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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.

Section A

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:

Athena Tuition
Review snapshot: Nice’ and ‘helpful’ are words that cropped up frequently among parents we spoke to. Nelson, as the front man read more

Bespoke Tuition
Review snapshot: ‘Because he was a teacher, he knows the schools inside out, as well as the best resources for tutors and he gives read more

Bonas MacFarlane
Review snapshot: ‘This is the seriously upper crust of the tutoring industry, kneaded and done to a crisp according to the precise  read more

Bright Young Things
Review snapshot: 'Their selling point is mirrored in their name: tutors are mostly in their 20s and thus not too far removed in age read more

British Home Tutors
Review snapshot: ‘A bunch of committed teachers who have organised themselves into a sort of collegiate collective. They’re in read more

Carfax College
Review snapshot: "International families send their children here to study on a long-term basis. Principal Rupert Alesbury was a read more

Carfax Private Tutors
Review snapshot: ‘We are extremely specialist and a lot of the requests are niche ones. Our clients have very specific requests and read more

De Silva Tutors
Review snapshot: ‘The tutors are his friends and most of his clients seem to be friends – or certain to become friends – and he is read more

Enjoy Education
Review snapshot: "Founded in 2006 by Kate Shand who is committed, passionate, energetic and hugely likeable. Clearly on a read more

Gabbitas Educational Consultants
Review snapshot: Gabbitas Educational Consultants ‘The grandmother of all tutor agencies – and far more besides…This is the read more

Griffin & Bell
Review snapshot: ‘It’s on the more expensive side, particularly for more experienced tutors, but it’s absolutely my favourite. They’re read more

Hampstead and Frognal
Review snapshot: ‘Because he was a teacher, he knows the schools inside out, as well as the best resources for tutors and he gives read more

Harrison Allen
Review snapshot: ‘There is a unique sense of enjoyment here…this is an unpretentious but top class organisation which other parts read more

Holland Park Education
Review snapshot: "With demand for bright young Oxbridge grads seemingly insatiable, this firm has busily carved out what was a read more

Ivy Education
Review snapshot: 'We're quite small, so we can give our clients the individual attention they deserve, and I happen to think our approach read more

James Layland Tutors
Review snapshot: 'This is a real family firm: James Layland runs it; his sister Wendy is his PA; when we visited, his mum (also visiting) read more

JK Educate
Review snapshot: The parents we spoke to couldn’t get enough of these add-on options. ‘It’s a one-stop shop for tutoring, but it’s a la read more

Keystone Tutors
Review snapshot:  ‘They are all passionate about teaching, passionate about education.’ read more

Osborne Cawkwell Educational Consultants
Review snapshot: I have used them on and off for my three children to prepare for exams, from Common Entrance to GCSEs or Alevels read more

Riviera Tutors
Review snapshot: Tutors enthuse about the company too. ‘I am very satisfied that the company responds well to my needs as a tutor read more

Simply Learning Tuition
Review snapshot: 'We are particularly impressed by their care for children who do not find learning easy.’ read more

The Basic Skills Centre
Review snapshot: ‘We’re a happy and caring place where pupils come first.  Children enjoy coming here, and we aim to make it as read more

The Fulham Study LLP
Review snapshot: Praised by parents for warmth and empathy and by an employee as ‘motherly, lovely but firm,’ dyslexia specialist read more

Trefoil Tutors
Review snapshot: You could grab yourself a (relative) bargain here, with fees starting as low as £33.80 an hour, moving up to £60 read more

Tutor House
Review snapshot: SEN is a growing speciality. ‘I’m mildly dyslexic, and don’t feel I got much support at school,’ says Alex. read more

Tutors International
Review snapshot: This is the Dom Perignon, rather than the Cava end of the market. Clients – who quite likely already employ read more

Section B

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:

Section C

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:

Section D

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.

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  • Tutor agencies - section C

    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.

  • Tutor agencies - section B

    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.

  • Tutor agencies - section A

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