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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 10:26 am 
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Having tutored two of my own children through the 11+ and helped a few others with their preparation, I am giving serious thought to offering my services formally as a tutor and figured the best place to come for advice was here!

I have qualified teacher status, a CRB certificate and am all too familiar with the local exam format and the various materials available and strategies needed. There also seems to be a ready market in this area, with increasing numbers choosing to opt into the system.

I would really appreciate some tips on aspects such as how much to charge, whether to teach individually or in groups, at the pupil's house or mine, insurance implications, any pitfalls, etc. As far as I know there are no other tutors offering this service in the near vicinity so I wouldn't be treading on anybody's toes, hopefully. :wink: .

I know it's a lot of questions, but this really is unchartered waters for me so any advice from all you experienced people would be greatly appreciated! :)

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 10:37 am 
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Location: Warwickshire.
Here's a start...

http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/forum/11plus/viewtopic.php?t=2522


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 11:24 am 
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Location: East Kent
you will need liability insurance. I rang Swinfords and they were helpful.

HMRC are also helpful, should you earn enough to pay tax!

I tutor at home and at pupils house depending on which they prefer and charge £25 an hour. Having been let down in the past I now reserve teh right to charge £15 if a lesson is cancelled with less than 24 hrs notice.

You will have to decide whether to provide materials, the printer ink bill can be phenomenal! Ther is quite a lot of time spent on preparation too, but I enjoy it.

I originally (3 years ago) found clients via and agency, but I am nowgetting people through recommendations.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 11:31 am 
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Many thanks, Ed's mum. :) There is some helpful stuff in that thread and certainly some things to think about. However I suspect times have moved on since then and I am fairly sure that a CRB would be essential now, especially with new legislation looming. Also, disposable income has dropped massively in the last couple of years, so I wondered whether charging £25-30 per hour would still be acceptable?

I would hope to build the business up gradually by word of mouth, and don't particularly want to get involved with agencies. I've already had one inquiry which is what started me on this train of thought, although I had been considering it before.

Another issue would be assessing potential pupils. I'm assuming most 11+ tutors only take on pupils with a reasonable chance of success and wouldn't want parents paying me when there really is very little hope, so how do you go about deciding whether or not this is the case? I can imagine it would get a bit awkward... :?

Thanks again!

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 11:37 am 
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Thanks for your reply too, Yoyo - I cross-posted.

I already have liability insurance for my other business, it's not with Swintons but I'll certainly contact them as well for a quote. I'll also see if my other policy might be extended to cover tutoring as an additional professional activity.

I know what you mean about printer ink, :shock: so I'll probably ask clients to pay for their own materials in the form of books, practice papers etc. and provide some materials myself for use during sessions.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 11:39 am 
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Location: East Kent
I usually go to see parent and child first, ask a few questions about levels etc. talk about what how I work and generally see if we suit each other. Also tend to do a spelling and reading age.


swintons not swinfords!! :oops:

edited to add:

Keep everything , receipts, invoices , records of mileage as you will need to do a tax return each year. I have also opted to pay additional N.I payments as I only do a small amount of supply.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 11:48 am 
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yoyo123 wrote:
I usually go to see parent and child first, ask a few questions about levels etc. talk about what how I work and generally see if we suit each other. Also tend to do a spelling and reading age.


swintons not swinfords!! :oops:

edited to add:

Keep everything , receipts, invoices , records of mileage as you will need to do a tax return each year. I have also opted to pay additional N.I payments as I only do a small amount of supply.


Sorry I didn't notice the Swinton's thing, just registered the first few letters and knew who you meant! :lol:

Is there a test for spelling/reading age, or should I ask parents to get this from the school? I know our local school does these tests but you have to ask for the result :roll: Then presumably you would be looking for an age at least one year above their actual age?

Regarding invoices etc. I do all that anyway as I'm self employed. Tax returns are a real drag! :(

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 12:10 pm 
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Location: Chelmsford and pleased
Marylou, I only teach from home and charge the going rate for this area which is only £15 per 45 minute lesson. I am, however, considering not continuing as new legislation will make my small profits marginal. If you are a tax payer you will have to pay tax on your earnings. If you earn over approximately £4000 tutoring you have to pay NI as well. Not much each month but it is the cost of three or so lessons and then a percentage of any remaining profits each time you fill out a tax return.

I also run an 11+ exam club from home in the summer, this is better paid. I charge £20 per 2 hr session, max 10 children, but I do write my own papers so the service is unique to the area. The children take a paper, have a break and we mark it and go over general points. I also have enough papers now to not have to write any new ones.

I prefer groups as I think the children enjoy themselves more, but individual lessons are preferred by the parents as the child gets tailored tuition.

I am always honest with parents, from quite early on about the child's chances in 11+. I ask for any levels for English and maths and set the children my own assessments. I explain separately to parents and children the commitment required.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 12:28 pm 
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Location: East Kent
I use Daniels and Diack as a spelling test as it is also quite useful as a diagnostic tool.

Reading usually Schonell,


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 12:31 pm 
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Thanks for that, moving, and I do hope you don't have to give up tutoring. I do already pay tax and NI on my other self-employed earnings so would need to take such outgoings into account when setting a rate. In fact I'm preparing my accounts for 2009 right now and it's a real bind :roll: so tutoring wouldn't really present much extra work in that sense.

The summer club sounds like a brilliant idea! :) I think it's important that children about to sit a test in the autumn don't lose momentum in the summer, yet at the same time you don't want them to get so fed up with it that they lose interest so I suppose it's a matter of striking a happy balance, which could present me with an interesting challenge. :?

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