How to Become a Private Tutor in the UK


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It is no secret that many qualified teachers in the UK are now choosing to offer private tuition in addition to their full time jobs, which is supported by the fact that there are now at least 1 million private tutors in the UK who earn money from teaching pupils outside of school.

If you have a degree in a certain subject that you are passionate about then why not consider becoming a private tutor? Working as a private tutor in the UK is a hugely rewarding profession, a great way to earn a living whilst choosing your hours, and being your own boss.

In the last year it has been reported that at least 25% of pupils in the UK have previously used a private tutor, with over 40% of that figure being students in London. With the industry booming, becoming a private tutor is an increasingly popular choice for qualified teachers currently teaching in schools.

But the question is, how do you become a private tutor? What’s involved? What are the steps required, do you need specific qualifications and where do you start?

Read on and we’ll aim to answer all your queries about becoming a private tutor. For more information contact us by calling 020 3950 0320 or visit our page to become a private tutor in London and submit your CV, CRB and additional information.

What qualifications do I need to become a private tutor in the UK?

At the moment there are no regulations in place for the private tutoring industry. This means that legally speaking absolutely anyone can be a private tutor with no qualifications. There are no formal certificates for private tuition, there are no exams, you don’t need to have even stepped foot in a classroom before and there’s even no governing body to regulate the industry.

As bizarre as that sounds, it’s all true.

This is why it’s important that ethical private tutoring agencies, like Tutor House, implement comprehensive interviewing and recruitment processes when looking to employ private tutors. At Tutor House, we maintain a high quality standard of private tutors that we work with, we have continued to build a reputation for quality with our clients in and around London. It’s partly because of this ethical approach from top agencies that the industry has grown so exponentially over the last 10 years.

If you hold a degree in the respective subject you wish to teach, you can then take the first step in applying to become a tutor. Gradually you will build up more and more experience and a reputation in your field for being a great tutor with a proven track record.

How do I become a private tutor?

Once you have decided to embark on the career path of becoming a private tutor then the rest is relatively straightforward. Teaching in schools is a little different, and it’s worth taking a few moments to check out the Department of Education’s guide on how to get into teaching and UCAS’s academic entry requirements to qualify for their teacher training program.

However, what is important is that you ensure you have the right qualifications, knowledge and teaching experience in the subjects that you intend to teach. Having a degree in a specific subject is strongly advisable. However, needless to say some great tutors don’t have degrees in their subjects, and some PHD students often teach.

As a private-tutor-in-training, the absolute best experience you can have is to teach in schools for at least 3 - 5 years. Grasping the curriculum, familiarising yourself with exam papers, subject modules:, how to teach a classroom full of students, learning to manage different student behaviours, coping with stress along with many other valuable skills.

Mastering these skills and having a comprehensive understanding of how to create an effective learning environment can be crucial to your success as a private tutor. Just like in a school, you will be responsible for a child’s learning and progress; therefore it is imperative that you equip yourself with the necessary skills in order to be an effective tutor.

You will need to be able to communicate well with your students, be encouraging and patient, and help them to believe they can overcome whatever subject they are struggling with. As most teachers will know, ensuring your students have confidence and self-belief is often half the battle.

Of course it’s easy to say ‘the more teaching experience you have the more likely you are to be chosen as a tutor’, but it’s true in almost every aspect. Teaching qualifications, like B.Ed or SEN, are very useful and will often help with your interview process when applying to tutoring agencies.

In the same breath, college and University lecturers both working and retired also are usually skilled and capable tutors with years of quality experience to back their application up.

The more teaching experience, subject knowledge, passion and ambition you have, the better tutor you will become; and the more clients you satisfy, the more work you will get.

Private tutoring agencies can help you get into teaching

You can set yourself up as a private tutor by your own means, but often the way to get the most work, and to quickly build a solid customer base and positive reputation, is by joining a good, ethical private tutoring agency.

Private tutors are employed typically on short term contracts to help a student with a specific problem or subject, usually in the lead up to an exam. Signing up to a tutoring agency means you are more likely to get ongoing work, and parents are more likely to trust an established tutoring agency and will use the same one time and time again. A good bit of advice is to set up a Limited Company, see why here.

What you should consider before applying to be a private tutor:

Setting yourself up as a private tutor, while not an expensive or complicated process, does have some overheads to consider.

Know your subject’s syllabus. It is important to have a thorough understanding and knowledge of the syllabus for the subject and board you will be teaching. Syllabuses will vary each year and from board to board. Therefore in order to ensure your students have the best opportunity for success it is advisable to know your syllabus you will be teaching.

Alex Dyer

Alex is the founder and director of Tutor House and has a degree in Psychology. He has worked in the educational industry for 14 years; teaching Psychology for 8 years at a school in London. He now runs Tutor House, after setting it up in 2012. Alex still tutors every week, he writes for the Huffington Post and has appeared on the BBC and ITV to discuss educational topics. Alex is an educational consultant and UCAS expert, he’s worked with hundreds of students over the years. He’s obsessed with squash, but is distinctly average.

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