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Everything you need to Know to Start your Home Tutoring Business or Find Tutoring Jobs

From Ellen, published on 02/05/2017 We Love Prof - UK > Tutoring > Advice for Tutors > How Do I Become a Private Tutor?

Private one-to-one tuition is known to be the most effective and productive method of learning at all levels of academic or creative development. It helps students build skills, confidence and enthusiasm in their subjects.

The focused attention and tailored guidance of private tutoring can help students realise their full academic and creative potential.

There are a few things to consider when starting up as private tutor, and our how-to guide will take you through the various steps to get you on your way. Before you become a home tutor, have a read through the different sections on:

  • Qualities that make a good private tutor
  • How to advertise as a tutor and find students
  • Insurance for private tutors
  • Reporting your tutoring income
  • Qualifications for becoming a private tutor
  • Obtaining a DBS check as a private tutor
  • The legalities of working as a private tutor

Finding tutoring jobs isn’t always an easy task. Online platforms are a great way to access thousands of private tutoring jobs. Simply create your free profile and advertise your tutoring service to students across the UK and worldwide.

On our platform students can find and interact with private tutors in order to find the perfect match. The student will be able to view your tutoring profile, compare price and experience, and talk with various tutors to help find tuition tailored to them.

Online tutoring platforms provide a secure and resourceful service to help you share your expertise with eager students. You can tailor your work to suit your schedule by choosing your hours – you can work from anywhere, anytime.

Unlike other online tutoring platforms, Superprof lets you choose how you get paid and how much you charge – with no commission fees.

You can create a detailed personal profile to showcase your experience, qualifications, location and availability with this comprehensive guide. A complete and detailed profile will target and attract prospective students so that you can start working immediately.

What You Need to Become a Tutor Is tutoring ticking your boxes? Have a look at our guide and FAQs to help you get started. Source: Visualhunt

You can start tutoring with Superprof in 6 simple steps:

  1. Register for an account and start creating your profile
  2. Verify your details and qualifications with Superprof
  3. Make your tutor advert live for students to find you
  4. Wait for students to contact you through Superprof
  5. Review their request and decide whether to accept or decline. Upon accepting, your contact details will be made visible to the student
  6. Arrange when and where to host your lessons

It’s as easy as that! Here at Superprof we pride ourselves on providing expert tutoring and a quality service available to everyone. Our online platform connects tutors and students of all ages and for all kinds of learning, either in person or online.

Students can choose from a community of over a million hand-picked, passionate tutors all over the world. You are in charge of your own business: you decide your rates and organise your own schedule.

Thomas

Our students are very satisfied

”With Superprof, I was able to find the perfect tutor to motivate me and help get the grades I needed. I 100% recommend Superprof!”

What Qualities Make a Good Private Tutor?

What makes a great private tutor? Creativity and a love of teaching makes the best tutors! Source: Visualhunt

Is home tutoring for you? Tutoring services usually look for:

  • Dedicated, passionate and creative people with a flair for teaching
  • Tutors of all ages and qualifications to offer their expertise
  • The ability to deliver a professional and outstanding standard of tuition

Students need easy and accessible ways of learning to boost grades and cultivate skills. A private tutor or E-tutor will have the experience and resources to provide their student with personalised guidance that is designed to suit the student’s learning requirements on an individual basis.

Whether it’s helping with homework or preparing for SATs, GCSEs, A-level or college entrance exams, you will need to mentor your students to academic success.

Your teaching strategies must be specific to your student’s learning style to help them with their strengths and weaknesses.

A good private tutor will have many important qualities in both a personal and pedagogical capacity. As a tutor, interpersonal skills and adaptability are key: your approach must be versatile and personalised to the individual student. You must be able to motivate your student to achieve their best.

This might mean finding creative and innovative ways of helping your student learn. A great tutor, above all, will be able to analyse how their student learns and adjust their tuition accordingly.

Things like getting familiar with syllabuses, textbooks and exam formats can help you better tailor your tuition to the student. Good communication skills are key to making your one-to-one tutoring session successful and rewarding.

You must also think about the kind of private tutor you would like to be. Will you work in your own home, or visit students? Will you need to travel? Or will you tutor students online from your computer?

A great tutor will be flexible and fully equipped for their business. This might mean having a safe and appropriate living situation, or a reliable means of transport. You might require a computer with a webcam and have proficient technical ability.

The most essential quality of a good private tutor is a love and passion for what they are teaching. You don’t need qualifications – just knowledge and enthusiasm.

If you have an energetic, encouraging character and good experience in your subject area, tutoring is for you!

How Can I Advertise as a Tutor and Find Students?

