More families than ever before are forming what is becoming known as pandemic learning pods and some are hiring private group tutors to assist with online learning - or replace it entirely. For a long time, private tutoring for children has been seen as supplementary to their primary or secondary school education. However, the public health crisis caused by Covid-19 has turned that on its head. Various forms of lockdown have given both parents and children different experiences of how they can learn and, as a result, private tutoring has become an essential part of children’s education.
The recognition of online tutoring
Online and video-call teaching were often viewed as a lesser option versus traditional face-to-face sessions, yet this pandemic hasn’t left much of a choice for many parents, and naturally, they are seeing the benefits. Whether it is one-to-one video sessions or group sessions with other children, this method of learning, be it supplementary or essential, is appealing to more families across the UK.
The explosion of demand for private tutors mostly came over the summer period, fuelled by parents concerned their children were falling behind due to the closure of schools and the cancellation of exams. From Key Stage 1 right through to GCSE, there is demand at every level of the curriculum.
Tutors are adjusting to the ‘new normal’
Prior to the summer of 2020, many parents were already turning to online tutors in an attempt to help keep kids learning and motivated. With the additional demand caused by ‘lockdown’, many private tutors are having to adjust to the new normal, offering a wide range of new group sessions and ensuring that all their services can be delivered online, if necessary.
Such is the demand that many teachers and tutors have come out of retirement during this time. Whereas most private tutors have been able to adjust to this increase in demand and pick up much of the slack, there are many children who haven’t had the luxury of a private tutor during ‘lockdown’.
Not all parents can do it on their own
Some parents have been able to offer some form of homeschooling or tutoring to their children during this period, others have been able to hire private tutors, but not every parent has been able to do this. And not for the lack of trying. Work and continuing commitments haven’t changed during ‘lockdown’, but schools and childcare facilities have closed. Whereas private tutors have been able to provide backup to many parents across the country, there remain children who haven’t been able to benefit from their services. Ultimately, there will be a need to address any imbalance in education as life starts to return to what we used to consider ‘normal’. Private tutoring can help with this, but unless there is some form of public funding for financially disadvantaged families, then the imbalance will only continue to grow.
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