Can I afford a tutor?

How about, can you afford not to get a tutor?

Here, I challenge you with the million pound question – is there really such a thing as value for money’, affordable tuition? However, that begs the question, if we don’t invest those extra pennies in our child’s educational prospects, can we really live with ourselves, knowing we could have intervened – could have stepped in, attempted to rectify the situation; no matter on how big or small a scale?

It is somewhat of a moral dilemma, I suppose.

Let’s be honest. There are fundamental flaws in the state education system. You have probably already stumbled across these, or been made aware of them by whiney, dissatisfied youngsters in your home, complaining about the lack of competency their teachers possess. Or perhaps it was a more straightforward realisation – maybe the arrival of a disappointing results slip in your letterbox did it?

Either way, what actually is a realistic and viable solution to such an entrenched problem? Well, you could always home tutor your kids yourself – but that tends to be a slightly inconvenient option for the greater majority. Then, there are private schools; most of which audaciously charge silly sums of anything up to £25,000 a year. There has been an on going tug-of-war between state education and private schools. Parents want to preserve humility and not burn holes in their pockets, whilst simultaneously envisaging a sparkly, prosperous future for their dearest little ones.

However, this is where it seems a break through may have been found; a balance that may satisfy the middle ground parent.

The classic middle ground parent’

  • Cannot afford to throw money at highly selective, highly snobbish private schools
  • Wants to top up or supplement the state comprehensive education their child is receiving
  • Is sceptical of whom to trust with their hard earned money

You want to do your best at providing affordable and proficient resources for your child? Then you fall under the above category. You may ask, is it cost effective pumping money in to a never-before-heard institution; Do I really know what I will be getting; And what should I look for before enrolling my precious one on a tuition course?

I may be able to give you some advice on just that.

What to look for when searching for a reputable institution

  • I would say – Let the statistics do the talking. Proven results and past successes are usually a big give away as to what you’re letting yourself in for.
  • Don’t fall for flash’ – seek substance instead. A colourful, animated website may be pretty – but what lies beneath the façade?
  • It’s best to call them up directly, and even better to visit them. That way, you will get a clear idea of who they are, if they are professional and how willing they are to help.
  • Prospectuses, brochures, open days, meeting and greeting with their staff will help you to familiarise yourself with the environment and the ethos of the tuition school.

Did you know?

There is actually an unwritten rule that especially Russell Group universities favour and tend to follow. It may, in reality, be advantageous in the long term to send your child to a comprehensive school. Why? Because well-reputed universities give preference to smart’ comprehensive school pupils over very smart’ independent school pupils. This means they are more likely to offer a comprehensive school student a place with lower grade demands over a privately educated counterpart.

Therefore, it may pay to supplement a comprehensive school educated child with extra tuition or a tutor on the side to help them to get those A’s at GCSE and A level at their local, state-funded comprehensive and, in turn, to beat their private-schooled competitors in the rat race!

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