Our Resources

Need to know something? We've got you!

Private tuition on the rise: should tutoring be regulated?

May 31, 2013

Private tuition is on the rise: should the industry be regulated?

In 2009, The Guardian reported that 45% of pupils based in London have a private tutor. Since then, that figure has increased.

A staggering 72% of all children preparing for Common Entrance have a private tutor according to the IOE. 25% of all 11-18 year olds have had private tuition at some point, manly in Mathematics, reports TES.

With over 500 private tuition agencies now operating throughout the country, some with over 10,000 tutors on their books, how on earth do we, or the Government, regulate the industry? And, do we even need to?

Do we need to regulate the private tuition industry?

With the rise of university fees a few years ago, and the surge in (fierce) competition and pressure to get into good schools – the demand for private tuition in the UK has increased yearly. With such an increase in demand, agencies and freelance private tutors effectively charge what they like.

Private tutors usually work on a freelance basis with different agencies, especially in London. The Government has tried to step in and add some sort of parameter to the tutoring world in the past, but have failed.

Without thought and proper investigation, the Government has left it to the taxman to chase tutors and investigate them if necessary.

What kind of regulation should there be?

Well, of course a CRB (or DBS as it’s now named) is a must. Parents should always ask for this, they don’t need a copy, but certainly a confirmation. Adults who tutor children must go through a thorough check-up and a full criminal disclosure.

What about qualification and experiences?

Private (public) Schools don’t have pre-test for teachers, but they must have a degree in the subject they wish to teach.

State Schools, on the other hand, have rigorous qualifications (GTP/NQT), which teachers must pass. At both types of schools, new teachers are interviewed and would be asked to perform trial lessons.

However, private tutors do not undergo anything close to this level of investigation.

I’ve heard some horror stories about big tutoring companies sending tutors to client’s homes. A parent once told me of a tutor who was sent to their home, he was an international student in his first year at University, who had never taught before and his level of English was very basic. Not ideal when you’re forking out in excess of £35 per hour.

Education is a personal thing and parents always want the best for their children, so perhaps some sort of regulation would be a good thing?

I’m not saying intensive interviewing and trial lessons for tutors is a necessity, and with 10,000 tutors that would be hard. Experience and subject knowledge is key here. They are incredibly important qualities, and during trying-times for children and young adults, the right tutor is crucial to improving grades and their exam success.

Majority of tutors that work for Tutor House are full or part time teachers in local London-based schools and colleges. They know the exam boards, keep up with the changing specifications and of course have plenty of experience. We personally select every single one of our private tutors, implementing our own regulations for the industry. I don’t see why other companies don’t enforce the same or similar guidelines.

Technology and Education

Technology and Education: A Match Made in Heaven?

The education industry has not yet caught up with the daily and continuous changes in technology. Technology has changed and continues to change the way we socialise, work, research, interact and learn.

Classroom based learning, on the other hand, still incorporates note taking from white boards, reading through bulky textbooks and filling-in-the-gaps in hand out after hand out.

Surely this has to change.

In a great number of schools and colleges (from my experience, and from what other tutors and teachers tell me), the education system takes time to evolve and changing the way children learn takes even longer.

I forget how many times I had to leave the classroom to photocopy something, to fetch a students’ homework or to acquire another board pen, ultimately wasting precious teaching time. I do, interesting, also remember during our ten-minute breaks, students would dive into their pockets to get their mobile phones and start Tweeting, ‘Facebooking’ and searching the web.

That is the nature of students now.

We should use this to our advantage in the classroom, in schools, during after school tuition time. We should provide a ‘service’ that is interactive, fun and exiting to use. Reducing the amount of paper-based material and having everything on portable tablets sounds great. Yes this would take time, but in theory once the material is uploaded, it can be accessed and updated in real time, over and over again.

Just think, a webpage or a database entry only has to be updated once to appear on a student’s screen – whereas a textbook would have to be reissued or at best photocopied again.

Education and technology should go hand-in-hand; they should live happily ever after. It’s the only real way that teaching can adapt and grow. But if there is to be a ‘Shrek and Fiona’ marriage, then surely we need to embrace this change right away?

