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We have carried out in-depth reviews of over 50 tutor agencies nationwide, involving independent surveys and follow-up interviews with both tutors and clients, as well as visiting the tutoring company itself. These reviews are available online to logged in subscribers.

Able Tutors

Review snapshot: Tutors were consistently rated good or very good; a rating of average was as low as it got and even here numbers were relatively small. While there’s not much by way of formal training for tutors, resources are in ample supply – Lynne is on the must-invite list of every major examining board’s…

Areas covered: North west London locals make up the vast majority of the clientele - mostly in N14, N12, N3, N2, NW3, NW4, NW11, NW2, NW9, NW7 and HA8. Online tutoring has widened the company’s reach to include Cardiff, Nottingham, Potters Bar and even Cyprus and Spain. read more

Air Maths Tuition

Review snapshot: Maths, maths and more maths. All, as the name suggests, taught online. All levels of the National Curriculum are covered, from age 7 upwards, though in reality over half of their work is for GCSE and A level maths. Cynics, take note – we had a taster session and can tell you…

Areas covered: Online tuition only, so all over UK and beyond. read more

Athena Tuition

Review snapshot: Nice’ and ‘helpful’ are words that cropped up frequently among parents. Nelson, as the front man, got a huge amount of praise. ‘He gives good advice, is efficient and friendly and ultimately provides great tutors.’ ‘He’s very professional, amiable and brilliant at his job.’ etc. The agency’s flexibility was also...

Areas covered: For ordinary hourly lessons, tutors cover anywhere within the M25 (plus a few in the home counties), and the rest of the world via online tutoring. Occasional holiday jobs or residential placements and they also provide home school packages. Athena has strong links to the Chinese market. read more

The Basic Skills Centre

Review snapshot: There is clearly some first-class teaching going on at this inconspicuous little company. Results are sterling, and parents are unanimous in their praise. ‘I would recommend it to anyone,’ ‘My daughter looks forward to her lessons and works hard; she has gone from a B to an A in maths,’ Teachers are mostly aged 40-60, although some are...

Areas covered: Pupils come from all over the locality: Beckenham, Bromley, Penge, Sydenham, Dulwich, Croydon, Anerley and Bexleyheath. read more

Bespoke Tuition

Review snapshot: From Arabic to zoology, there’s no subject that Bespoke Tuition says it can’t provide a tutor for. It’s not that Emma doesn’t have her ‘pigs might fly’ moments, but so far she has managed to nail every single request, no matter how obscure, headhunting for the right tutor when needed. Clients say…

Areas covered: Hourly tuition takes place in both central London and Hong Kong; the latter is mainly UK exam preparation for expat children at international schools. Home schooling and residentials anywhere in the world (bar Antarctica, says Bespoke, they’ve placed tutors in every continent, with some of the more unusual locations including a tiger reserve in Northern India, a lakeside cabin in Whistler and a villa in Bali). Online tutoring anywhere. read more

Bonas MacFarlane

Review snapshot: You instantly feel you’re in safe hands with BM. ‘I’ve worked for many of the big agencies and can tell you BM is exemplary in every way – they are forward thinking, ultra-slick and they have the personal touch and very big hearts,’ said a tutor. They cover every aspect of…

Areas covered: For ordinary hourly lessons, they cover central London and increasingly the home counties. For day-long assignments they cover a circumference of 100 miles around the capital. For weekly assignments or longer, literally anywhere, with recent examples including Mumbai and Sardinia. Online tutoring anywhere. read more

Bright Light Education

Review snapshot: Safe hands for your primary school aged child, especially when it comes to 11+ tutoring and KS2 English courses. Clients were itching to tell us how caring the agency is – ‘they don’t give the impression that it’s all about business like some other agencies I’ve used,’ said one. Tutors appreciate…

Areas covered: Nearly three-quarters of the one-to-one tutoring (and all courses) are online – these tutees are mainly UK based, with others hailing from eg Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and India. For in-person tutoring, they cover mainly Ealing, Chiswick, Putney, Barnes and Hammersmith with odd ones in Kensington, Battersea and East London. read more

British Home Tutors

Review snapshot: A bunch of committed teachers who have organised themselves into a sort of collegiate collective, cutting out the merchant side of tutoring which can be pretty off-putting. They’re in it for the enjoyment of the thing and, ‘not a dating agency – other set-ups are businesses who don’t care whether there’s love at the end of the thing or not’...

