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Archive for February, 2013

Disclosure and Barring Service and Tutoring

Monday, February 25th, 2013

Many parents will be familiar with a CRB check.

For certain jobs in the UK, including those that involve working with children, you are usually  required to have an enhanced CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) check.  When a company request a CRB check a person’s details are checked against various sources including the Police National Computer. The check reveals if they have a criminal record and any convictions, cautions, reprimands and warnings. It may also show if an applicant has been barred from working with vulnerable groups.  Tutors have not always been required to have a CRB check as most tutoring is carried out in the home and classed as a domestic arrangement.

At 121 Home Tutors we have always required our tutors to have a basic CRB check. In the last few weeks the CRB  has become the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).  The idea behind the change is to bring the functions of certain checking bodies together – the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) and reduce the number of people being checked.  The change also means the certificate will be sent to an individual who can challenge the information before it reaches an employer.  It will also see the end of a new check every time a new job is taken, with updates to a certificate now possible.

What does this all mean for tutors?

It won’t make a great deal of difference day to day. All new certificates will be branded DBS and old certificates still stand. You will now be able to port your certificate to a new job from Spring 2013.  If you are a self-employed tutor you still can’t apply as an individual  – you can use an umbrealla organisation or you may be able to apply through a trade or professional body. You can find all about the changes here

If you’d like to know more about tutoring for 121 Home Tutors (covering Manchester and Cheshire) you can contact us here.


Changes to GCSE scrapped

Monday, February 11th, 2013

In October we wrote two blogs about the changes to GCSEs proposed by the Government – changing from the well-known system to a controversial new English Baccalaureate qualification. In some camps the changes were welcomed, with many liking the idea of a more rigorous approach to education at 11-16 and a return to more exams and less coursework.  On the other hand many people felt it had been poorly thought through and that the exclusion of less ‘academic’ subjects would let many pupils down.  Lots of people were worried there would be a return to a two-tiered system that benefited more academically capable students.

Despite all of the controversy it was expected the new qualification would be phased in over the next few years. However Michael Gove, Education Secretary, last week announced a complete turnaround on the EBacc. This qualification will now not be introduced and instead we will see a reform of the existing GCSE system.

You can read more about the changes on the BBC website but the main points are:

  1. From September 2015 teaching for the new GCSEs in English, Maths, Sciences, History and Geography will begin.
  2. Coursework will be kept to a minimum and exams will happen after 2 years.
  3. There will no longer be easier foundation papers, less ‘bite-sized questions’ and the testing of extended writing in English and History.

Our advice remains the same, as students and parents you are unlikely to see much day to day change in what is taught. What your child may need is academic support skills and one to one private tutoring can be useful. If you’d like more information on tutoring at GCSE Level in Manchester call 121 Home Tutors.