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The Victoria Rooms, Bristol UniversityNot as prevalent in Bristol as might be expected of a major city, but then it is a city without selective state secondary schools and therefore no 11+ for most pupils.

Entrance exams/tests/assessments - call them what you will – are routinely set by the independent secondary schools, but without exception they claim that their junior departments will prepare year 6 (or 8) children more than adequately. ‘We actively discourage tutoring’ one independent secondary school head told us firmly. That said, it does on go to burnish performance at entrance exams (Queen Elizabeth’s Hospital for example awards academic scholarships to the top 15 per cent entrants to year 7).

Despite this, the number of Bristol tutoring agencies suggests that there is certainly demand, but we sense this is for tutoring discrete needs (eg shaky GCSE maths). Alongside national chains like Kumon, Kip McGrath and Tutor Doctor, there are a number of Bristol-based agencies such as Greenhouse Learning, which we review, along with Clifton Tutors and Cavendish Private Tutors - plus some which cover specific subjects such as Metatutor Maths and Bristol Science Tutor. 3A Tutors tutor in all subjects with added bonuses of the use of Bristol University’s laboratories for science tuition and their own exam centre for independent students sitting exams set by all boards.

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