Areas covered: London and roundabout but dependent on the right tutor being available and able to travel. Best areas are around the central London crammers as tutors can easily come after work. read more

Bruton Lloyd

Review snapshot: Founded in 2006 by Russian-born friends Ekaterina Ametistova and Anna Kunitsyna, who met at Moscow State University while doing master’s degrees (maths for Ekaterina; physics for Anna)...

Areas covered: Hourly tuition mainly in central London, Surrey and Berkshire – either in clients’ homes or Bruton Lloyd’s offices. Tutors have also travelled to France, Switzerland, Monaco, Italy, Spain, Greece, USA, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia. Bespoke and intensive residential programmes on offer in Norfolk and Dorset. Online tutoring on the up. read more

Capital Tuition Group

Review snapshot: Expect no exaggerations about this firm’s raison d'être. ‘Our aim is getting the tutee better marks; it is not to engender an interest or love for the subject, although sometimes that may happen,’ says Matthew. Most tutoring is by trained teachers for GCSEs and A levels, with a little (but growing) amount at university...

Areas covered: Tuition mainly across south west London including Putney, Wimbledon, Chiswick, Kensington, Richmond, Regents Park, Highgate, Southfields, Wapping, Fulham, Balham, Clapham, Streatham, St Margarets, Westbourne, Holland Park, Mordon, Sydenham, Barnes, Harrow Weald, Notting Hill, East Sheen, Ravenscourt Park, Hampstead. North Surrey also covered by some tutors. Skype tuition available. read more

Carfax Private Tutors

Review snapshot: If Carfax can’t match a student with a member of their full-time team, they send requests to their freelance database and specifically interview tutors who apply for the role and have the right profile. ‘We’re looking to match the learning style – are they a visual learner? What kind of interaction do …’

Areas covered: All of greater London; they also have a heavy presence in Oxfordshire where students tend to meet their tutors at Carfax College in Oxford. Internationally, they offer tuition in their teaching centres in UAE and Moscow (these form the bulk of Carfax’s international work), as well as in Monaco and Hong Kong. Residentials are popular, particularly in the Middle East and Russia and increasingly across Europe, North America and China. read more

Chelsea & Fulham Tutors

Review snapshot: Half of the agency’s work involves preparation for 7+ and 11+, with many families hell bent on getting their child into a particular school. The other half is mostly GCSE preparation work. But with clients ranging from 3-years-old (yes, really, although they assure us most are turned away) to 25, they can...

Areas covered: The 200-odd clients are no longer confined to Chelsea and Fulham, with families also hailing from Hammersmith, Westminster, Kensington, Notting Hill and some further afield in areas such as Ealing, Kennington and Enfield. A small amount is done online. Residential placements in the UK and Europe are also on the menu and there is a dedicated fluent Mandarin associate on board for Chinese clients, as well as associates in Hong Kong and Bangkok. read more

Choice Home Tutoring Ltd

Review snapshot: Such was the repetition of the words ‘efficient and caring’ from tutors and parents that we quizzed about the staff that we started to wonder if this was the company’s strapline (it’s not). Also cited by many were the parenting and teaching backgrounds of both Jo and Colin - ‘it means they understand exactly what...

Areas covered: This is the go-to agency for hourly tuition for families in Manchester and the surrounding areas, with south Manchester, Stockport and parts of Cheshire their heartland. read more

De Silva Tutors

Review snapshot: A warm, efficient agency that seems to sprinkle magic dust on parental stress and anxiety and turn out kids as relaxed as Craig himself, reaching their potential not through pressure but through improved confidence and a love of learning. A perhaps uniquely...

Areas covered: Covers Greater London but some will travel slightly further out into the edges of the home counties – always worth asking. Skype increasingly available and home schooling and residential are on the menu. read more

Education Boutique

Review snapshot: Parents praise the ‘extensive verbal feedback at the end of each lesson’ – ‘they always keep you in the loop,’ said one, while another told us their tutor ‘rarely left before an hour and a half, despite only being paid for an hour. Around three-quarters of clients have offspring in the private school system; the rest are...