We have lots of tips for becoming a tutor and making your service stand out. Free online platforms like Superprof offer an enormous online community, ensuring that your profile has a wide audience. All you need to do is build your profile and make it live, and then the students will be able to find you.

To get the most out of free online tutoring services, you should aim to make your profile as detailed and attractive as possible and market yourself to the student.

  • What qualities and experience do you have?
  • Do you have any qualifications in your subject area?
  • What makes you a great tutor?

The right experience and attributes will make you stand out and attract prospective students.

Advertising your experience and success is an important way of catching students’ eyes. If you have previous experience working in teaching or in an appropriate professional field to your subject, then your service will stand out amongst other offers.

Equally, if you can share success stories of previous students, for example boosting a student’s grade from a D to an A, or helping a student reach a new language level, then this will also help you to sell your service.

Spread flyers and business cards in your area Advertise in and around your local community. Source: Flickr

There are many other ways to advertise your tutoring service online. Classified sites like Gumtree or social networking sites, such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are a great way to advertise and find jobs in your community.

Distributing flyers and putting up adverts in your local school, shop, cafe or library are useful ways of advertising your service. Speaking with family, friends and people in your local community can also help spread your services by word-of-mouth.

Remember – you must advertise accurately and truthfully. Your profile must be a true reflection of who you are and what you have to offer.

More information on false advertising can be found in the ‘What are the legalities of working as a private tutor?’ section below.

Do I Need Insurance as a Private Tutor? 

Although you are not legally obliged to have insurance to work as a private tutor in the UK, some tutors prefer to have insurance as a precaution or security measure.

Public Liability Insurance

Public liability insurance covers the cost of claims made by members of the public for damage or injury that has occurred in connection with your business.

Public liability insurance is generally recommended for private and freelance workers, particularly for those who offer personal tuition at home or outside of their home as a means of protecting themselves against any legal liability, should an injury occur to a student or damage occur to third party property.

Insurance policies vary between insurers, but public liability will normally cover you for incidents that occur on your personal property should you tutor in your own home, and incidents that occur outside of your home at an event or activity that you have organised.

The price of insurance also varies from insurer to insurer. There are many price comparison websites available to help you choose the right insurance company to suit your needs and price range. The cost of your insurance will usually depend on your insurance claims history and the nature of your work.

Private Tutor Insurance Insurance can protect you as a home tutor. Source: Visualhunt

Public liability insurance is worth considering when working with other members of the public in your own home, or if you work somewhere that other members of the public attend.

Running a business from your own home can open you up to various risks, so it is up to you to decide who you work with and where you work.

Professional Indemnity Insurance

Some people may also choose to purchase professional indemnity insurance, which is a form of protection against any legal liability as a result of negligent service or advice offered as a professional service.

You are not legally obliged to have professional indemnity insurance, but it is usually held by people who offer knowledge, skills or advice as part of their work.

Tutors working for a company or individually often have professional indemnity insurance to protect themselves against potential legal proceedings.

Claims can be made against you for up to six years after an alleged negligent act, and you are only covered for claims made against you during the term of your policy. It is important, therefore, to make sure your run-off policy covers you for the appropriate time frame.

For more information about public liability insurance and professional indemnity insurance, or to help you decide if you might wish to have it, more information can be found on the Association of British Insurers website.

How Do I Report My Tutoring Income? 

Make sure you report what you earn! Recording and reporting your income doesn’t have to be difficult! Source: Visualhunt

As a private tutor, you are classed as a self-employed sole trader. Working as a sole trader entails certain responsibilities. You will need to register as self-employed with HMRC in order to report you yearly income and make sure you pay the correct Income Tax and National Insurance.

As a sole trader you will have to complete a self-assessment tax return every year after 5th April, which you can do online. You must do this even if you are also employed elsewhere.

HMRC offers more information about working for yourself, including advice and appropriate forms for your application.

With Superprof, all payment for tutoring services is arranged solely between the tutor and the student. Superprof has no involvement with the payment process for tuition in any way. This gives you total control of how you wish to be payed and means you pay no commission for your services.

What Qualifications Are Needed to Become a Private Tutor?

What Makes a Good Tutor Use your skills and experience to boost your students’ grades. Source: VIsualhunt

You are not required to have any specific qualifications to become a private tutor in the UK. Being a private tutor requires a certain level of skill and expertise, but it is up to you to advertise your credentials accordingly and decide whether you are competent to tutor in a certain subject.

Above all, it is important to remember that experience and human qualities such as perseverance, enthusiasm and a passion for teaching are what really qualifies you to be a great tutor.