We’re taking an awfully long time to adjust. There is a growing number of education Apps out there now (link to other article here) but there is no unity. All of them are different. I’m not saying they’re poorly structured, some of them are very useful indeed, but there should be a coherent syllabus to follow.

Tablets for schools are a new, interesting venture. Google has just launched Google Play for education, a program that organises apps, books, notes and other educational content. It looks great. Teachers can visit age specific areas and access subject-specific material via app searches in the program.

Cost is an issue, and by the time you’ve set up an entire classroom or student base and bought tablets for all the children, costs rise, sharply.

In short, this would be expensive.

YouTube isn’t though. Nor are other e-learning platforms; they are simple and easy to use, and now very interactive.

Cost is an issue in education, the majority of our clients ask for a package deal or a discount. Some ask for cost-effective Skype lessons, to reduce costs. Take Public (Private) school fees, they start at £17,000 per year, whilst private tuition starts at £40 per hour.

So why not introduce free or ‘pay to view’ online learning?

It makes sense. Almost everyone has access to a computer, a tablet, an iPad, a smart phone, so why not provide a medium for everybody to use? It can be classroom based or ‘out of school hours’ but following a curriculum.

For more information and advice on private tuition in London and Fulham contact Tutor House on info@tutorhouse.co.uk or visit our homepage and find a tutor – www.tutorhouse.co.uk

Tutors work abroad.

May 13, 2013

Tutors work abroad

This year we have tutors flying around the world. Based on our success last year, with tutors jetting out to Dubai, France, Monaco and Spain. We’re back again.

Our highly experienced tutors with me providing quality tuition abroad, as part of our residential revision courses. Tutors are completely flexible and will adapt to the needs of the family and students.

Tutors are available for July and August and can tutor Common Entrance, GCSE and A-Level. They can travel anywhere with families, especially Dubai, Paris, Moscow, Abu Dhabi and Monaco.

Do contact us to discuss your tuition requirements by mail: info@tutorhouse.co.uk  or call us on 0203 9500 320

Tutors working with families abroad and on holiday

May 2, 2013

Tutors working with families abroad and on holiday

Taking Private Tutors on Holiday

London-based private tutoring agency, Tutor House is offering a new service to tour operators, cruise lines and travel organizers. Tutor House will provide private tutors to accompany families on holiday in the UK or overseas and tutor children aged 11 – 18 in any GCSE and A Level subject, as well as provide Common Entrance preparation.

Available on a flexible basis, bookable by the day, Tutor House’s tutors provide up to five hours of tuition each day, combined with childcare, and tutors will travel with the family, or can fly in for a specific period, to provide the extra academic input.

Director of Tutor House and professional tutor, Alex Dyer said, “By offering this new service, families can now go on holiday out of season, or during term time, without having to worry that their children will fall behind at school.”

The service works equally well for families taking a villa holiday, a ski holiday or staying in a hotel, and it gives families the potential to travel any time of the year, reducing the stress of taking children out of school during term time.

Alex goes on to say, “Families can also optimize key revision periods, such as Easter and Christmas holidays, as well as offering tuition outside of congested exam and school periods, like summer, where children can really benefit from additional support before they begin the next school year.”

Tutor House employs the services of over 180 specialist tutors, offering a variety of disciplines, from PE to physics, tennis to IT, with specific tuition offered to international and UK students for Common Entrance and senior school examinations, GCSE and A levels.

Tutors working with families on holiday and abroad

April 30, 2013

Tutors working with families on holiday and abroad

Travel Gossip: Tutorial Agency Launches Traveling Tutors Scheme

A London based tutorial centre will supply tutors to families on holiday. Photo Credit: Tutor House.
News in Brief

Just because parents want to take their children on holiday, that’s no reason for their kids to fall behind on their school work. A London based tutoring agency has launched a new service targeted at tour operators, cruise lines, and travel organizers to supply traveling tutors.

Tutor House will provide tutors that will travel with families – or meet them en route – for up to five hours of tuition per day. They can accommodate children aged 11 to 18 in any GCSE or A Level subject as well as providing Common Entrance preparation.

