Nearly half of 11-year-olds among some minority ethnic groups in the UK are receiving private tuition outside of school. Researchers from Newcastle University and from NatCen Social Research have been studying how a cohort of 19,000 primary aged children spend their lives outside of school. They analysed data for the children - collected when they were aged five, seven and eleven.
The Newcastle University/NatCen study revealed differing levels in the use of private tutors according to pupils' social class, although the variations were smaller than those based on pupils' ethnic backgrounds. Extra tuition was most common, at 30 per cent, among those children whose mother had a postgraduate degree, and least prevalent among those whose mother had no qualifications, at 19 per cent.
Liz Todd, Professor of Education Inclusion at Newcastle University, who will outline the research study, said the findings raised questions about possible differing attitudes to school provision between different ethnic groups.
"Clearly some ethnic groups are feeling a greater need to supplement the work of schools than others. Does this mean some parents are lacking confidence in what goes on during school hours? Or are they just more likely to see tuition as a worthwhile route to help their children succeed? It is not clear from the numbers themselves, but the figures for private tuition are certainly high among some groups."
We also need to look at the gains in pupil attainments across groups and ask to what extent these are due to changes in teaching, school reforms or the provision of tuition at home.