Education’s dark duplicitous secret
Despite more than doubling the spend in UK schools, only marginal, measurable improvement has been seen. Yet even this may not be down to schools themselves. Interesting data is emerging about the dramatic increase in that same period of private tuition. The Sutton Trust has found that 43% of 11-16 state pupils in London have been tutored. Could it be that schools are delivering less and that private tuition and parental support are the real causes behind the measured improvement?
Is tuition legal?
Teachers who fight tooth and nail against the influence of the private sector in schools are coining it of an evening through private tuition. And how many of those thousands of tutors declare this on their tax returns? The acceptance of middle-class 'cash-only crime has always been part of British culture. How many have done a risk assessment when they deliver this service from home? How many have a contract (as they should with the parents/carers)? How many have insurance? What would happen if there was an accusation of assault or inappropriate conduct?
Schools spend unbelievable amounts if time on this stuff (Governors meetings are largely about reading and approving such policies), yet how many tutors pay even lip service to these issues when moonlighting? How many have even checked with their employer that they’re allowed to do this, especially with students from the school in which they teach?
I’m fine with teachers doing private tuition, although I’m not fine when it’s combined with complaints about long hours and being worked too hard. If you don’t have time to mark homework, or commit wholly to your main job, I’m not sure you should be topping it up with more teaching. I’m also against the anti-corporate views expressed by teachers in schools, who are quite happy to play the game themselves outside of the school gates.
Get it into the open
Wouldn’t it be better to get this all of this into the open? Why doesn’t the school openly offer these services on behalf of the teachers who want to make some extra cash? It’s all so ‘cloak and dagger’ at the moment. I suspect that it’s all a bit of an embarrassment.