Child care services can also be arranged.

“By offering this new service, families can now go on holiday out of season, or during term time, without having to worry that their children will fall behind at school,” says Alex Dyer, Director of Tutor House and Professional Tutor.

“Families can also optimize key revision periods, such as Easter and Christmas holidays, as well as offering tuition outside of congested exam and school periods, like summer, where children can really benefit from additional support before they begin the next school year.”

Read more here.

Tutors working abroad…

April 15, 2013

Tutors working abroad…

PRESS RELEASE

Tutor House

‘Tutors on holiday’
New service brings the classroom to the sun-bed

London-based private tutoring agency, Tutor House (www.tutorhouse.co.uk) is offering a new service to provide private tutors to accompany families on holiday in the UK or overseas and tutor children aged 11 – 18 in any GCSE and A Level subject, as well as provide Common Entrance preparation.

Available on a flexible basis, bookable by the day, Tutor House tutors offer up to 5 hours of tuition each day, combined with childcare, and tutors will travel with the family, or can fly in for a specific period, to provide the extra academic input.

The service works equally well for families taking a villa holiday, a ski holiday or staying in a hotel, and it gives families the potential to travel any time of the year, reducing the stress of taking children out of school during term time.

Director of Tutor House and professional tutor, Alex Dyer said; ‘By offering this new service, families can now go on holiday out of season, or during term time, without having to worry that their children will fall behind at school.’

Alex goes on to say; ‘Families can also optimise key revision periods, such as Easter and Christmas holidays, by providing all the revision and educational support needed to achieve exam success without missing out on family holidays.’

Tutor House employs the services of over 500 specialist tutors, offering a variety of disciplines, from PE to Physics, tennis to IT, with specific tuition offered to international and UK students for Common Entrance and senior school examinations, GCSE, iGCSE and A levels.

 

 

What are the top Education apps at the Moment? Find out here…

February 26, 2013

Tutor House 10 of the Best Apps for Easter Revision

With the end of year exams looming for Common Entrance, GCSE and A-Level students around the UK, the London-based private tutor agency, Tutor House has come up with 10 of the best Apps available to aid students with revision over the Easter holidays.

Director of Tutor house and professional tutor, Alex Dyer said, ‘Apps are so versatile, students can, and should use them for revision, organisation, exam preparation – they’re an absolute must!’

Alex Dyer goes on to say, ‘A lot of these Apps are totally free and the ones we reviewed can all be considered as excellent additional revision resources and learning aids. We’d strongly recommend that both students and their parents get to grips with what’s out there to help with revision planning, note-taking, data storage, grammar aids and exam count downs’.

1. Revision App – App Giant Ltd, iPhone/iPad.

Perhaps the most appropriately named App, the ‘Revision App’ supports students with revison on the move with over 1 million revision notes, flash cards and quizes covering everything from GCSE, A-Level and University subjects. The app allows students to create their own flash revision cards with video, text or audio which can be saved for future revision sessions and sent to friends to support group studies.

The app accommodates different types of learners to help the student learn faster, whether they’re a visual learner or they process information acoustically.

Price: Basic app is free. Add 69p for revision notes, flash cards and information on each subject.

 

 

 

2. Top 20 Exam Revision Tips – iDrops Lab, iPhone/iPad.
This is the essential app for all students taking the end of year exams in summer 2013. It’s an app that gives students the essential guidelines on how to make the most of exam revision over the Easter holidays.

Top 20 Exam Revision Tips is essential for students that struggle with getting their heads down and motivating themselves to sit down and revise at home.

Price: Absolutely free.

3. Remember the Milk – Remember the Milk, iPhone/iPad.
Not only does this app have a great name, it’s one of the best organisational apps out there. The app has an attractive and easy to use user interface, and lets the student organise and prioritise lists, revision sessions, reminders and tasks the way they want.

Another great feature is the ability to view, change and bookmark tasks from mobile to the web to apps including Outlook, iCal, Gmail, Google Calendar, Twitter

Price: Absolutely free.

