Like many people I watched the ITV programme The Best Start in Life tonight. Being a teacher/tutor myself I had a specific interest but found myself responding to it more as a mother than an educational professional. I own and run the Kip McGrath Tuition Centre in Urmston but also have 3 daughters aged between 5 & 10 years old.
Whilst I want the best for my children, I also want them to have a happy, balanced childhood. I want them to do well at school but equally I want them to have friends and non-academic hobbies. I think most of my friends and the parents of the children I tutor feel the same way.
I agreed with some of the points raised, certainly here in Trafford a very significant proportion of parents engage a private tutor to help prepare their child for Entrance Exams for the Grammar schools but many parents simply want a little extra help for their child who may be struggling at school or lacking confidence.
Some of the children featured in this programme represented real extremes in parental expectation and I am concerned that this kind of pressure can be very damaging to a child’s emotional and psychological development. Children aged 3 should not be expected to do homework every day! Likewise primary aged children should not be expected to be achieving GCSE level!
The type of extreme tuition featured in the programme this evening, whilst not typical, goes totally against the ethos of Kip McGrath Education Centres and we do not endorse this type of unrealistic over-tuition.
Our Insight programme makes learning fun!
One of the reasons that the Kip McGrath after school tuition centres have become so successful with teachers and parents (there are now over 200 centres open in the UK and Ireland, 12 centres in the Manchester area alone and over 20 centres in the North West) and what sets it apart from other companies offering similar services to parents is the fact that all Kip McGrath centre owners have to be qualified and experienced teachers. The philosophy of the Kip McGrath founders, “any child can learn if they are taught properly” really resonated with Claire & I when we first starting looking into starting our own tuition business. All Kip McGrath Education Centres are run and owned by local teachers. Their teaching skills and years of experience prior to owning the business mean that the service parents can expect is tailored specifically to every child’s needs. Excellent teaching is what the Kip McGrath method of tutoring is based upon. Kip McGrath teachers teach each child at their own level and we do not recommend extra study at home each evening on top of school work and extra tuition. Homework is set to reinforce learning but we understand that children are already under pressure from school to complete homework and children need time to play and relax.
Overall I was disappointed that the ITV Best Start in Life programme makers didn’t choose some more representative families and tutors and explore the many positive effects that a balanced approach to tuition can have. For me, one of the best parts of my job is seeing a child who was previously struggling begin to bloom and enjoy their work and when parents report back to me that their child’s confidence levels have soared! Sadly it would seem that happy children and well balanced families don’t make gripping TV documentaries!
Read blogs by some of my Kip McGrath colleagues about ITV’s programme on private tuition in the UK
Kip McGrath Scotland
Kip McGrath Lisburn
Kip McGrath Ashford
Kip McGrath Bexley Heath