When hiring a tutor, it pays to do your homework

When looking for a tutor for your child, you really do need to carry out due diligence. After all, the investment you will be making in your child’s academic success will probably be a considerable outlay, and you don’t want to get it wrong.

We met with a leading tutor, and quizzed him about the key things to ask when hiring a private tutor to help your child through an independent school entrance exam.

1. Was the tutor educated at an independent school?

Insider knowledge of ‘the system’ is important. If you can find someone with experience at the school to which you are applying, so much the better. Getting a taste for the culture of the school before your child starts will help him/her to fit in and therefore to settle more quickly.

2. Is the tutor simply ‘moonlighting’ on top of a full-time teaching job?

Surely preferable to find someone who is fresh and enthused in the evening, rather than someone who is wilting after a day in the classroom.


3. Has the tutor himself/herself taken the entrance exam for this school? Or indeed, sat any entrance exam for any school?

Will your tutor be able to speak from experience, when discussing the pressure and nerves your child may feel?

4. Do they have appropriate tutoring experience?

Have they taught at the level you require, in the subject(s) you require?

5. DBS checked?

Of course. A no-brainer. (In case you aren’t up on the regulations, DBS checks are the background and criminal record checks which those applying for positions working with children need to undergo, and replaced the CRB checks a few years ago).

6. What is the teaching style of the tutor?

It is important that lessons with a tutor are fun and interesting – but not too entertaining. While fun and games could make for a jolly few hours, the chances are this type of teaching would be too unlike school and could therefore prove a short-sighted strategy.

7. How long is the tutor’s waiting list?

If you are looking for personal service, you should expect there to be a waiting list.

LUXURY CHESHIRE spoke to Daniel Coward, who is Education Director of Peak Tuition, an education consultancy which covers the Cheshire area.