 

 

 

4. iMindMap – ThinkBuzan, iPhone/iPad
One for visual thinkers and learners, iMindMap is a brilliant mind mapping application that turns an iPad or iPhone into a personal brainstorming and thought-structuring device.

The app is great for dyslexic students, who often find visual learning a helpful revision tactic. It’s a unique workspace for brainstorming; revising, note taking and planning that will automatically cross-platform sync across iPhones and iPads.

Price: Absolutely free.

5. Oxford A-Z of Grammar and Punctuation – Mobile Systems, all Android phones.
Every English student will love this one; the Oxford A-Z of Grammar and Punctuation App has 250 grammar themed questions, along with a lot of basic information about grammar and punctuation of the English language.

Not just for English students, this app will provide help across all subject areas and give students a boost to their grammatical skills.

Price: Absolutely free.

6. Exam Countdown – Richard Knights, iPhone/iPad
Couting down the days, hours and minutes until the next exam is high on the agenda of prospectus students. Being able to visualise the order of exams helps students effectly prioritise revision sessions for each subject and effectively prepare for their exams.

As the name suggests, this app is a countdown clock letting students input and know exaclty how long they have before their exam dates. It’s simple, but effective and allows students to fully prepare for all upcoming examinations.

Price: Absolutely free.

7. Penultimate – Evernote, iPhone/iPad
Penultimate is one of the most popular handwriting apps on the market, developed by the team behind the prevalent organisational Evernote app. The app gives students the natural experience of writing on paper, with the added ability to take notes, keep sketches and share content through social media and E-Mail.

Penultimate is easy to use, and will quickly become one of the core productivity apps for students over the Easter revision period. Great for revision notes on the go, creating your own flash cards and keeping everything in one place.

Price: Absolutely free. Add 69p per upgrade.

8. Grammar Up – Eknath Kadam, iPhone/iPad
A fun way to brush up on spelling and grammar before the exams, Grammar Up is a multiple choice quiz system with over 1800 fun questions across 20 grammar categories. Grammar Up can help students improve their grammar, spelling, vocabulary and sentence structuring over the Easter holidays for the end of year exams, whether it’s Common Entrance, GCSE or A-Levels.

Price: £2.99 for the complete app.

9. Evernote – Evernote, iPhone/iPad
Evernote has been an overnight success since its inception in 2008. Evernote stores and edits the user’s notes on their local machine, and can also have their notes automatically synchronized with a master copy held on Evernote’s servers.

The popular organisational app can’t do any wrong with its smooth, easy-to-use interface and free storage. Its capability to work on all platforms and devices makes it simple to create, manage and record revision notes in a natural way, which makes it a must-have app for students of all ages.

Price: Absolutely free. £3.99 – £34.99 for app upgrade.

10. Dropbox – Dropbox, iPhone/iPad
Dropbox is the ultimate storage application as it enables users to bring all photos, documents, videos and multimedia anywhere and everywhere. The app allows students to access any file saved to Dropbox from all computers, iPhones, iPads and the Dropbox website.

Ideal for revision sessions over the Easter holidays, Dropbox lets students to bring their revision wherever they go. It’s a solution to going abroad during crucial revision periods, with up to 2GB of free space on signup. Additional storage space can be purchased.

Price: Absolutely free. £69.99 for extended version.

 

 

Tutor House is offering a selection of Easter revision workshops for A-Level, GCSE and Common Entrance students looking for an intensive exam boost and help with their revision techniques in a variety of subjects for the May 2013 public exams.

To book and for more information on private tutors in London call Tutor House on tel. 0203 9500 320

or visit www.tutorhouse.co.uk

How does the International Baccalaureate (I.B) work?

September 12, 2012

,,An increasing number of private and grammar schools are now offering the IB programme.

Students undertaking the IB need to have strong subject knowledge in humanities and sciences.

Private tutoring can help identify and boost students weaknesses. At tutor house we can help with Essay writing, Languages, Social and Natural Sciences and Mathematics.
Contact tutor house for assistance.

The IB Curriculum:

Students choose from one subject from each of the six compulsory groups. In addition, the IB programme includes Extended essay writing (in-depth essay of one of the subjects the student has chosen) Theory of knowledge (students reflect on the nature of knowledge by examining areas including perception, emotion and artistic and historical aspects) and Creativity, action and service (completing tasks outside of the classroom.)

