There are plenty of questions flying around the Education system at the moment in the United Kingdom. Questions like, "Why is the UK education now rated the 6th best in the world?" "Why are there so many international students in the U.K now?" "Why does every other person seem to have a tutor?"
A recent BBC article investigated the world of global 'Super Tutors.' The article suggests that 72% of students in Hong Kong have a tutor, that is a staggering amount. In addition, there are 70,000 students in Hong Kong, of these only 18,000 go on to university, that's almost 1 in 4, again a staggering statistic.
Tutor 'Kings and Queens' in Hong Kong and China are the real deal, their faces are advertised on buses running through the city, they all have a rock star status, one of them even drives a Lamborghini! These tutors run evening revision sessions, inspiring students and motivating them to learn and ultimately pass their important exams. King tutors charge vast sums of money, they do however help less well-off students, but in classes of over 100, not really private tutoring. However, they are doing something right.
This surge in tutoring comes from a growth in the number of universities and increasing numbers of school leavers aiming for university. It's university or bust time, Chinese students and parents are feeling the strain of university competition.
In the U.K it seems almost to be the opposite, yes children require tutors, that there is no doubt, some more than others. Although U.K students seem less interested in university, certainly compared to China. This is of course due to the rise in university fees, but there must be something else? What though?
Do teachers and tutors have less of a free reign, do they have to adhere to school and government regulations, which at this moment in time is the opposite of these highflying tutors in Hong Kong. Classrooms here are uninspiring, boring and de-motivating, which is a real shame. Parents and children always praise private tuition, grades improve, confidence increases and children are inspired to learn.
I like the image of these King and Queen tutors, they are very important and influential. Perhaps this is what we need here in the U.K. Perhaps if we had this focus on academic success and gave tutors and teachers more respect and muscle then students and children would achieve better grades, giving them more opportunities. Perhaps if Mr Gove stopped messing around with the Education system and King and Queen tutors were running the show, there would be more respect for education and academic achievement. Perhaps this would bring back competition in the classroom throughout the U.K, the 'geeky' kids who do well, simply are not seen as cool, "It's not cool to be clever Sir," one young boy once told me.
This has to change and I believe that private tutors can lead the way to this academic success, which seems to be slipping away from the U.K.
Super tutors are the answer then, surely? Now where's that Kryptonite?