Areas covered: Berkshire, West London, Surrey and Bucks. Online tutoring is popular, particularly for clients in Dubai, Bahamas and Monaco. Residentials also available. read more

Elite IB Tutors

Review snapshot: Many parents have the impression of the agency being smaller than it really is, but in a good way – testament to their friendly and personal manner and niche offering. The company’s flexibility is also a strong point. ‘Sometimes we only want a tutor before exams or special assignments, not every week.’ Above all, though, it’s the...

Areas covered: Tuition usually in the student’s home in zones 1-3 on a daily basis; Greater London for extended weekend sessions and holiday periods; and they also have smaller teams in Oxford and Cambridge, as well as Bristol and Edinburgh. Online tuition available across the UK and currently takes place across 50 countries. read more

Enjoy Education

Review snapshot: Mostly hourly tutoring for entrance exams including 7+, 8+, 11+, pre-tests and 13+, along with GCSE, A level and IB. But they tutor as young as pre-school right up to degree level. Extra-curricular is an exciting and more unusual aspect of their provision. It’s a wide range, from robotics to…

Areas covered: Core geographical areas are all London boroughs and home counties, though they regularly send resident tutors abroad (35 countries to date) eg for British families on holiday or ex-pats whose offspring are about to enter the UK school system. They were early adopters of online learning too which  gave them a head start during Covid. read more

Exceptional Academics

Review snapshot: EA has now grown to approximately 34 tutors. ‘My son describes his tutor as a legend,’ says one parent. ‘Our tutor is playful and always gets my kids engaged,’ says another. ‘Yes, they’re expensive, but you get a totally different calibre of people than every other agency I’ve worked with,’ another comments. No set recruitment process...

Areas covered: Belgravia, Kensington, Chelsea, Battersea, Hampstead, Parsons Green, Fulham or Wimbledon and Highbury. read more

Expert Tuition

Review snapshot: Tutors fall into two groups: a handful of more expensive senior tutors who are the most popular due to their experience, results and feedback and the remainder who are generally on the younger side, aged 22-25. Particularly good for A level tutoring, though the company also offers tutoring at… 

Areas covered: St John’s Wood, Maida Vale, Hampstead, Highgate, Golders Green, Hendon, Edgware, West Hampstead, East Finchley, Finchley and Kensington, though Ahmed is keen to expand further into south London and beyond and of course the pandemic has led to an increase of online tutoring. read more

The Golden Circle

Review snapshot: Just over half of Golden Circle’s tutoring is for so-called flexi-schoolers (in school two or three days a week; home schooled the rest of the time) and home-schoolers. Fear not if removing your child from school feels a step too far as they provide the usual hourly after-school tutoring too...

Areas covered: Worldwide via Skype and residential tutoring. Also ‘destination-based learning’, which involves a curriculum tailored to the location(s) eg Darwinism and evolution in the Galapagos, rainforest sustainability in Bali, apartheid in South Africa. Hourly after-school tutoring mainly in London, with a few families in Herts and Cambridge. read more

Griffin + Bell

Review snapshot: Worried your chosen subject is too obscure? We doubt they’ll be fazed. ‘We have recently found tutors to teach chess, cycling and embroidery,’ says Matt. A number of tutors have experience and/or qualifications in SEN. ‘A very positive experience which could have been really stressful,’ reported one parent about her…

Areas covered: For hourly tuition and home schooling, they cover all boroughs of London (although heartlands are North London and Chelsea), as well as Oxford and the home counties. Residential placements are available throughout the UK and worldwide – Matt had just had a request for a three-month placement in upstate New York when we last met him. Online tutoring came into its own during the pandemic. Again (as you’d expect), that’s worldwide. read more

Hampstead and Frognal

Review snapshot: The vast majority of tutors have a degree and teaching experience, with the exception of a handful still studying for a degree. ‘I’ve reluctantly taken them on when they’ve shown huge keenness and communication skills,’ explains Mark, who adds that all tutors must have experience of working with young people. Most are in their 20s and there’s...

