We answer the most common FAQs about private tutoring...
These FAQs are a 'best of' of all the tutoring questions I get asked through The Tutor Website. Hopefully, this post will help answer any questions you might have about private tutoring as a student or parent. If there's anything you'd like to know that hasn't been covered here, please post your question in the comments section below.
How Much do Private Tutors Charge?
The cost of private tutoring varies. Where you live and how experienced the tutors are in your area are the two main contributing factors.
In 2012, tutoring agency First Tutors reported that the average tutor in the UK charges £22 per hour. However, I've seen tutors charge as low as £10 and as high as £100.
Agencies tend to charge a fixed fee per lesson, which again varies but the average seems to be around £50 per hour.
Those that tutor online and aren't subject to charging within the platform's fixed prices, tend to charge the same as a face-to-face freelance tutors.
How Qualified Does a Tutor Need to be?
There's no specific qualifications for tutors in the UK, so qualification levels tend to vary from tutor to tutor. In general, tutors tend to be educated to at least degree level but this isn't a hard and fast rule.
Some students find reassurance in hiring tutors who are highly qualified, whereas others believe that experience and a proven track record of getting results is more important.
Many private tutors have qualified teaching status although you don't need to be a qualified teacher to be a private tutor. Some teachers tutor as a sideline to their classroom teaching job and some become private tutors after retirement.
Where Can I find a Private Tutor?
It can be surprisingly difficult to find a private tutor in the UK. Top level tutors in London tend to be so much in demand that they're booked up months, sometimes years in advance.
Generally, students and parents tend to find tutors through word of mouth recommendations and some of the most sought after tutors find work through recommendations alone.
Because it can be difficult for freelance tutors to market themselves online in such a competitive marketplace, most decide to register with private tutor directories, like the one we have on The Tutor Website. These directories are a good place to look for tutors in your local area.
Other tutors choose to register with private tutoring agencies and some online agencies report to have 10,000 + tutors registered with them.
How Long Does an Average Lesson Last?
Normally, private tutoring is priced by the hour and lessons tend to take place in hourly blocks. With younger students at 11 Plus level or below, lessons are sometimes shorter than 1 hour.
The frequency of lessons varies from student to student, depending on their needs and whether they're studying for exams or not.
Freelance Tutor or Tutoring Agency?
There are advantages and drawbacks to using both types of services. Freelance tutors are self-employed and take care of all their own lesson scheduling, invoicing etc. They deal with students and parents directly and tend to charge slightly less than agencies although not always.
Tutoring agencies on the other hand, are more process-orientated and generally have high standards with some of the top agencies only employing tutors from the UK's top universities. Many tutoring agencies also provide tutors with training, which can help ensure high standards of teaching.
What is Online Tutoring?
Online tutoring is essentially teaching over the internet. Many private tutors who teach face-to-face also offer their services online via real -time communication (RTC) platforms like Skype.
Over the last few years, there has been a rise in online tutoring startups. Most offer purpose-built virtual classrooms where students and tutors can chat via webcam and share resources. Some of the leading online tutoring platforms in the UK include My Tutor Web and TutorHub.
Is Online Tutoring Safe?
Generally, reputable online tutoring platforms tend to be very safe and most offer students the ability to record lessons in video and audio. Some online learning platforms also require all their tutors to have up-to-date DBS certificates.
Is Online Tutoring More Effective than Face-to-Face Tutoring?
In some cases, online tutoring can serve as an effective alternative to classroom teaching for students who are unable to attend school. Online tutoring offers students flexibility in their lesson times and often gives them more control over their learning.
Do you have any questions about private tutoring that we haven't covered here? Post your questions in the comments section below.
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