Centralise UK Compulsory Education NOW

Imagine if we had just one body setting examinations for 16 year olds in the UK. The government is constantly looking for ways to save money; printing costs alone would save millions. I don’t think parents and the public in general have any idea of the ludicrous work load put upon Examination Officers these days. At many schools it is a full time job! At many private schools children in the same class will be sitting different exams for the same qualification! Mistakes are often made because of the complexity of so many different papers for the same subjects. Results comparisons are meaningless and standardisation is virtually impossible.

We need ONE body setting the examinations for core subjects at 16 and EVERYBODY should sit identical examinations for each subject. This would save money, raise standards, avoid errors and make statistical comparison of results have some meaning.

Summer private tuition for 11+ / Grammar school exam pupils

Here’s my thoughts on a recent BBC education news story about the growth of private tuition for 11+ / grammar school entry exams….

This reflects the trend we have seen here at Kensington and Chelsea Tutors.
Although in the past eleven years we have consistently provided tutors not only for grammar schools but also for selective private and state schools, in the past five years or so there has been a marked increase. I think this is partly because tutoring has moved from being a secret weapon to a mainstream activity. Tutors are out there and parents are increasingly using them to boost students’ prospects at all levels.

It defeats me why Barry Sindall, chief executive of the Grammar School Heads Association (GHSA) says that, “The issue for GSHA is not how do you stop coaching but rather how do you stop coaching making an impact.”

Coaching of any kind is always going to have an impact and that surely is a good thing. Don’t sports professionals train hard to make themselves more proficient in their fields? We (thankfully) live an an open democracy and have freedom of choice – if tutors are out there, why not use them?

Tutoring seems to get criticised almost daily and generally the thrust is one of elitism. The increasingly expensive and exclusive private school system in this country, from Eton on down, seems to be conveniently glossed over. At least tutoring allows help to be given to students whose parents’
wildest dreams don’t even feature the cheapest private schools.

If the argument is that this is unfair then it is something the government needs to look at.


Give teachers fair pay and conditions!!

 Teachers vote to strike over pay
< http://www.bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/news/education-19519839 >
With my children at school the possibility of industrial action is worrying however I agree that teachers are being treated unfairly by the Government. What they are asking for is fair. If morale in schools is low this will clearly be reflected in teaching standards which affects us all.
Give teachers fair pay and conditions!!
Follow me on Twitter @kandctutors or @webtutornet


This story recently caught my eye (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-18053619) about competition for state funding and a Government initiative to award £10,000 ‘pupil premium’ prize for schools that help pupils from poorer backgrounds.

I personally believe that competition for funding in a state run school system is completely divisive and likely to cause unrest within the teaching community.

I completely agree with Christine Blower, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, that ALL schools should be fully funded.

The Government needs to listen to representatives of the education sector. I think if the general secretary of the National Union of Teachers and the Deputy General Secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers fundamentally disagree with their policy then Government really ought to listen.

They understand education and the issues the sector faces and recognise the integral importance of a well rounded schooling for all pupils. Turning it into a competition will only exacerbate splits and divisions.

Tell me what you think!

Top Marks for Private Tuition when emphasis is on Fun!

Whether it’s getting your child to learn a completely new subject, or topping up their existing knowledge, private tuition offers a host of tangible benefits for parents.

You’ll find few stronger advocates of the process than Paula and Baden O’Connor from Kensington who have been using the services of Kensington and Chelsea Tutors for the past year to assist their 11 year old son and 7 year old daughter.

They couldn’t be happier with the service they’ve received as Baden explained, “This is an important investment in the future of your children and it’s crucial that you get the right level of service and the right people.”

“We approached K & C Tutors in March 2011 with a view to arranging piano lessons for our daughter and Latin lessons for our son and have since applied the same principle to other subjects including preparing our son for his 11 plus exams.

“The Latin lessons were outstanding and, as a brand new subject, we’re pleased to say that our son loved it. One of the main reasons for this was the quality and integrity of the tutor.

“Her preparation for each lesson was thorough and her manner impeccable. The strong relationship they built up made the process of learning so much more fun for our son. Solid foundations were laid that will assist our son with his future foreign language development.

“In the case of our daughter the piano lessons soon evolved into singing and performance as well. Just like our son, the relationship established with the tutor played a big part in the success of the lessons.

“We specifically asked for a tutor who would not be too pushy or severe and we’ve seen a noticeable increase in our daughter’s performance. Once again the emphasis was on fun and this makes all the difference.

“We went on to get private tuition in English and Maths for our daughter and requested a similarly easy going tutor for these subjects. That’s exactly what we get and it says something when your child looks forward to private tuition after a day at school,” addedBaden.

Nevil Chiles, who established K & C Tutors in 2002, is clear as to why so many of his clients speak in glowing terms about the services they receive: “It’s about maintaining the highest of standards when it comes to the tutors used.

“Each and every one is personally vetted and interviewed by K & C. I certainly would not want to entrust my children’s education in the hands of a tutor that is not up to the job and that is why we’ve conducted over 2000 interviews over the past decade,” added Nevil.

The final word belongs to Paula who is now a real convert to private tuition: “Dealing with an organisation like K & C has always been very easy and they’ve always interpreted our requests accurately. I would have no hesitation in recommending them to any parents looking to follow a similar path for their children.”

“All in all I’d give K & C and their committed tutors ten out of ten and I intend to use them on an ongoing basis.”

For more details visit www.kctutors.co.uk. You can follow Nevil on Twitter @kandctutors