British parents paid out £20.5 million in grade bribes in 2018

grade bribes
© Vlad Georgescu |

An online tutoring agency has surveyed more than 2,000 parents to find out how many children are offered grade bribes to do well in their academic exams

Tutor House conducted the internal survey to gain insight into how parents motivate their children to achieve good grades. Participants were asked if they offer monetary rewards and, if so, how much they were willing to pay if their child secures the top grades of a grade 7 or above in their GCSEs and an A or A* at A-level.

The results show that more than half (53%) of parents have offered a monetary reward in exchange for high grades in both GCSE and A-levels. On average £25 was rewarded for every grade 7 and above achieved in GCSE exams and £50 for every A or A* achieved at A-level.

Based on 2018 data on how many children sat GCSEs and A-levels in 2018, and how many achieved a grade 7 or higher, and a grade A or A*, British parents on average forked out more than £20.5 million in grade bribe money last year, with the figure likely to be higher in 2019, with the Centre for Education and Employment Research at Buckingham University predicting that more pupils will gain top A* grades in English and Maths A levels this year.

A third (32%) of parents said they treat their child to a celebratory day or meal out and 15% do not incentivise or reward their child at all.

You can find the full breakdown of findings here:

Alex Dyer, founder of Tutor House said,

“With all the pressures and distractions of modern life, it isn’t surprising that parents incentivise their children and teenagers with money to do well – money is an effective motivator after all! However, it is astonishing to think of just how much parents are collectively dishing out to their kids every year.

It’s understandable that not all families will partake in giving cash as an incentive – whether that’s due to having low income or just not believing in that kind of encouragement – so it’s lovely to see that families are finding other ways of supporting and pushing their children to succeed.”


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