Areas covered: Mainly NW3, SW7, and surrounding postcodes, with a few exceptions, such as Ilford and Elstree. That said, some tutees, particularly at 7+ and 8+, are tutored in the company’s office on Saturdays. Online tutoring is increasingly popular, with clients as far afield as France, San Francisco, Washington and Dubai. read more

Harrison Allen

Review snapshot: A very large and impressive range of services. Tutoring for individual children paid for by their own families is a modest percentage of what they do. Much of the other work is providing tuition for children funded by local authorities including children in care or who have been excluded from schools. This means Harrison Allen is ‘quality assured...

Areas covered: Mainstream, after-school tuition is mostly in south-west London but now increasingly further afield, eg from Putney, Richmond, Barnes, Chelsea, Dulwich, Wimbledon to the north London boroughs. read more

Headway Tutors

Review snapshot: No swanky offices, no offices at all in fact – and that’s just the way they like it. Lower overheads mean lower fees for clients and more of it going to tutors and them – everyone’s a winner. Most (three-quarters at last count) of the tutors are qualified teachers, and those that aren’t…

Areas covered: Richmond is the epicentre, with work increasingly expanding out into pupils’ homes in central, north and south London. Around 30 per cent of tutoring is online, now provided both nationally and internationally, including in Bermuda and Dubai. Read more

Inspiring Tutors

Review snapshot: Popular among British and Chinese families with children in UK boarding schools – now with an on-line only tutoring offering which is better suited, by the company’s own admission, to secondary school age. The company is small enough to be personal, but big enough to have a…

Areas covered: About half the tutees are Chinese (90 per cent are studying at UK schools and 10 per cent are based in China but getting ready to come over to study here), rest are British (also mainly in boarding schools). read more

Ivy Education

Review snapshot: Ivy stands out for assessing every new student, with an individual education programme then drawn up. ‘The assessment was very helpful especially in lockdown when I didn’t really trust school reports because they hadn’t seen the children in so long,’ said a parent. The majority of clients are aiming for entrance to…

Areas covered: Most tutoring is in London (SW, SE, N, NW, W) and Jersey, though online tutoring has taken off especially since the pandemic and means students are now based as far away as eg China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Russia, UAE, Turkey and South Korea. Residential tuition so far in UK, Europe, Asia and USA. read more

JK Educate

Review snapshot: A stand-out point is the emphasis on getting to know the child thoroughly through conversations with parents and, where appropriate, bespoke educational assessments. ‘The aim is to explore questions such as, how is the child doing nationally? Are they reaching their full potential? If not, why not and how can…

Areas covered: Geographically, they cover all London postcodes (with central, N, NW and SW London their heartland) and sometimes further afield (it all comes down to whether they have a tutor close by – recently, they’ve managed to place a tutor in Liverpool and another in Spain), while online tutoring takes place worldwide but especially in UK, China, Hong Kong, Europe, USA, Canada, UAE and Israel. read more

Katie Jayne Tutors

Review snapshot: SEN is a strength, with a small team of fully qualified SEN teachers on their books – ‘we fully understand the importance of having a specialist to provide the right support for each child,’ says Katie Jayne, who has contact with ed psychs, occupational therapists and others, with plenty of referring involved in...

Areas covered: Geographically, they cover Surrey (Weybridge, Walton, Hampton, Cobham) and London (Kensington, Chelsea, Richmond, Chiswick, Barnes, Twickenham, Holland Park, St John’s Wood). read more

Kensington & Chelsea Tutors

Snapshot: Any number of tutor companies have come and gone since Nevil Chiles founded this one back in 2002 and its long-standing is one of the main reasons people choose it. Tutors are mostly made up of current and retired teachers and postgraduates. Most are in their mid 20s to…

Areas covered: For in-person tutoring (the norm until Covid) they cover all of London. For on-line tutoring (the new normal) the sky’s the limit, with students all over the world (though three-quarters remain London based). read more

Keystone Tutors

Review snapshot: This is the BMW of tutor agencies – wow-factor quality, innovative, always evolving, an authority in the industry. It doesn’t pretend or want to be Ferrari – rich jet-setters and Russian oligarchs aren’t their target market. That’s not to say you won’t still pay a premium for Keystone – and it’s certainly higher-end – but you’ll get...

