The dirty, little secret of middle-class parenting has been neither dirty, little nor secret for quite a while. Families who can afford tutoring often shell out because they find it delivers results. The proof is a global industry expected to reach $280bn by 2027. 

Now the UK is about to embark on the world’s first large-scale, publicly funded experiment of mass tutoring to support those who cannot afford the privilege. In the coming months, a hastily assembled army of tutors will descend on state-funded schools in Britain seeking to reduce learning gaps widened by the pandemic. It should provide an impetus for rethinking some basic tenets of public education...

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