The six groups are:

1: Studies in Lauguage and Literature

2: Lauguage acquisition

3: Indiviuals and societies

4: Experimaental science

5: Mathematics and computer science

6: The arts

N.B- The sixth subject chosen by students may be a arts subject (group 6) or another subject from group 1-5.

Pre-U

The Cambridge Pre-U course helps prepare students for university. The course has become popular in recent times as an alternative to A-Levels. The Pre-U course follows on from IGCSE and Cambridge Secondary 2 qualifications.
The Pre-U course is available in 27 subjects, students choose from three.

Tutors at tutor house have experience in teaching Pre-U and can help all students via private tuition and support.

Pre-U courses at tutor house

Home Schooling

At tutor house we provide short and long-term home schooling. We listen to the student’s requirement and devise a programme most suited to them. This can include private tuition, one-on-one support, special educational support and residential tuition, both in the U.K and abroad.

Contact tutor house for more information.

GCSE results today: Have they been tampered? Or is it just a coincidence?

August 23, 2012

GCSE results today: Have they been tampered? Goal posts moved? Or is it just a coincidence?

A spokesman from the Department for Education said, “It’s right that minimum expectations of schools should continue to rise.” In addition Michael Gove, the Education Secretary has said in the past that he wants to abolish GCSE’s and introduce ‘explicitly harder’ O-Levels.

Tampering 1 – Coincidence 0.

Around 650,000 teenagers throughout Britain will have opened their GCSE results this morning. Usually some will be in shock, this year however, most may well be in shock. Results have fallen for the first time in 23 years! That is significant. Many teachers, especially English teachers have voiced their concerns that the exams were marked far too harshly leaving pupils a grade or so short of what they were predicted. Simply, the powers that be have significantly increased the grade boundaries.

Goal posts moving 1 – Coincidence 0.

The counter argument is of course that GCSE exams are easier, take a question from a Physical Education paper, ‘which is not an invasion game? Football, Netball, Hockey, Tennis?’ I teach P.E as well as Psychology, but that question is a bit ridiculous. That is more or less giving marks away. However, (I’m not sitting on the fence) P.E is regarded as a soft subject whereas Mathematics and English are not, so you wouldn’t expect to see questions like that in ‘academic’ subjects.

For schools, these results have serious consequences. Some face closure, others takeover whilst others could be turned into academies. This seems harsh, seeing as the government has, as the scores above show, augmented the grade boundaries. For the first time this year, schools have been ‘forced’ to ensure that 40% of pupils gain five ‘good’ grades, including high grades in English and Mathematics. That is a big ask, up from 35% last year!

For teachers, these results also have potential detrimental consequences. At best, a change in the head of school and perhaps new management appointments but at worst searching for a new job. It’s difficult– obviously teachers want to put faith in their Schools, their pupil’s and the government, but with this drop, this shifting of the goal posts, how can they?

Let’s not forget what Gove said back in July this year, “teachers are born, not made.” That I’m afraid is what teachers are up against. In other words ‘you failed this year, you will next.’

What do you think?

As a teacher of 7 years I’m a bit angry, a bit confused really. Teachers seem to be working harder than ever. Working towards days like today, only to feel upset and unsure what the next step will be! Confidence is a huge thing; I personally don’t have a lot in Gove.

For pupils getting their results today the first thing I would say is don’t be disheartened. Why? Well firstly the boundaries have moved, yes and yes you’re a grade shy of what you thought you would get, but so is the whole country! The boundaries go down for every single student. If you were on the B/C boundary and you received a C, so did the next person so don’t worry. On paper is doesn’t look fantastic, but schools and colleges will be a little more lenient this year, well they should be.
You will now need to focus on your A-Level choices following your GCSE results; you need to look forwards onto University and beyond.

I saw a great tweet today: “To the 640,000 sixteen-year-olds who have just had their GCSE results tampered with by Michael Gove: use your votes wisely in 2015.”

I hope everyone achieved the grades they wanted today.