As reported by the BBC, more than a quarter of secondary school pupils in England and Wales have received private tuition, according to research published by the Sutton Trust
The highest levels are in London – with 41% of secondary pupils getting extra lessons outside of school, it says.
The social mobility charity is calling for financial support for disadvantaged families to have access to tutoring.
“With costs of at least £25 per session, many parents can’t afford it,” said charity founder Sir Peter Lampl.
The annual report from the Sutton Trust tracks the prevalence of parents paying for tuition.
Such extra lessons have been seen as a hidden factor in exam results – but because of the cost, the charity warns this gives richer families an unfair advantage.
Based on evidence from the National Foundation for Educational Research and a survey of almost 3,000 families, the report suggests 27% of 11 to 16-year-olds have had some private tuition while at secondary school.
This is higher than the 18% who received tutoring in 2005 but has fallen back on a couple of years ago, when 30% had paid for extra lessons, it says.
Recating to the report, Dr Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said:
“Increasing use of private tuition reflects the worries that the government has unnecessarily created in so many parents’ minds about school standards and students’ prospects.
“Although offering support to students whose parents can’t afford private tuition may seem appealing, any extra funding available for disadvantaged students should be directed at addressing the shortfalls in pupil premium funding and the government’s decision to favour schools in less disadvantaged areas in its own recent funding announcement.”