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Archive for June, 2013

Is tutor regulation the way forward?

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

Last month was packed full of news about private tutoring and whether it is a good or bad thing. And we’ve spotted a few news items discussing whether tutoring needs more regulation. The Centre for Market Reform of Education is making plans to set up the first national association for tutors.

The idea is such an association would develop industry standards and improve the consistency of tutoring. It is just at the consultation phase, but it would require all tutors to be vetted (checking background information) and to have a minimum set of qualifications. This minimum level would mean all tutors would have to have a degree in their specialist subject (so to tutor GCSE Maths they would need a degree in Maths) if they were tutoring children over the age of 11. For younger children the tutor would still have to have a degree but in could be in any subject.

There are no plans to make membership compulsory for all tutors.

At 121 Home Tutors many of our tutors do have degrees but we don’t think insisting on that level of education is always needed. We always ask our tutors to be at least one level above the students they are teaching (so they must have a degree in English to tutor A Level English). We agree that that a specialist subject tutor with a degree is a good idea for secondary school students but it’s not always needed for younger children.

We’ve found over the years that undergraduates can make fantastic tutors as they are enthusiastic and students often relate very well to younger tutors. We realise there is a need to ensure tutoring is being carried out correctly and we encourage all our tutors to learn and understand the correct curriculum. We also offer ongoing support to our tutors and encourage them to take teaching qualifications or gain teaching experience.

In our experience good tutors continue to find work through word of mouth and recommendations from other parents. On the other hand ‘bad’ tutors tend to be known locally and quickly find it hard to get work. It’s also worth remembering that you are rarely ‘stuck’ with a tutor as they are on a week by week basis.

Our major concern is that if you insist that all tutors are graduates you make tutoring much more exclusive (and expensive) and then there’s no opportunity for the very students who need the help to access tuition.

If you’d like to know more about our approach to private tutoring in Manchester and Cheshire (Sale, Trafford, Didsbury, Heaton Moor) then contact 121 Home Tutors today.



Private Tutoring in the news

Monday, June 17th, 2013

It’s been a busy month in the world of private tutoring with coverage across the media on whether tutoring is a good or a bad thing.

A Guardian investigation said that modest income and ethnic minority families are behind the boom in tutoring.

At 121 Home Tutors our students come from a wide variety of economic and ethnic backgrounds with very differing needs – some want more intensive coaching to the pass the 11+, while some just need an hour a week to help with a tricky topic or subject area.

Radio 4 discussed tutoring on You and Yours and The Guardian ran a letter from a university lecturer about what she perceived as the downsides of tutoring.  There has also been plenty of coverage of Ben Thomas’s (headmaster of Thomas’s prep school in Battersea) tirade against private tutoring. His main concern was that childhood is being swallowed up by the emphasis on tutoring to get into certain schools.

If you’d like to know more about our approach to private tutoring in Manchester and Cheshire you can call 121 Home Tutors.


What motivates us to learn?

Monday, June 3rd, 2013

At 121 Home Tutors we constantly exploring ways to engage students who have fallen out of love with learning, Our tutors are often faced with children (and adults) who have given up. Maybe they struggled with a topic for so long that learning became a chore. Maybe they struggled in the classroom because of a lack of confidence or dyslexia. Whatever the reason instead of learning being a wonderful way to discover new things and develop new skills it becomes a bore.

So why do some people love learning and enjoy it? And how can we ‘switch’ on those who have lost their way? We gathered some resources together for you to explore your own motivation.

What motivates us to learn

What motivates us to learn foreign languages

The truth about what motivates us 

The top three tips to come out of all these resources are:

–       Punishment and reward isn’t a good way to motivate learning and can often crush creativity and the desire to learn.

–       Students need an intrinsic reason to learn (something within themselves) rather than an outside motivator, that could be something as simple as being able to communicate with a  friend who lives in a foreign country.

–       All learners need to work towards being good at something (mastery) rather than setting themselves up to fail by thinking they are dumb (or smart, which can create just as many problems).

If you’d like to know more about how one to one tutoring can help with motivation then call 121 Home Tutors today. We cover Manchester and Cheshire.