Nearly a quarter (23%) of schoolchildren aged 11-16 in England and Wales have received some private or home tuition according to the latest survey of 2739 students commissioned by the Sutton Trust and carried out by Ipsos MORI earlier this year. The proportion of students receiving tuition has increased from 18% in 2005 to 23% in 2011 (see table at end of the release).

Although some children have home tuition paid for by their local authorities, the survey shows that there is still a disparity in private tuition levels by family income levels. 25% of children from the most affluent families who were surveyed said they have received some tuition during their education, compared to 15% of children from the least affluent families.

Sir Peter Lampl, Chairman of the Sutton Trust, said: “Private tuition appears to be booming despite the recession.  While it is natural that parents should want to do the best for their children, it does give well off families an advantage, particularly when money to help children from poorer homes is being cut.

“We are interested to see how effective private tuition is, so this year the Sutton Trust has funded a pilot scheme to give 100 students from poor homes in London one-to-one tuition to boost their GCSE maths scores, and to compare their performance with a similar group who have not received tuition.  Through the new Education Endowment Foundation we will be looking at ways in which we can build on the results of this pilot, if effective, and bring one-to-one and small group tuition to many more pupils from non-privileged backgrounds.”

Among the children surveyed, the highest concentration receiving private tuition is still in Greater London where 38% said they had at some time received private tuition. This is in line with findings in 2005 when 34% of London children surveyed had received private tuition.

Asian and Black families are much more likely to hire private tutors according to the survey. 42% of Asian children and 38% of Black children in the survey said they had received private tuition as compared to 20% of White families.

The children were asked why they had received private or home tuition. More than half 57% said it was “to help me do well in a particular exam”, 42% said “to help me with my school work in general”.

[1] The Family Affluence Scale was used.  The Family Affluence scale uses a set of questions about family resources – such as computer and car ownership, and frequency of taking holidays – to group respondents into low, medium or high affluence groups.  More detail can be found here:

Notes For Editors:

1.      The Ipsos MORI Young People Omnibus captured data from 2,739 school children aged 11-16 in England and Wales.  Children completed self-completion questionnaires in interviewer-supervised classroom sessions between January 23rd and April 15th 2011.  Data have been weighted by gender, age and region to represent the known profile of secondary-age children in England and Wales.

2.      The Sutton Trust is a charity founded in 1997 by Sir Peter Lampl with the aim of providing educational opportunities for able young people from non-privileged backgrounds and improving social mobility through education. Earlier this year, the Government announced it had awarded £125 million to the Sutton Trust as the lead charity in partnership with Impetus Trust to establish a new major programme, The Education Endowment Foundation, to boost the attainment of some of the country’s most disadvantaged children.

3.      The Table below has been extracted from IPsos MORI reports for 2005 and 2011. Attached are detailed tables on private tuition in their 2011 Young Omnibus Survey.


When, if at all, have you received private or home tuition? 

Total in survey27092739
I received private /home tuition this year6%7%
I received private /home tuition last year7%8%
I received private/home tuition the year before last5%6%
I received private/home tuition three or more years ago8%10%
I have never received private/home tuition79%75%
Not stated3%3%
Total ever received private/home tuition18%23%

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