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Tuition centres - staffed by A-level students?

(66 Posts)
fabsmum Tue 13-Nov-12 18:06:55

Notice a rash of these places opening up around the place. Like this: here

I know a young lady who has just got a job at one. As a 'tutor'. Not only has she not got a degree, but she's just failed (I mean properly failed, not just got low grades) all of her AS levels and is retaking her entire A level course. Hasn't put the tutorial agency off though, and they've been happy to take her on at about £7 an hour.

And I've just seen an ad on Gumtree advertising for tutors for a tutoring agency, with top rate of pay (depending on qualifications and experience) of £10 an hour. Applicants must have A-levels and GCSE's.

AIBU in thinking that most parents would prefer their children to be taught by teachers?

Or is there a market for 'MacTutoring' in the UK now for people who can't afford to pay the going rate for qualified tutors?

Alisvolatpropiis Tue 13-Nov-12 18:08:43

What where are these places?! I have a degree and good A levels!

Also,seriously off that someone without decent qualifications is tutoring in those subjects. How on earth is that anything other than a waste of money?

Fluffy1234 Tue 13-Nov-12 18:12:33

I guess if you are paying £7 you are being unreasonable to expect the same standard as a tutor who charges £30 an hour.

fabsmum Tue 13-Nov-12 18:13:40

I don't think the parents are paying £7 an hour.

That's just what the centre pays some of its 'tutors'.

Fluffy1234 Tue 13-Nov-12 18:16:12

Oh I see.
Still I guess the same argument applies, a teacher or highly qualified person is not going to work for £7 an hour if they could charge a lot more doing private tutoring.

fabsmum Tue 13-Nov-12 18:24:38

Maybe it would be better if the tutoring centres made it clear they were staffed mainly by non-graduates and non-teachers. Just so parents know what they're getting....

WilsonFrickett Tue 13-Nov-12 18:29:31

Don't most parents assume tutoring centres are staffed by A level students? I certainly didn't think it was teachers that worked in them, ever. And as they're all so young...

bedmonster Tue 13-Nov-12 18:36:42

There's one of these places near me. My friend pays just over £200 a month for her kids to go. You're apparently allowed 2x45 mins a week. Her daughters are 5 and 6 and imo too young to get any benefit out of it that my friend couldn't access for free using resources on the internet in her own home in her own time.

StrawberrytallCAKE Tue 13-Nov-12 18:43:21

Oh wow! Thanks for this info as I was going to go and have a look around our local one after being sold it at the weekend. It is over £100 a month for my 4yo and they're in groups of 6....I presumed by qualified teachers!

SamSmalaidh Tue 13-Nov-12 18:46:05

It's not really tutoring though, is it? The staff just supervise the children while they work through tasks on computers.

CaliforniaLeaving Tue 13-Nov-12 18:56:12

By us if you want a qualified teacher to tutor your child it is closer to £25 an hour. Uni students are about £12 and high school students about £8. We bartered with a High school student (my friends son) for my oldest to be tutored in Maths,

CaliforniaLeaving Tue 13-Nov-12 18:57:44

Our youngest is 7 and uses www.khanacademy.org/ for her math skills seems to be working OK

Fluffy1234 Tue 13-Nov-12 19:08:35

Are they like Kumon centres?

MathsCat Tue 13-Nov-12 19:13:17

DH went for a job with them, he's a qualified maths teacher (given up teaching but tutors now at a high school). He didn't get it, the others interviewed were an AS level student and a degree student, not sure who they employed. When he asked about pay they said it depended on age, so guessing it's around min wage - the others would have been cheaper to hire. He said it's basically childcare rather than tutoring, especially as ours is in a supermarket!

He gets paid a lot more than min wage for his tutoring, but wanted to add something with more security in terms of a guarenteed income. As it turns out it's good they didn't want him as he's got more private tutoring now at much better pay :-) But if parents are paying about £100 pcm for 2 sessions a week, that's over £10 an hour, up to 6 kids per 'tutor'... It'd be cheaper and more effective to join with other parents and hire a good tutor to do small group tutoring.

MathsCat Tue 13-Nov-12 19:18:58

Khan academy have a good reputation I think. Those prices seem right California, I get paid about £13 per hour to teach/tutor undergrads (phd student) so for £10 an hour, shared with up to 6 others (so £60 per hour), even allowing for their you'd expect more than someone who's only just passed their GCSEs.

MathsCat Tue 13-Nov-12 19:20:01

*their overheads.. Oops blush

WofflingOn Tue 13-Nov-12 19:23:35

Surely parents check these things though?
If I was paying for extra tuition for my child, for whatever reason, I'd want to know exactly what was on offer and who was delivering it.
Do people really have wads of cash to distribute without any real thought going into the process?

fabsmum Tue 13-Nov-12 19:55:47

WofflingOn - I suspect many people using these centres are not necessarily as savvy as all that.

In poor areas like the one I live in tutoring centres are springing up everywhere. Many of the parents whose children attend these centres are concerned and ambitious for their kids, but may well be very poorly educated themselves. They're very trusting, particularly as these places use sophisticated marketing (because most are part of franchises) and are overseen (usually) by qualified teachers. It's just that those who are actually doing the tutoring are not trained teachers (or trained anything by the sound of it).

It's quite hard to assess the quality of the provision unless you sit there and watch a session - and even then you have to know what you're looking for.

kim147 Tue 13-Nov-12 20:14:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

StrawberrytallCAKE Tue 13-Nov-12 20:28:28

Talk about sweeping generalisations fabsmum.

VirginiaDare Tue 13-Nov-12 20:47:03

What the fuckity do 4 year olds need a tutor for? hmm

fabsmum Tue 13-Nov-12 21:02:55

Strawberrytallcake - I suppose it depends on where you live.

I live in a very poor area, and the centers are springing up like fungus all over the place.

"What the fuckity do 4 year olds need a tutor for?"

I drove past one of these places on Saturday on my way back from work. It was dark outside and the room was incredibly brightly lit. Kids hunched over in their chairs staring into computer screens.

Really - the whole tutoring business is a bit depressing, from top to bottom. But especially at the bottom. I think the basic line is that the children who really need extra help with school are probably not the ones accessing this service.

WofflingOn Tue 13-Nov-12 21:05:32

Well, we keep being told that our schools ought to emulate the Far East and Pacific Rim style of education, perhaps this is the start.
Crammers for 4 year olds.

StrawberrytallCAKE Tue 13-Nov-12 21:56:34

Mmm I take your point virginia I am due my second dd in a couple of weeks and started to panic about whether I would have the time to help dd1 with phonics and learning to read. She absolutely loves learning and I wouldn't want that to stop but as I am more qualified than her 'tutor' would be and I wouldn't particularly want her on a computer for 45 mins I think I'll cancel the appointment. I'm probably just over compensating for my second child guilt.

Our tutor centre is in a sainsburys and in a really nice area so I'm not sure about them being directed at a certain market?

snowmummy Tue 13-Nov-12 22:09:43

How depressing that people are falling for this. They are just feeding and cashing in on parents' insecurities. Awful.

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