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What makes ‘a good’ private tutor?

1. CRB and security checks – It’s very important for tutors to be CRB checked. It’s best to hirer a tutor through a company, as they should hold tutors CRB certificates and reference for tutors. Make sure you ask when speaking with the company.

2. Private tutor experience and knowledge – The tutor should ideally have a minimum of two years tutoring experience. Ideally they are teachers from local schools or colleges. A PGCE is preferable but certainly not compulsory, many teachers work for 20 years not having a PGCE but they are fantastic tutors and sometimes are more flexible and understanding than qualified peers.

3. Knowledge of exams and boards- All tutors should have an in-depth knowledge of exam structure, typical questions and key word answers. In addition it’s important that tutors understand the differences between exam boards, often there are big differences. For example A-Level psychology AQA board covered many different topics and is assessed via essay exam questions and short answers, whereas OCR psychology is based on case studies and answers to questions are completely different.

4. Recourses, exam papers and mark schemes – It’s paramount that tutors have sufficient exam past papers, mark schemes and key words and phases that answer questions. An important role that tutors should play, which some schools almost disregard is concentrating on past exam papers. You wouldn’t sit your driving test without any lessons! Same thing applies here, exam papers are so important.

5. Feedback and update on progress- Tutors should ideally give the student feedback once a week and the parents once every other week. This helps to set goals and make sure student complete homework. It also helps to keep parents abreast of what tutors and children are achieving in the lessons.

6. Fun and rapport- This is one of the most important tips. Education can, as we know be boring, tutors must be enthusiastic and really enjoy what they teach! They just gel well with the children and work closely with them. A tutor must be engaging and keen to help.

7. Working with a company – The best advice here is that tutors should really work for a tutoring company. Why? Well for piece of mind really, tutors will have to be CRB checked and you have someone else to talk to in times of trouble. Also the tutoring company that you decided to use should be helpful and provide additional tutoring services. There should be someone else on the end of the phone or email.

8. Exam techniques and study skills – A tutor and indeed a tutoring company should help children with additional study skills and educational support. This can be anything from folder organization and devising a homework diary to helping dyslexic children realize their potential by providing techniques that can really help them use their strengths.

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