In general, tutors of a specific academic subject will have a background or qualification in that area, usually to degree-level. It is also common for students currently studying a degree to tutor alongside their studies.

Many tutors offer their service alongside a professional teaching job, but it is not necessary to have any teaching qualifications to be a private tutor.

Some students prefer to have a tutor who is a qualified teacher, whereas others might find that their way of learning is better supported by someone with different experience and skills to offer.

Tuition offered in more specialist subjects, such as IT and media-based skills, for example, tends to be provided by people with experience of working in that specific field.

Nonetheless, it is not necessary to have professional experience of the subject you wish to tutor. It is your responsibility to decide if you will be able to provide a beneficial, expert tutoring service in your area of expertise.

If you do have any qualifications, you can upload them to Superprof to be verified by our team. Once they have been checked, you can advertise your qualifications to help attract prospective students.

Do I Need to Obtain a DBS Check as a Private Tutor?

Do I Need A DBS Check Having a DBS Certificate can help to attract more jobs. Source: Visualhunt

As of 17th June 2013, The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) have merged to become the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

A DBS certificate is an official document proving that there is no known reason why an individual may not work with children or vulnerable adults.

DBS certificates are commonly held by tutors, particularly to show to parents and carers, although they are not a legal requirement. You must be 16 or over to have a DBS check.

There are three types of check:

  • Standard (£26), which checks for spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings;
  • Enhanced (£44), which contains the same as that standard check and also includes any additional information held by local police that is considered relevant to the role being applied for;
  • Enhanced with list checks (£44), which is the same as the enhanced check with an additional check of the DBS barred lists.

It generally takes around eight weeks to get a DBS check; the time it takes to process the check depends on the level of the check required, the accuracy of the details provided, and the police forces that need to be involved in the check.

The benefits of having a DBS certificate include making students, parents and tutors feel safe and secure, and consequently attracting more students to your service.

If you are self-employed, however, you cannot apply for a DBS check. There are alternatives to the DBS check, which include a free ‘subject access request’ which you can apply for from your local police station. You can also apply for a ‘basic disclosure’, which can be applied for at Disclosure Scotland. 

What Are The Legalities of Working as a Private Tutor?

There are no legal requirements to work as a private tutor in the UK. It is therefore up to you, the tutor, to advertise your services and decide which precautions to take and which checks you may wish to have done.

One of the most important parts of working as a private tutor is reporting your income and paying your taxes, as is discussed in the ‘How do I report my tutoring income?’ section above.

Legal aspects For Home Tutors Legal guidelines to know before becoming a private tutor. Source: Visualhunt

Other legal issues also include health and safety and making sure your services abide by advertising law and guidelines:

Health and Safety

Of course, student safety is a tutor’s top priority. If you offer private tuition in your own home, it is your legal responsibility to ensure it is a safe environment in which to conduct business. The responsibility and accountability for health and safety issues lies with the tutor and the student.

It is not a legal requirement to be insured as a private tutor. Whether or not you decide to buy insurance as a private tutor, it is worth doing a simple risk assessment in your home in order to prevent any potential health and safety hazards.

Things like cluttered work space, uneven surfaces, frayed carpets or loose cables are common hazards in homes, but can be serious risks.

You are also at risk if you conduct your tutoring services in the home of your students. If you cause damage or injury in their home, or equally if you injure yourself on their property, the right insurance policy will protect you and cover any fees or compensation.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) website contains lots of information and advice for creating a safe and legal work environment. It also has guidelines on the risks involved with working with young and vulnerable people.

Advertising

It is also crucial to remember that you are obliged by law to give a true and accurate description of the tuition services that you advertise.

Any marketing materials you use, such as business cards, flyers and adverts, or any descriptions of your services in online adverts must be factually correct and you should be able to provide proof of any experience or qualifications you claim to have.

All qualifications that you claim to have on you online profile with Superprof will be verified by the Superprof team before they are shared with prospective students, but it is solely the tutor’s responsibility to provide truthful information on any insurance and DBS checks that you may have.

You must be completely honest with all skills, qualifications and successes that you claim to have. For example, you cannot say you lived abroad to learn a language if you did not, and you cannot claim that all your past students achieved A grades if it is not the case.

Any experiences or stories of previous successes with past students must also be verifiable if you use them to advertise and promote your home tutoring services.

It is a criminal offence to falsify information of a service you sell. It is possible for members of the public to report misleading advertising to the Advertising Standards Authority, which can involve long and costly legal proceedings.

For more information on abiding by UK advertising codes and to make sure you are advertising responsibly, visit the Advertising Standards Authority website. 

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