The Tutorfair Foundation offers free tuition to low-income families
Until now, private tuition has had a reputation for helping the privileged buy advantage and consequently widening the education gap. However, the private sector has come up with its own solution to this problem by "revolutionising tutoring to make it a force for good".
According to Edd Stockwell, one of the founders of the Tutorfair Foundation, it's the result of a move towards making private tutoring more egalitarian; not so much a buy-one-get-one-free deal as buy-one-and-someone-else-gets-one-free.
"We believe that tutoring should be for all, so the Tutorfair Foundation arranges free tuition for children who can't afford it," he says. "For every student who pays, we provide free tuition for a student who can't. Never again will tutoring just be the preserve of the privileged few."
Recent research carried out by the The Tutor Trust showed that one in four parents were paying for private tuition to boost the exam chances of their children. Sir Peter Lampl, founder of the trust said: "Parents naturally want to do the best for their children. Providing private tuition for them puts those children whose parents can't afford it at a disadvantage. That's why it's so crucial that we find a successful way to ensure that the learning gap is narrowed for less advantaged children."
'Some schools are using their pupil premium to pay for private tuition for disadvantaged children'
Tutorfair isn't the only organisation trying to help families from disadvantaged backgrounds. A sister charity of the Sutton Trust, the Education Endowment Foundation, is currently offering young people from low-income backgrounds private tuition for free by funding a £263,000 evaluation of the work of the Tutor Trust in Manchester. The venture trains university students and recent graduates to deliver tuition in challenging schools. Some schools are also understood to be using their pupil premium to pay for private tuition for disadvantaged children.
To date, Tutorfair has formed partnerships with five schools serving disadvantaged neighbourhoods in London to provide private tuition for free. The tutors themselves all receive a half day training course run by Teach First, the initiative that recruits graduates to teach in low-income areas across England and Wales.
The tutors, many of whom volunteer their time, are, says Stockwell, delighted to take part in the charitable projects because they are passionate about finding a way to tutor in a socially responsible way.
The full article can be read on the Independent Website.