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Marketising private tuition: Representations of tutors' competence, entrepreneurial opportunities, and service legitimation in home tutoring business manuals

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posted on 03.09.2019, 10:30 by Sarah HollowaySarah Holloway, Helena Pimlott-WilsonHelena Pimlott-Wilson
Education researchers have explored the marketisation of schools resulting from neoliberal education policy, but little attention has been paid to supplementary education markets. Supplementary education services, such as private tuition, are delivered outside of school boundaries but designed to improve performance within it. A small body of research demonstrates that the private tuition market in the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States (US) is burgeoning, and that students’ access to this service is differentiated by region, class and ethnicity. These emerging demand-side analyses are vital, but they cannot tell us about the educational entrepreneurship that shapes the supply of private tutoring services. This paper addresses this lacuna through a discourse analysis of manuals, published as part of the developing tutoring support industry, that are designed to guide would-be entrepreneurs through the establishment of a private tuition business. This analysis excavates manuals’ treatment of: tutors’ motivation to work in the sector and their competence to do so; strategies to be employed in the marketisation of tuition services; and the need to build trust to ensure business legitimation in an unregulated industry. In conclusion, the paper sets a new agenda for research into fast developing supplementary education markets that explores: (i) the dynamics of this expanding educational workforce of private tutors; (ii) the ways marketisation addresses and augments parental anxiety about children’s education; and (iii) the need for safeguarding and quality control in private tuition.

Funding

Leverhulme Trust Research Project Grant

Loughborough University

History

School

  • Social Sciences

Department

  • Geography and Environment

Published in

British Educational Research Journal

Volume

46

Issue

1

Pages

205 - 221

Publisher

Wiley

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Rights holder

© British Educational Research Association

Publisher statement

This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Holloway, S.L. and Pimlott-Wilson, H., 2019. Marketising private tuition: Representations of tutors' competence, entrepreneurial opportunities, and service legitimation in home tutoring business manuals. British Educational Research Journal, 46 (1), pp.205-221 which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1002/berj.3575. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.

Acceptance date

12/08/2019

Publication date

2019-09-17

Copyright date

2019

ISSN

0141-1926

eISSN

1469-3518

Language

en

Depositor

Prof Sarah Holloway

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