Educational funding has been under intense scrutiny for the past ten years while the government has seeked out more and more ways to cut spending. Of course, that – by nature – affects pupils, despite the collective efforts of headteachers and principals. There’s only so far the money can go.
As a reflection, pupils who receive private tuition has been steadily increasing: 41% of all high school pupils in the London boroughs have additional support outside of school. Nationally, it’s over a quarter of all high school students. Additional educational support is close to becoming the norm.
This is fine if a parent can afford it. But what happens to the pupils from less affluent regions? We set up Tutor Ninjas to address this growing inequality; providing affordable tuition to all. We offer support for academic and “lifestyle” subjects for students and professionals alike – Peer 2
Peer learning that connects parents, students, and professionals with certified tutors across 300 subjects.
The Pupil Premium
Around 75% of the students at Urswick School in Hackney, London receive the government’s “Pupil Premium”: additional money to help support the education of school pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds. Naomi Dews, assistant head of Urswick, has been directing the pupil premium towards extra tuition for the students who qualify.
Urswick School has seen some excellent results, with students from disadvantaged backgrounds receiving extra tuition in English and Maths. And while there are critics from the teaching unions, who claim that that money should not be spent on teaching and learning provision, the students themselves have plenty of positive praise for the programme.
One pupil in the school stated that the initiative means that she can spend more time on the things that she struggles with during lessons. After receiving the additional tutoring – paid for with the Pupil Premium – she believes that “all young people should have the same opportunity.” Another student noted that it allowed them to work at their own pace.
The National Foundation for Educational Research and the Sutton Trust found that tutoring can benefit attainment, but additional tuition is more prevalent around London-based schools and within wealthier families. They identified that – nationally – 27% of the student population receive private tuition. However, that rose to 34% in London.
TutorNinjas is a new initiative that aims to redress this imbalance, making additional tuition the new normal for all school children, as well as for those learning in the further- and higher education sectors. Geoff Barton of the Association of School and College Leaders explained that one-to-one tuition
can be effective in boosting progress but is expensive for schools to provide. Services such as TutorNinjas are taking advantage of the flexibility of online teaching to offer additional learning support to all students, regardless of their background.
For more information, go to TutorNinjas.com