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Why current schools have increased tutor demand, and reduced creativity

October 27, 2017

Schools are killing creativity

Imagine being in a 45-minute business meeting with colleagues. You’re the manager; you want to make sure everyone’s voice is heard, qualm anyone’s specific problems, iron out specific details to make sure everyone understands the next steps of your project, while at the same time trying to get across exactly why the meeting was called in the first place. In the typical workplace, with only 45-minutes to do all the above, one would imagine that the meeting would consist of four or five colleagues. Now apply the above scenario with 30 colleagues.

Thirty colleagues attempting to listen to you, while Jonny big-balls in the corner makes snide remarks (the office joker), while you need to pry meek Bill to actually speak his mind. This includes Nadia and Melissa who are the office suck-ups, trying to finish your sentiments and sentences before you’ve even finished speaking. That’s not to mention all the other 26 vibrant and different office personalities shoved in between. That just doesn’t work. It couldn’t. And yet, this is what we demand of our teachers in a school environment everyday.

Everyday we shove 30+ children into a class at their school, forcing them to actively listen and absorb everything the teacher says within a 45-minute to one-hour session. Moreover, if they have any concerns or clarifications needed, they have to compete with fellow students to ask questions and if time’s up then they will need to seek the answers independently – seemingly overriding the whole point of the teacher. So we then have those that question why tutoring is such a huge market; why parents across the UK and beyond are turning so quickly to supplementary education. Even as the new academic year begins, before students have even returned to their desks, we are having hundreds of calls come in from parents trying to find a way to enhance their child’s learning.

Moreover, if you wait, by the time Christmas holidays approach, it is already seemingly too late. Because teachers are spread so thinly at school, it is often difficult to gauge an individual child’s progress unless by assessments, and then it’s too late to actually influence the outcome of said test. And by then tutors are almost fully booked as well. Of course, it’s important to note that not all children are on the same academic level; some will be unable to keep up with the teacher’s pace. While this would be manageable with a smaller teaching group, with 30 pupils, it makes sense for parents to seek out a tutor to ensure that their child doesn’t fall behind drastically.

In terms of independent study outside of school time, textbooks, free forums and Wikipedia can only go so far; students who learn differently to the traditional classroom setting could employ a tutor to use different teaching methods to further the child’s understanding. We’ve seen too, that the amount of homework given to students is approaching draconian levels. Often students spend up to three hours an evening completing their homework for the school day. Parents know all-to-well the nightly struggle to sit down with their children to ensure it is completed, but sometimes to no avail. Who can blame them? Having completed an arduous day of school, their restless mentality would rather see them running around, climbing trees or playing Candy Crush. Alas, this isn’t so. Parents often then become dependent on tutors to extend the school-time mentality, bringing structure to the child’s homework support.

Perhaps the huge rise in the UK tutoring industry is an indication that the current 30-1 system isn’t working; or perhaps, it’s proving that a child’s education and learning preferences are far more nuanced than we had previously imagined. Some prefer the classic whiteboard scenario, while others need to touch, feel, read, imagine, watch, do and learn – either singularly or all at once. In a modern business environment, which arguably, a number of our school children will grow into; we encourage creativity, thinking on one’s feet, showing confidence and working in small groups. None of these things we prepare our children for in a traditional classroom setting; where the main goal is to memorise and regurgitate. Tutors bring a more distinct refinement in terms of preparing our children for this environment. They learn to hold conversations with older, more authoritarian figures; and these figures in turn, demand their full attention, creativity and input (similar to a contemporary business environment).

We have assisted more parents than ever in homeschooling their children who believe for them that the current school and classroom environment isn’t working for their student; preferring to employ tutors full time. This isn’t a decision made lightly. It’s evident current classroom decorum isn’t working for all the 30 kids that have to sit through it for seven years; causing parents to look to tutors to supplement their education. Moving forward, schools must reconsider the modern classroom, not only for it’s high number of occupants but also due to it’s stagnant content. Imagine if there was a test tomorrow is “how to hold a conversation”; there was no prep, no textbook, just the child and an adult face-to-face, talking about the world around them. How well would they do?

Tutoring shouldn’t be just for elite kids; should they even need it?

