London is very much the capital of private tuition and this business is holding up despite the recession. The numbers receiving private tuition are much higher than in any other area of the country.

The latest figures are extracted from a survey of 2,757 children at state secondary schools aged 11-16 by Ipsos MORI which the Sutton Trust commissions every year, of which 188 children were based in London.   Similar numbers were interviewed in London and nationally in 2011 and 2010.

They show that:

Over the past few years, secondary school children in London are consistently more likely than the national average to report having received private tuition: in 2012, 38% said they had received private tuition at some point, compared with 23% nationally.

London’s school children are also consistently more likely to report receiving private tuition in the past year: a quarter of London’s secondary school children reported receiving tuition in the past year in 2012, almost double the 13% who had done so nationally.

London (%) National (%)
  (c. 188 interviews per year) (c. 2,500 interviews per year)
Ever received private tuition
2012 38 23
2011 38 23
2010 33 20
Received private tuition in the past year
2012 25 13
2011 22 13
2010 19 11

Asked why they have received private tuition – the main reasons given nationally were as follows:

To help me do well in a specific test or exam 58%
To help me with my school work in general 44%
Because I am really interested in a particular subject 14%
Because it is a subject my school does not provide 5%
Don’t know 6%
Not stated 5%

Sir Peter Lampl, Chairman of the Sutton Trust and of the Education Endowment Foundation, said: “Private tuition is booming in the capital despite the recession.  Although parents naturally want to do the best for their children, it does put those children whose parents can’t afford private tuition at a disadvantage.

“Through the new Education Endowment Foundation we are testing ways to bring one-to-one and small group tuition to many more pupils from non-privileged backgrounds.”


  1. The Sutton Trust added questions to Ipsos MORI’s 2012 Young People Omnibus.  The findings are based on data from a representative sample of 2,757 11-16 year olds attending maintained schools in England and Wales. The research was conducted in a sample of schools, with pupils filling out paper self-completion questionnaires under supervision by Ipsos MORI’s interviewers. Fieldwork was conducted in February and March 2012.