Everything you need to know about choosing a tutor for your child.
Tutor agencies in this section meticulously check references, CRB* records, etc but, partly because of the size of their lists, conduct their personal interviews only over the telephone.
*please note The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) have merged into the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). CRB checks are now called DBS checks.
These are usually agencies with a very large list of tutors and who cover a wide geographical area. They are dedicated and hard-working and take enormous pride in the service they offer but do not provide the face-to-face relationship offered by those in section A.
We have visited and had extensive consultation with all the tutorial agencies in section B.
Review snapshot:This is more Waitrose than Harrods – top end but with a nod towards value for money. A hit among both public sector and private clients – and attracts families with children in both the state and private system. read more
Review snapshot: ‘A database with a big heart that might well be able to find a gem of a tutor in the North West or Midlands or even elsewhere.’ read more
Review snapshot: ‘We got a tutor for my daughter in advance of her SATs, and the tutoring took place in an internet café, which worked really well. The tutor was always punctual, prepared and my daughter wound up getting very good marks,’ says one parent. read more
Review snapshot: Tutors are mainly a happy bunch too. ‘They are particularly good at matching – I’ve had some really lovely students,’ read more
The 11+ is the entrance exam procedure for getting your brightish little button into a fee-paying or state grammar school. Much of the country abolished the 11+ several decades ago for state schools, but a few local authorities, such as Bucks and Kent, retained a large number of grammar schools and run county-wide entrance tests. In some other areas, such as Barnet and Kingston, a few grammar schools exist in tandem with the comprehensive system found in most of the country. These grammar schools set their own entrance exams.
Most tutoring is by trained teachers for GCSEs and A levels, with a little (but growing) amount at university level (‘but we hold our hands up if we can’t help, for instance we recently had to turn down a tutoring request from a property development student,’ says Matthew). Specialist subjects currently span biology, chemistry, physics, maths, further maths, English language, English lit, geography, history, RE, philosophy and ethics, psychology, French, Spanish, German, Latin, Ancient Greek, PE, business studies and economics. Small amount of 11+ and 13+ also on offer from non-teacher trained tutors.
Whatever your reason for using tutoring services outside of school, you’ll want to get the best bang for your educational buck. Our quick checklist will make sure you find the most effective tutor for your needs.
Why does my child need a tutor? Whether it’s to prepare for an exam, to help after an extended absence from school or to boost a problem area, have clear objectives in mind to ensure you choose the right private tutor for your needs.
How do I find the best tutor for my child’s needs? Nothing beats word of mouth so ask around those…
This section covers tutor agencies that actually know their tutors personally, ie they interview them and keep in close touch. Most do this in person, although some by Skype. We have visited and had extensive consultation with all the agencies in Section A.
The agencies in this section are those which have been recommended to us by approbatory parents, whose tutors are happy, whose credentials and approach we have researched and which appear to us to do a creditable job but which we have not personally visited.