The private tutoring market has been growing in recent years. More and more start-ups have been creating employment after the economic crisis at the end of the last decade and the “side hustle” has become an important part of modern employment.

Many parents are also concerned that school is failing their children or that their children could do with academic support.

With both of these tendencies, academic support tutorials have grown in popularity and have helped students improve by learning in new and interesting ways.

In this article, we’re going to look at how the academic support and private tutoring market has grown in the UK.

The Key Figures for the Private Tutoring Market

The numbers say more than a long speech ever could. Let’s have a look at the size of the academic support market.

Who can get private tutorials?
Pupils from primary school and secondary school can get private tutorials. (Source: StockSnap)

The Size of the Private Tutoring Market

The market is estimated at £6.5bn in the UK. This means there are plenty of tutor jobs available both academically through supplemental instruction and for non-academic subjects like yoga, physical training, arts and crafts, etc.

What Percentage of Students Get Private Tutorials?

When it comes to academic support, there are 2.8 million pupils getting extra tuition from tutors. To better understand this figure, there are a total of 11.7 million pupils in primary, secondary, post-secondary education in England. This basically means that almost a quarter of pupils in the UK get extra tuition.

Since private tutors cost money, extra tuition is more common among middle and upper-class families. However, with the market growing, there are more opportunities for working-class families to also get academic support.

Useful Information for Parents Interested in Private Tutorials

Most students getting private tutorials are those studying exams like GCSEs and A Levels. The market has been growing for years. In fact, there was a big boom in the market in 2016 and over 40% of students in London were getting private tutorials. However, this highlighted an inequality in education.

Tutors are commonly contacted at the start of the academic year and in March as students approach the end of year exams. There are tutors for a plethora of different subjects all over the UK. There are over 5 million tutors on Superprof from all over the world.
Commonly taught subjects include:

  • Maths (algebra, calculus, trigonometry, etc.)
  • Sciences (physics, chemistry, biology, etc.)
  • Languages (English, French, Spanish, Italian, Chinese, Russian, etc.)
  • Study skills and exam and test prep (GCSE, A Levels, degree mentoring, etc.)

There’s no single type of tutor, either. There are students, retired teachers, and those who tutor full time. There are also tutors who offer non-academic tutorials such as yoga and arts and crafts.

The Key Players for Academic Support

When it comes to academic support, there are several big players vying for the top spot in the market (or just to find customers).

Where can you find private tutorials?
Academic support platforms help tutors find students and vice versa. (Source: rawpixel)

There are general tutoring companies and specialist tutoring companies. The best known are:

  • UK Tutors
  • Tutorful
  • Tutorhunt
  • First Tutors
  • Tutorhouse
  • Superprof

The biggest players don’t actually make up that much of the market. Similarly, with tutors not declaring their earnings, there’s a shadow economy surrounding the academic support market which can make calculating its true size quite difficult. That said, it has become more cost-effective for tutors to declare their earnings, pay tax, and make their national insurance contributions.

In recent years, the big players have seen their growth slow through increased competition. However, the market itself is still growing steadily.

A lot of these are pure players (businesses that exist solely online) which offer services such as online lessons and resources that can be accessed at any time. Now there are more platforms that allow users to freely choose their tutors.

This is the model adopted by Superprof that allows people looking for academic support tutorials to search for a private tutor by subject and location and then get in touch with tutors from anywhere in the world. It doesn’t matter where you are in the UK or what your budget is as there are plenty of tutors all over the company. Our goal is to provide healthy competition so that private tutorials are affordable for everyone. It’s never been easier to find a private tutor.

Why Are Parents Getting in Touch with Private Tutors?

Parents and pupils have plenty of reasons for getting in touch with private tutors. Whether they need help with maths, are struggling with science, or would like better results in foreign language classes, tutors can help.

Academic Support for Struggling Students

When parents or teachers first realise that a pupil is struggling, they often decide to get in touch with an academic advisor or counsellor. In this case, the tutor will have a look at why the student’s grades are dipping.

They’ll act as both an academic coach and a teacher and help the student find effective ways to learn and improve their academic performance.

Academic Support Can Improve Exam Results

Students are sometimes really good at certain subjects but struggle in others. Generally, we group the humanities together (English, German, French, philosophy, history, etc.) and the sciences (maths, physics, chemistry, biology, etc.).

Why do students get private tutorials?
Private tutorials are a great way to improve exam results. (Source: ken19991210)

Even pupils who tend to be good at every subject may have one or two subjects that they could get some help with.

Academic Support for Getting Great Results

Every parent wants the best future for their children. Academic support is great for helping children achieve good results. Even for students that excel in school, the help of a private tutor can get the most out of their study and ensure that they always have top grades. Whether they’re at primary school, secondary school, college, or university, academic support tutorials are great for the best and brightest.

Academic Support for Catching Up

Some pupils have parents that move a lot. Sometimes students can miss a lot of class through illness, for example.

Life is full of ups and downs and private tutors can help students who’ve missed a lot of class to catch up with their studies.

Academic Support for Helping Parents

Sometimes parents have to leave early in the morning and don’t get back from work until late in the evening. An academic support tutor could help parents in a number of ways. For example:

  • Looking after children
  • Helping them with homework
  • Ensuring they’ve understood their lessons from school
  • Assisting the student throughout school

Of course, this will vary depending on the student’s age.

Find out more about private tutoring websites.

The academic support market is democratising.

What does this mean?

Basically, the big players are seeing their growth slow. This is partly due to other actors offering their services online. The arrival of platforms connecting tutors to students (just like ours) has affected the growth of traditional tutoring companies.

What are the benefits of private tutorials?
Private tutorials can help you achieve your goals. (Source: danfador)

By putting tutors in touch with students, these platforms have completely changed the offering. Students don’t need to go to a company anymore if they want a private tutor. With Superprof, for example, you’ll pay only when you find the tutor you want. After that, you’ll contact the tutor directly.

Democratisation means that anyone can become an entrepreneur and offer a service, sell a product, or teach, for example. The internet has changed the offering in this sector. The academic support market is doing well. Furthermore, working cash-in-hand is no longer cost-effective.

The internet has led to a dynamic and competitive market. The ability to create a business or company and start offering private tutorials has helped aspiring tutors achieve success without taking too many risks. You can bet that more and more tutors are going to start working for themselves and use these types of tutoring platforms even more in the future.

Similarly, in schools around the country, teachers are trying to provide more bespoke teaching approaches to students. Whether you're offering online tutoring services or home tutoring, you need to make sure you offer bespoke instruction if you want to be a success and get more tutoring jobs.

When students want to find a tutor, they want someone who'll help them achieve academic success. The main difference between one on one tutoring and learning in school is that with academic tutoring, you're usually the only student. Unlike in school where the teacher is tasked with providing general instruction to a number of students, tutors are expected to tailor their lessons to each individual student.

Whether you're an online tutor, chemistry tutor, English tutor, study skills tutor, reading tutor, French tutor, etc., you need to make sure that each tutee feels their time spent with you is worthwhile. The best tutors will also offer free tutoring for the first hour so they can be sure that they get along with the student and feel confident in their ability to provide quality tuition to each learner.

If you provide a quality service and take pride in your work, you'll find that it's quite easy to become a tutor. In fact, you don't even need to be a certified teacher!

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Joseph is a French and Spanish to English translator, language enthusiast, and blogger.