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UK state school outsources maths teaching to India September 10, 2010

Posted by Alex, Managing Director in Uncategorized.
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An interesting story we spotted on the front page of the Times Education Supplement today:  Ashmount Primary in Islington, north London, are running a pilot scheme with their Year 6 pupils, providing them with one-to-one tuition using teachers based more than 4000 miles away in India.

Each Ashmount pupil is given a headset and can interact with their teacher while following their instructions on screen. It costs the school £12 per hour, per pupil.

The service, called Brightspark Education, was set up by UK-based businessman Tom Hooper; his company employs more than 100 Indian -based tutors full-time, all of which are maths graduates with teaching experience.

Dylan Williams, director of London University’s Institute of Education, predicts the idea could become more mainstream.

“I am sure that this will become commonplace in time. If brain surgery can be done remotely, why not maths teaching?” he told the TES.

You can read the article in full on the TES website here.

To us, the idea seems a good one in principle. Outsourcing via headsets obviously works – the school reports the pupils learning of the subject has increased enough for them to roll the programme out to the whole of the year, and perhaps other Years 4 and 5 too.

But doesn’t the cost seem a bit prohibitive? £12 per hour per pupil; perhaps £360 for an hour’s maths tuition for a full class? Couldn’t they find a decent maths tutor for that amount to actually stand in front of the pupils and teach?

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