With ever-mounting pressure upon children to achieve good grades, there is a high demand for private tuition. Yet with no independent rating system to judge how qualified a tutor may be, how can parents hope to pick the right person to provide their children with the necessary academic skill set to excel?London is a fast-paced, competitive city. Entrance exams to the best schools are certainly daunting and require a lot of study, attention and preparation in order to meet their standards.
We have compiled this guide to help you better understand how you can find a tutor in London, and what you should be looking for once in the throes of the hiring and selection process.
Companies / Agencies
A good place to start your search for a tutor is to contact The Tutors’ Association http://thetutorsassociation.org.uk. Members include tutorial companies and freelance tutors, with some working exclusively in London.
Ideally you want to look for a company that is a member of TTA (The Tutor’s Association). Reputable tutorial companies should always interview potential tutors as well monitor their professional track records. These companies should also be responsible for ensuring that all tutors on their database have had a DBS (criminal records) check.
There are also a vast number of online tutor agencies that you can research, which can range from listings websites and directories to high-quality agencies who select and train the teachers that they pick for their database.
Here are five online resources for finding tutors:
• First Tutors
• Tutor Hunt
• Brainy Tutors
• RTL Tuition
And here are ten tutorial agencies in London that you may want to check out.
Tutor House has over 60 years’ experience; each tutor has a degree in the subject they are teaching. Every teacher on their books has a minimum of three years’ experience, and all of them have taught in top schools or colleges. Available services include one-to-one private tuition lessons and revision sessions.
One of the country’s leading independent expert education bodies, Gabbitas works closely with both private schools and parents to find the perfect fit for them, providing excellent tuition plus preparation of admissions exams with regular or one-off sessions.
Fleet has helped over 100,000 students to achieve the results they needed for entrance exams, not just in London, but across the UK and even internationally. They have a great network of education experts and tutors who specialise in fast-track and tailor-made lessons.
Bright Young Things
Bright Young Things has a real passion to instil an enjoyment for learning in their students and encourage self-motivation. The London-based tuition company prefers to stick to less regimented teaching tactics, ultimately aiming to take the learning experience “beyond textbooks”.
Laidlaw has over twenty-five years experience in both state and independent schools. Their strong and diverse team offers a variety of services, from assessments and courses to guidance on school admissions, as well as their private tuition packages.
Set up by a former Harrows student in 2007, Keystone Tutors has quickly become one of London’s top tutoring companies. Prospective tutors must go through quite a rigorous training programme before they can begin working with the company.
Harrison Allen is a relatively small tuition agency, but keeps an excellent database of experienced tutors. The tutors work with students on any level, at any point of their education, from primary school all the way up to A-level examinations.
Based in Hampstead, Athena Tuition provides tailor-made services to meet the individual requirements of every student. They aim to change the perception of students to incite genuine interest and passion in the subjects the children will learn.
This tutoring company specialises in helping those relocating from abroad to the UK, and offers unique bespoke home-schooling services such as live-in tutors. The teachers selected by the company also help children with exam revision, in addition to admissions forms and other tasks.
Dulwich specialises in bespoke private tuition for students of different ages in the South London area. The company promises to match its tutors with students based on their interests, personalities and individual needs. Their focus is to nurture their pupils to promote confidence in the subjects they are learning.
Word of Mouth
Word of mouth is an excellent way to find tutors that have already proven their worth to your friends, neighbours, work colleagues or fellow school parents with tangible results that they can vouch for.
Consider joining some parenting forums online (or try searching on social media platforms such as Facebook) for the school your child attends to see if anyone has some helpful suggestions for tutors that they would happily recommend.
You can also join groups devoted to your local area on Facebook, such as our group for Expats in London. Nextdoor is a website dedicated to helping people connect with others in their local area, on which members may be able to help.
Ask schools that you intend to apply to about the best way to prepare your child for entrance exams. Also, do not be afraid to directly enquire whether they have a list of recommended private tutors that they feel would provide the best and most relevant study sessions for your children.
Make sure that you ask independent freelance tutors to provide you with their DBS checks and references. Media stories and reviews on various websites can make us wary, and in truth it is best to be at least a little cautious when it comes to the question of authenticity, such as online rating reports.
It is imperative that parents and guardians take appropriate references from freelance tutors and examine child protection records. Above all, ensure that your child feels comfortable with the tutor once the lessons start.
Have you hired a tutor in London? Share your experiences in the comments below, or answer the questions here to be featured in an interview!