Which Tutor Agency?
We have quizzed and/or visited a number of tutor agencies about whom we have received considerable feedback and talked to their clients and their tutors. The reviews are available online to logged in subscribers.
We have divided the tutorial companies into three sections plus a postscript detailing newcomers. Please see below for an explanation of the divisions.
Those agencies reviewed in our first section actually know their tutors personally, ie they meet and interview them and keep in close touch. We have visited all agencies in this section.
Companies reviewed in section A include:
- Bonas MacFarlane (A)
- Bright Young Things (A)
- British Home Tutors (A)
- Carfax Private Tutors (A)
- Carfax Tutorial Establishment (A)
- De Silva Tutors (A)
- Enjoy Education (A)
- Gabbitas (A)
- Harrison Allen (A)
- Holland Park Tuition (A)
- Ivy Tutors (A)
- James Layland Tutors (A)
- Keystone Tutors (A)
- Osborne Cawkwell Educational Consultants (A)
- Simply Learning Tuition (A)
- The Basic Skills Centre (A)
- Tutor House (A)
- Tutors International (A)
Those tutor agencies in the second section meticulously check references, CRB* records, etc but, partly because of the size of their lists, conduct their personal interviews only over the telephone. 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. Again we have visited all agencies in this section.
*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.
Companies reviewed in this section B include:
The third section comprises those tutor agencies 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. In section C are both website-only agencies as well as those who offer the kind of careful, personal service described above. The postscript has brief reviews on two very new and ambitious agencies, both, again, specializing in the central/west London areas.
Tutor Agencies - Section C explains more about this type of agency. Companies reviewed in this section include:
These are online tutorial companies that offer interactive lessons over the web. Volunteer pupils have tried out a few lessons and they and their parents give their views.
A perfect fit?
No tutor agency – and no tutor – is perfect. All of them – the honest ones readily admit – can get it wrong occasionally and we have spoken to disgruntled clients from even the best of the agencies, but serious derailments are rare. All those listed in the following sections are reputable, respected and highly praised, both by those who work for them and by their clients. All seem to us to try hard to provide a blue chip service. The list does not include the names of all the agencies that have been recommended to us.
Some few companies we approached did not respond to our advances and we wonder why.
It’s a pity so many in our list – all those in section A – are based in London and the south-east. As ever, we would like to hear from parents who have used agencies of this calibre elsewhere in the country. We hope they’re out there – we need to know who they are! If you'd like to recommend a tutorial agency do contact us.
The Good Schools Guide reviews of tutorial companies are available to subscribers of this site.
The headmaster/mistress runs the school but boarding houses are usually the domain of either houseparents or, in smaller schools, the head of boarding. Whilst the housemaster/mistress oversee the house, the day-to-day running is usually under the supervision of a matron. (Article published 5th May 2008)
Each school as unique as your child? Give a great deal of thought to what sort of character you want your child to turn out to be. Do not be taken in by charming heads or their marketing genies entertaining you with Power-Point presentations and handing out videos (always taken on sunny days and always displaying the best of everything). (Article published 14th May 2008)
It's not just the financial outlay... Most people are aware that, for the vast majority of boarding schools hefty fees and extras are a given, but what about the hidden costs? The social, the emotional? (Article published 14th May 2008)
Admission to state boarding schools is open to British citizens, EU passport holders and anyone with right of residence in The UK. State boarding schools do not have the same freedom that independent schools enjoy. They must adhere to codes of practice such as those laid down for Special Educational Needs (SEN) and for admissions.
Identifying and locating grammar schools. Grammar schools are located in 36 English local authorities. Almost half of these are considered 'selective authorities' (eg Kent and Buckinghamshire), where around one in five local children are selected for grammar school entry based on ability. The others are areas such as Barnet or Kingston, with only a few grammar schools.
Buy the books
Straight-talking, invaluable, must have guides to UK schools
Don't choose a school without us
or subscribe online for only £15 and get instant access for a month to:
☑ Comprehensive catchment maps for state schools.
☑ 30,000 schools in our interactive directory.
☑ Parent friendly school search.
☑ Honest, opinionated and fearless independent reviews of more than 1,100 schools in Britain.
☑ School exam results and subject performance.
☑ Compare schools by qualities and results.
☑ Comprehensive advice on state and independent schools, tutors and special needs.
(Multi-month discounts available here)