Online tutoring for children looking to catch up on lost learning due to the pandemic is set to soar, according to the founder of a major private school group.
Nadim Nsouli, who quit his job working in private equity to set up London-based Inspired Group in 2013, said he also expected the market to connect tutors from around the world and improve the levels of education.
Speaking to the PA news agency, he said: “I think you’ll see a vast increase in online tutoring, particularly for secondary school pupils. The pandemic has meant all of a sudden you have access to 1,000 tutors around the world.
“The best tutor may not be next to you in Chelsea but may be sitting in Mumbai And if I can pay him £20 instead of £100, why not?
“You get the same experience, it avoids a stranger coming into you house and I’m a great believer in how much that is going to change in the market.”
The businessman is so confident in the market’s growth, his group bought online tutor business Ostaz in April this year and plans to roll it out internationally.
His prediction comes as the UK Government grapples with plans to help children who missed out on schooling during the pandemic.
Ministers faced stinging criticism over a £1.4 billion recovery fund for children affected by school closures due to the pandemic from its own education catch-up tsar who quit after his calls for a £15 billion package were rejected.
Mr Nsouli said he can predict parents logging onto apps, selecting the curriculum they want and being presented with a host of international tutors.
He also claimed the rise in online learning and growth of online schools would also accelerate. It follows the launch of Inspired’s own online-only private school.
Kings College Online was launched last September and charges a fraction of the cost of a traditional private school. And the company is so confident of growth in the market Inspired went on to buy online education firm Wey Education for £70 million this year.
Mr Nsouli said: “The reality is if not for the pandemic, we probably would not have gone into being an online school provider – but now we are the leading online school provider in the world.”
He explained: “We said it would be a shame to waste all the learnings from the pandemic, so let’s launch a full online school.
“You get a lot of online schools launched by kids in their basements but we’ve got schools that are 100 years old and have the credibility.”
Inspired owns 70 private schools across the globe, with 50,000 students and 6,000 employees, having started out in South Africa.
Investors include the Singapore government, Warburg Pincus, TA Associates and the Oppenheimer family.
Asked whether he has plans to offer services to state schools, Mr Nsouli said the pandemic had shown that politicians were unable to manage education systems properly and had no plans.
He said: “I’ve always had my own my philosophy which was not to work with governments and if anything, over the past year, that has only confirmed my views. I would rather be unemployed then service governments.
“Believe it or not you have governments in Latin America a year and a half later where our schools are still closed, meanwhile, hairdressers, gyms and restaurants are open. It’s a crime, it really is.”