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 Post subject: Tutor trouble
PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 9:15 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2011 7:24 pm
Posts: 6
My daughter is a 'year 4' pupil and we were looking for a tutor as we would like to give her an opportunity to attend St Michaels Catholic Girls School in Finchley. We were recommended to a husband and wife couple who have a previous history of getting a number of children into this school. We rang them in September and agreed to call them after the October half-term. We rang them after the half-term and were advised to attend a test at their house in November. We attended the house in November and my daughter took the test. We were really pleased that the couple advised us that they would take my daughter on starting in the New Year (apparently they only take on students if they feel confident enough to get them into their preferred schools). We were asked to ring the following week and confirm a day she could attend. When we rang we are advised that the only day that they could offer my daughters tutoring was a Thursday evening. My daughter already had activities on this night, so my wife had to re-arrange those other activities to Friday and other nights of the week and pay for these in advance when booking.
My wife rang the tutors on the Tuesday of this week to confirm our time on Thursday, only to be advised that Thursday wasn't available and that they could only do Friday. When my wife questioned why as we had previously confirmed Thursday, the tutor stated 'I have accommodated other children to be together, who have been with me a while so I now can't do Thursday'. My wife stated that this wasn't really fair and really unprofessional of them and that we had already moved activities to accommodate tutoring on Thursday and paid for other activities on Friday in advance and couldn't make Friday. The tutor was taken aback by my wife's response and stated that he would try and accommodate us and also that he would ring back later that evening. We didn't receive a call so I phoned and spoke to his wife who stated he would get back to us tomorrow evening (Thursday) after speaking to the parents involved. This afternoon when my wife was at work she received a message on her phone from the tutor stating that 'he wasn't prepared to tutor our daughter and that he had never been spoken to in that way' i.e. told that he was unprofessional! He also condescendingly stated that we should 'look for another tutor........one who has to advertise'. I have since tried to ring the tutor and he has ignored my calls.
We are shell-shocked as we did everything that these tutors required in the past 3 months in order for our daughter to meet their 'criteria' to be tutored and because my wife called him 'unprofessional', we now have to look for another tutor. If they were as 'professional' as they claim to be, their only interest would have been to tutor my daughter and to further my daughters education regardless of what was said. Because of their 'lack of interest' over my daughters furthered education I have wasted a couple of months to accommodate them and will waste more time looking for another tutor. I hope that no-one else experiences this level of appalling attitude towards parents.


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 Post subject: Re: Tutor trouble
PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 8:47 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2010 6:08 pm
Posts: 55
Hello Concerned Parent11,

I feel shocked after reading your message. However as your daughter is in Year 4,
you still have time to find another tutor. Also some forum members may be able to help you. There is also information on this forum as to the material you can use in the meantime.

Kind Regards,
mum3b


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 Post subject: Re: Tutor trouble
PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 9:01 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:42 pm
Posts: 3810
Location: Chelmsford and pleased
I would take heart from the fact that they deemed your daughter a guaranteed pass and DIY. Take advice from this forum and set a timetable for lessons and homework.

She is, however, only in year 4. At this stage I would start gently and build up to more formal tutoring in year 5.


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 Post subject: Re: Tutor trouble
PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 1:41 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2011 7:24 pm
Posts: 6
Thank you very much for your empathy. We are still looking for another tutor in the area but they are in short supply. This couple appear to have monopoly on children in the area, hence their arrogance as during our discussion she advised me that it was 'difficult to accommodate 34 children' hence why they can treat parents in this way. We are just another number!


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 Post subject: Re: Tutor trouble
PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 2:25 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 11:19 am
Posts: 294
Personally, I would not want a tutor who treats my child as just another number. My child will have individual needs and the tutoring should be tailored to meet those needs for each of the specific schools. I really don't believe that there is a one-size-fits-all strategy for these selective North London schools, they each have differing entrance tests so you need to consider this as well if you're looking at Latymer or HBS. I would also be wary of any tutor who 'guarantees' a place. No matter how well prepared or intelligent you may think your child is, it all comes down to how well they perform on the day of the test, compared to how well the other children sitting perform. There are no guarantees and competition is, as you know, tough.

You do have plenty of time though, most don't start with a tutor till year 5. Some good prep done at home in the meantime will help, eg building vocab - lots of advice and information here as others have said, try doing a search for St Michaels.
Good luck.


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 Post subject: Re: Tutor trouble
PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 2:15 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2010 5:55 pm
Posts: 28
Concernedparent11

There can't be too many 'husband and wife' tutors who have a focus on St Michael's so I am going to guess that I know them very well as they tutored my daughters and many other girls I know, both in the past and presently.

