Under-pressure teachers ditch schools to become private tutors

Tuition firms report surge in applications from staff tired of ‘politics, pressure and long hours’ in state schools

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Private tuition firms are reporting a huge spike in applications from teachers who are turning their backs on the pressures and long hours involved in working in schools.

It comes amid warnings of a growing teacher recruitment crisis and falling pay in schools, at a time when tutoring demand is predicted to soar under proposals to expand grammar schools.

William Clarence, a London-based firm that works mainly with full-time tutors, has seen applications from experienced teachers double in the past year.

Managing director Stephen Spriggs said that he had been “deluged” with applicants – around 85 teachers send him their CVs each week. He attributed the increase to teachers’ growing workloads and the burden of bureaucracy in schools.

He said: “There’s a lot of stress in teaching. People probably went into it because they enjoy teaching – working directly with pupils and seeing the results – but then actually don’t get to do as much of it as they’d like.”

Tutoring offered “comparable pay without the school politics”, as well as greater flexibility, he said. Rates start at around £20 an hour, but the most qualified tutors – those who can help pupils pass entrance exams at independent schools such as Eton and Harrow – can charge up to £200 an hour.

Keystone Tutors, which is based in London and Oxford, has noted a significant increase in applications over the past 18 months. Its director of education Ed Richardson said that teachers putting in long hours at school were realising that they could earn the same amount in far less time as a £30-an-hour tutor, the going rate in London.

Keystone has seen a particular surge in applications from Teach First graduates.

Mr Richardson said: “They’re going into tutoring and cover work because they want to move away from the classroom and need to earn money in an interim period before they become a lawyer or enter a graduate programme.”

This is an edited article from the 7 October edition of TES. Subscribers can read the full article here. To subscribe, click here. This week's TES magazine is available in all good newsagents. To download the digital edition, Android users can click here and iOS users can click hereYou can also download the TES Reader app for Android and iOs.

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