Areas covered: Tutoring is by the hour, with about half taking place in families’ homes (mainly in zone 1, especially Kensington and Chelsea). The rest is online across 50 countries worldwide, mainly south east Asia (Keystone has small offices in Singapore, Hong Kong and China). Keystone’s offices are used for families based outside London and for home-schooled families. read more

Kings Tutors

Review snapshot: Kings has around 100 tutors on its books, many of whom have been working with them for several years. ‘We try not to work with more than this number so that we know them all very well.’ Clearly pays off, with one tutor telling us, ‘I feel…

Areas covered:  Mainly hourly tuition in London, especially Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea, Notting Hill, Highgate and Clapham. Online tutoring firmly on the agenda too, especially since Covid. About a quarter of Kings’ work is residential eg in Scotland, Yorkshire and the home counties. Longer residentials are popular further afield in eg China, Singapore, Bahamas and Dubai. read more

Leading Lights Education & Wellbeing

Review snapshot: The team’s real strength lies in SEN/additional needs. At one end of the spectrum, they might support someone who has, say, fallen behind in maths and has confidence issues or is desperate to get an A in their A levels but demoralised after getting poor mocks results. At the other end, they work with youngsters who have...

Areas covered: Headquarters is in Bristol (although they also operate in London and occasionally overseas). read more

Learn & Co

Review snapshot: Language tuition is the raison d'être of this company, with tutees comprising an even split of children and adults. The young and trendy team (with website pics to prove it) of 10 had doubled in size in the month alone that it took us to review this agency – business can’t be bad. Parents rate the…

Areas covered: Areas covered: For face-to-face tutoring they cover North, East and West London, with online tutoring spanning Greater London and beyond, although they don’t (perhaps surprisingly) do masses overseas, with the exception of Hong Kong and Singapore which is a growth area for them. read more

Mentor Education

Review snapshot: A recent rebrand has seen the company change name from London Home Tutors to Mentor Education – firstly because they worried the words ‘London’ and ‘home’ don’t reflect the growing online tutoring and secondly because ‘the heart of our mission is to help children holistically, contrary to the problems of hot housing and the over working of children, particularly linked to...

Areas covered: All London postcodes (and sometimes beyond) can access at-home tuition and from further afield for online tuition – including international families looking to keep up with the British syllabus whilst abroad. read more

Minerva Tutors

Review snapshot: A highly branded, tech-savvy, energetic tutor agency run by bright young things who have come in and shaken up industry norms. A company with a clear edge and one we would particularly recommend for home schooling.

Areas covered: All London postcodes (plus a few home counties and they also offer tutoring at the Moorgate offices) and by Skype globally. Minerva provides residentials (eg VIPs who want a tutor on their holiday in the Alps) and has  grown a network of international tutors to provide tutoring on a global scale. read more

Newman Tuition

Review snapshot: Founded in 2014, this company cringes at the term ‘agency,’ preferring ‘network’ instead. ‘I wanted to create a tuition network that focuses on the wellbeing of students – building their confidence and self-esteem, not just cramming information,’ says founder Zac Newman. Parents say matching is a forte…

Areas covered: Since the pandemic, 80 per cent of tutoring is online (covering the whole of UK and some families overseas including in Ireland, Italy, Spain and German); the rest is in-person throughout London and Herts. read more

Osborne Cawkwell Tuition

Review snapshot: Tutors pay tribute to the way they are nurtured and valued, and a happy tutor is probably a good one. Clients praise Osborne Cawkwell for being ‘very understanding,’ ‘reliable,’ and ‘going the extra mile.’ The matching process, which involves tutors being contacted individually about a student that OC feels is right for them, is...