Paying for education in any form has often been seen as a characteristic of the elite. Most typically embodied in the £12,000 per term boarding school, tutoring has also fallen into this psyche of thought. Tutoring, however, by definition is simply the support of a student with supplementary education outside their usual schooling. So the real question is; when a private school already goes above and beyond with extended curriculum, trips and support (both academic and pastoral), why do parents of these “elite” continue to supplement their education with further support? Surely they don’t need it.

There are several strands of thought when it comes to why tutoring is beneficial. We’re biased of course, but tutoring doesn’t necessarily need to be defined by how much you are already getting, or not getting, from your current school, but by whether you need it. This is particularly prevalent for a number of reasons; a student working at an A-grade level at a private school may want a tutor to bring his grade up to A* so he can further his chances of getting into his chosen university. Whereas, on the other hand, a student could be struggling in a state school to improve their maths GCSE grade up from a 3 to a 6 (a D to a B using the new marking system). Who needs tutoring more?

A number of people would argue the latter, because the former is already achieving a superior academic grade that is supported by “better” private education. But what if the roles were reversed? What if the private school student was the one who was working hard towards getting their Maths grade up, and it was the state school student who needed to push that grade up to get into their chosen Russell Group university? The point we’re making is that our perception of whether certain students deserve tuition over another is deeply flawed. Whether a student needs tutoring should be assessed on individual needs, not on economic biases, especially when tutoring has become more affordable. Perhaps ten years ago tutoring would be seen as something for the elite, but students and young adults alike have cottoned on to how profitable tuition can be, flooding the market and driving the prices down. You can now access brilliant online tutors starting from £20 per hour. Families can source tutors depending on what they can afford and are often getting similar quality of tuition from degree-educated subject professionals.

It’s also important to note however that parents who send their children to private schools expect more from their education; which is only natural considering the £36,000 per year out of pocket. As a result, private schools are driven by achieving results and will assess their pupils more regularly to identify when a student falls behind. This is beneficial because it means that if any academic problems are found, they would be able to start tutoring earlier than say a state school pupil who is competing with 30 other children in their class to get their worked assessed. It may be longer to find this work wanting; and thus tuition may begin later. In this respect, the private school student certainly has the upper hand.

However, overall we may be quick to condemn private school students whose wealth we perceive gives them the upper hand. Yet each and every student has their own struggles, especially when it comes to tougher and tougher academic demands. “To each their own” essentially; we must take students on a case by case basis when it comes to private tuition and never pass judgement (or judgment depending on how excessively scrupulous you are) on whether they deserve it.

Get ready for common entrance exams this October half-term

September 29, 2017

Common Entrance Tuition – October Half Term

With October half-term fast approaching, the need to utilise this time to prepare for common entrance exams is vital. With only a short amount of time until the majority of common entrance exams take place, parents are using this time to their advantage, by cramming in much-needed revision sessions that focus on exam technique and content.

What schools do you cover for entrance exam preparation?

At Tutor House, we have a range of expert tutors that specialise in common entrance exams, from prep school 4+, all the way through to 11+, 13+ and 16+. Our tutors are all DBS-checked, degree-educated and are experienced in getting their students into the best secondary schools across the country. These include Eton College, Westminster, St Paul’s, Marlborough College, Haberdasher’s Askes’ Boy’s School, Harrow, Winchester College, The King’s School, Wellington, Wickham Abbey, and more.

Whether you’re remaining in the UK or seeking autumn sun, our tutors are flexible and can accommodate any student’s need.

We offer four main avenues of tuition over the half term period. Firstly, our one-on-one tuition offers the student a tailored experience, ensuring that they are prepared for every aspect of the exam; English, maths, verbal and non-verbal reasoning. We also have a range of tutors that specialise in exam practice and etiquette training for prospective boarders.

I need an entrance exam tutor

What Common Entrance exam options are there?

Tutor House also offer a range of intensive revision courses for the half-term period, perhaps you only have 3-5 days to spare. Our tutors will be able to come to you for upwards of three hours a day to work with your child to ensure they are best prepared to sit the exam. In this period they will cover the full scope of the exam; liaising with the family before the class to ensure that they make the most out of this allotted time.

