A lot has been written about the boom in private tutoring “fuelling an education arms race”, and how the rise of tutors has increased pressure on pupils and parents. However, these articles confuse the difference between tutoring done well and tutoring done badly.

Tutoring done badly is damaging.

Pupils learn by rote, the experience is unpleasant, and the pressure on children and parents increases. This is pointless, and if it’s done particularly badly then pupils may even see their performance fall due to the added pressure.  


However, tutoring done well leads to phenomenal benefits and increases in performance.

Pupils develop a unique bond with an expert in their field, who can individualize lessons in a way that is impossible in a school setting.

The very best tutors utilise assessment-led learning. This approach is the best for tutoring because it maximises the gain from every single lesson. The tutor starts each lesson knowing exactly which topics to focus upon, tailoring the strategy to improve areas of weakness and maximise strengths, and they can do this because they’re guided by assessments based on cutting-edge research. No time is wasted, and the results achieved through these methods are exceptional.

But there is another side equally important to tutoring. Parental and pupil anxieties are driven by a fiercely competitive schools’ market, particularly at the 11+ stage. Top independent schools have applicant-to-place ratios in excess of 10-to-1, and for some grammar schools, it’s as much as 30-to-1. Assessment-led tutoring delivers results and helps pupils get into the best school for them, but the stress can still be huge.

As such, there is a major role for tutors to play in order to reduce pressure on both pupil and parent, taking a critical responsibility for welfare. Having a tutor means a great pastoral figure can enter a child’s life, someone they can talk to about their worries and who can help them overcome any anxieties they face, and someone who focuses on their welfare as well as their academics.

So when tutoring is done right it can be a major force for good, in particular when it is assessment-led and welfare-focused. This is the approach at Cavendish Milton, who are London’s leading tutoring agency specialising in the 11+. They have an exceptional success record as a result of this approach which speaks for itself, and you can contact them using the details provided.   

Contact Cavendish Milton for more details on their approach to tutoring at admin@cavendishmilton.com and 020 7637 8865.