Areas covered: Most tutoring involves one-hour weekly sessions in clients’ homes in London, but tutors travel out to the home counties for half or full days of tuition too. Skype sessions are also becoming increasingly popular. read more

Owl Tutors

Review snapshot: ‘Very good at comms,’ said almost every tutor we surveyed. ‘I like that they only take on teachers who love both teaching and their subject,’ was another typical comment – ‘makes me feel valued and the service feel genuinely professional.’ One tutor told us she feels ‘part of a top end tutoring offering, which…

Areas covered: For online, there are students located all over the world; for home tutoring, they cover all of central London, zone 2, a good chunk of zone 3 and a scattering of outer areas. They organise a few short-term residentials every year – this involves a week or month of tuition ‘anywhere on earth’ (recently Malaysia, Switzerland and France), most commonly before school entrance exams. read more

Pegasus Tutors

Review snapshot: Top-notch tutoring and mentoring, without crazy fees – and you get a lot of free advice and support thrown in too. If your child has SEN, this is definitely an agency to consider – they partner with The Child and Adolescent Development Centre, a specialist SEN centre in London, and work with a number of teachers who are trained and...

Areas covered: Across London (zones 1-4), home counties and Oxford, although online tutoring is a growth area. Residential tutoring abroad is popular, with previous posts to Cannes, Singapore, Gstaad, Hong Kong, Thailand, Marbella and Ibiza. read more

Pembroke Tutors

Review snapshot: Pembroke’s partnership with Harrods concierge service (one up from personal shopping – literally a one-stop-shop for all your London needs, including education, for those who can afford it) gives you a clue as to the clientele. Tutors are young – mostly 25 to 35 – and all have tutored for at least two years. One tutor...

Areas covered: Mainly London zones one and two, although some tutors travel further. Overseas work is substantial, with a quarter of their tutoring online, mainly abroad to non-British families, especially in China. Residentials are popular - many come out of the overseas revision camps run in countries such as India, China, South Korea, Russia and Nigeria. Home schooling also available, again usually going on in at least one far flung corner of the globe at any one time. read more


Review snapshot: Affordable hourly tutoring from a new-ish but fast growing company that prides itself on being caring and promoting confidence above all else. Definitely one to consider if your child has SEN. And unlike most tutor agencies, they can cope with complex needs. Autism, ADHD, sensory challenges, visual impairment and some…

Areas covered: Not surprisingly, online tutoring took off during Covid, and 70 per cent of tutoring now via Zoom. ‘But online tutoring isn’t right for someone, we quickly realise and change it to in-person.’ Most clients are based in Surrey, Hampshire and London. read more

Riviera Tutors

Review snapshot: Three main types of tutoring: hourly, residential or – and this is where we think Riviera shines most brightly – home schooling which includes curriculum development, sourcing of specialist teachers and high level ongoing monitoring and support. A particular strength of Riviera is Luke’s personal touch and relationship building with families. If you…

Areas covered: A third of tutoring takes place in London (mostly Chelsea, Mayfair, Belgravia and Hampstead), a third in Monaco (including at the education centre) and the rest spread around the world (especially Paris, Moscow, Milan, Rome and south of France but also further-flung places such as the Maldives and Caribbean). Online tutoring increasingly popular especially since the pandemic. read more

SENsational Tutors

Review snapshot: A set-up so superb and so clearly desperately needed that you can’t help wondering why there’s nothing else like it around. And believe us, there isn’t. If anyone knows their onions regarding SEN, it’s Joanna, who also cares deeply about the tutors and families she works with. As for conditions…

Areas covered: Across London, Surrey, North Kent and increasingly Oxfordshire, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, West Sussex and Berkshire, as well as internationally (Monaco and Germany) and online (including overseas, especially Doha and Dubai). read more

Simply Learning Tuition

Review snapshot: An established high-end tutor agency with top drawer tutors. All tutors are self-employed because ‘we want to work with highly experienced specialists rather than generalists and simply wouldn’t be able to give them full-time employment at the rates they command.’ Around 40 per cent are…

Areas covered: All central London boroughs, typically zones one and two (including Kensington and Chelsea, Westminster, Hammersmith and Fulham, Hackney, Islington, Camden) and some of zones three and four (particularly Wandsworth and Richmond-upon-Thames). Recent areas for residential tutoring placements include West Sussex, Yorkshire, Lake District and Cotswolds. Overseas clients (now mostly online but some full-time residentials) are based mainly in Europe, Monaco, Ibiza, UAE, Japan, USA and Nigeria. Singapore is a massive growth area. read more

Strive Tutors

Review snapshot: With experienced teachers, heads of departments and sixth form, UCAS advisors and exam board examiners on their books, there’s little Strive don’t know about the particular hoops your child needs to get through, say clients. ‘Their level of knowledge is nuanced – you tell them what course or interview you want your child to get through and they...

