Tutoring is becoming more widespread, and it’s a wonderful thing to see. I have seen a corresponding growth in resources, tools, and training for personal tutors. Alongside this, it can be a challenge for a parent to connect with a suitable tutor as I see requests for a tutor inundated with a variety of offers as soon as they are shared. How can parents choose the right tutor for their child and know that their investment will pay off?
There are no qualifications required to be a tutor, and this is one of the main qualms in choosing a tutor. The usual response to this is to choose a qualified teacher. While this means that they are training in pedagogy it does not mean that they are qualified to tutor. The two are different specialisms, and it is well worth digging deeper than this.
Many parents are unaware that there is in fact a Qualification for Tutors available from Qualified Tutor. This covers:
- Unit 1: CPD Safeguarding
- Unit 2: Relationship Matters
- Unit 3: The Learning Loop
- Unit 4: Barriers for Learning: Special Educational Needs and Disabilities and Mental Health
- Unit 5: Powerful Feedback
The training is specifically focused on one to one or small group tuition, which is a different skill to classroom teaching.
All of the Green Tutors team are provided with this training. We also contribute to the training and discussions in building resources for tutors with Qualified Tutor.
Alongside this training, Qualified Tutor provide Skills Audits to confirm that tutors have the required subject, examination, and curriculum knowledge to support their students. This verification from an external training provider can give you absolute confidence to choose a tutor qualified in what they offer.
Working in the private sector also means there is no requirement for safeguarding or criminal records checks before someone can start working as a tutor. This is something that professional tutors are well aware of and take seriously, and I encourage you to ask for proof of a DBS certificate and Safeguarding training.
The Tutors Association is a professional membership body for tutors providing criminal records checks and a code of conduct for tutors. All tutors signed up to this organisation have agreed to a code of conduct which requires them to practise safe and responsible tutoring. This is something that TTA takes seriously and any tutor found not to be holding to this will have their membership revoked.
Ask to see a DBS certificate (Disclosure and Barring Service) and Safeguarding Training certificate issued within the last 12 months before scheduling any appointments with your potential tutor. This is something that all Green Tutors have and yet no parent has ever asked me to share them in all of my time tutoring (since 2011). This simple step can help you to identify a professional tutor.
Those tutors most committed to professional development and responsible tutoring are part of an online tutoring community. There are many, including the Love Tutoring Community, Tutors Need Tutors, and the Tutors Learning Network. I am a contributing member of all of these communities (and founder of Tutors Need Tutors) and have learned much more through the connections these have allowed with other tutors than in any of my previous training. While community is not a requirement of a professional tutor, it is certainly a green flag for responsible tutoring. Being able to choose a tutor referred to you by an existing tutor in these communities should give you even more confidence in their standard of tutoring.
Choose a Responsible Tutor
While anyone can set themselves up as a tutor, responsible tutoring shows and will be reflected in their reputation and practices.
Does your tutor communicate with you exactly what to expect from lessons?
Do they support your child with their studies outside of lessons, and encourage them to build independence?
Are they helping to identify goals for their progress, and encouraging a positive attitude to learning?
Responsible tutoring ultimately leaves the tutor redundant as a sign of success. We aim for our students to not need us anymore, and the sooner that can happen, the better we have done our job.
The long term pay off from this is that clients will sing our praises and will be happy to refer us to their friends.
If your tutor is not able to share stories and referrals from happy customers despite claiming to have experience in the industry, there is likely a reason for this.
This is not to say that you can’t trust a new tutor. They will also be learning as they go, but their commitment to responsible tutoring can easily be demonstrated by any of the previous points made – community membership, safeguarding training, DBS certificates, and relevant qualifications.
While there are many qualified, responsible tutors, we are all different. Each tutor will offer a different service, a different relationship, and a different journey for your child. You should look for those with a specialist interest in the tuition you need. There are 11+ tutors, exam skills coaches, STEM tutors, SEND tutors, retired teachers, student tutors, dyslexia and dyscalculia specialists, teachers turned tutors, and many more.
Who is the best fit for your child?
What do they need?
“How much do I charge for tutoring?” is a question I see asked pretty much weekly. There isn’t an answer for that question. Much like everything else in the private sector, it tends to increase with qualifications, experience, and the fullness of your calendar.
It is important to know what your budget can stretch to, as tutoring is often a long term commitment. You get what you pay for, but if you are happy to invest in a student for long term support, it can be worthwhile for your child to grow with them.
The below is a very rough idea of the sorts of prices for one to one tutoring in the UK.
Green Tutors pay scale
If you’re looking to connect with a tutor, a great place to start is the Qualified Tutor Accredited Tutor Directory. All of the tutors in this directory have been assessed against the International Tutoring Framework, and have been found to meet the gold standard for tutoring businesses committed to delivering the highest quality tuition.