The Learning Hub

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by The Learning Hub's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from The Learning Hub is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

Highlighting best practice
Headteacher and Owner
Rakesh Joshi
Building confidence in children by getting
them to understand the technique in
solving difficult problems
Rakesh Joshi founded The Learning Hub in 2003 as
its owner and headteacher. He quickly realised that
communication, low aspiration and self-esteem were
real obstacles for children who were experiencing academic
difficulties in north London and there was no specialist provision
tailored to addressing these issues. Starting in a single room,
he worked initially on amassing a broad range of expertise by
putting together the right team. Fifteen years on, more than
250 children visit the Hub every week from miles around for
its specialist educational services. He tells the
its journey and how the team seek to improve teaching and
learning for children across London.
Within the first six months of The Learning Hub being founded, I built a solid
infrastructure for how education at the centre would work. In this, I thoroughly
incorporated the national curriculum into high-quality lesson materials before even
starting to teach. We had anticipated teaching children from day one – but that
six-month delay, while expensive, was so worth it. It ensured that we could help
children of all levels from the very beginning.
Soon enough, we became recognised as a specialist centre in north London for
11-plus exams and GCSEs as well as an academic lifeline for children aged six
to 16. This journey was driven by acknowledging the importance of education
in our children’s lives. At this stage, it is fundamental that children receive the
nurture and support necessary if they are to flourish. The difference between good
»Headteacher and Owner:
Rakesh Joshi
»Established in 2003
»Based in North Wembley
»Services: Group tuition, one-
to-one tuition, holiday booster
»No. of employees: 8, full-time
and part-time
»The Learning Hub has
successfully tutored over
2,000 children into grammar
and independent schools
The Learning Hub
and poor education can affect their
future so much – it’s ground zero
for their careers. We are very careful
to ensure that our service is of the
highest standard and that no child is
Our dedication to quality is highlighted
by our dual accomplishment of
being Ofsted registered and being
an official examination centre. We
employ qualified DBS-checked teachers
who diligently follow the national
curriculum and work from material
designed to maximise the benefit for
the child.
Driving our work with
We don’t just teach children here –
we work on their self-esteem and
confidence. That’s the biggest barrier
to learning. Without confidence, a
child won’t put their hand up and
ask questions and thus won’t learn
effectively. We remove negative
barriers by creating a lively, engaging
environment where children feel
comfortable to learn.
Life skills are a big part of what we
teach. We look at how children learn,
rather than what they learn. We help
them to be more creative in their
thinking, become more self-aware and
break things down into concepts so
that they can see the bigger picture.
We create learners that are resilient
by showing them that failure and
mistakes are part of the learning
cycle. That’s how people learn. Our
philosophy is about building the happy
citizens of the future.
I personally believe that every child is
clever – their potential is just waiting
to be realised. We need to see
how intelligent they are and watch
them excel. In keeping with that
mentality, we have become a centre
of excellence. When you design every
system and mechanism to help the
child before anything else, everything
falls into place.
Giving back to the community
We are very much a community-
driven organisation. Although we
do make a small profit, what we
charge goes towards ensuring that we
remain operational, and we are not
commercial in a commercial sense.
As such, we are aiming to contribute
to the local area through two
The first of these is increasing the
impact and availability of our services.
Our whole area is price-sensitive, and
we have a lot of competition. We’re
currently working with headteachers
at local primary schools to offer a
scholarship programme with a view to
placing more children at competitive
grammar schools.
Secondly, after such demand, and
recognising that parents are coming
from far and wide to make use of
our services, I want to open part-time
services further afield. We have a lot
of expertise here, but many parents
whose children attend complain about
travel times. We’re currently looking at
deprived areas of central London, as
students there often need a lot of help
to break down those academic barriers.
Our team, who ensure
both pupils and
parents are supported
throughout the course
of our academic
I thoroughly
incorporated the
curriculum into
lesson materials
before even
starting to
Highlighting best practice
We’ve been so fortunate with our local
authority; Brent Council are incredibly
supportive, and I have to give a
special mention to Rez Cameron, who
recognises our contributions to the
community and does everything he
can to help us. Our thanks also go to
Duncan Cogger of Everyone Active,
for being tremendously understanding
The balance between quality
and efficiency
Our ethos is to improve the quality of
our service massively year on year while
bringing down the unit price every
year. These two factors, however,
are often at odds, and we have to
relentlessly address three areas:
»Improvement – we update our
teaching materials and practices to
ensure they meet the high standard
of academic excellence that we have
set for ourselves
»Quality – we stay informed and up
to date with the national curriculum
for all key stages while maintaining a
feedback loop to keep track of every
child’s progress and behaviour needs
»Cost – we try to make our service
more affordable every year, and
make use of new technologies to
improve efficiency.
Unfortunately, the first two focuses do
directly contradict the third. Without
spending more, and thus asking for
more from those who use our service,
it’s so difficult to keep improving our
materials and our reach. We try, but
it’s a difficult balance to strike.
Competition throughout the
Other local centres in the area have
posed real concerns. We set the bar
for our service incredibly high and
constantly stay apprised of all changes
to the national curriculum and Ofsted,
but this is not the case for every centre.
There are many offering services
that I would frankly consider to be
insufficient and detrimental, drifting
away from the syllabus and thus
compromising the education of the
children who attend.
Our two-year plan
We refuse to compromise on the
quality of our service and strongly
believe every child deserves a
good education. We’re playing
with children’s lives here for good
education means good university and
a good career. We have to ensure that
everything remains positive, stable and
secure for their good more thanours.
With that in mind, we aim to open a
further four centres across the country
by 2020 to keep providing specialist
educational support for everyone.
This will be neither straightforward
nor cheap, but our mission statement
continues to drive and underpin
everything we do.
I personally
believe that
every child is
clever – their
potential is
just waiting to
be realised
Building relationships
with parents and

