What should you look for in a Private Tutor?

In our fast paced, connected world, speed is always attractive. However, there are several key criteria that we recommend you insist on before making any decisions about a tutor. At Simply Learning Tuition we have always insisted that a private tutor meets certain criteria – as a result, we find that 99.9% of our introductions are successful. If you follow our seven point checklist, you should hopefully feel a little more reassured before that all important first lesson.

1. An Enhanced DBS Check

All of the tutors that are represented by Simply Learning Tuition have an up to date, Enhanced DBS Certificate that was issued within the last 3 years. We insist on seeing their certificate during our face-to-face interview. Whilst we insist on this, it is not a legal requirement for tutors. So, if you are not using a reputable agency, you should check this yourself.

2. References

Although not every tutor will immediately have these to hand, we recommend that they should have at least two references that they can show you, or referee details that they are happy to share with you. A good tutor should have no problem supplying references from parents they have worked with and their University.

3. Previous Experience

When it comes to your child’s education you do not need to take any unnecessary risks. We only work with tutors with at least 100 hours of previous experience and a track record of success – proving that not only can they teach the age and exam that you need, but that they can do it successfully. Although, depending on your child’s needs, a suitably qualified, but less experienced tutor may be a brilliant fit . Check they are familiar with the exam board your child is following, or the entrance exams for the school you are applying to.

4. Passion and Empathy

We believe every tutor should have a passion for teaching. While many work as tutors alongside another role, this doesn’t mean they are not passionate about tutoring. They should be as invested in your child’s academic future as you are. It is vital that the tutor has the ability to see things from the student’s perspective, without arrogance, or condescension.

5. Commitment

Most tutors should be happy to commit to you for at least one academic year. If less than this, they should be able to commit until your child’s exams, or be transparent about their level of commitment and regularity they can provide so that you can decide if this works for you. They should also commit to the same lesson time each week, if that’s what you’ve asked for, so they can fit around your child’s extra-curricular activities. Tutoring should fit into your life, not make it more of a hassle.

6. Value

We believe that you should clearly see the value in your child’s time with a tutor. Tutors’ prices can range from as little as £10 to more than £100 per hour. A tutor’s fee is usually indicative of their experience and we encourage you to check this. A tutor who is at the higher end of the scale can seem more expensive but they might be better value for money. It is worth considering if 10 hours with a very experienced, vetted, tutor compared to 20 hours with an inexperienced tutor is better value for the same cost.

7. Whether they work with an Agency

Many tutors represent themselves in addition to being represented by a tuition agency. Often they charge more, or the same amount privately. Finding a tutor though an agency can save you time and worry. Agencies should be experienced in knowing exactly which tutor will work best with your child. They should have done all the vetting required to save you the hassle. All of the tutors we represent have been highly vetted and personally selected by our tuition team. They all have an Enhanced DBS Certificate, previous experience, references and a face-to-face interview – so we are completely confident in their skills and quality when we recommend them to you.

Years of experience have confirmed to us that successful private tuition relies on so much more than the cold steel of academic expertise. Effective tuition relies on the tutor’s natural ability to mentor, generate trust and in many ways become a role model for the student. We always introduce you to a tutor who is the best for your child and who we’d be happy to teach our own children.

If you are looking for a tutor please do not hesitate to get in touch with us – we would be delighted to hear from you.

If you have any comments or questions about this Advice Page, we would be delighted to answer them.

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