Extra Academic Support or Not is the Red Hot Question
07 March 2018

Extra Academic Support or Not is the Red Hot Question

Following the Trend

The January edition of School Report has published a series of articles exploring the role of extra pupil support based on the premise that parents are increasingly seeking extra help for their children’s academic success. Below is an outline of some factors for this upward trend: 

  • There are inequalities in standards of teaching and resources  from one school to another.
  • Many parents’ don’t get a real choice about which school their  child will be allocated a place.
  • Schools that are high in the league tables are very sought after,  so competition for places is  fierce. Many parents’ experience this  process as ‘a lottery’, depending on whether their  address is in  the ‘right’ catchment area for a leading state school.
  • Schools themselves, both selective and some mainstream that  are high in the league tables want the very best candidates to  secure their places in the league tables which  in turn, puts huge  pressure on pupils and parents to respond to these increasing expectations.
  • Everyone is under pressure to improve and excel, but the  resources for constantly raising the  bar often remain the same.   Especially true for mainstream schools, and the economic  climate  of recent years has strained their budgets further. 

Blaming and complaining is useless.  Government changes and legislative solutions are often well-intentioned and usually come with pros and cons.  So what IS the answer?  Evidence indicates that parents are choosing to do what they can in the form of extra help for their children.

How can parents decide if extra academic support is the right choice for their child?

  • Identify/clarify what is important to you regarding your child’s education
  • Honestly ask yourself does your child have the ability regarding your academic aspirations/expectations of them
  • If your child is not managing at school or unhappy, explore/investigate any issues with the school (including poor teaching, peer or teacher bullying)
  • Explore any medical or learning needs such as hearing problem, short-sightedness or dyslexia

Based on your findings, extra help for your child may be the right choice to make!

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