If you are heading away for a UK-based holiday, or are primarily based out of London, and are looking for world-class common entrance exam tutors, we offer residential placements over the October half-term. Our tutors will be able to “live-in” with your family during this period, working daily in a concentrated manner with the student.

Moreover, if you’re going away to catch some Autumn sun, or perhaps an early Ski trip, or simply heading abroad, our tutors are able to adapt and travel with your family, ensuring you make the most of study time during your holiday. Our tutors can work flexibly, perhaps teaching the student in the morning, then leaving the family to independent activities in the afternoon.

I need a residential entrance exam tutor

Why use Tutor House for common entrance tutoring?

Tutor House understands how challenging the common entrance examinations can be; testing students on certain abilities that can only be prepared for with an experienced professional. These are especially important in regards to verbal and non-verbal reasoning questions, and the specific manner in which schools require you to approach the English examination. The Tutor House team will work with your family to find the right tutor that matches your child’s needs.

If you’re interested in getting your son or daughter prepared for their common entrance exams with an experienced and professional tutor, then email us at info@tutorhouse.co.uk or call us on 020 7612 8297.

IGCSE exams
Why GCSEs matter

August 23, 2017

Why GCSEs matter

With GCSE results day only round the corner, 15 and 16 year-olds across the country will be biting their nails in anticipation awaiting their results. Whilst the importance of doing well in A-Levels has been heralded of late; of course, A-Level results come out a full week before GCSE results. It’s often overlooked just how important GCSEs can be.

Here’s why GCSEs are so important:

1. They prepare you

Up until Year 11, while you have set regular examinations in the forms of SATs and other internal assessments, GCSEs are the first on a long road of exams until you complete your degree (if you choose to take your education that far). They will set the bar for how you approach all other exams and essentially “mature” you for the long journey that is your academic future.

2. They discipline you

How hard you work for your exams does reflect your grade; the harder you work, the better you’ll do. If you can leave an exam hall knowing you’ve tried your best, then often you will achieve. It means a lot that you continue this practice through to your degree; knowing that you will continue putting in the most effort you can.

3. They are a gateway to your future

If all the above don’t interest you, it doesn’t matter. The biggest point to take from GCSEs is that without them, you can’t go to university and subsequently partake in a number of careers; including doctor, lawyer, engineer, these all require B or higher at GCSE level, or even labour careers such as plumber or electrician. Most apprenticeships now also require students to have at least a C in Maths and English GCSE – which is the minimum you need to be accepted into certain colleges and sixth forms too.
Even university applications will consider how well you did at GCSEs now, rather than at AS-Levels, which are being fazed out of the schooling system. So they will see your GCSEs as a mark of what you could be predicted to achieve for your A-Levels.

So what if I fail?

Firstly, don’t panic. However, the last point we’ve made is critical; if you fail your Maths and English GCSE we strongly advise you retake them. With almost every career path, these GCSEs especially are essential. The good thing with GCSEs is that you can retake them in November, January and May/June each academic year.
There are loads of avenues you can take to resit these crucial exams, starting with getting some private tuition with Tutor House. We offer degree-educated, DBS checked and friendly tutors that can either tutor online or come straight to you door. They will prepare you for any GCSE resits and see you overcome the first hurdle of your academic careers.
We also offer specialised in-house Maths and English GCSE retake classes in our London offices. These are staffed and supervised by our professional tutors.
Moreover, we partner with an exam centre; so you don’t have to worry about finding a location to resit.

Find out more about GCSE retake courses

To start the process and secure your friendly and professional GCSE tutor today, call us on 020 7612 8297, email info@tutorhouse.co.uk or go to www.tutorhouse.co.uk.

Win a £50 ASOS Voucher on A-level Results Day 2017

August 14, 2017

Win a £50 ASOS voucher on A-level Results day 2017

With only three days to go until A-Level results day, not only will we be offering our free advice service, put also the chance to win a much-needed £50 ASOS voucher. How? By simply following and tweeting us @TutorHouse and sharing your #resultsdayselfie.

Share with us your joyous, apprehensive, envelope-opening best selfies and tweet them to @TutorHouse. We will make sure to select the very best/most ridiculous for the winner, which will be announced on Friday August 18th.

