Educating rich kids: inside the world of the £1,000-an-hour super-tutor

Helen Rumbelow in The Times cites our Shadow Schooling report.

It was an emergency call: Mark Maclaine has the kind of reputation that means he gets emergency calls. Sometimes it is to leave the country with only 24 hours’ notice — or a few hours in rare instances, when helicopters are sent to collect him. In this case it was something different, a sign that things are going badly wrong in the industry in which he is a leading player.

“The butler phoned me,” says Maclaine, as we chat in his west London flat. “He was the lead butler, actually, in a team of eight. He said: ‘Mark, you have to come and help. The child has 15 tutors.’ The child was eight years old.”


Tutoring is rising at an exponential rate, according to polling by the Sutton Trust, the educational charity. Sure, private school students are almost twice as likely to receive tutoring, but it exists now at every level. Nearly half of all schoolchildren in London have had at least one tutor, but a quarter of those outside the capital have too. Asian parents are the most likely to pay for extra help. Maclaine tells me that his Uber driver was diverting every spare pound to the tutor.


“With any medicine there is a side effect,” says Maclaine. “Tutoring I believe is the most effective form of education — the Sutton Trust clearly said it — but you can over-tutor. The side-effect is learned helplessness. It took me a long time to understand what my job was and I see it now more on a level of coaching them so they don’t need tutoring. Unlocking what was holding them back so they have more time to play.”

Read the full article here. (£)

2017-05-18T16:22:35+00:00 October 18th, 2016|Categories: In the News|