How To Look For A Tutor


So you’re looking for a tutor…

Don’t know where to start?

Are you looking for a tutor? So many options and don’t know where to start? There are lots of options of tutoring companies and individual tutors out there that you can find online, for different subjects and levels, so many that it can be a bit overwhelming. So how to decide on the right tutor for your child or teenager? Here is our guide on questions to ask to help you find the right tutor:

Do they have an Enhanced DBS Check?

This is vital for safeguarding. There are a number of tutors out there who either don’t have a DBS check at all, or they only have a Basic DBS check, which covers working with adults only. Anyone working with children should have an Enhanced DBS Check, which certifies that they have gone through the required Criminal Records checks, including checks against the Children’s Barred List and against Section 142 of the Education Act, and therefore don’t have any kind of criminal record which would prohibit them from working with children. Read more here about the importance of DBS checks for safeguarding

Do they have the required subject knowledge, and knowledge of the current curriculum?

This sounds like a given, but there are tutors out there who don’t actually have the required knowledge of the subject and the current curriculum to be able to tutor in it. So check with a tutor that they do have enough knowledge of the subject and are fully aware of all the aspects of the current curriculum that they need to cover.

Do they have the ability to explain concepts in a way that’s easy to understand?

There are many tutors out there who have an amazing CV and lots of knowledge in the subject they are tutoring. They might be a Maths tutor, for example, with a degree and even a PhD in Maths, or maybe they’re a Science tutor with a Masters in Biochemistry. But are they able to understand why a child or teenager is struggling with aspects of a subject, and do they have the ability to explain concepts in a different way if the student doesn’t understand? And do they have the patience and the adaptability to look for different methods of explaining, to get the message across? It’s very important to not just look at the CV of a tutor, but to check if they can explain concepts in a way that makes it easy to understand. After all, if they can’t get all their knowledge across, there’s no point!

Do they have an engaging personality?

Again, there are many tutors with fantastic CVs, but none of that matters if they don’t have an enthusiastic and engaging personality, so they can get the student motivated and engaged. Often, a part of the reason a young person needs a tutor is because they have lost both confidence and enthusiasm for a subject. Sometimes, they really aren’t enjoying it and they’re struggling to see the point of it, which is something that happens a lot with GCSE Maths, for example. Teenagers can be wondering, when am I ever going to need Trigonometry in my life? Or teenagers can often have a real lack of enthusiasm for GCSE English. So they need someone to really inspire them and be able to pass on their infectious enthusiasm for a subject, sometimes showing them real-life applications of the subject, so they can see the value in it. Once that happens, the student can then get into a positive cycle of enjoying the subject more and therefore wanting to work more on it, and the grades and the confidence just keep on building! So don’t just pick a tutor, pick one with the right type of personality for tutoring.

Do they get on well with your child?

Amongst all the tutors out there, there are many who may very well be good tutors, but if they aren’t the right personality fit for your child, then you likely won’t have the success you’re hoping for. Whether a tutor and the student are able to develop a good rapport makes a huge difference to the success rate of the tutoring. If the student really respects the tutor, is inspired and engaged by them, and wants to listen to them and take on board what they say, then you will really notice the difference in them, both in terms of their grades and in terms of their confidence in a subject and happiness building. If it isn’t quite the right personality fit, then you just won’t see the same level of increase in enthusiasm for the subject, and confidence and grades building.

Still unsure about how to find the right tutor?

If you’d like to know more about our proven methods of vetting tutors and matching them to the individual student, feel free to get in touch. Our process takes the stress and worry of finding the right tutor away from the parents. Get in touch

Sort your studies with our handpicked, local tutors.

Greenhouse Learning helps students across the Southwest become independent learners. Get in touch with us to discuss how we can help you support your child to achieve their full potential.