Surely this is a sensible policy? By reducing standards and allowing almost everybody to ‘pass’ their exams the government has entered into a world where the difference between students is being masked. Not everybody is an academic and that doesn’t matter. Every pupil should be given an equal chance. Gathering people of similar abilities together is surely going to make teaching easier and more efficient. It also introduces (DARE I say it) competition; something that we are surrounded by every day of our lives. Let’s not pretend it doesn’t exist. It’s hard enough taking my 8 year old son to football tournaments where everybody ‘takes part’ but nobody wins. God forbid that somebody should lose!?
RAPID GROWTH IN STUDENTS SEEKING HEADSTART
The number of university students across the South East of England requesting private tuition has risen by over 50% in the last three years according to London-based tutor agency Kensington & Chelsea Tutors and their nationwide online platform Webtutornet.
Prior to 2010 the amount of enquiries from university students had remained relatively static but, since then according to Kensington & Chelsea Tutors founder and MD Nevil Chiles, interest has significantly increased:
“We’ve seen a very clear increase, year on year since 2010, from both BA/BSc and Masters students looking for extra tuition to top up their university education and the trend is hard to ignore.
“Clearly the number of foreign students across the capital and Home Counties has increased over the past few years but only by around 2 to 5% per annum. The proportion of enquiries we’ve had coming from those from overseas has remained consistent at 25%.
“This suggests, if replicated with other agencies, that students across the board are recognising the importance of getting a head start within the context of an increasingly competitive graduate job market,” added Nevil who has seen student enquiries rise from around 700 in 2008-2009 to just under 1100 over the past 12 months.
Nevil went on “About 70% are studying for a BA or BSc with Business & Marketing, Economics and Law accounting for the lions share. The male to female split has remained consistent at 50:50.
“The vast majority of enquiries we get for private tuition are for GCSE and A Level subjects, predominantly Chemistry, Maths, History at GCSE level and Economics, Psychology and French at A-Level but the proportion of university students requesting our services has grown to 10% over the past 12 months.
“It’s intriguing to note that in the post 2008 Credit Crunch world that more and more students are realising that they need to gain an advantage in some way. Private tuition, whether face-to-face or online through our Webtutornet platform, offers a clear path for them to achieve that,” concluded Nevil.
Kensington and Chelsea Tutors was founded in 2002 by Nevil and has, since then, provided private tuition to over 20,000 school pupils and university students and personally vetted and interviewed over 2,000 tutors across London and the South East.
Webtutornet was founded in 2012 to provide safe and secure online private tuition to pupils and students globally.
KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON!
Private tutors reveal their top ten exam and revision tips
“Keep calm and carry on” is one of the overriding pieces of advice to UK students currently in the midst of GCSEs, A Levels and end-of-year exams from a survey undertaken in May of 500 private tutors.
The eponymous World War 2 poster message, which has become a widely recognised part of popular culture iconography in recent years, is just one of ten ‘tips’ offered by tutors attached to online private tuition platform Webtutornet and Kensington and Chelsea Tutors to help guide students through the stressful ordeal of revision and examinations.
The ten tips are as follows:
1) Stay calm and don’t panic whether you’re in the midst of revision or within an examination environment
2) Get a life balance during the exam period by eating well and getting plenty of sleep with early nights. Aim to get up every morning even when you have no exam!
3) Create a revision plan that involves a clear structure of 40 minutes on and 10 minutes off. Continual intervals from study are essential to learning. One day of revising flat out will negatively affect the following days so spread activity out evenly.
4) Go through past exam papers on a timed basis during revision and try to understand what the examiner is looking for
5) Read the question and answer the question! It may seem obvious but ensure your answers are concise, relevant and clearly structured. Your opinion counts but isn’t enough on its own. You need to demonstrate your knowledge of a subject.
6) Do the questions you find easiest first. Don’t attempt to do them in the order in which they appear on the paper.
7) Read as much as possible whether relevant or irrelevant to your exams. Reading is a form of brain training that will help with revision and your levels of concentration during an exam.
8) Avoid long meandering sentences as nine times out of ten these will act against you. Keep your sentences short and sweet.
9) Towards the end of your exam, if you have time, reread all of your answers. You are bound to come across a mistake of some description and this is the easiest way to improve marks at the last minute
10) Understand how the marking works for each question and find the marks scheme on the exam board’s website. There’s no point spending lots of time on questions that offer few points to the detriment of more rewarding ones.
Nevil Chiles, who founded Kensington & Chelsea Tutors in 2002 and Webtutornet in 2012, commented: “The tips we received from the tutors surveyed make for interesting reading and undoubtedly reveal that a calm and organised approach to both revision and exams will reap dividends.
