Do you know for sure what private tuition is? We’ve recently created a new introduction to private tuition to explain just that. Following a simple definition of private tuition, the explanation goes on to look at its place in the modern world, and in particular, the UK.
One interesting aspect of private tuition in the UK is that it is both a feature of private and state education. This is not a contradiction in terms! Firstly, ‘private’ tuition in this context can simply mean ‘personal’ or ‘one-to-one’ tuition. Secondly, private sector providers are indeed sometimes used by state schools to provide one-to-one tuition. This kind of tuition is a common use of the so-called ‘pupil premium’ – additional funding for schools in England to raise the attainment of disadvantaged pupils.
When it comes to organising where to have your private tutoring sessions, there are lots of options to consider, depending on the formality of your sessions and time or travel availabilities.
The beauty of home tutoring is that, as the name suggests, you can take your lessons in the comfort of your own home! This is the most common way to carry out private teaching outside of school.
How you receive your tutoring depends on what space you have available, and what is easy and safe to use.
You might have an office set up with a desk and necessary equipment where you could have your tutor teach you, or you might just set up at the dining table - whatever works and feels comfortable for you!
Private tutoring takes place outside of the classroom and usually outside of school altogether, as lessons are generally conducted in a home or public place.
You might consider meeting with your tutor somewhere you feel safe and comfortable, and there are lots of spaces that you can use, such as:
- Cafés (maybe you’re learning about French food...)
- Private offices
- Open community hubs
Maybe you would even benefit from having a session in a museum if you’re studying history! As long as your location choice works to an educational advantage, there’s no limit on how creative and fun you can make it.
As the student, you may be expected to get around town and visit your tutor's house, so it’s important that you are able to travel if this is the case.
This might mean having your own car or bike, or having one readily available for use. Equally, it might mean that you are able to use public transport to get around easily and punctually.
If you do need to travel, you might have to factor in extra costs, so decide ahead of time how much you are prepared to travel and how much time and money you can afford to put into it your tutor sessions.
Tutoring Sessions at Your Tutor's Home
It is very common for tutors to carry out their private tutoring sessions in their own homes. This can be easy and comfortable for everyone involved, and can create the relaxed atmosphere that you can’t always find in a classroom!
Tutors might make it clear when they advertise their services where they will carry out private lessons, and if they are prepared to travel or not. If tutors UK only wish to work from their own home, they will need to clarify this on their adverts or when you initially speak with each other.
There are naturally many risks involved if someone decides to use their private property to conduct professional business. The main factors to consider are:
- Have health and safety checks been performed?
- Has a risk assessment been carried out?
- Does your tutor appropriate insurance policies?
- Does your tutor has a DBS certificate or equivalent?
These are all crucial elements when thinking about where to carry out your private lessons. A home must be clean and tidy, with no potential hazards that could result in damage or injury.
Potential hazards could be anything from water on the floor to loose carpet or wires, but they could have disastrous consequences if ignored. Nobody wants to cause or be involved in an accident, regardless of where it happens.
It is very strongly advised that tutors take out the right insurance policies to cover them for damage or injury when working with members of the public in their own home. You can check this with your tutor before your first meeting if it's something you feel is important.
The most common insurance policies that a tutor will have are public liability insurance and professional indemnity insurance, although you don’t officially need any insurance to work as a tutor in the UK.
DBS checks are also a really important part of private tutoring – however, like insurance, they are also not compulsory for private tutors in the UK.
A DBS certificate – formerly known as CRB – is a check carried out on someone's background to check for a criminal record. DBS checks can provide peace of mind to parents and students alike – and are usually preferred if you are working with young or vulnerable people.
If your tutor works through an agency, they might have a DBS check provided through them. A DBS check cannot be applied for yourself, as only employers and licensing bodies can request them.
However, a basic background check from Disclosure Scotland or a subject access request from your local police station can provide students and parents with adequate information and peace of mind, so check if your tutor has one of these if you would like the extra assurance.
Tutoring Sessions at Your Own Home
For students or parents, it is quite common to have a private tutor come to your home to tutor you or your child. This usually works best if you are strapped for time and have a hectic schedule, so you can eliminate the time and costs of extra travelling.
Many tutors prefer to travel to their students’ homes to give lessons, so be sure to discuss this beforehand to see what works best for both parties.
If you have a desk or dining table that you can work from in peace and quiet, this could be the perfect place to have your tutor come and teach you.
In this case, the onus for health and safety checks and risk assessment mostly lies with the student or parent – whoever is the home owner. Of course, the tutor can still assess the area and make sure they feel safe and comfortable working there.
It might still be worth considering a tutor with some personal insurance. When working with members of the public, regardless of where you work, accidents can still happen.
Be sure to think about your child's safety when employing a tutor for home tuition or online tutoring.
Tutoring Sessions Online
One of the biggest parts of home tuition now is online tutoring. With online tutoring, both the student and the tutor can work from their own homes, be it a study, a bedroom, a dining room - or pretty much anywhere with internet access and a webcam!
Websites such as Superprof are a great platform for finding tutors or students, and then it’s up to you to choose whether you meet in person or do your lessons via video call.
As a student, you can have a look around and take note of any tutors that interest you. You can go ahead and get in touch if you like the sound of them and want to know a bit more – pretty simple!
Superprof is completely free and easy to use, with an enormous online community being accessed all over the world. This means you could learn guitar from a tutor miles away, or study Spanish from a tutor in Madrid – wherever you are in the world, you can study from your computer at home!
Let's hear from our students: what do you like and what do you hate about tutoring?
More and more people are starting to tutor alongside their current full-time or part-time work and studies, so finding a tutor couldn't be easier. It’s so simple to do, especially through an online platform such as Superprof, and can be organised easily between tutor and student.
Your tutoring sessions can be as formal or informal as you like – it’s all up to you and your teacher! It could be as relaxed as meeting for a coffee on your way home from school or college, or as professional as a fully planned lesson in your office at home.
If you have more questions about tutoring, check out our Tutoring FAQs post.
Whatever you decide, and however you choose to take your private tutoring sessions, just make sure it’s safe and fits easily into your lifestyle. Work out prices, schedules and content ahead of time with your tutor to make the sessions as organised and comfortable as possible to guarantee long term success.