BBC London News presents Tutorfair

November 27, 2013 by Sebastian Kotur

Many thanks to Teach First, The Sutton Trust, and the BBC for helping us share our “child for a child” vision of tutoring.

Alex Bushill: “As more parents turn to private tutors to help children pass exams, there are concerns that those who can’t afford it will fall behind. 40% of pupils in the capital have private lessons, that’s more than anywhere else in the country. It’s hoped a new scheme could make the service more accessible: for every parent who pays for a tutor, another child who can’t afford it is tutored for free”

Dan M (tutor): “All of these little fridge magnets have a word that’s usually associated with a Shakespeare text on it…”

Jean Mackenzie: “Welcome to the growing world of private tutoring. India is seeing a tutor to help with her A Levels”

India (student): “Compared to my classmates I feel that I have much more of an advantage if they haven’t had tutoring as well, when I have clear notes and understand it a bit better”

JM: “But this advantage has a price, one that most peoples at Wilbury Primary in Edmonton can’t pay. Nearly half the children are on Free School Meals and every year it struggles to get even its brightest into the area’s selective secondaries.”

Sir Peter Lampl (Sutton Trust): “We know small group and individual tuition is very effective. What we’re concerned about is the only kids that are getting the benefit of that are well-off kids; it’s widening the gap between rich and poor”

JM: “Now a new organisation hopes to redress the balance. The Tutorfair Foundation uses some of the money it makes from private sessions, to send tutors into inner London’s most disadvantaged Primary and Secondary schools”

Edd Stockwell: “[Tutoring] really works and it’s a really effective form of education,  let’s try and give it to people who really need it”

JM: “The promise is that for every student who pays for a tutoring session, a student that can’t pay gets one for free. The charity chooses its schools based on the number of children receiving Free School Meals, it’s then up to the teachers to decide which pupils they think will benefit the most”

"Some schools use the tutors to help pupils achieve a Grade C at GCSE. Here the focus is getting children into the borough’s selective schools"

Student 1: “Most of the things we do in our assessment tests are things that teachers can’t help us with, so coming to these clubs has made things like that seem easier for me”

Student 2: “We don’t know it at first, and then 2 or 3 minutes later *clicks* we get every question like that”.”

Kate Turnpenney (Headteacher): “It raises their expectation, it raises their game, they feel special. And they’ve opened their horizons to think, actually, perhaps if I work really, really hard I can do really, really well”

JM: “The school knows it’ll take more than tutoring to really address the attainment gap. But anything that closes just a little is very welcome”
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