“This is the most stressful time of the year for hundreds of thousands of students of all ages and it’s therefore important to prepare in the right way,” added Nevil who has personally interviewed and vetted over 2000 tutors in the past 11 years.
A recent survey of 200 private tutors has revealed a palpable sense of anxiety and uncertainty about the future on the part of many pupils in primary and secondary education in the light of reforms instituted by the coalition Government.
Around 40% of the tutors surveyed stated that their students were exhibiting a lack of confidence in the many changes being announced by central Government to both GCSE and A Level curriculums.
The survey was conducted by online private tuition platform Webtutornet and Kensington & Chelsea Tutors and posed the following question: “How have the changes to primary and secondary education introduced by the coalition government affected your tuition planning and how have they impacted, if at all, on the confidence and readiness of pupils in their coursework and exam preparations?”
Nevil Chiles, who founded Webtutornet in 2012 and is MD of Kensington & Chelsea Tutors, commented: “Since the coalition Government came into power there has been a raft of announcements about radical changes to education and we often forget the impact all of this has on the pupils themselves.
“What we’ve discovered is that it’s all having a negative impact on the confidence levels for a significant minority particularly those considering the humanities as a path forward at degree level.
“There is a lot of uncertainty out there and a lot of mixed messages coming from those in power in this is only complicated by u-turns and amendments to proposed changes,” added Nevil.
One tutor commented: “Whilst students are certainly as prepared as they’ve ever been for exams there is a distinct lack of confidence as it seems that the exam system, with A* at A Level, is increasingly stifling creative thought.
“With the exam system setting out criteria so precisely following the controversies of the past 12 months it seems students are less prepared to demonstrate original thinking because they are tending to become more risk averse.”
Another tutor noted: “Students seem to be more and more confused about their syllabus and this, in turn, affects their approach to exams. They are unsure as to what formats will be in place next year and simply don’t know what is expected of them.”
“Many pupils recognise that the system is a bit of a lottery and they might work hard and think they’ve done well only to find out they haven’t,” said another surveyed tutor.
Nevil continued: “I have personally interviewed over 2,000 private tutors in the past 11 years and the levels of uncertainty expressed by many of their pupils are a genuine cause for concern.
“All private tutors and teachers have to prepare their lessons carefully but they have to be constantly aware of the prevailing zeitgeist in education and curriculum requirements when the goalposts are continually moving as seems to be the case at present,” added Nevil.
Here’s my views on an education news story on today’s BBC website…
Cambridge to tutor A-level physics
Academics from Cambridge University are to help tutor sixth-form physics students across the UK to prepare them better for university study.
Encouraging people to study physics can only be a good thing as we are being left behind by the rest of the world, especially Asia, in this field.
This is also a clear indication of a trend towards online learning. Here at Webtutornet we truly believe that online learning is the future of education.
– Easter is the time when demand for private tuition starts to increase with end of year exams on the horizon
– The number of parents enquiring about online face-to-face tuition is on the rise
– 60% of those taking private tuition are female
– Tuition requests for the 6-11 age group up 20% due to 7+ exam
– Tuition requests from pupils direct doubled in the last year
– Mothers continue to be the main drivers when it comes to opting for private tuition
The face of private tuition looks set to change forever according to education expert Nevil Chiles!
Despite the economic situation the demand for private tuition continues to rise with a growing number of enquiries from parents and pupils specifically requesting an online variation.
That’s the finding of Kensington and Chelsea Tutors, a private tuition agency that’s operated across London and the South East for the past 11 years, and its associated pioneering online platform Webtutornet which allows pupils and tutors to connect for face-to-face private tuition over the internet.
Webtutornet, and other online tuition resources, represent the future of private tuition according to founder Nevil Chiles, MD of K&C Tutors: “Delivering private tutorials online will soon become the norm as today’s media savvy Facebook generation recognise the inherent advantages.
“The days of tutors travelling through rush hour traffic to deliver a lesson at a pupil’s home are numbered.
“Webtutornet is one of the solutions available that offer parents peace of mind with a safe, secure and closely monitored service.
“It costs £50 to register with everyone who signs up receiving a pack with webcam, microphone and smart pen and pad to allow for the online sharing of resources. No software is required.
“We are approaching the busy period for private tutors. Easter tends to be a watershed with many parents and a growing number of pupils themselves, recognising the importance of topping up their classroom education and preparing effectively for those all important exams in the summer.
“We’ve seen a very clear increase in the numbers requesting an online approach and that trend is sure to continue,” added Nevil who has worked within education as a teacher and academic for over 20 years.
That trend is one of a few that Nevil and his team have identified. There has been a 20% increase over the course of the last 12 months in 6-11 year-olds opting for extra curricular tuition due to the introduction of 7 plus tests and pupils themselves are increasingly taking the initiative and organising their own lessons.
