School Guide's top five tips for choosing a tutor


So you’ve read our To tutor or not to tutor that is the 11+ question blog and decided to take the plunge. 

What's next? Good tutors are in demand. In some highly competitive 11 + areas parents report that the top tutors interview YOU. 

So, just like great comedy, the secret of finding the best tutor for your child is timing. Start early in assessing local options including agencies and factor in time to persuade your child of the benefits of the extra work before your ideal start date. Booking via an agency can be a very good way to access in-demand tutors. 

How to find the best tutor for your child

  1. Your child's teacher will be a good starting point if you are considering tutoring. Does your child stand a good chance of passing the test you want to tutor them for? Are there any additional free resources available at school that you could try in advance of tutoring? Booking an initial assessment with a tutor will also help you decide. An experienced tutor will always be able to advise whether your child stands a strong chance of progressing to the specified goal.
  2. Don’t think that hiring a tutor, online or locally, is 'job done'. Tutors give homework – sometimes as many as four or five pieces a week on top of your child’s usual homework from school – so it is more than an hour-a-week commitment.
  3. Get references and recommendations. A tutor may look good on paper but a great learning relationship will be as important as the information you want your child to learn. It's also very important that tutors are registered with the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and you carry out a DBS check. You can do this quickly and easily at DBS Online.  
  4. The 11-plus system can vary across the country and you need to ensure you have the right tutor and materials for the schools in your area. 
  5. If you are looking beyond the 11-plus to tutoring for GSCE or A-levels, the same rules apply, and if you are struggling to get advice and recommendations from families locally, use our friendly School Guide Forum to put questions to experienced parents. Truth is, you probably can’t do too much homework when you are looking at one of the most important periods of your child’s educational life.