The Sutton Trust with support from Greater London Tutors, piloted a project which offered private tuition in mathematics to 100-150 academically able Year 11 students pupils from non-privileged homes who would not otherwise have been able to afford it. The aim was to help pupils with the potential to achieve A or A* grades in their maths GCSE, but who were at risk of not doing so, and provided 10 hours of private tuition either one-to-one or in pairs in the run-up to the GCSE exam.
A driving force behind the project was the growing evidence of a rise in the use of private tuition in England, with nearly a quarter (23%) of schoolchildren receiving private or home tuition at some point during their school careers, up from 18% in 2005, according to a survey of students commissioned by the Sutton Trust and carried out by Ipsos MORI in 2011.
The concern is that this trend would further widen the gap between those from privileged and non-privileged backgrounds, with those families who can afford private tuition extending their academic lead over those from less wealthy homes. The survey showed that 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.