ASCL comment on Sutton Trust report on private and in-school tutoring

Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, comments on research from the Sutton Trust showing large inequalities in the use of private tutoring.
“Access to private tutoring is obviously linked to income and this is one of many reasons why there is a long-standing attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers.
“The best way to mitigate this inequity is through the excellent education provided by schools and colleges, but government underfunding threatens standards and provision. Real-terms pay cuts have eroded the value of salaries, and systemic pressures which drive workload have left staff having to do more work with fewer resources. This has led to a situation where high numbers are leaving the profession and not enough trainee teachers are being recruited, leaving schools and colleges facing severe teacher shortages. The government must improve investment in schools, colleges and the education workforce or otherwise staff shortages will only get worse.
“Tutoring in schools is a partially subsidised programme from government Covid recovery funding but the subsidy is reducing from 60% in the current academic year to 25% in 2023/24. This means it will become far more difficult for schools to provide tutoring as their budgets are already under enormous pressure.
“If the government intends to embed tutoring as part of the education system – as it has previously stated – then it must provide the funding to enable this to happen.”