New policy on tutor recommendations
Requests for tutor recommendations have (mostly) been made by first-time posters who are desperate to find a good tutor and think the forum will solve the problem for them. We doubt it.
In any case, we want to keep the forum as safe as possible. We do not think we should be encouraging recommendations from complete strangers, many of whom are themselves new to the forum, and some of whom may have an ulterior motive.
In the past unscrupulous tutors have come on to the forum posing as parents and have recommended themselves as tutors.
When we banned the recommendation of tutors on the open forum, some then resorted to soliciting for business by private message.
Any private message that seeks to sell you a product or service is a breach of forum rules and should be reported.
Please hit the report button that accompanies the message:
Please note that from now on any requests for tutor recommendations anywhere on the forum will be removed.
Private tutoring is an unregulated business, which means that parents need to be very careful indeed.
Find out what you are getting for your money.
- Do you want your child to be taught by a qualified or unqualified teacher?
- Or by 6th formers?
- Are you looking for one-to-one tuition?
- Or a class of 50?
- Or something in between?
- Is the tutor pleasant? Would you actually want your child spending time with this individual?
- Is the tutor literate? If they have a website, or if they provide you with some printed matter of their own, can they spell?
Can they correctly use an apostrophe?
Do they know how to use a paragraph?
- Beware claims of high success rates. These could be achieved by accepting only those pupils most likely to succeed, or by 'encouraging' those who are not making good progress to leave.
Questions to ask:
- Is the tutor a qualified teacher?
- DBS checked?
- How many years' experience of teaching this age group?
- How many children in the class?
- What is the dropout rate? How many children who start the course complete it?
- Is the tutor solely responsible for running the class, or is some of the work contracted out to 6th formers or anyone else?
- What proportion of time is spent actively teaching and providing explanations (as opposed to just getting children to work through test papers)?
- How stringent are the financial arrangements?
Some tutors require a hefty deposit or a term's fees in advance.
Under what conditions are parents entitled to a refund, and how quickly would it be paid?
- How much feedback do parents get about their child's progress? How often?
Please be wary of how you are asked to pay deposits / fees.
For example, if asked to use Paypal 'friends and family', you would have no financial protection from Paypal if anything should go wrong.
As the name implies, 'friends and family' is intended solely for money transfers between friends and family members, not for business purposes.
Advice from Paypal:
- If someone selling you goods or a service asks you to send a friends and family payment, you should refuse.