Best Tutors in 2020
Last year I wrote an article for my blog about what to look for in a private tutor. It proved to be one of the more popular posts and drew a world wide audience. Since then, there has been a global pandemic and, as a result, an increase in demand for tutors as well as those who are trying their hand at tuition in order to make some extra cash. I’ve recently written a more up to date version to help parents choose the right tutor.
Whether it’s delivered online or face to face, tuition should put the student first.
Ultimately the best tuition will be delivered by someone who makes the student feel happy, comfortable and confident in the lesson. But, with the explosion in the tuition market recently, there are some questions that parents can ask to ensure that they find the best person for their child.
Frequently Asked Questions.
Some tutors have no qualifications at all. Private tuition is unregulated and many students take on tutoring roles while studying for GCSEs, A levels, or their undergraduate exams.
Others have gone into the profession with more advanced knowledge. They may have practical experience in a subject, or they have studied at university. Many also have teaching qualifications in addition to qualifications in the subject they’re willing to teach.
Some tutors don’t have a DBS check.
Those who are also teaching in a school will have one, and there is a DBS update service that teachers and tutors can subscribe to.
Tutors may be able to order a basic check themselves for a small fee, but enhanced CRB/DBS checks are usually done through a company.
An enhanced DBS is not essential if you’re hiring a private tutor and you know and trust them already, but will offer peace of mind if you don’t.
With an influx of students now offering 1-2-1 tutoring, teaching experience is becoming increasingly important. Feel free to ask tutors what teaching experience they have and their success rate with that particular exam.
Don’t forget to ask whether they have taught that particular specification for the exam board. There are many differences between exams that aren’t apparent at first.
In school, teachers have INSET days or evenings to stay on top of CPD. Professional tutors maintain this in their own time and often subscribe to different teaching associations.
The average cost of professional 1-2-1 tuition in the UK is £35 per hour. Those on the higher end of the price scale tend to be more qualified and have considerable experience in the exams they tutor in.
Non-essential questions to consider.
Do tutors have first aid qualification?
While it’s not essential, if someone is delivering face to face lessons they should really have it.
There are two types of first aid that may be required, depending on the age of the children. For younger, primary aged children, there is paediatric first aid; while teaching teenagers may also require an adult first aid course.
What insurance does a tutor have?
There are two types of insurance that tutors should have: public liability and professional indemnity.
Having insurance is another indicator of the level of professionalism of the tutor.
How many subjects do they teach?
There are some tutors who are able to teach many subjects, but most are masters of just one.
While at primary school a teacher may be able to teach English, maths, science etc., the level of detail required for A level would mean most teachers specialise.
Be weary of those offering too many subjects at GCSE/A level.
Do tutors offer free or discounted lessons?
Don’t be surprised if the answer is no. Professional, independent tutors only have a select number of times available during their working week for tuition and they set their prices accordingly. The rest of the time, they’re writing resources, maintaining their CPD, or completing administrative tasks.
Professional English Tuition
Throughout the year, these are questions that I pose to myself to ensure that I deliver the best, most professional tuition. When parents ask me for recommendations for tutors of other subjects, I also run through this checklist of questions so I know I suggest only the best tutors.