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Setting up as a private tutor

8 replies

thenewaveragebear1983 · 20/07/2017 16:35

I have recently been doing a bit of tutoring for a family friend, and off the back of this I am literally inundated with requests for tutoring.

I've been doing a very ad hoc, informal arrangement with this friend, but now I am thinking of accepting some of the other requests- but suddenly it's dawned on me that doing this for 'actual' clients is a whole different situation isn't it?

So- do I need to do things like a DBS check, 3rd party or public insurance? Register as a sole trader with hmrc? Provide contracts and invoices etc? This is all info I've found with brief searches online. It seems like a lot of extra work for potentially an hour a week, so I am now having 2nd thoughts. I don't know if I'm ready to set up a tutoring business as such.

Does anyone have any advice/experience?

OP posts:
scoobydoo1971 · 21/07/2017 00:51

I have run my own tutorial business for nearly 10 years and find it, mostly, enjoyable and lucrative. I work with Higher Education students, mostly online but also in person by appointment. To do this seriously, you need the following in place:

Register as self-employed with HMRC. If you have low earnings, you can get a national insurance exemption certificate.
Raise invoices for your clients, and keep good book keeping records of incoming funds and outgoing expenses for tax self assessment. Make sure students pay in advance of lessons until you learn to trust them.
Check your home insurance policy to see if you could be protected against claims from students visiting you are home (trips/ slips etc).
Advertise your services online. I use an agency (First Tutors) but you could get a website instead if you wanted.
Always meet new students in a public place - a library or college canteen until you are certain about your personal safety. If you are going to a clients home and they are a child, ensure a parent is also home.
You will need a DBS check for working with children and adolescents.
You may want to invest in a teaching qualification to improve credibility. I found the NVQ PTTLS enjoyable and helpful in lesson planning for example. Clients will want to see evidence of your qualifications, and perhaps references.
Lots of money to be made at certain times of the year. Especially for science, maths and English.
Good luck!!!

thenewaveragebear1983 · 21/07/2017 07:17

Thanks scooby
I do have a teaching qualification as I am actually an English teacher; I have seen in the last few weeks just how many people really do need/want tutors and can see that it could definitely be lucrative. However, and I think this is my issue really, I am not ready to set up a business and just simply don't have the time or inclination to do so. As my only current 'client' is a family friend and ND neighbour, I am a bit concerned at the 'officialness' of making the jump to actual paying clients, and importantly how to protect my and their interests as customers. I think your post has just proven this to me. It's a shame really because I enjoy the work but at the present time I just don't have to option to work several evenings a week. I don't think all the extra work is worth it for one extra hour a week!

Thanks so much for your post, it was very helpful

OP posts:
returnvisit · 28/07/2017 09:28

I am also considering tutoring but I have no formal qualifications in teaching. Would this be a barrier thenewaveragebear.?

I am only thinking of doing KS1 and KS2 and my only current experience would be my 4 children at the moment.

I was thinking of getting some experience and doing some courses but I dont know where to start? Any advice please ?

I already have a company established so all the points in your earlier post wouldn't be a barrier for me. I am more concerned about having no formal experience or training.


thenewaveragebear1983 · 28/07/2017 11:14

Return I don't know. A general rule of thumb would be that you need to be qualified to one level above that which you teach (or higher) - but that would vary depending on the subject and child of course. The main thing I'm finding is modifying the activities so they a are suitable for one student rather than a class, and it's surprising how much they need and can get through in an hour! Plus if you get 'the face' which says 'I am not doing this' you need to have back ups. I have links with the school and his teacher is supportive but some teachers are very unsupportive of private tutors. You'd have to decide whether you want to shadow the classroom work or completely do your own schedule,

I reckon that when the time comes I will be able to get sufficient clients to make a decent income from so it quite promising. There's also 11+ tutoring which seems to get a higher rate but is obviously only short term.

OP posts:
thenewaveragebear1983 · 28/07/2017 11:16

Also you can do a short diploma/cert in Lifelong learning sector (Dtlls/pttls) which can give you a bit of a head start with lesson plans etc/session plans. Pinterest and other websites are really good for ideas for resources

OP posts:
returnvisit · 28/07/2017 14:12

thats really useful thank you

tutorwho · 03/08/2017 22:48

I hold a PTLLS qualification and this has not held me back from tutoring.

I gained students through First Tutors and Tutor Hunt at first. It then moved onto getting students via word of mouth.

paperandpaint · 05/09/2017 09:22

I'm a teacher and private tutor and feel that you really do need some teaching qualifications or experience to tutor especially if you are tutoring for 7+ or 11+. You have to understand where the children need to get to and the key skills to teach them to get them there (e.g. you can improve your comprehension by doing xyz and here are the strategies to do this). However equally, you might be really inspirational and often that's also key especially with things like creative writing (the area that most 7/11+ pupils struggle with).

I tutor in addition to working and I set up an HMRC self-assessment account. It's incredibly easy and the self assessment in January takes about 30 minutes (I have no other complex financial affairs so it's very easy). Even if you have another job it's straightforward to do your self-assessment as long as you have your P60. I keep a diary with dates and payments (many people prefer cash). Invoicing is easy and quick with an online service such as Brightbook which is free.

I go to the children's houses to tutor as I find it easier. You should have a full DBS check whichever you choose.

Good luck!

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