Areas covered: On top of the predictable hourly tuition in London (key postcodes are NW8, W9 and N3), Strive offers residential tutoring (usually for clients with holiday homes abroad), online tutoring and home schooling. read more

Teachers to your home

Review snapshot: Like many small businesses, it was started from the kitchen table. ‘We pictured ourselves driving around in a car to meet clients, then matching them off with teachers, but we found a better model is to offer clients a choice of lovely teachers whom they interview themselves. Put simply, it’s foolish for us to micromanage as these families know the character and style they’re looking for much better than us’. ‘

Areas covered: There’s no corner of the UK they don’t cover, although inevitably they take on more tutors in the south east and big cities including London, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle, Bristol, Leeds, Nottingham and most recently Edinburgh. read more

Titanium Tutors

Review snapshot: Re-engagement is a stand-out area, according to parents: ‘My son hadn’t picked up a book in almost a year, but they got him back on track ready for university – I would highly recommend them.’ ‘Titanium’s tutors go the extra mile, raising grades and re-enthusing young people if they’ve lost their way.’ ‘My daughter...

Areas covered: Most tutoring takes place within greater London. ‘But we welcome requests from anywhere in the country, including Cambridge where I’m based part of the week, and Skype is a growth area too. They’ve also found a tutor for a family in Paris and have a relationship with a school in Beijing. read more

Tutor Train

Review snapshot: The desire to support a local company was the top reason that parents we spoke to chose Tutor Train over other tutor agencies. ‘But actually I don’t feel I could have got any better elsewhere – Praema has been absolutely fantastic,’ was a typical comment. Praema Stelling, who founded the business in 2015, comes in for particular praise for being ‘friendly,’ ‘professional,’ ‘reliable’ and ‘quick.’ With her gentle, calm demeanour and clear industry knowledge, we can see why clients feel in safe hands. read more

UK Study Centre

Review snapshot: Every family we surveyed said they’d recommend the agency. ‘By far the best agency we have ever experienced – they took time to really understand our needs as parents and the needs of our children,’ said one. Entrance test preparation tops the list – mostly 11+, 13+, Common Entrance and 16+. Then it’s…

Areas covered: In-person tutoring pretty much anywhere within the M25, especially central London, plus Windsor, Ascot, Reading, Wokingham and Virginia Water. Online tutoring has proved particularly useful for their overseas clients, notably in China, where they work with a growing number of Chinese students preparing to come to UK boarding schools. ‘Now we are looking to start covering new regions such as Nigeria and Kenya.’ Residentials could be anywhere from a yacht on the Med to a country mansion (lucky tutor). read more

Watling Tutors

Review snapshot: Founded in 2010 by laidback yet super-efficient Leah Warren BA (English, Uni of Leeds) PGCE (Secondary English, UCL Institute of Education), who has 18 years’ teaching and tutoring experience (though does neither now). Later joined by an admin assistant and a social media expert – the team of three works from a Radlett based office, complete with classroom for tutoring and revision workshops.

Areas covered: Based in Herts, with 80 per cent of clients living within 10 miles of St Albans, Watling has a particularly strong presence in the Hertsmere area, although they are increasingly stretching into north and central London (NW11, NW3, N6, N2, NW4) and occasionally further afield. Plus, there’s Skype. read more

Young Giants Tutoring

Review snapshot: Child-centred, teacher-led tutoring. As such, the 50-ish tutors – a mixture of undergraduates right through to experienced teachers – all have to share the agency’s philosophy of ensuring the child feels in control of their learning at all times. While it’s tempting to imagine scenes of ...

Areas covered: Majority live in S and SW postcodes including Wandsworth, Merton, Richmond, Lambeth, Southwark, Kensington and Chelsea. No Skype. read more

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    At specialist music, dance or performing arts schools, the arts aren't optional extras. They’re intrinsic to the school curriculum. Students are expected to fit in high level training and hours of practice alongside a full academic provision. It's a lot to ask any child to take on, but for those with exceptional performing ability this kind of education can be transformative.

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