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Radcliffe Square, OxfordWe are not talking London levels, but most families with prep-school age children will at least think about tutoring. A lot will tutor for 11+ exams to independent senior schools (or grammars in neighbouring counties). Word-of-mouth is powerful and many will use a one-man (or woman)-band rather than an agency, often for several years: ‘Our daughter’s tutor has basically become my life coach,’ says one mum, ‘I am always dying to ask her what I should plant in the garden.’ Parents keep contact details close to their chests: after all, other children are competition. Dig around, check school noticeboards and ask your child’s schoolteacher, if it feels appropriate.

We review a few Oxfordshire agencies. Carfax Private Tutors covers GCSE, A level, IB and Oxbridge preparation. Its physical presence, Carfax College, is in an unlovely spot in central Oxford, though tutors can come to your home. ‘Carfax is expensive, but the consistent quality and service warrant the price’, parents told us.

Pegasus Tutors is based in west London but covers Oxfordshire too. With only 120 tutors, ‘the real magic is in the recruitment and matching of tutors to the very specific needs of clients’, we wrote. Reasonably priced.

SENsational Tutors live up to their name, sending specialists all over the place, including Oxfordshire. ‘Resources used are wide-ranging and impressive’, finds our review; ‘a set-up so superb…that you can’t help wondering why there’s nothing else like it around.’ Parents call it ‘outstanding’.

Kip McGrath has a base in Oxford, and Kumon has three. And if you’re opting for on-line tutoring (increasingly popular since Covid), you could use most of the 60+ tutoring agencies we review, most of which are based in London and the south east. Each stands out in different ways eg Bonas MacFarlane for top-end tutoring, Teachers to Your Home for teacher tutors only and Air Maths Tuition for maths. Not sure if you even need a tutor? Check out our tutor articles to help you decide and to steer you in the right direction if you find you do.

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