Saving money on tuition: Why Better Tuition may be more affordable than you realise

Better Tuition is an Ofsted-registered tuition centre.

Better Tuition is an Ofsted-registered tuition centre.

Tuition is undeniably popular, with one Ipsos MORI poll finding that more than one in five children outside of London have a private tutor.  Here at Better Tuition, we have seen an increase in student numbers every year since 2008. But whilst it’s clear that tuition is becoming more and more common, some claim that tuition is unaffordable and beyond the financial reach of many ordinary families.

Whilst it would be incorrect to say that everyone can afford tuition – something we wholeheartedly wish was the case – it is possible to save money on tuition in a variety of ways. Better Tuition is an Ofsted-registered tuition centre. This means that parents can save money in the following ways:-

Pay for Tuition with Childcare Vouchers

Most employers offer a childcare voucher scheme, whereby parents of school-age children can opt to have the cost of childcare (or tuition) deducted from their salary before any tax or National Insurance is taken away. This means that if you pay, for example, 25% of your salary in tax and National Insurance, you can save 25% of the cost of lessons at Better Tuition. This is equivalent to one free lesson every four week – a significant saving.

Claim the Childcare Element of Tax Credits or Universal Credit

If you are entitled to Tax Credits you can claim back up to 70% of the cost of tuition via the childcare element. If you claim Universal Credit, the amount you can claim back rises to 85%. These are huge savings: a 75-minute lesson at Better Tuition costs £27 [from 18/09/2017]. With a 70% reduction, the cost comes down to £8.10 per lesson; with an 85% reduction, the cost is just £4.05.

Access the Pupil Premium

Some less well-off families, however, do not have this option. You may already use the full childcare element of your Tax Credits or Universal Credit on after-school or before-school care or you may have to use your full allowance of childcare vouchers for this. For these families, tuition can be difficult to access. Since 2011, however, schools have received the Pupil Premium, which aims to help children who are at a social or economic disadvantage.

The Pupil Premium is targeted at children who are in receipt of free school meals as well as ‘looked after’ or adopted children. The premium ranges from £935 to £1900 (figures from 2015-2016) per pupil so the sum is significant. You can do a lot to help a child with that amount of funding. There is also a small premium of £300 for those whose parents are in the Armed Forces.

The Pupil Premium and Tuition

Schools can and often do pay for extra tuition for some of their students, using the Pupil Premium. Don’t let pride stop you from claiming free school meals: if you are entitled to this, your child may get extra help in other ways. If you want to find out how your child’s school uses the Pupil Premium, this information will more than likely be found on the school website. If not, ask about it at school.

What else is available?

The Pupil Premium, childcare vouchers and Tax Credits do not enable every child to access tuition, which is a real shame. They do, however, make tuition more affordable for many parents than you might expect. It is true that, even with the extra help that is available, not everyone can afford tuition. We passionately believe that all children should have access to as much education as they want or need. For this reason, we try to make a useful resource for all parents. We know that it’s hard for parents to prepare children for entrance exams in particular so we provide as much information as we can. We also have a download store which has many free resources as well as low-cost resources to help improve your child’s academic performance. We believe that education is vital for all children and we hope to give as much information, assistance and resources as possible.

Further Reading About Childcare Vouchers, Tax Credits, Universal Credit and the Pupil Premium:

Find out it if you qualify for Tax Credits – it only takes five minutes.

How the childcare element of Tax Credits works

How the childcare element of Universal Credit works

How the Pupil Premium works

Ofsted reported on the Pupil Premium in 2012

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