Don’t forget, we will be offering free advice throughout the whole of results day through to the next day too. If you have any questions about UCAS, clearing, resits or your next step, we will be on hand to offer professional and friendly advice. Simply contact us on 020 7612 8297, email info@tutorhouse.co.uk or pop into our offices at 4 Percy Street, W1T 1DF.

Terms and Conditions

1.     The promoter is Tutor House Ltd registered office at 4 Percy Street, W1T 1DF.

2. There is no entry fee and no purchase necessary to enter in this competition.

3. This competition running from the 17th of August 2017 at 8am until the 17th August 2017 at 8pm. After this date the no further entries to the competition will be permitted.

4. The competition is open to residents of the United Kingdom aged 17 or over except employees of Tutor House and their close relatives.

6. Only one entry will be accepted per person. Multiple entries from the same person will be disqualified.

5. The rules of the competition and the prize for the winner are:
Rules:
1. Like us on Facebook or follow our @tutorhouse account on Twitter.
2. Upload your #ALevel #ResultsDay selfie.
3. Use the hashtag #ResultsDaySelfie

Prize:
1. A £50 worth voucher of ASOS vouchers

6. The winner will be chosen by a panel of judges from Tutor House

7. The winner will be notified by the email within 24 hours of the closing date. If the winner do not claim the prize within 14 days of notification, we reserve the right to withdraw the prize from the winner.

9. The promoter will notify the winner when and where the prize is delivered.

8. By entering this competition, an entrant is indicating his/her agreement to be bound by these terms and condition.

10. The winner agrees to the use of his/her name and image in any publicity as well as their entry. Any personal data relating to the winner will be used solely in accordance with UK data protection legislation and will not be disclosed to a third party without the entrant’s prior consent.

11. Minimum of 10 entries for the competition to be valid.

benefits-importance-private-tuition
What to do if you don’t get your desired A-Level results

August 10, 2017

What to do if you don’t get your desired A-Level results

Putting down your pens and staring wistfully out to the college courtyard on the day of your final exam may seem like eons ago. Perhaps it was the promise of a long summer ahead or the knowledge that you studied your colloquial “butt-off”, but results day suddenly became the last of your concerns. Until of course this week, when parents and pupils alike regained that apprehensive buzz that so often epitomises the day of A-Level results.

It’s hard not to feel stressed, when something as important as attaining the grade you need for your desired university is on the line.

Once you’ve opened your envelope you will quickly be able to assess whether you have reached the grades necessary for your university of choice. If you have, well done; fresher’s week is just around the corner.

However, if you haven’t got your first choice university grade, then there is no need to panic. You have several immediate avenues to follow, and some longer-term contingency plans, these can be defined by the four Rs:

1. Recalculate

Make sure there hasn’t been a mistake. Use your phone calculator to add up your UMS points to double check that a mistake hasn’t been made.

2. Reason

Call your university of choice to reason with them; explain your position. Will they still let you on the course despite your grades? If you’ve reviewed your modules and one is the cause of your missed mark, perhaps the university will approve a remark wherein the condition is that you attain the grade above. Although, this route is rare and may not guarantee you attaining your desired university place this academic year.

3. Rethink

You now need to consider whether you want to accept your back up choice (if you can) or go through clearing. Perhaps its better you wait a year and resit.

If it’s the former than you will need to start the clearing process online through UCAS, where you will follow steps to apply to a new course.

However, if you are only a few modules away from your favourite university, then resiting is recommended. With the cost of university fees having skyrocketed in the past five years and the ever-competitive job market, going to the best university for you puts you in a strong position post graduation.

4. Resit

If your desired university has said that you haven’t got your place and you are adamant that you want to go there; rather than your back-up choice, then the best option is to resit the necessary exams.

While this may seem like a difficult option to take, as it means beginning university a different academic year to your friends; it may actually be a blessing in disguise. Undergoing an exam resit isn’t like taking your A-Levels all over again, but revolves around selecting the modules that need resiting and doing those papers in June next year.

This actually gives you a year to do whatever you want be it academic or otherwise; some options include getting work experience that will boost your university prospects, taking a non-ironic “gap yah” or helping your parent’s redecorate the garden shed (an oddly therapeutic task).

Of course, Tutor House is on hand if you need extra help resiting those crucial exams.

