Teaching

Tuition Boom – Access Gloom

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A few days ago, several thousand of our nation’s K-12 students applied for admission to Oxbridge UCAS.  About 80% of those hopeful applicants will get a chance to present their most persuasive case for acceptance during a face-to-face interview with admissions personnel next month.  Just one-fourth of that number will succeed, however.  Statistically speaking, roughly half of that final fortunate fourth will eventually enroll in a private institution.  Further empirical analyses beyond the above estimates are a mathematical enigma, however.  The reason why is that a very tiny minority comprised of just one-hundred of one percent of those pupils will be in the free school lunch program.

 Research findings of educational charitable organization Sutton Trust revealed that the incidence of church school pupils who receive free school lunches is 55 greater than other secondary student population.  Considering that just 15% of all the country’s public secondary students get free school meals – about twice the number of church pupils, that figure is even more baffling.

 Why such a huge apparent in-concurrency?  Politicians advance a theory of absent motivation as the primary cause of disadvantaged students’ difficulties in gaining university admittance.  As such, increased self-motivation is their collective proposed solution to this problem.

Recent studies by the British Education Research Association (“BERA”) suggests otherwise, however.  BERA’s analyses indicate that socio-economic status has little correlation with overall aspiration.  Another research project by think-tank Joseph Row tree Foundation (“JRF”) substantiated that hypothesis. JRF researchers identified inadequate academic performance – not insufficient money – as the most likely culprit.

 None of this completely negates Gove adviser Dominic Cummings’ recently-published controversial theory that intellect is genetic, however.  Nor does it disprove educational quality differentials between public and private schools as the major contributing factor.

 The harsh reality is that disadvantaged pupils have much less access to higher education than more fortunate peers.  Private school tuition is the most obvious and persistent obstacle.

Although exact stats are somewhat nebulous, there’s no dispute that private tuition continues to boom.  Moreover, private tutor fees reportedly run as high as 60 pounds/hour.  Thus, it is no wonder whatsoever why high-quality instruction is far beyond the means of low-income students.

 Of late, however, many non-profit organizations have made laudable efforts to correct this trend by offering free tuition assistance to disadvantaged pupils.  A prime example is Cambridge Student Community Watch that privates one-on-one homework tutoring to help low-income inner-city youth.

 London-based employer Access Project has implemented a similar campaign of volunteer one-on-one homework tutoring of disadvantaged but diligent students.  These weekly sessions appear to be working, as those pupils have consistently higher-than-average grades and university admission rates. We all want the best for our children, if you haven’t had any recommendations and are carrying out internet searches for local tutors such as: ‘personal tutor, Bromley’ they should display their accreditations on their website as well as testimonials and possibly information regarding references.

 This burgeoning but upwardly-mobile trend portends brighter futures of broader horizons for traditionally subjugated student populations.  It is also an urgent cry for immediate affirmative action by every social, political, and economic faction to invest in the future by volunteering a few hours of present time each week. Tremendous rewards derived from helping deserving but disadvantaged young scholars combined with immense satisfaction of helping to build a better tomorrow for all is a winning combination too great to ignore.

 About the author

Michael Drayton is a private tutor, Bromley, tutoring children aged from 4 to 16. Drayton has a keen interest in tutoring pupils who may have fallen behind their peers in mainstream education in addition to tutoring more able students whose aim is to maximise their performance.