ATAR: WA parents spend thousands of dollars in tutoring fees over exam anxiety

Nov 1, 2019 by

By Marta Pascual Juanola –

Anxious West Australian parents are spending thousands of dollars in private tutoring fees each year in a bid to ensure their children ace their ATAR exams.

Private tutoring in Australia is now a $1.4 billion industry, with hundreds of businesses sprouting across the country offering one-on-one tutoring and weekly coaching for school entrance exams, NAPLAN and ATAR.

Australian Tutoring Association data shows one in six students is tutored, with parents paying between $2000 to upwards of $20,000 a year in fees.

ATA chief executive Mohan Dhall said the industry was growing by 3 per cent a year as more parents turned to private tutors to improve their children’s chances of success and manage their anxiety.

“All parents want what’s best for their children, they’d be irrational if they didn’t, so since they don’t have a lot of control over the schooling system, what they do have control over is any investment they make above and beyond that,” he said.

“So an investment in tutoring is an investment in shaping outcomes.

“It’s a huge industry and it’s growing.”

East Fremantle mother-of-three Lisa Taylor* spends an average of $360 a month on tutoring to get her Year 11 twins ATAR-ready.

Despite free tutoring being available through their local school, Ms Taylor is one of several parents who enrolled their children in a tutoring centre instead, where they receive an hour and a half of one-on-one support from specialist tutors every week.

“I didn’t feel that we were able to assist them, they’d ask us questions about homework and we really needed a specialist to do it,” she said.

“I just felt they needed that extra assistance and more of that one-on-one time for specific questions they weren’t necessarily getting at school.”

Source: ATAR: WA parents spend thousands of dollars in tutoring fees over exam anxiety

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