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Industry Expeditions: Private Tutoring in 2026

Second in a new four-part series where we explore the future of industries. We’re fast forwarding to 2026, to examine how Private Tutoring plays an increased role in future education ecosystems.

Hi folks, this is part 2 of a new Muir Wood & Co feature where we explore the futures of our clients’ industries. We’ve been doing some research for a tutoring platform client, so we picked that as our topic for our newest product strategist Trisha to focus on. This week we’re looking at “Horizon 1” which is just 2 years out.

There are three main themes that we’ll be covering today:

  • Tutoring bridges educational disparities between private and state schools
  • Expansion of Tutoring Services into Non-STEM Subjects
  • Tutoring tools evolve with AI and Online collaboration 

What we learned previously about tutoring

In our last post, we dove into the global tutoring landscape and surfaced with some fascinating insights. We discovered that tutoring has evolved far beyond after-school exam prep – it's a worldwide phenomenon reshaping education at a rapid pace. From South Korean families prioritising tutoring in their budgets to China's underground learning networks, the commitment to educational edge is remarkable. 

Here in the UK, we're riding our own waves of change: STEM subjects are in high demand, online learning is redefining accessibility, and AI promises to usher in an era of personalised education. 

But, as intriguing as these developments are, they're just the beginning. Today, we're looking ahead to see where these currents might take us. So, let's fast-forward to the UK in 2026 and explore what the tutoring landscape looks like as today's trends mature and new ones emerge.

Three predictions for 2026

2026 is not that far away! In our cover image we’ve collected some of our predictions about how things will play out. So what’s going on in this picture?

1. Tutoring bridges educational disparities between private and state schools

Meeting economic circumstances

By 2026, the private tutoring industry in the UK will grow and evolve to meet rising demands of more and more families who seek individual learning support as they are pushed towards state schools. Unable to afford increasing costs of private schooling due to taxation and inflation they’ll be faced with larger class sizes and shrinking state budgets.

This growth will be characterised by a wider range of price points, making private tutoring more accessible to diverse socio-economic groups. Companies like MyTutor would be inclined to offer tiered pricing structures, allowing families to choose services that fit their budgets. 

Additionally, new delivery models will become more prevalent, like study groups, which offer cost-effective alternatives to one-on-one sessions while fostering collaborative learning environments. Tutor House, for instance, might expand its group tutoring sessions, making quality tutoring more affordable.

Meeting accessibility and equity needs

Another gap that would need to be addressed to provide equitable education for all students is that of catering to a wider range of learning needs. 

Here, the rise of accessibility tools could help ensure that education is inclusive for all learners. Advanced text-to-speech and speech-to-text capabilities, especially when adopted by platforms like Google Classroom, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams, will cater to diverse learner needs, making content more accessible to students with dyslexia, visual impairments, and other learning difficulties. Evolving interface options would become more customisable and dynamic, and capable of accommodating various visual and auditory preferences to suit students’ individual needs. 

But, because it might be a challenge to ensure that all education institutions have the resources and training to effectively implement such tools, the need for the tutoring industry to fill these educational gaps will increase.

💡 So what?

  • As the tutoring market begins to get more crowded, it would be interesting to see which value propositions of tutoring platforms thrive under competitive pressure
  • We will see in 2026 whether the price of private tutoring does reduce significantly enough to make it accessible to lower income families, or if they can only access it through schemes like the National Tutoring Programme

2. Expansion of Tutoring Services into Non-STEM Subjects

By 2026, the UK tutoring industry will increase its provision of non-STEM subjects, enhancing students' personal attributes and talents. 

With emerging technologies like AI enabling the automation of routine cognitive tasks and employers' increasing interest in emotional intelligence and adaptability, there is a growing necessity for a focus on uniquely human skills.

We can expect this shift to drive a higher demand in the tutoring industry for well-rounded education, that includes soft skills training as well as the need to fill gaps left by the deprioritisation of arts and humanities in school curriculums. 

Tutoring programs will integrate modules on interpersonal communication, presentation skills, and decision-making, reflecting employers' emphasis on these skills. For example, Tutor House might offer courses on public speaking and teamwork training.

Tutoring services will broaden to include creative subjects like sports, creative arts, languages and literature, and creative writing, fostering personal talents. Platforms such as MyTutor and The Profs will expand their offerings in these areas, recognizing their role in holistic education. 

Additionally, life skills education, including financial literacy and etiquette, will start earlier, as seen in programs like Kumon, which will include basic finance education for young learners. 

💡 So what?

  • Non-STEM subjects will need more immersive teaching approaches, so hybrid approaches and creative use of technology will be needed (see next section)
  • An increased focus on preparing the future workforce will be supported by private corporates, for example art dealers are offering bursaries and apprenticeships to art students

3. Tutoring tools evolve with AI and Online collaboration 

By 2026, engaging, personalised learning experiences will be made possible by technological advancements, particularly in AI and collaborative learning tools. Tutors are well-equipped to explore and adopt these technologies sooner than schools.

The release of ChatGPT-5 is likely to unlock unprecedented capabilities in personalised learning by allowing tutors to provide more sophisticated and intuitive interactions. Tools can identify areas needing attention in realtime and streamline lesson planning, adaptive assessment can improve how learning is measured and reinforced. 

For students, tools like Apple’s generative AI (see video below) could introduce dynamic visualisations in learning, making subjects like maths and science more accessible and engaging. Similarly, collaborative digital whiteboards like Butter, Miro, or Figma, will be able to support interactive, multi-user environments so tutors can enhance collaborative learning, create more engaging and dynamic lesson plans, accommodate different learning styles and make complex concepts easier to understand for students.

But, it is essential to note that such technologies bring forth the challenges associated with the rapid pace of technological change which would require the tutors, as well as the students, to continuously adapt. The rising concerns over data privacy and ethical use of AI, too, will need to be addressed before the industry can fully reap the benefits of these advancements. 

💡 So what?

  • The integration of these technologies into existing educational frameworks will require careful planning and investment by the industry
  • We wonder whether Private Tutoring could feed innovations into wider education in a more collaborative way

Can we take you on an Industry Expedition?

Andrew is an experienced foresight practitioner: his PhD was on the evolution of consumer products and he's done futures work for clients like Samsung, HP, Ford and Pernod Ricard. Trisha is fresh out of the Design Futures masters at the RCA, armed with the latest tools and frameworks.

If you're interested in looking ahead in your industry (or someone else's) then get in touch to talk about a project or workshop.

These posts have not been commissioned by our tutoring client.

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