the completed teaching to the teacher for marking and feedback which worked quite well.”

Nevertheless, Mitesh foresees having to continue using a tutor, even though schools are now ‘back to normal’.

“I have seen that tutoring has not only helped his education but it has also helped build his confidence,” he says. “This can be seen from just talking to him! The aim is to continue this long term to help him attain a good grade to pass his Key Stage 2 English assessments prior to him moving to High School. Also to help him grow as a person and be at the right level ready to sit his GCSE exams.”

“Since the pandemic, we have seen a 400% increase in tutoring lessons to help with lost time on education,” says Tutorful CEO and founder, Mark Hughes. “With 2022 expected to go back to the pre-COVID examination process, the pressure is on to help children catch up.”

Read more:

“Childcare is very much fathers’ business” – why you need to take problems with childcare seriously

Interview: auto entrepreneur Kamran Saleem on work/life balance and pivoting in the pandemic

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