One in three pupils in London’s least affluent schools have paid for a private tutor

One in three pupils (34%) in London’s least affluent schools have paid for a private tutor, new figures show.

Research conducted by the education charity The Access Project also reveals that 27% of London students on free school meals have received private tuition.

The Access Project matches volunteer graduates with motivated students for one-to-one tutorials. The charity works in partnership with schools where 30% or more of pupils are eligible for free school meals – almost double the national average.

Earlier this year The Sutton Trust found that 38% of students in London secondary schools had received private tuition. The new figures demonstrate that the use of private tutors is far from being a purely middle-class pursuit: even poorer families in the capital are paying anywhere up to £50 per hour for support.

The Access Project’s Director, Andrew Berwick, said: "We know that there is an arms race in educational support as parents try to help their children achieve top grades. What I think people don't realise is the scale of spending by parents from less affluent backgrounds.

“When you look at the excellence gap - the difference in attainment at the top end of A-level by the most and least affluent - it becomes apparent why less affluent parents are spending a lot of money to help break this cycle of disadvantage.

"Having said that, we believe schools are far and away the most effective drivers of student improvement - and we've created a way for schools to help their most ambitious students to achieve at the very top academic level."

Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of The Access Project, on Tuesday 4 February, 2014. For more information subscribe and follow

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