This article was sponsored by The Learning Hub. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from The Rt Hon Theresa May MP.

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

This foreword from the then Prime Minister appeared in the 2018/19 Parliamentary Review.

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review. For Her Majesty’s Government, our task in the year ahead is clear: to achieve the best Brexit deal for Britain and to carry on our work to build a more prosperous and united country – one that truly works for everyone. 

The right Brexit deal will not be sufficient on its own to secure a more prosperous future for Britain. We also need to ensure that our economy is ready for what tomorrow will bring. Our Modern Industrial Strategy is our plan to do that. It means Government stepping up to secure the foundations of our productivity: providing an education system that delivers the skills our economy needs, improving school standards and transforming technical education; delivering infrastructure for growth; ensuring people have the homes they need in the places they want to live. It is all about taking action for the long-term that will pay dividends in the future.

But it also goes beyond that. Government, the private sector and academia working together as strategic partners achieve far more than we could separately. That is why we have set an ambitious goal of lifting UK public and private research and development investment to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027. It is why we are developing four Grand Challenges, the big drivers of social and economic change in the world today: harnessing artificial intelligence and the data revolution; leading in changes to the future of mobility; meeting the challenges of our ageing society; and driving ahead the revolution in clean growth. By focusing our efforts on making the most of these areas of enormous potential, we can develop new exports, grow new industries and create more good jobs in every part of our country.

Years of hard work and sacrifice from the British people have got our deficit down by over three quarters. We are building on this success by taking a balanced approach to public spending. We are continuing to deal with our debts, so that our economy can remain strong and we can protect people’s jobs, and at the same time we are investing in vital public services, like our NHS. We have set out plans to increase NHS funding annually by an average by 3.4 percent in real terms: that is £394 million a week more. In return, the NHS will produce a ten-year plan, led by doctors and nurses, to eliminate waste and improve patient care.

I believe that Britain can look to the future with confidence. We are leaving the EU and setting a new course for prosperity as a global trading nation. We have a Modern Industrial Strategy that is strengthening the foundations of our economy and helping us to seize the opportunities of the future. We are investing in the public services we all rely on and helping them to grow and improve. Building on our country’s great strengths – our world-class universities and researchers, our excellent services sector, our cutting edge manufacturers, our vibrant creative industries, our dedicated public servants – we can look towards a new decade that is ripe with possibility. The government I lead is doing all it can to make that brighter future a reality for everyone in our country. 

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review 
The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Prime Minister