"Education should be the best investment that can be made for a child’s future."

Pros and Cons of Private and Group Tuition 

By Luke Scrutton

With 1 in 4 children within the United Kingdom taking private tuition. There is no doubt that its popularity is skyrocketing. This trend is also seen for tutoring in Birmingham. Parents are choosing to pay for private tuition for their children, to help them to compete more effectively with their peers. Education should be the best investment that can be made for a child’s future. Tuition helps them to learn, build confidence and secure better jobs in increasingly competitive surroundings.


Opting for private tuition in Birmingham can be extremely beneficial to a child’s education. It can be helpful for children in many ways:


· Boosting confidence and creating a belief that they can achieve
· Helps children to understand topics at school that they struggle with
· Tuition aids with revision for exams


Once you make the decision to send your child for private tuition sessions, the next decision you will be faced with is to choose whether they will benefit more from one-on-one tuition, a computer/worksheet based service or group tuition sessions. Which option will be more effective, is completely dependent upon the way that your child learns.


What is One-to-One Tuition?

One on one tuition sessions involves giving your child intensive support from the tutor, one to one. It is often a more expensive option and whilst your child should be the sole focus of your tutor it might not be utilising either your child’s or tutors time to best effect.


The Benefits of One-to-One Tuition:

The fact that your child will have the tutors full attention, is probably the most appealing benefit of one-on-one tuition. It can allow a better opportunity to build an educational bond and should give the tutor the time to ensure that topics are covered.

Convenience can also be a big driver. Having someone come to your home to deliver tuition at a time convenient to you is certainly appealing for some.


One-to-One Tuition Cons:

Whilst the time that is given to the child can help to build a positive bond the relationship is very intense. Many children will become passengers in their learning, allowing their tutor to give them all the solutions and answers. Whilst this maybe appealing it is a less effective method of learning than someone who is thinking and using their intellect and knowledge to try to answer questions or solve problems with the aid of their tutor.


Additionally, thought should be given to how you are going to monitor the performance of your tutor. It can be very easy for a tutor to under perform and perhaps give the impression that your child is making progress, especially if your child prefers to avoid the challenge of being pushed with more advanced work and concepts.


While private tutoring has so many benefits it does come at a hefty price. Private tutoring sessions can be very expensive due to the amount of time required to teach your child. The tutor is required to carefully analyse and create lesson plans in accordance with your child’s requirements. They then need to focus all of their attention on your child’s learning. All of this is very labour-intensive and will be factored into the cost of tuition sessions.


It can also be:
– hard to help improve a child’s confidence in one to one
passive which means that it is harder for the child to retain what is taught
– poor use of resources – ie your tutors time
– more difficult to respond to your child’s preferred learning style
– parents are left to decide whether tuition is effective and parents might not have the knowledge or skill set to do this
– hard to decide how to vet or check your tutors to ensure that they are both able to teach effectively and safe to leave with your children.


What is group tuition?

Group tuition consists of children being taught in small groups of three to six. If the group is bigger than this then you will lose the benefits of small group tutoring and your tutor is now teaching a class – the point of tutoring is that you are adding one-two hours of tuition which is highly effective to your child’s working week.

Good tuition centres might be OFSTED registered, monitor the performance of their tutors and ensure that good progress is made. For example, we at Genie Tutors, are OFSTED registered, have an expectation that your child will succeed, provide support when they can’t and employ highly qualified and well-motivated staff to ensure success.


Benefits of group tuition:

Surprisingly small group tuition of up to 6 children is highly effective. At good centres parents can expect significant progress. Tutors who are used to dealing with perhaps 30 students, are able to ensure children succeed academically and improve confidence and belief in their ability to succeed. At a good tuition centre providing small group tuition you can expect:


· tutors to be able to provide one to one support
· tutors to encourage your child to work harder by using the dynamics in the group to motivate and challenge
· it to be easy and natural for your tutor to rebuild your child’s confidence or focus and, over time, even help your child believe that they can achieve more than you thought possible
· in as little as an hour a professional teacher can help children achieve significant improvements, confidence and learning
· your child to develop vital skills for studying that will be carried into the future
· real teaching delivered by education professionals and your tutors performance monitored
· more cost-effective tuition and progress than one-to-one sessions
· your tutors performance managed and monitored by the centre management team
· your tutors to tailor tutoring to your child’s needs and present challenges to improve progress and achievement
· regular tuition and it is more likely that a centre is able to cover tutor illness and holidays ensuring your child makes weekly progress.


Group Tuition Cons:

Group tuition, with its many benefits, is an excellent option for your children. It is important, however, to weigh out both the pros and cons of this option before making a decision. You may need to consider:

· if you can fit in the journey time to the tuition centre of your choice
· you will have to attend centre when they are open


What is Computer or Worksheet based services Cons
Worksheet and computer based services have a worksheet resource which children work through as a programme whilst supervised by a member of staff.


Benefits of Computer or Worksheet based services

· flexibility – children can get dropped off when you like
· parents often have to mark work themselves
· prices are expensive and often more expensive than small group tuition


Computer or Worksheet Based Services Cons

· staff are usually unqualified
· research shows that these services may be less effective for the majority of children as they rely on your child’s motivation and an over-reliance on repetition
· many more hours of work may be needed to achieve the same results as other forms of tuition
· your child may need a lot of support from you to engage with the tuition
· parents often have to do a lot of marking
· when a child is stuck they are often used to repeat the same worksheets until they get it right


Selecting the Best Tuition Service for You
Selecting the best support for your child’s education can be a life-changing experience. At Genie Tutors we have many stories of children achieving success. Even when they were struggling or not achieving what their parents thought they could, we have helped to transform achievement, confidence and self-belief before getting the highest SATs, 11+ or GCSE grades.


When selecting a tutor you should expect that your child is going to make progress – every single week. That your tutor will be able to improve your child’s confidence and belief so that achievement becomes what is expected. If convenience is all that matters then group tuition might not meet your needs but if its dramatic and sustained improvements that you seek – well managed and effective small group tuition is the most effective solution.