UK’s Largest Schools Group Introduces ‘Cognita Tutoring’ With Ambitions To Transform A Currently Unregulated, ‘Wild-West’ Industry
Following a successful pilot during the summer, Cognita Tutoring is now launching fully and will set a new gold standard in online tuition, spear-heading a crucial transition for a previously unregulated industry. From the UK’s largest independent schools group, Cognita Tutoring believes that fully qualified teachers make the best tutors to deliver truly inspiring online lessons. These lessons are supplemented with an award-winning intelligent learning platform, CENTURY, which helps to assess every student from the outset and supports progress with personalised learning between sessions. With a firm focus on working in partnership with parents, tutors keep parents informed every step of the way with regular feedback and online parents’ evenings.
At a time when fostering children’s development in academic, social and emotional terms is front of mind for every parent, educationalist and Minister, Cognita Tutoring’s innovative new service strives to lead the development of a new style and nature of tutoring. Benefiting from knowledge and advice from a board of leading experts, including Sir Kevan Collins (Cognita Board Member and advisor to Cognita Tutoring) and Fidelma Murphy (Director of Education, Cognita) the new offer seeks to enhance children’s learning, development and wellbeing.
Ian Thistlewood, General Manager for Cognita Tutoring, comments; “We spoke to lots of parents and existing tutors to understand what a gold standard tutoring service would look like for families from across the country. We discovered the tutoring market is like the wild west: it’s unregulated by government, anyone can set themselves up as a tutor regardless of qualifications or experience, and there are massive variances in quality. It became clear that there was a need to professionalise this cottage industry by ensuring all our tutors are qualified teachers, supporting their students with the best learning technology, and building a genuine parent partnership into how we do things. We think tutoring should complement and enhance a child’s attainment and confidence in class. Our aim is to deliver the UK’s leading online tuition service that will support every child’s immediate educational concerns and set them up for future success.”
Parents and their children using the new service can be sure that every Cognita tutor is a qualified teacher, is fully background checked, and holds credentials that have been vetted by Cognita, the UK’s largest independent schools group. Each tutor is trained to deliver exceptional online lessons that inspire and engage, and which balance academic attainment with wellbeing and confidence building.
Partnering with CENTURY – award-winning leaders in the EdTech space – the AI-driven ‘intelligent’ platform combines the very latest research in neuroscience with a highly personalised learning system that can define strengths and weaknesses in the child’s knowledge and tailor their learning accordingly. Complementing online tutoring sessions, CENTURY’s micro lessons, known as ‘nuggets’, that can be assigned by the tutor, provide a customised learning path for students between lessons that hones in on areas the child is struggling with. Following months of educational upheavals, the platform is able to bring the child back on track and is particularly beneficial in promoting and nurturing self-confidence and independence by ensuring that the child learns in an individual and focused way.
Currently unregulated, the UK tutoring industry can at times appear to be a minefield. Often overwhelming parents, it can require vast amounts of research, involving background checks, pricing comparisons and a mastery of the latest technology. Further research conducted by Cognita in the UK has found that parents are keen to invest in tutoring, yet they are not informed how their child is progressing when they are actually being tutored, or if the tutor has real-life classroom experience, curriculum expertise, or examination knowledge.
Underpinned by robust external research, Cognita has identified the need for an online tutoring service through which children benefit from the individual focus and attention of a tutor.
“As a global group of independent schools, Cognita invests heavily to ensure our students continue to progress academically, even despite disruptions due to Covid,” explains Ian. “Our new tutoring service has been designed for children outside our group, whose parents are concerned they may be ‘falling behind’ in their education or could do with a boost in confidence to help them get the results that they are capable of achieving.”
According to researchers at the London School of Economics and the University of Exeter, the average school pupil is believed to have lost up to a third of learning time during Covid 19 and with school attainment falling in all subjects – especially in Maths and English – there is an urgent need to address the large segment of children who do not necessarily qualify for additional support.
Cognita Tutoring’s provision is designed to complement what happens in the classroom. Research from The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) indicates that short regular tutoring sessions over a set period of time can be highly effective if linked with normal teaching, with one-to-one tuition delivering approximately five additional months progress and small groups advancing students by a further four months. Evidence from the research also underpins Cognita’s belief that qualified teachers make the best tutors, with nearly twice the effect on average compared to programmes led by less experienced tutors. Former EEF CEO and Cognita Tutoring Advisory Board member, Sir Kevan Collins said: “It is particularly gratifying to see the best possible evidence being used to support the development of Cognita Tutoring.”
How does it work? Each session is tailor-made and costs £55 per student for one-to-one sessions, which can be paid for as you go, however, an initial course of six sessions is recommended. The first session is a non-committal free consultation and provides the opportunity for the parent to meet the tutor and the tutor to meet the child. Thereafter, video feedback is provided to the parent throughout the course, culminating with a mini parents’ evening at the end of the sixth session. Cognita Tutoring allows parents greater involvement and understanding of their child’s academic skills and specific needs, inspiring the parent as well as their child. Currently, the subjects offered are English, Maths and Science for Year 3 through to Year 11.
Cognita Tutoring recognises the new service will be out of reach for many parents, specifically for deprived and low-income families, but plans are already afoot to create a giving programme in order to address this.
Commenting, Cognita’s Group Education Director, Fidelma Murphy, said; “It is well-documented, where good-quality education is provided to children, it can play a decisive role in formulating the child’s life. At Cognita this has always been the goal: to provide an inspiring world of education. With the arrival of Covid and many children falling behind, Cognita’s successful foundation has been leveraged to create Cognita Tutoring, making expert tuition more accessible to the state-educated child.”