The Tutors’ Association is the professional body for tutoring and wider supplementary education sector in the UK. Our mission is to represent tutoring and the supplementary education sector and become the ‘go to’ resource for tutors, the public, the media, schools and government.
EdPlace partners with tutors to assist and enhance their teaching experience. We work alongside tutors and tuition centres creating the ability to monitor progress and analyse results instantly which can be showcased to parents. EdPlace enables tutors to assign activities 100% aligned to the UK National Curriculum from Key Stage 1 to GCSE to supplement tuition.
How do you think technology can be used to enhance children’s learning?
Technology can usefully be used to enhance learning through educational games, ebooks, Skype and FaceTime with school teachers and tutors; educational Virtual Reality also has its place, as well as apps which limit time on smartphones and other electronic devices, and apps that take you straight to work, locking you out until the work is done. I often use the net for short clips from YouTube, relevant TED Talks and other useful video resources to complement the lessons and make them even more engaging.
Why do you think it’s important for private tutors to embrace technology?
We are living in a digital age where smartphones and the like are ubiquitous. When it comes to tutoring children in particular, they are used to spending a lot of time on electronic devices, so leveraging technology solutions, like EdPlace, in lessons is a good way to consolidate learning points. Technology doesn’t replace tutors, however tutors have a real opportunity to use services like EdPlace to their advantage to enhance each student’s learning through interactive content, personalised learning journeys with the ability to track and measure each student’s progress.
“tutors have a real opportunity to use services like EdPlace to their advantage to enhance each student’s learning through interactive content”
From a parent’s perspective, what do you think are the biggest concerns/worries about hiring/using a private tutor, and how do you think tutors can overcome these concerns and put parents’ minds at ease?
Initial worries typically include: whether the tutor is the right fit for their child; whether their credentials match what they are in person; whether the tuition will work, and whether the tutor is punctual and reliable. They may also want reassurance that the tutor has some record of successful assignments, has passed a DBS check and is committed to a sound code of professional ethics. If the tutor turns up prepared, communicates with the parents effectively and performs their lessons with confidence and builds rapport with the child and in the end gets results, these should put parents’ minds at ease over the initial worries. The best way to address the others is to employ a tutor who is a member of the Association in which case parents have an effective guarantee that all those particular concerns will already have been satisfied.
How important is it for parents to be able to see an improvement in their child’s grades post tuition?
Critical – although that is not the whole story. The confidence and independence in learning which good tutoring should build will in itself aid a child’s ongoing performance and is the real proof of whether it has been successful.
How do tutors measure progress, and do you think parents engage with this?
Apart from seeing a child grow in confidence, short, regular tests [assessments] at the start of a given lesson, covering work done to consolidate information, is a good way to measure progress. Reports from school tests can also demonstrate to parents that the tutoring is working too. Some parents engage best with written progress reports, but I find that talking with parents at the end of each lesson is also very helpful, as the feedback is completely fresh in my mind. The parent can also see whether their child is happy with the lesson and whether there is good rapport with the tutor. In my experience it is rare for parents not to have an active interest in the progress of the tuition process. Online education services have an opportunity to support tutors with trackable, measurable data as a complementary product to tuition session.
“Online education services have an opportunity to support tutors with trackable, measurable data as a complementary product to tuition sessions”
Is it difficult to show parents that you are a credible, quality teacher?
All Members of the Tutors’ Association, both individual tutors and companies, have signed up to a Code of Ethics and they are properly referenced for their tutoring work and can demonstrate academic qualifications in the subject area(s) they profess to tutor. Any further courses and qualifications, and CPD opportunities which tutors can access are a bonus. As an Association, we are already committed to providing our members with these type of courses and programmes, and as we continue to grow and develop there will be more opportunities like this for tutors to enhance their skills and specialist knowledge.
Do tutors find it easy to stay up-to-date with the current year’s curriculum?
It is a challenge. They can and should do so by looking at the necessary Exam Board websites, but this can be time-consuming and some Boards are better than others at flagging changes. Accessing these resources is something that is more readily available to teachers at schools than to tutors at present. This is something The Tutors’ Association is seeking to remedy by engaging with the exam boards, and getting them to facilitate tutor-access to the information more easily.
Do students sometimes become disinterested by the usual private tuition technique?
Potentially yes, depending on how long the child has had tutoring. The tutor should be able to switch tone and approach effectively to keep the child interested. The responsibility of the tutor is to be aware this may happen; beyond that, when tuition has naturally come to a conclusion, and the objectives completed, the tutor should be pleased to advise the parents accordingly and walk away; the best tutors are the ones who are happy to make themselves redundant. We do not believe in over-tutoring which can be to the detriment of the tutee’s long term educational development.
Do you think there is room for an online resource that is credible and reliable to supplement tuition sessions?
Yes, online resources can be very helpful if they complement the actual tuition.
Exclusive discount for Tutors’ Association members:
Get 10% off including a money back guarantee if EdPlace doesn’t help improve your students’ scores by October half term. Use code TTA10 to apply the discount.
EdPlace Tutor subscriptions start from as little as £50/month. Get in touch regarding annual pricing for additional savings. We’re here to help each child succeed through measurable results and improvement of grades.
Learn more about the money back guarantee and the terms by getting in touch with Laurie.