British Parents Paid Out £20.5 Million in ‘Grade Bribes’ Last Year

December 9, 2020

Rewarding your kids for doing well in their exams is not a new parenting tactic, in fact restaurants and retailers probably look forward to the post exam season because they know they’re going to get a nice boost in business. But now we’re seeing a new trend where parents are incentivising their children with hard cash, or ‘Grade bribes’, to ensure they put the work in and get those top grades.

We wanted to find out just how many parents use this tactic, so surveyed more than 2,000 British parents on whether they offered ‘Grade bribes’ last year, and if so, how much the average going rate is for a grade 7 and higher in GCSEs and an A/A* at A-level.  

The results were eye-opening. More than half (53%) incentivised their children with money, a third (32%) treated them to a celebratory day or meal out and 15% did not incentivise or reward their child at all.

According to our survey research, on average £25 was awarded for every grade 7 and above achieved in GCSE exams and £50 for every A or A* achieved at A-level.

When we take into account how many students sat their GCSE’s and A-levels in 2018, how many achieved a grade 7, 8 or 9 or A/A*, and the average amount awarded for those grades according, the amount of money given out in ‘Grade bribes’ was at least £20,537,261 last year!

It's crazy to think that over £20.5 million was handed out by British parents last August, but academic forecasts show that this figure could rise again this year, with students predicted to achieve even more A* grades in Maths and English than in 2018.

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.

Elise Pearce

As our Head of Content, Elise’s role involves everything from email campaigns to web content; if you spot a typo, you know who to blame. A lover of all things creative, she studied History of Art at St. Andrews enjoys running and painting in her spare time. At home, when she's not busy chasing after her two Labradoodles, Flossy and Rupert, you'll catch her doing handstands on her yoga mat.

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