Parents turn to private tutors during holidays to stop 'summer slide'
Richard Garner has been Education Editor of The Independent for 12 years and writing about the subject for 34 years. Before becoming a journalist, he worked as a disc jockey in London pubs and clubs and for a hospital radio station. His main hobbies are cricket (watching these days) and theatre. On his days off, he is most likelt to be found at Lord’s or the King’s Head Theatre Club.
Monday 29 July 2013
More than one in four parents plan to hire tutors during the summer holidays, according to an organisation that offers online maths tutorials.
Themathsfactor.com claims many children have to recap subjects like English and maths when returning to school after the long break.
It carried out a survey of around 1,000 parents, which revealed that some were prepared to pay up to £40 for a single session with a tutor. It also found that families with children in private schools were almost three times as likely to pay for tuition (56 per cent compared with just 21 per cent in state schools).
One in five parents (20 per cent) said they believed coaching would help their child to be top of the class when school resumes in September. The majority of parents (67 per cent) planned some kind of learning activity with their children during the break – including homework set by the school, reading activities and even doing practice SATs (national curriculum tests for 11-year-olds) papers.
The research comes as Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, has announced plans to allow schools to fix their own term dates from September 2015 in a move which could signal the end of the six-week break. He is anxious to combat any loss of learning during the holiday and believes the change could raise standards in schools.
But the survey found that one in three parents (35 per cent) said they were unaware their children’s learning could be jeopardised by the holiday.
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