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A Parent's Guide to Finding the Perfect Tutor for your Child

Updated: Jan 25

Now that we are certain about the pandemic’s adverse effects on our children’s learning development, it's natural to worry about your child falling behind or not reaching their target grades. In fact, figures by the Government suggest that in 2023, only 59% of Key Stage 2 (Primary) pupils met the expected standard in reading, writing and Maths.


Tutor high fiving young student

In 2019, 27% of secondary school students reported having a private tutor and this percentage has only increased since. The uptick in private tuition reflects the worries we all have about school standards, our children’s prospects and the future; but how does one go about finding the right tutor to support our child’s needs?


With so many avenues available, from word-of-mouth to online tutoring agencies, finding not just a tutor, but a reputable one, can seem like a daunting task!


Tutors from agencies should be thoroughly vetted and interviewed. As a tutoring agency that's a member of The Tutor’s Association, we at Titanium Tutors have signed up to its code of conduct and child protection policy. Our rigorous vetting process means that, in addition to setting up an interview, we conduct thorough background checks on all of our tutors, including Enhanced DBS checks, ID checks, qualifications checks and references checks.


When choosing a tutor that’s going to be the best fit for your child, here are a few questions to bear in mind.


Does your Tutor Have Previous Teaching Experience?


Just because a tutor looks great academically on paper doesn’t mean that they would make great teachers! Consider whether or not you’d want them to have some teaching, tutoring or even mentoring experience.


Ideally, a tutor should have some experience teaching the age group and/or subject your child is learning. This ensures their familiarity with specification expectations and how well they deliver a lesson.


For some parents, this isn’t a dealbreaker: after all, a GCSE science teacher should have the subject knowledge to also teach a Key Stage 2 student and might even be best suited to prepare them for secondary school, especially if your child is aiming for subject mastery.


Consider also the transferable skills your tutor may possess: even if the tutor hasn’t had the opportunity to prepare children for your independent school of choice, perhaps they’ve successfully sat the same exam in the past, or prepared children for similarly prestigious institutions, or even taught at the school.


Does your Tutor’s Approach Match your Child’s Needs?


From a teacher-led lecture to a discursive and engaging discussion, no one tutor teaches in the same way. It’s important to find a tutor who is able to be flexible in their approach or whose style of teaching meshes well with your child’s needs.


Think about:


  • What has worked well for your child in the past? Or hasn’t?

  • Does your child respond well to regular praise?

  • Should the tutor facilitate discussion with your child or take the lead during lessons?

  • Is homework an important part of your child’s academic journey or is your child busy enough?


Does your Tutor Make Lessons Interactive and Engaging?


What does an interactive and engaging lesson look like? If you see the tutor talking for more than 10 minutes without your child giving any input, chances are your child has already clocked out and isn’t getting the most out of lessons.


A tutor armed with a bank of resources will be more prepared to create a lesson fine tuned to consolidate the gaps in knowledge your child may have:


Start - The start of an interactive lesson may include a tutor incorporating a game or fun starter activity to activate your child’s quick-thinking skills, prepare them for what will be taught in this lesson, or to recap on learning from the previous lesson.


Middle - The meat of the lesson will aim to keep the student engaged, but also give opportunities for them to showcase their knowledge. This is a chance for the tutor to see what they are getting right and what weaknesses they need to work on. Precise, actionable feedback will give your child the time to analyse and think of the best possible solution to perform even better.


End - At the end of the lesson, the experienced tutor will give a chance for your child to reflect on what they’ve done well and what next steps they need to take. Reflecting helps your child to develop key skills and review their effectiveness, rather than just carry on as before. Depending on your preferences, some tutors may also assign homework so that the student can continue to hone their skills outside of lesson times.

Online tutoring lesson

Does your Tutor Offer Online or In-person Tuition?



However, some parents may still prefer the immediacy of a face-to-face tutor, especially if they feel their child doesn’t respond well to online learning. This will mean a smaller pool of available tutors and may even


mean none at all if you live rurally, but if the subject you are looking for requires practical work (like art or design and technology), live ongoing feedback is crucial.


Does your Tutor Have Matching or Flexible Availability?


Even if your desired tutor has ticked off all of the previous boxes, perhaps one of the most important considerations would be whether or not they would be available in the first place!


Finding a tutor whose flexibility can reflect your schedule should be a must, but sometimes, this may not be possible. If you want a qualified teacher to come on a weekday during the morning, be aware that your pool of available tutors decreases significantly as most teachers would be in the classroom during that time. Would you be willing to concede and hire an experienced tutor instead? Or perhaps consider weekend mornings?

Tutor helping student in lesson

Considering all factors equally when finding the right tutor for your child will heighten the likelihood of your tutor-client relationship working out in the long run.


We are proud to offer a wide selection of tutors from across different backgrounds and qualifications. Starting from £32 per hour, we’d be more than happy to find the perfect tutor for you today!



 
Cheryl

Blog Post Crafted by Cheryl


Cheryl manages our Admin Team, and is a qualified teacher with 5 years' experience in schools across England and Canada.


Cheryl graduated from University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Education. She tutored secondary school students in English for over nine years in Canada.


Cheryl speaks Cantonese, English and French, and in her spare time, she can be found illustrating and reading children’s books for inspiration.

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