Tutor not to expected standard

(71 Posts)
walokmalok Wed 21-Nov-18 19:22:09

DD is at one of the big name colleges in Oxford, usually in top 3 for the Norrington. This year, as her tutor is on sabbatical, they have appointed a new tutor from another college, who has two years as a lecturer under their belt.

This new tutor studied at somewhere the likes of Exeter, Manchester, Birmingham. They got BBB in their a levels, and did not gain entrance to Oxbridge, but did do their doctorate there.

The tutor has an unbearably affected accent that I suppose is a device to try and fit in.

They are not willing to allow things like vacation residence for revision, whereas every single other tutor is. They are far too strict, and play everything conservatively.

DD feels as if they have a huge chip on their shoulder, and this is affecting her ability to work properly. The tutor does not fulfil their role like the previous tutor. They are hardly world class either.

Is it possible to switch tutors?

OP’s posts: |
titchy Wed 21-Nov-18 19:29:52

Would you/your dd be asking to change if the tutor got their degree from Harvard and was eminent in their field? Somehow I think you'd be happy to stick to their way of doing things....

MummaGiles Wed 21-Nov-18 19:37:02

Well this is elitist and offensive

Anasnake Wed 21-Nov-18 19:41:10

'The likes of Exeter, Manchester, Birmingham' - is this a joke ??? How would you know what their A levels were ?????

RedHelenB Wed 21-Nov-18 19:59:26

They might have got bbb at A level but they have a degree and a doctorate which is more than your dd has. I really hope that this is a wind up thread!

Mynydd Wed 21-Nov-18 20:02:57

Your daughter is an adult. If she really cares then she needs to deal with this herself. I would recommend her to take a different approach than you have here though

Namechangeforthiscancershit Wed 21-Nov-18 20:05:43

How the hell would anyone know what a level grades their tutor got? Am I missing the big nosy tutor database? I hope so as that sounds FUN.

It sounds to me a lot more like your DD’s attitude to this person is what’s affecting her ability to work. Is there anyway you can get her to view him/her a bit more positively?


LRDtheFeministDragon Wed 21-Nov-18 20:40:27

Um ... sorry, but you sound very odd.

The Norrington table has to do with exam results. It has nothing to do with the quality of teaching you'd expect, which is standardised. If the college appointed this person, they are clearly confident they are good. They will have vested interests in maintaining a good ranking, so they will care about the quality of teaching they provide.

The tutor's A level results, and the fact they attended a good university, are not relevant here. They could have got far worse A levels and attended somewhere far lower down the rankings, and still be an excellent tutor.

The idea that you need to 'fit in' as a tutor at Oxbridge is ludicrous. Many of us don't have Oxbridge educations, and plenty of those who do, have ordinary regional accents.

Vacation residence is likely to be a college-baed decision rather than one the tutor makes. Your adult child should be investigating this.

This leads me to my main point.

Does your child have some reason for such an inappropriate level of parental involvement? I have tutored students with significant disabilities and major mental health issues, and have sometimes had to liaise with parents. We only ever do this with the student's express permission. It is not usual for a student to require this amount of support from a parent.

Of course students sometimes struggle, and sometimes they misunderstand what is expected, but I would urge you to ask your DD to talk to her tutor. Bringing up the tutor's education would look very odd - in this context, it'd be like me asking if your DD were a late walker, and then saying she couldn't possibly be Oxbridge material unless she walked before 7 months. No one cares any more.

impostersyndrome Thu 22-Nov-18 14:16:38

How on earth can you, or your daughter, judge whether an academic is world class?

Cataline Thu 22-Nov-18 14:19:25

Don't mind me, I'm only here to see how this goes...

astoundedgoat Thu 22-Nov-18 14:29:52

Oh dear... OP I strongly suggest you back off here as you are only doing more harm than good. If you contact her college you will make your child a laughing stock, although it might brighten up a gloomy afternoon, I suppose.

I am HIGHLY entertained that you think that your opinion has more value than the rigorous hiring process at Oxford, where a terrifying number of highly qualified applicants put themselves forward for every post, however menial - even tutoring teens with overbearing snobs for parents who post about their A levels on social media!

Could it possibly be that your darling child has turned up unprepared for tutorials and is trying the patience of her plebeian tutor a little?

PinkAvocado Thu 22-Nov-18 14:37:05

Am I missing the big nosy tutor database? I hope so as that sounds FUN


ClerkMaxwell Thu 22-Nov-18 14:37:16

Didn't go to Oxford but went elsewhere with a tutor system and you could definitely ask to change tutor e.g. for personality differences or to someone whose interests were closer to your own. You had to go via the college head of course not via the individual tutors.

I remember being slightly miffed that I wasn't in The Star tutor's group. He handpicked his students. However he was never around, did everything by the book and was very formal. Newbie I got was a much better fit for me.

user1499173618 Thu 22-Nov-18 17:32:45

The GF of one of our DC’s is at Trinity College Cambridge. She said many of her privately educated fellow students were terribly disoriented by poor quality teaching when they first started. She was used to teaching herself from the textbook at her comprehensive and is more sanguine!

roisin Thu 22-Nov-18 18:24:50

What has vacres to do with the tutor? Normally you just fill in a vacres request form, pay the bill and you can stay longer?

LRDtheFeministDragon Thu 22-Nov-18 18:31:00

She said many of her privately educated fellow students were terribly disoriented by poor quality teaching when they first started. She was used to teaching herself from the textbook at her comprehensive and is more sanguine!

grin Yes, I can imagine. One set of students 'terribly disorientated' by not being spoonfed; the other quite accustomed to teaching herself.

Hefzi Thu 22-Nov-18 18:44:31

Don't mind me- I'm just here for the lolz grin

Whilst the things you raise aren't causes of concern (and Oxford is rather selective for DPhil, especially for those coming from outside hmm) if your daughter has a genuine issue with her tutor, then she should approach her Senior Tutor. It's not completely unknown that sometimes, tutors aren't up to snuff (one I am thinking of cost his college/Oxford a significant pay out after an OIA judgement - Senior Tutor had dismissed student's concerns as that student had been privately educated and clearly had therefore been coached and blah blah usual bullshit wasn't actually deserving of a place etc etc) but this is honestly very, very unusual. The Senior Tutor will then take action - or not - as appropriate.

As PP have said, vacres is up to College, not the college tutor. You may well not be getting the full story.

Mrskeats Thu 22-Nov-18 18:50:59

This wins the education threads for a while
1. Over-involvement
2. Snobbery-But they only went to Manchester darling!!
3. Lying-who the hell knows what their tutor's A level results?
4. Lack of knowledge i.e. how hard it is to do postgrad at Oxbridge if you were not an undergrad there.
5. Stealth boasting.
My bingo card is full do I get a prize?

motortroll Thu 22-Nov-18 18:57:26


PinsPegs Thu 22-Nov-18 19:05:06

Haha, I wouldn't be surprised if the tutor has a chip on his shoulder with people like the OP around 😂

KingPrawnBalls Thu 22-Nov-18 19:14:45


Anasnake Thu 22-Nov-18 19:18:59

MrsKeats - you forgot accent !!!!

Anasnake Thu 22-Nov-18 19:22:14

'An unbearably affected accent ' too - the horror shock

Mrskeats Thu 22-Nov-18 19:23:59

Damn. I'm a Scouser so God knows what the op would think of that.

MotherofPearl Thu 22-Nov-18 19:24:26

This thread has made me quite literally overjoyed that I work at at a former poly. grin

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