With teachers more time-pressured than ever, and a recently introduced 9-1 grading system at GCSE, tutors are perfectly placed to help students navigate academic subjects and do their best.
As exams become more demanding, and workloads for students increase, tutors are often the first port of call outside of school for parents looking to help their children. With flexible working hours that can fit around your child’s academic and extra-curricular activities, private tutors offer beneficial and practical support. This being said, it can be difficult to know where to begin when looking for the right tutor for your child. In this post we explore the best ways to source a reliable tutor and begin a successful tutor-tutee partnership.
The first thing to decide is whether you would like in-person or online tuition, as this will help to refine your search criteria. You might also want to consider the experience and skills you are looking for in a potential tutor – e.g. do you want them to be educated to degree-level in the relevant subject? Are you looking for a tutor that has experience tutoring for the 11 Plus exams? These are important factors to consider before beginning your search.
Once you have decided upon these aspects, you can begin looking for a suitable tutor. There are many ways in which to do this, so we have compiled our top tips to help you along the way.
Word of mouth
One of the best ways to find a great tutor is to ask fellow parents for recommendations. By finding a tutor through word of mouth, you have reliable evidence of their skills as a tutor and can save time searching on the internet for a perfect fit. Of course, a teaching style that works for one student may not work for another, but it’s always handy having a first-hand review of a tutor and how they have helped another child of a similar age, and at a similar point in their academic journey.
Another benefit of sourcing a tutor this way is that you can contact them directly, and therefore you don’t have to go through any agencies or online sites. If the tutor has a website, you might want to check it out before getting in touch.
Tutoring agencies can also be a great way of finding a private tutor. The benefit of going through an agency is that they will usually arrange a consultation call with you, where they can find out your child’s exact tuition needs and match you with the most suitable tutor. Tutors registered with agencies will be vetted, have DBS checks, and the agency can often supply reviews and feedback from other students so that you can verify their skills and abilities. The disadvantage of going through an agency, however, is that their fees can often be higher that online platforms, or going directly to the tutor, but prices vary widely.
Many agencies will ask you to fill out a form on their website with your tuition requirements, or call them directly, where you can discuss your needs before proceeding. The agency will then find a tutor (or tutors) that they think would be a suitable match, and then present them to you for consideration. Lessons are usually booked through the agency, and after the first lesson, the agency will often ask for feedback, to see how you and your child are getting along with your chosen tutor.
Online platforms are one of the most popular ways of finding a tutor nowadays, due to its ease and convenience. These platforms allow you to type in your postcode, subject and level, and easily access a list of potential tutors in your area. Moreover, many online tutoring sites now have their own online teaching platforms, should you be looking for online tuition. The downside to these platforms, however, is that they usually take fairly substantial commission from the tutors, meaning they often have to inflate their rates in order to compensate for this lose. This in turn costs you more as a client, and so can be a major drawback.
Once you have inputted your postcode and tutoring requirements on the online platform, the site will then present you with a list of potential tutors who match your criteria, along with their rates. There are often also reviews from past and current students, giving you a useful insight into each tutor. Once you have found a potential match, you can then get in touch with tutor and book a lesson – this is done online through the website, and payment is taken online too; you do not pay the tutor directly.
Another great way to find a tutor is through social media. Platforms such as Twitter and Instagram are a great way to source tutors and learn more about them – they often share interesting subject-related content too, which is a bonus. Facebook is an even better platform for finding tutors, as students can post reviews of their sessions, and you can find links to the tutor’s website, should they have one. LinkedIn is a less common way of finding potential tutors, but it comes with the benefit of being able to easily see their work experience, CV, and educational history, giving you a great insight into their credentials.
An added benefit of using social media to find a tutor is that you can contact them directly, either through direct message, or by using the contact details that they will have linked on their profiles. This can save you time, and also means you can organise your sessions directly with the tutor, rather than through an agency or another platform.
The Tutor Website
Of course, we couldn’t write a post about finding a tutor without mentioning our own site. Here at The Tutor Website, we enable you to find excellent in-person and online tutors in your area, based on your subject and level requirements. We only ask for a one-time payment in return for providing you with the tutor’s contact details and, unlike many other tuition sites, we never charge our tutors commission. This means that tutors needn’t raise their rates to compensate for commission cuts, and you as a parent don’t pay any additional fees on top of the tutor’s hourly rate.
Moreover, we leave the decision-making down to you. Other tutoring websites use AI and algorithms to ‘match’ you with a suitable tutor, but we believe that you should have the power to choose who educates your child, not a machine. We have created a transparent process where you have full access to our database of tutors and are free to choose a tutor based on your own personal criteria. Once you have found a tutor, you organise your lessons and payment directly with the tutor – no middlemen – making the process transparent and easy. We feel that setting tutors and tutees up for a smooth start ensures a successful working relationship in the long run.
Tuition is a great tool to support your child in their education, and to help them to get the most out of their academic journey. Whether online or in-person, tutors can use their in-depth subject knowledge and teaching skills to enhance your child’s learning, and help them navigate every academic challenge, be that their 11 Plus, GCSEs, and A-Levels. Taking the time to think about the criteria and qualities you are looking for in a tutor, and using one the methods above, will ensure that you find a tutor who is best suited to your child’s needs, and who can make them fall in love with learning.
If you want to find a private tutor for your child, use our search bar to filter by subject, location, postcode and online or local.