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How to get cheaper tuition for your child

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Written by:
28/08/2013
Read our guide to getting the best, and cheapest, extra private tuition.

If you have school age children then you will most probably have heard of the ‘summer slide’ – that dreaded drop in a child’s academic ability due to weeks off school and practically no studying.

Recent research showed that a quarter of British parents have considered investing in extra tuition for their kids to help stem the summer slide.

While one-to-one tuition can be an expensive choice, it may be a better option for children who need special attention.

However, there are more affordable options available in the form of group, classroom-based tuition or employing a university student.

We asked Heather Garrick from tuition service Explore Learning her advice for parents considering investing in extra tuition.

She said: “Once you’ve worked out if your child would benefit from extra tuition think about what kind of tuition would be best for them.

“Some children for example, might prefer to work on a one-to-one basis where they get plenty of attention and won’t be distracted by things going on around them.

“Others will find group tuition a better option as they can also make friends while there. Although they will be learning alongside others, many children need to learn in a vibrant and stimulating learning environment in order to stay motivated.”

One-to-one tuition

One-to-one tuition is great for parents who struggle with transport as it can be done in the convenience of your own home.

It can also be good for children with poor concentration because they get 100% of the attention. However, others could find it less stimulating being outside of a more structured educational setting.

Tutors do not need any specific qualifications apart from their CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) check so prices really vary depending on experience.

The Good Schools Guide offers a list of quality one-to-one tutors.

University students can also be a cheaper option.

But remember that word-of-mouth is one of the most effective ways to source good tutors especially as generally, the best tutors do not work for an agency. Ask your children’s friend’s parents or teachers for good recommendations. 

Group tuition

Group tuition is perfect for parents who not only want their children to improve their English and maths levels but also improve their confidence as the tutors really encourage the children to have fun while learning.

This is a cheaper way to get the extra tuition your child needs at a discounted cost.

Occasionally you can get a tutor who is willing to teach at a group rate if you manage to club together with other parents in your area.

Online tuition

Extra tuition is available for free and is a very attractive option for parents, especially for those with children preparing for exams.

Online resources such as BBC Bitesize have been around for years and are very popular.

Alternatively, Topmarks.co.uk is a search engine that helps parents and teachers find online educational resources.

After or pre-school clubs

You may be lucky enough to be located near a school that provides after school clubs or breakfast clubs.

These are often free of charge and can be a fantastic option, particularly for parents who work longer hours.

Tutor them yourself

Of course the most affordable method of providing your child with extra tuition is to teach them yourself. However, this can be tricky depending on the level of the child’s learning and how good your own English and maths is.

You can also do a bit of homework yourself by going to websites such as BBC Skillwise.

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