Find me a retake tutor

We will also be on hand via phone, email and in person both on Thursday August 17th and Friday August 18th. We will happily chat through your options with you. You’ll find us on info@tutorhouse.co.uk and on 0203 9500 320, or you can even Skype us, just add TutorHouse1.

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Open Days for A-Level Results Day

August 3, 2017

Join us for our A-Level Results Open Days!

To support students living in London, we’re offering two days of FREE advice and support to all A-Level students receiving their exam results on Thursday 17th and Friday 18th August 2017.

A-Level students are invited to join the Tutor House team during the two open days at Tutor House’s offices in Fitzrovia for advice on what to do if they didn’t get their required grades to get into their Universities, as well as free guidance on:

  • Exam retake options
  • A-Level clearing support
  • Gap year options
  • UCAS advice
  • Private tutoring options
  • Short intensive exam retake courses
  • Group tutoring and revision courses in London
  • Personal statement advice

We’re giving FREE advice to all students on A-Level Results Day 2017:

We offer free advice and will happily chat through your options with you. You’ll find us on info@tutorhouse.co.uk and on 020 7612 8297.

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Supply Teaching- facts, figures and why teachers do it

June 12, 2017

Supply Teaching- facts, figures and why teachers do it

 

What is supply teaching?

Qualified, Newly-Qualified and Non-Qualified teachers can teach in State, Private, Free and Academy Schools in the U.K. (Some Free Schools and Academies and all Private Schools accept teachers who are not qualified) Teachers can teach for a day per week, full weeks and months at a time, and even move from temporary to permanent teaching positions.

If you love the school and the schools love you… Teachers enjoy supply as it’s super flexible, well paid and popular. Over the last year, primary and secondary schools have struggled to recruit full-time teachers, spending £821 million on supply staff. Indeed, many teachers are leaving their permanent jobs in favour of the flexible alternative – supply teaching.

Reasons for supply teaching

Reasons for Supply Teaching

A recent survey showed that over 27% of supply teachers chose to go into the role because they are unable to find a permanent teaching post, and nearly 20% went into the role because it fitted in with their family/life circumstances. As well as being a flexible job, supply teaching can operate in tandem with other work and home arrangements. There are many other reasons for going down the supply teaching route.

Why do people get into Supply Teaching?

  • Variety: Spending time in different schools gives you the opportunity to teach a wide variety of subjects to a more diverse range of students. It allows you to teach part time, for example 2-3 days per week, freeing up time for other things, like studying, private tutoring or looking after your own children.
  • Test-drive: Supply teaching allows you to try out a school or area. This can be especially useful if you are contemplating applying for a permanent teaching position and are unsure about the school’s environment and you want to get a better understanding of the school, the teachers and the ethos of the school and children.
  • Retirement: Apart from being a good way for pensioners to earn extra money, supply teaching allows for teachers to ease out of leaving their profession. Many men and women return to teaching but do not want the hassle of marking, the pain of parents evenings or the lack of autonomy that often comes with full time teaching, so supply works best for them.

Supply teaching experience

Teaching Experience

A survey from The Independent suggests that;

  • Nearly 60% had more than 10 years of permanent teaching experience, whereas only around 11% had more than 10 years of supply teaching experience.
  • Over 38% had less than 2 years of supply teaching experience, whilst roughly 15% had less than less than 2 years permanent teaching experience.

Day Rate for Supply Teaching (London)

Daily Rate

The below points match the above table in relation to supply teacher pay and experience.

  • New to supply teaching
  • A few years experience supply teaching
  • Many year experience supply teaching
  • Specifically trained and experienced

There are main routes into supply teaching

Main Route

  • More than 65% of supply teaching placements are done through agencies.

So with so many people using agencies for supply teaching work; what are the benefits?

  1. The number of jobs available and variety of levels and location. (You can move home and still supply teach)
  2. Support – you can call an agency, well some of them, and they’ll help you. We do!
  3. Contact and social (supply teaching and private tutoring can be lonely- we’re always on hand and we have loads of supply teaching socials)
  4. Pay – supply teaching compared to other jobs is really well paid
  5. Tutor House- you can review your lesson and your supply work instantly online- which builds good relationships with schools.

Why do permanent teachers leave their profession?

