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To expect a GCSE science tutor to have some relevant qualification?

(95 Posts)
MrsRobertDuvall Mon 29-Aug-11 08:41:04

Dd is entering yr 10 and needs extra support with science as she is only working at level 5.
I contacted a local recommended tutor agency, explaining that it was not merely revision, but going back to basics and working alongside the curriculum.
I have had a call from a lovely lady, who has a degree in marketing. She has never been a teacher, and has GCSE Science grade b.
I've gone back to the agency and said I do want someone who is/has been a secondary teacher, with experience in GCSE science. At £30 an hour, I think that's reasonable.
We have a maths tutor who meets that criteria.

DialMforMummy Mon 29-Aug-11 08:51:50

YANBU. It's ridiculous.

AKMD Mon 29-Aug-11 08:54:10

Wow, that would suggest to me that I'd better try another agency...

Have you asked around at your DD's school to see if any of the science teachers offer tutoring? My brother's maths teacher tutored him through his A-levels and was brilliant.

MmeLindor. Mon 29-Aug-11 08:54:50

Hmm. It depends if she is good at explaining science. Has she worked as a tutor for a long time?

I worked as an English tutor without a relevant qualification (aside from Higher English).

stellarpunk Mon 29-Aug-11 09:10:50

YANBU! hmm That is actually REALLY shocking!

As a physics teacher, I am frankly disgusted. IMHO you shouldn't teach the subject unless you have a degree in it or have taken the appropriate university conversion course. I know you said Science but this is a real bugbear of mine - other science teachers thinking they can teach physics properly.

Do you really want to trust an agency that fields such crap?

stellarpunk Mon 29-Aug-11 09:11:52

MmeLindo - sorry.. but there we go again. Could someone explain to me this mythical subject of Science?

exoticfruits Mon 29-Aug-11 09:16:05

It confirms my suspicions that I was right not to go to an agency. I wasn't willing to pay out that sort of money without personal recommendation.
I would go to her science teacher and ask if they could recommend anyone. I did that with DS and got a lovely woman who was on maternity leave, but had taught with the teacher and was known to be good.

bigkidsdidit Mon 29-Aug-11 09:17:08

Quite, stellarpunk. I have a PhD in biochemistry but I wouldn't be able to teach GCSE physics.

MmeLindor. Mon 29-Aug-11 09:18:49

Stellar
Sorry, was thinking of basic science. Yes, you are right. If OP's DD is going into year 10, she will need a teacher who is qualified in that area.

DialMforMummy Mon 29-Aug-11 09:19:30

Mme Lindor This might be so but at GCSE level I think it is indispensable to have some experience and an adequate qualification. Especially when you charge specialist prices.

DialMforMummy Mon 29-Aug-11 09:19:53

x post

SeniorWrangler Mon 29-Aug-11 09:23:13

I am constantly amazed how many agencies palm people off with tutors who have few subject qualification and no teaching qualification either.

Caveat emptor, I suppose.

thatwasntverycleverwasit Mon 29-Aug-11 09:23:22

I wouldn't be as black and white about it as some people on here. I teach ICT at secondary level to children with learning difficulties and I don't have a degree - or indeed any qualification in ICT. I have however trained thousands of people of varying abilities on computers, had my own business training people to use computers, and I have achieved excellent results in most instances. Practical experience and a natural empathy and teaching ability can be more important than a qualification.

stellarpunk Mon 29-Aug-11 09:24:30

@bigkid ditto! I have an AS in Biology but would feel dangerously exposed teaching the subject at GCSE. It's a question of the nuances that your degree gives you.

Shakirasma Mon 29-Aug-11 09:26:23

TWVCW I think both are essential tbh.
The thing with ICT is that it can be self learnt by somebody who has a keen interest and natural aptitude for it.

I don't think the same can be said for the sciences. A thorough, proven understanding of the subject matter is vital

MrsRobertDuvall Mon 29-Aug-11 09:31:59

I've asked the science staff but no one knew anyone ( or was prepared to take on the challenge of dd!)
They did recommend the agency...luckily there is no fee payable to the agency, just pay tutor direct.

stellarpunk Mon 29-Aug-11 09:38:44

@thatwasnt perhaps this was a cross post... but we are talking about the nuances of the subject here.

If an agency is charging £30, as a parent I would insist that the tutor had the relevant qualifications and the experience to really push the student into achieving their very best. How else can high end differentiation occur?

All kudos to you but I would be unhappy teaching the top set triple science students chemistry...

IgnoringTheChildren Mon 29-Aug-11 09:43:02

YANBU - it's ridiculous for someone with no higher qualification in a subject to expect to be paid to tutor someone in that subject!

However you don't need to be a physics specialist to teach the physics aspects of science GCSEs or even to teach physics GCSE - anyone with a degree in one of the sciences, a teaching qualification and the interest to teach it well can do it. In fact teachers with other science backgrounds are frequently better at teaching physics at that level due to having to put more effort into their lesson planning. (if I wasn't on my phone I wound put a winking emoticon here!) smile

noblegiraffe Mon 29-Aug-11 09:45:57

For £30 an hour I'd expect them to sit the exam for him. Is that the going rate for tutoring?!

exoticfruits Mon 29-Aug-11 09:48:43

It is the going rate-which is why you need to be sure that you get the right person. Insist on qualifications.

stellarpunk Mon 29-Aug-11 09:49:34

I'm rolling my eyes at you ignoringtheschildren!!!

IgnoringTheChildren Mon 29-Aug-11 10:07:20

Probably the best way to deal with me stellarpunk smile

noblegiraffe Mon 29-Aug-11 10:10:19

It's hard enough getting people with physics degrees to teach A-level let alone insisting upon them for GCSE, stellar. I thought the general rule was that if you had A-level you were ok to teach GCSE and a degree to teach A-level.

spiderpig8 Mon 29-Aug-11 10:17:28

the only thing you need to be a tutor is a parent gullible enough to pay you!!

spiderpig8 Mon 29-Aug-11 10:18:26

Also worth noting that a Science teacher at school might be a physics graduate say and teaching your child biology!

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