When to hire a tutor
With 25% of parents in the UK hiring a private tutor, increasing to a whopping 40% in London (according to the Sutton Trust), you might consider getting one-to-one help for your child at some point.
But when should you think of hiring a tutor? Here are some situations when it might be beneficial.
- If your child is struggling in a subject
If your child is generally doing well at school but just can't get his or her head around fractions or chemical equations, then this is an ideal time to enlist the help of a private tutor. Some quality, intensive, one-to-one teaching can do wonders for a child's confidence in a subject, and will help stop negative thoughts like 'I'm rubbish at maths' becoming entrenched.
- To pass an exam
Getting a tutor to help your child pass an exam is probably the most highly contested situation, especially if it's for an entrance exam like the 11-plus. These are exams that many schools claim to have 'tutor-proofed'. However, that does not mean you shouldn't consider getting help. A good tutor should not be teaching your child simply how to answer exam questions, but helping them expand their knowledge, build their confidence, and encouraging them to think laterally so they can excel on exam day.
- If your child has special educational needs (SEN)
Children with SEN such as dyslexia and dysgraphia can really benefit from individual attention, so hiring a tutor could be a good idea. Make sure the tutor you choose is qualified to help with your child's particular needs, and we recommend contacting a reputable tutoring company to help you find the right fit for your son or daughter.
- To catch up
If your child has had to take time off school, for example because of illness or a broken bone, then a programme of tutoring can be the best - and quickest - way to help them catch up with the rest of the class. It can be difficult for busy teachers to provide the necessary catch-up support, so this would be a key moment to arrange a good stint of tutoring. Do make sure that there is effective communication between the tutor and the school so that all the necessary topics are covered.
- To stretch your child
A teacher with a class of 30 pupils may not have the time or resources to stretch a student to their fullest potential. If you've got a bright spark, or a child with a real passion for a particular subject, then consider enlisting the help of a tutor to challenge them and fuel their enthusiasm even further.
- To try a new subject
There is a wealth of interesting subjects that are not normally taught at school. If your child shows an interest in a topic such as computer coding, astronomy or Latin, then a tutor can be the best way to nurture such curiosity and foster a love of learning.
What Mumsnetters say about hiring a tutor
- DD2 benefited hugely from tutoring. It really gave her strategies for learning, and confidence. She decided at the end of Y5 that she didn't need a tutor any more. The tutor said this was great as she was taking responsibility for her own learning. HandMadeTail
- I tutor several children with dyscalculia and I have seem some improvements (albeit quite slow sometimes). Broadly, I think tutoring is beneficial to them. How many children get to receive a whole hour of undivided attention from an adult who's not their parent? adrianbeckett
- My DS has been tutored since Year 4 and it has been the best thing we could have done for him. He is extremely able and because of his strength in maths and science and his excellent reading skills he had not been given the attention we felt he needed in many of his core handwriting, spelling and creative writing skills. He had decided he simply wasn't creative and that he couldn't do it. He was reaching national standards but not reaching his potential. Washitupagain
- Dos and don'ts of tutoring
- Tips on choosing a tutor
- Best online learning resources
- 11-plus timeline
- Tips on choosing a school
- Chat to other parents about education issues
The content on this page is supplied by Enjoy Education, an award-winning tutoring consultancy