‘‘4/10 new teachers leave their profession within the first year of qualifying’’ (According to the Guardian)

One of our supply teachers said: “I left teaching because, as much as I loved being in the classroom and working with students, the amount of marking, data entries, reports, staff meetings, parents’ meetings, lunchtime interventions, after school interventions and endless unmanageable deadlines just meant that there was no possibility of a normal work-life balance.

I think for any job to be truly rewarding you need to feel as though you are able to be working at your best, but the pressures and deadlines meant that, for me, I always felt like I was only just on top of things, rather than doing a great job – and it’s horrible to feel that way. So, I took back control of my life and became a private tutor and supply teacher instead, good times!”

Below are a few of the most common reasons why teachers leave their profession:

  • Work-load:  Recent surveys have indicated that the most prevalent reason for leaving teaching is the amount of work the job requires. Obtaining a satisfying work-life balance can prove to be a challenge for many teachers, with many failing to participate in the hobbies that they once loved. Upon accepting a position in a school, the teacher is also taking on the responsibility of fulfilling the sizeable amount of paperwork which comes with the job.
  • Ofsted inspections: Regardless of Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills) warning against it, many teachers try and predict the date of inspections in a desperate bid to be prepared. The associated stress and anxiety causes many to doubt the nature of the educational system and often results in teachers permanently leaving their teaching posts.
  • Lack of funding: “What used to upset me was talking to people who were bright-eyed and bushy tailed, hugely enthusiastic about coming into teaching and wanting to do well for disadvantaged youngsters, saying to me that they were put off teaching in the first few years because they weren’t adequately helped and supported by leaders’’ (Sir Michael Wilshaw’s quote in the BBC).

    The dire financial situation many schools find themselves in can heavily impact on the teaching body’s morale. Whether it is a failure to equip students with the right amount of books, or whether proposed school trips have to be cancelled, the task of dealing with the failings can weigh heavily on teachers and can cause unwanted stress.

  • Exam results: The pressure put upon the teacher to achieve a respectable set of results can prove overwhelming, especially if they are responsible for a struggling class. There are also those who would claim that the education system is now geared primarily on achieving acceptable exam results rather than giving the children a love of learning.

Tutor House works with a number of schools. We have many supply socials and evening events. You can sign up to our next one here and read more about supply teaching here.

Questions? No problem, just call or email;

E:teach@tutorhouse.co.uk

T: 0203 9500 320

W:www.tutorhouse.co.uk

 

Supply Teaching Event – 6th July 2017

June 2, 2017

Supply Teaching Jobs in London

Come and have a chat and a drink (on us) to see if supply teaching, running revision courses, or private tutoring is for you.

We’re running a supply teacher social event in Fitzrovia, near Tottenham Court Road/Goodge Street on 6th July 2017.

The event is very casual and relaxed, you can meet other teachers, ask us a few questions and sign-up as a supply teacher for free on our website or register below.

Register now on Eventbrite

Brochure photo

If you’re an experienced teacher, new to teaching or just want to tutor privately we’d love for you to pop-in!

  • Where: The Green Man Pub – Top Floor – 36 Riding House St, London, W1W 7EP
  • When: 6th July 2017, 5pm – 9pm.
  • Why: We are recruiting supply teachers to teach in schools in London.
  • Who: Qualified teachers (QTS/NQT) Non-qualified teachers, SEN specialists, private tutors.

Supply teaching and private tutoring is growing in the U.K., especially in London. Supply teaching allows you to pick and choose days that work for you, earn good money and avoid parents evenings, what’s not to like!

The Tutor House Team will be on site – so don’t be scared to ask us a few questions.

Tutor House offers:

We thought we’d mix it up a bit this year and be original, the event is in a pub! 🙂

Many thanks and see you there.

Book your free place today by registering above, or contact us:

E – info@tutorhouse.co.uk
T – 0203 9500 320
W – tutorhouse.co.uk

Testimonial from Sophie, one of our full-time tutors and an ex-teacher:

“I think for any job to be truly rewarding you need to feel as though you are able to be working at your best, but the pressures and deadlines from working in a school full time, meant that, for me, I always felt like I was only just on top of things, rather than doing a great job. So I took back control of my life and became a full time private tutor instead! And it’s great!”

Register now on Eventbrite