Tonight Show – ITV1 8th November 2012 – The Best Start in Life
I just watched the ITV1 Tonight’s programme about education, the booming tuition industry and whether too much pressure was put on young children to achieve academic success.
I have to say, as a mother of three children, a grandmother, an ex deputy school teacher and reponsible for Kip McGrath Education Centres in Scotland since 1999, I wasn’t exactly surprised at the content of the programme in general. I introduced Kip McGrath Education Centres to Scotland in 1999 and we now have 26 centres throughout Scotland providing maths and English tuition to children from age 5 to 18 right up to Higher Secondary Level. We also have over 200 centres throughout the UK in England, Ireland and Wales and I have been chatting to them this evening about the programme.
The programme was right in that the tuition industry is booming throughout the UK. Scotland was not really focussed on in the programme but certainly here we are experiencing higher than ever demands for tuition from parents. That includes children from Primary 1 to 6th Year Secondary. .England, Ireland and Wales Kip McGrath Centres are also achieving unprecedented enquiries for assessments for children from year 1.
I was slightly annoyed that a national tuition centre was featured in the programme who are not in the main qualified teachers. Many of their centre owners are not qualified teachers and employ “instructors” to tutor children in English and maths with repetitive worksheets and computer exercises which some children who have turned to Kip have reported as being very repetitive. Whilst this method can help some children, at Kip McGrath Education Centres, as qualified teachers, we teach children to re-learn areas of weakness or gaps in learning that may have occurred.
Kip McGrath Tuition Centres UK
I felt it important having watched this programme to emphasise the difference in Kip McGrath tuition as opposed to other national tuition centres and private tuition. I felt personally that the Tonight Show, focussed on extreme cases and neglected the bigger picture. A 2/3 year old has no need of tuition. Some parents do wish to give their children a greater start in education and enrol their children at an early age. Most children engage a tutor from year 2 onwards when certain difficulties are identified. At Kip McGrath Education Centres, every one of our 200 centres in the UK is owned and run by a qualified teacher. Every centre employs Maths and English tutors but they must be qualified and experienced teachers and be experienced in teaching. THIS IS NOT THE CASE WITH OUR COMPETITORS!
Our Reaction to the ITV1 Best Start in Life Programme
Many of my fellow Kip McGrath Teachers throughout the UK have contacted me who have watched the show and this is some of the comments they would like to make:
One of the reasons that Kip McGrath after school tuition franchise has become so successful with teachers (there are now over 200 centres open in the UK and Irleand) and what sets it apart from other companies offering similar services to parents is the fact that all Kip McGrath franchisees have to be qualified and experienced teachers. Martin Rimmer who runs the Lisburn centre along side his wife Clare explains. “The philosophy of the Kip McGrath founders, “any child can learn if they are taught properly” really resonated with us when we first starting looking into starting our own tuition business. All the centres are run and owned by local teachers and 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 and the Kip McGrath resources along side the support of having a franchisee network with a huge pool of experience mean that the tuition provided is of the highest quality.
The program completely neglected the Scottish education system. There was also an absence of children who had slipped behind for any reason and needed the help for which Kip McGrath was originally designed.
If you haven’t already watched ‘Tonight’s ITV News’ then take a look. They are featuring some of the extremes of tutoring. I would say that some of the points raised are valid – we will have to be able to compete with China and the Far East in the not too distant future as this is where the huge economic growth is taking place.
However, tutoring can be used very successfully, without the pressure, and used to develop skills and confidence for many aspects of a child’s life – not just their ability to pass a test. I would argue that attending Kip makes them a more rounded and happy individual, learning skills that will allow them to overcome any obstacle put in their way, regardless of how big or small that obstacle is or becomes.
All too often kids who are quiet get left behind because teachers are too busy dealing with those students who don’t want to learn. This is an all too frequent reality in most state schools up and down the country.”