Private tutor meeting

(10 Posts)
gymfrog Tue 20-Aug-13 15:14:42

Dear mumsnetters,
I had a rather fascinating morning today. Through a colleague at work I was introduced to 2 very private educational consultants who work 1:1 with children from 7+ to 13+ Scholarships. I met them more out of the premise of a social hello, but we sat and had coffee and I was enthralled.

Normally I deal with finance where performance is everything, so I looked at their CV's and we chatted quite freely. Places to top schools everywhere, 7+, 8+, 13+ CE and over half a dozen Scholarships to the best schools in the country. This is before considering what seemed like hundreds of places to top schools via their past jobs and again, more highly competitive academic scholarships than I had ever seen.

All backed up with telephone numbers and emails of clients for each statement, so nothing that could be faked. The other, just the same. Professional references from past management at some very good schools.

My question is 'just how much difference can a person or persons such as this make?'

exoticfruits Wed 21-Aug-13 06:29:51

It depends how much effort the child puts in and how keen they are to make use of the opportunity.

OrangeDaffodil Wed 21-Aug-13 12:28:46

Agree with exotic above. I know an excellent tutor who is doing a fantastic job with my friends children for 7+ and 8+. However they are lovely children and they adore learning. They actually ask all the time when she will be coming back to their homes... talk about easy (for all concerned)

I think it's a balance. A top tutor can find a good chunk extra % for most children simply via exam technique and preparation, but he/she can really do wonders when the child wants it too. Once a good relationship is there, off you go....

exoticfruits Wed 21-Aug-13 14:52:55

I have tutored children - those that welcome it and want to succeed do well- they put in the effort. If it is the parent's idea and they resent it you may as well not bother. It isn't a passive thing where it just happens to them- it is two way.

tricot39 Thu 22-Aug-13 19:36:27

Sounds like a strange meeting! I've never inspected anyone's cv in a social situation before! Are you saying that you are tempted to use them?

breadandbutterfly Thu 22-Aug-13 20:46:24

Sounds weird.

No - the tutors don't make that much difference. Ask them if they take any child, regardless of ability or motivation - I bet they don't.

If they 'help' children who are already bright and motivated,they can make a difference. But little more, maybe less, than a bright,educated parent can.

tricot39 Thu 22-Aug-13 22:34:15

I imagine that what they might be able to help with is exam technique and interview techniques. When targetting "top schools" having knowledge/experience of their selection procedures would help their students. Clearly they can maybe also refine a student's learning or knowledge but I bet they rarely start with deprived under achievers so your question is a good one - how much difference do they reallly make?

MiaowTheCat Fri 23-Aug-13 12:07:36

No - the tutors don't make that much difference. Ask them if they take any child, regardless of ability or motivation - I bet they don't.

I tutor. I have no issues with taking children who are underachieving or lacking confidence - I've worked with kids not even getting level 1s in KS2 and worked with the school to get them up to having a shot at a level 4 by Y6. Ability's not an issue for me (but I don't do entrance exam work - I can, hell I used to teach the exam entry class in the independent sector - it's just not an element I enjoy doing so I don't anymore basically).

The kids I won't work with are those who don't want to be there (despite me making things as fun as possible - and I'm pretty good at that)... there's just no point - it ends up being an hour the kid's desperately willing to end, and an hour I'm desperately willing to end and it's bloody torturous. Since in those cases it's a total waste of money for the parents it's a take deep breath and explain it's not working out situation and walk away. I don't have the morals to take the money when I'm not making a difference.

I did have one wonderful enquiry from a parent though - opened an email saying "we're looking for a tutor, we met with one woman the other day who was frankly completely bonkers so we'd like to meet with you in order to assess your level of bonkersness"

Apparently my level of bonkersness was adequate.

breadandbutterfly Fri 23-Aug-13 12:39:32

I wasn't suggesting that no tutor can make a difference and I'm sure you do, Miaow - I was suggesting that these specific tutors who claim to make a crucial difference when it comes to getting children into selective independent schools make as much difference as they claim.

I suspect they get kids in because they only take on kids who are likely to succeed in the first place,

WaltonCats Fri 23-Aug-13 21:12:29

Well, I used to tutor GCSE and A-Level Maths, and I only ever got three kinds of students:
- bottom of the pile, parents were desperate, kids generally unable/unwilling to learn by that stage
- top of the pile, parents overdoing it, kids didn't need me
- adult students, missed out on good education first time round, very willing to learn, less willing to fork out the cash for lessons

Only the last type is worthwhile doing....

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