While the private tutorial market is booming, that doesn’t mean that every single actor is enjoying the benefits. Furthermore, there are a lot of factors to take into account when it comes to academic support for children.

The most important things to think of are:

  • How can we deal with an education system that’s failing so many young students?
  • Can every teacher provide quality tuition to large classes year on year?
  • How is the state educating students and helping them make their way into the labour market?

We’ve got a lot of questions to answer.

In this article, we're going to look at the academic support market in the UK, the reasons behind its growth, the largest companies operating in the market, and how private tutoring can help students who are being failed by the education system in this country.

What Is the Academic Support Market in the UK Like?

There are a lot of organisations, groups, and companies in the academic support market.

Where can you find private tutors?
Superprof brings together tutors and students from all over the world. (Source: TheAndrasBarta)

Since there’s everything from charitable organisations offering support to e-learning platforms, let’s have a look at what they do.

Specialised Organisations

These organisations make up a significant part of the market. There are two ways for tutoring to work: Either the family hires a private tutor directly and acts as their employer or they contact a company that provides them with a tutor and the family acts as a customer.

There are tutoring groups, businesses, self-employed tutors, and public education groups offering help to struggling students. Usually, students will find a tutor through a company. Most of the time, companies will find tutors for the customer and offer them private tutorials at their home or homework help in a specific place, like a library, for example. Some even offer online tutoring services. In this case, the family entrusts the company with the administration and finding the right tutors.

You should know that there are also charitable organisations offering tutoring services, too. These are useful for families with limited budgets who otherwise wouldn’t be able to pay for private tutorials.

Finally, you can also find plenty of tutors who are working for themselves.

Platforms Connecting Tutors to Students

There are platforms that help students find tutors and vice versa. With more and more tutors deciding to work for themselves, these types of platforms have become more important.

Sites such as Superprof were created for this very reason. In just a few clicks, you can find academic support for a multitude of different subjects including:

  • Maths (algebra, calculus, trigonometry, etc.)
  • Foreign languages such as French, Italian, German, Spanish, Chinese, Russian, etc.
  • Science including physics, chemistry, biology, etc.
  • English
  • One on one refresher classes
  • Exam or test prep
  • Etc.

The goal is to help students to easily find a tutor near them who can help them with a subject they’re struggling with, for example.

Undeclared Work

There are still tutors around who are working cash-in-hand and not declaring their earnings. It’s hugely important that tutors declare their earnings to HMRC and pay the appropriate taxes and National Insurance contributions.

Do tutors need to pay tax?
Crime doesn't pay. (Source: Free-Photos)

Additionally, if you don’t, there are penalties such as:

  • Fines
  • Imprisonment
  • Paying unpaid tax

There are plenty of benefits to operating as a sole trader. Such as not going to prison...

Why Is the Academic Support Market Growing?

Education is a quick way to combat unemployment and most parents know this. This is why the academic support market continues to grow.

Parents want to help their children get the best possible grades and exam results at every stage of their education. From SATs, GCSEs, A Levels, and their degree.

There are two main tendencies when it comes to private tutorials:

  • The demand for academic support grows around the start of a new academic year.
  • There’s also a spike in demand around March.

The offering is also changing. Students in primary school, secondary school, college, sixth form, and university can easily find academic resources for learning.

There are plenty of websites helping students get over academic difficulties. This allows them to get over problems in maths or foreign languages from the comfort of their own home. We’re starting to see the democratisation of the market.

Previously, families were forced to work with massive home tutoring companies (which often charged a fortune) if they wanted to find a private tutor. Nowadays, you can find private tutors in just a few clicks.

Thus, you can find tutors to help with:

  • Catching up
  • Understanding why students are failing
  • Refresher classes
  • Homework help
  • Achieving high grades

Additionally, you can find them for competitive rates.

The Big Names in the Academic Support Market

General Organisations You Should Know

For the most part, academic support companies offer a huge variety of different courses and levels.

Which are the biggest academic support companies?
There are some really big academic support companies. (Source: Pexels)

A lot of students get in touch with these companies and groups to find:

  • Maths tutorials, Spanish tutorials, philosophy tutorials, etc.
  • Academic coaching
  • Help with applying to universities
  • Tutorials for study skills

Whether it’s during the summer holidays or during the school term, these types of companies can help students find tutors and take care of the administration.

Specific Groups

Big tutoring companies offer a variety of solutions depending on what students need to learn. There are a few companies that may come to mind and some offer video tutorials and courses for professionals, for example.

Certain companies focus on learning languages and organising trips abroad for students. This is a very popular type of tuition. Other platforms help students studying A Levels.

In some cases, students are encouraged to work with different tutors in order to match up their learning style with the right pedagogy. These organisations tend to provide academic guidance for students as well, helping them choose the right university courses to apply to, etc.


In addition to the big players who’ve been around forever, there are also plenty of newer groups when it comes to one on one tutoring, academic tutoring, and bespoke instruction.

Superprof is the largest community of tutors online (1 million as of 2016). Tutors can create an account and profile explaining what type of tuition they offer and we help the students find the online tutor or home tutor that meets their needs.

When the National Education System Fails, What Is an Effective Solution?

There are some worrying statistics when it comes to education and pupils falling behind.

How can private tutorials help struggling students?
Children can learn more effectively with private tutors. (Source: rawpixel)

Apparently, one in eight secondary schools in the UK is failing. This means 12.5% of schools aren’t up to scratch! This is made more alarming when you think that this basically accounts for over 300,000 students in England alone!

There are huge inequalities when it comes to education. A-level pass rates were at their lowest for eight years. Of course, it seems that every year there’s a whole heap of controversy surrounding pass rates. If too many students pass, the exams are too easy, if too many fail, then the students or the schools are to blame.

That said, there are students who genuinely struggle at school, especially when there are problems at home such as a divorce or bereavement or when students have special educational needs.

These problems are compounded when you have overworked teachers trying to teach larger and larger groups of students. There are a few ways to address these issues. Similarly, there are definitely teachers in schools going above and beyond to help.

However, they can’t do everything and even the best teachers may fall short when the education system fails them. We can now use digital resources to bring together students and educators.

In a few years, all this work will bear fruit.

Now you know a bit more about the academic support market and how it can help you achieve academic success. Whether you're looking for an English tutor, chemistry tutor, or even writing tutors, you're bound to be able to find the right person.

Are you a tutor or a student looking for an educator?

Don’t hesitate to look for academic support classes or tutorials. There are a lot of benefits. If you're interested in teaching or becoming a tutor, then you could start looking for tutoring jobs. More and more people are choosing to be tutored privately and the best tutors will have no problem finding students.

You can create your profile on Superprof and start offering one on tutorials, tutorials over webcam, or group tutorials. Generally speaking, the latter costs the most per hour (for the student) and the latter costs less per student but can earn the tutor much more.

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