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What should you look for in a private tutor?

As competition for top school places increases and children sit more exams, more parents than ever are turning to private tuition to help boost their child’s education. But if you decide to hire a private tutor what should you look out for to make sure your child gets the best benefits possible?

Research by Sutton Trust found that in 2016 a quarter of pupils received private tuition, an increase of a third when compared to 2005. In the last year alone one in ten of all state-educated pupils at secondary school were tutored, and this figure increased to 42% in London. The most common reasons parents sought extra tuition was to provide additional support with school work, to help their child with a specific GCSE exam and for grammar school entrance exams.

Hiring a tutor can give children some extra help if they are struggling with certain areas and give them the boost they may need to achieve their full potential. It can also help with their confidence, managing their homework load and act as some additional support if they are feeling stressed about exams or grades. A tutor will be able to create a plan that goes at your child’s pace and targets the areas they need to work on, giving them more flexibility than they would receive in a traditional classroom setting.

The cost of hiring a private tutor varies and will depend on a number of factors, including experience, the topics your child requires tutoring in and the age of your child. If you’re considering hiring a private tutor to help support your child there are some things you should look for and check.

Make sure they have a DBS check

A DBS check, formally known as a CRB check, will make sure that the tutor is safe to work with children and you can see any criminal convictions they may have.

Ask for references

Some tutors will be retired teachers but others will be students or using tutoring to supplement another income. Whatever their background it’s a good idea to ask for references so you can assess their track record.

It’s not all about qualifications

If you have a few options it can be tempting to pick the tutor with the most qualifications but other areas are important too. It’s crucial to see how they interact with children and how patient they are to bring out the best in your child.

Test their subject knowledge

If you have a particular subject in mind make sure their knowledge of the topic is up to scratch, this becomes more important the older your child is.

Set out targets

When you’re going through the hiring process set out any specific targets you have in mind and ask how they would each work towards them.

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