“The number of students contacting us direct has doubled in the last year,” continued Nevil “from one in twenty to around one in ten but mothers continue to be the main driving force when it comes to extra education.
“From the start with K&C Tutors in 2002 we’ve seen a consistent 60%-40% split with more females opting for private tuition. Perhaps the girls are more conscientious?” added Nev.
One recent convert to online private tuition is mother-of-three Mrs Rifat from Oxfordshire but she had her initial concerns.
“The single most important consideration as a parent is that the system is safe and secure and that the tutor involved has been vetted by the tuition facilitator.
“You have to have peace of mind if you are to entrust your child’s education into the hands of a relative stranger online and I found it important personally to chat initially online with the tutor that we use. That puts your mind at rest.
“Secondly you must be confident that the information shared during the lesson remains confidential and secure and this is very much the case with solutions such as Webtutornet.
“Since then each and every lesson has gone very smoothly and it’s a simple and easy way of delivering private tuition,” added Mrs Rifat.
Each and every K & C tutor is personally vetted by the company. In fact Nevil himself has interviewed over 2,000 to date with every successful applicant undergoing strict checks and CRB accreditation.
There are significant advantages from the tutor’s perspective as Angad Rihal, a maths teacher engaged by Mrs Rifat, explained: “This is a truly bespoke solution that has been developed for the student with teaching in mind. The ease of use clearly shows it has been masterminded by people in the industry and is far superior to just using dabble board or Skype.
“This is finally bridging the gap between the internet and private teaching which is long overdue and fitting given the tech savvy zeitgeist.
“It also saves a lot of time on travelling to the homes of students which, with traffic the way it is, can be a priceless advantage!” added Angad.
Nevil summarised: “Systems such as Webtutornet allow tutors and pupils to be anywhere in the world when conducting lessons. It is inevitable that this approach will become the norm!”
The future is here and it’s clear that Webtutornet is in the vanguard of the changing face of private tuition!
For more details visit http://www.webtutornet.com
** Level sixth-form playing field call ** The government should level the playing field for post-16 education in England, the Sixth Form Colleges Association will tell MPs on Tuesday.
< http://www.bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/news/education-21579926 >
Shouldn’t funding decisions be dependent on what is being taught and the quality of the teaching however I agree with David Igoe. Why should sixth form colleges be treated differently to institutions providing equivalent qualifications?
The report states, ‘… that sixth-form colleges tend to attract students with lower GCSE grades and higher levels of deprivation than either academies or school sixth forms.’ I fail to see why that is relevant. Are they successful institutions providing quality courses? Surely that is the only reason to level this playing field?
Schools lack adequate wi-fi
Only about a quarter of schools in England have good enough wi-fi to get the best out of digital technology, figures suggest.
Schools obviously need to provide high quality broadband wi-fi to their students but let’s not be too critical. We’re coming out of the worst recession in a generation and many schools are lacking far more than fast broadband. Playing fields for example?
The internet is obviously rapidly becoming an integral tool in education. As MD of http://www.webtutornet.com I obviously have a vested interest in this but I am concerned that the education system needs funding root and branch. Let’s not forget the fundamentals of our schooling whilst continuing to look to the future.
Security is also important. With growth in internet access in schools comes the increased risk of exposing children to unsuitable material.
I love the D of E spokeswoman’s comment, “Head teachers manage their own budgets and are best placed to decide the extent to which they make wi-fi accessible in their schools.” i.e. whatever the issue it’s not our fault.
Poorest need entrance test help
Some selective state schools should do more to help poorer children pass their entrance exams, suggests a government-funded study.
Unfortunately money (or lack of it) is a bar to many things. It is an unfortunate fact that parents who can afford extra tuition are going to give their children an advantage over those who cannot, whether this is building towards entrance examinations or for general school work.
At K & C we encounter many parents who request tuition for specific school entrance tests as well as for 11+ and 13+. Private tuition working towards these tests creates a paradox for the schools. Clearly what they are looking for is students who can pass not students who can learn to pass through extensive preparation. Many schools continually change their papers to try to subvert this but tutors are never far behind.
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** Web safety lessons urged for infants ** Children as young as five should be given lessons in how to use the internet safely, campaigners have urged.
Much of this is about parental control! As a father of three young children I can see how computer use and the internet is of increasing interest to the young. As children become ever more I.T. savvy it is extremely important that parents carefully monitor the content they are accessing.
Publishers of unsuitable websites aimed at the young should also be held strongly to account.
Also, ever more sophisticated mobile devices are equally if not more problematic as they are far more difficult to monitor.
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