All I can say is that they would not have intented to put your family out by offering the Friday slot and could not have known that a prepaid activity had been scheduled for that day.

What I do know is that this gentle and utterly caring couple would most definitely have been 'taken aback' by your wife's charge that they were unprofessional.

In the years that I have known them I can honestly say that they are totally professional (not something that they 'claim to be', they simply are) and that they have the utmost interest in the girls that they tutor - they offer pastoral care on the side and have been known to have photos of girls in their new school uniform / graduation gowns on their mantlepeice. Not the actions of people who treat their tutees as 'just another number!'

What you interpret as arrogence I would imagine was more akin to umbrage. Having offered to try and rearrange their schedule, I suspect they reflected on the situation. Just like this lovely couple, I work from home, and if a prospective client stood at my door and called me unprofessional I would not be able to see a way of continuing a working relationship that was to run over a two year period.

There are two sides to every story.

CG


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 Post subject: Re: Tutor trouble
PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 9:14 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2011 7:24 pm
Posts: 6
Hi CG,
Your second paragraph shows that you didn't understand the chain of events. Let me try and explain:
1. The tutor advised us they only had Thursday available. (We agreed Thursday evening with the tutor in November, even though we knew our daughter had activities that day)
2. We moved these activities to Friday (to free up Thursday and accomodate the tutor) and paid in advance (full term) for these activites.
3. Two days before my daughter was due to start (in January) my wife gave a courtesy call to the tutor and he advised us they only had Friday available, as they moved someone else to Thursday into our agreed slot because they were with them already for a period of time.

You also state the tutor, 'having offered to try and re-arrange' their schedule, which was also our understanding, as we were advised the same. The tutor said on Wednesday he would speak to the parents on Thursday evening when they attended his house. We actually got a call just after 14:00 on Thursday afternoon so the conversation with other parents obviously never took place. My wife also still has the message on her mobile phone with the tutor stating ' I do not want your daughter to come here for tutoring' which I would gladly download and play (if the facility was available), which is a bit stronger then, 'Sorry we are unable to find a timeslot for your daughter', or as you say 'Having offered to try and re-arrange their schedule'.

I do understand that you have had a great experience with this tutor as probably many other people also have, hence they have '34' pupils currently being tutored. We ourselves also went to this tutor as we had a fantastic recommendation from close friends of ours. I suppose the point I'm trying to make is that the tutor clearly made a mistake but unfortunately my daughter is now suffering because of this. We all make mistakes, no-one is infallable but instead of accepting it was their mistake, we've been dropped like a stone because of it. I believe my wife had every right to question their professionalism due to the way we were treated, I'm sure anyone who experienced this would agree.

I believe a forum like this is setup for people to share experiences and give an objective overview of peoples experiences. You are correct when you state there are 'two sides to every story' and I'm sure that a lot of people who have children tutored by these people will give really positive feedback on their experiences, including our friends who gave us the recommendation. Unfortunately for the way we were treated, we can't.

Regards


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 Post subject: Re: Tutor trouble
PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 11:20 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2010 5:55 pm
Posts: 28
Concernedparent11

I did follow the chain of events and do understand that this couple didn't even ask the parents of the 'Thursday girls' if they would consider moving slots before turning down your DD for tutoring. I was simply stating that, knowing this couple as I do, (and perhaps also taking into account the generation that they are from) they would have been taken aback / offended at being described as unprofessional on their own doorstep. IMO (and of course I may be incorrect here), it would have been this charge that made them decide, rightly or wrongly, that they could not work with the family. Of course no child, in this case, your DD, should be affected by adult spats.

Preparing your child for the 11+ is so, so stressful, and I fully understand the how stressful it must be to have to start the search again for a tutor.

I have pm'd you.

CG


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 Post subject: Re: Tutor trouble
PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 3:37 pm 
To be honest, as a tutor, it is hard to please all the people all the time as far as slots are concerned and long term parents have a tendency to assume priority.

I certainly don't think you did anything wrong. The tutors may have been put under some pressure to accommodate children with whom they already had a relationship, failing to envisage the reprecussions for you.

It would, however, have been the term 'unprofessional' that would have offended, particularly as they seem a highly organised pair as far as testing etc. goes and obviously highly regarded, too. They must have been sufficiently offended to feel their future relationship with you (which is very important) was irretrievably marred.


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 Post subject: Re: Tutor trouble
PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 11:52 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2007 9:57 pm
Posts: 1167
,


Last edited by Belinda on Thu Nov 01, 2012 12:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

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