There are so many options to consider when choosing the right private tutor. Sometimes though it will come down to trying various tutors out and seeing which one works best with you. Outlined here are the characteristics you should look for and the steps you should then take to ensure you’ve chosen the right person.

Choosing the sex

If you’re choosing a private tutor for your child, be aware that with all the best intentions you and your tutor may have, children can take an instant unwarranted dislike to new adults in their home. Your child may relate better to male teachers than female teachers or vice versa. Discuss the choice of sex with your child – they may not want a “smelly, girly tutor”! We encourage our clients to try our tutors out, if they don’t work out with the children there’s usually another tutor available to take over. Don’t give up too soon on a tutor because your child takes a dislike to them. Your child may just have been having a bad day.

Experience and Qualifications

Depending on the level of private tutoring you are looking for you will obviously have different experience and qualifications requirements. Qualification checks are the one way you can be sure that your private tutor knows what they’re talking about. For primary school all you really need to look for is someone with either a teaching degree or a university student (undergraduate) that has a great rapport with children. Conducting a phone interview with your tutor will give you a good sense of the rapport they will have with kids – especially if they have children of their own. Sites like have feedback for their tutors so look for something like this if you are going through an agency.

Experience is more important with younger people as experienced tutors will have devised ways of keeping focus and motivating your child covertly! A friend of mine rewards her children with biscuits which makes them extremely attentive and willing to listen!You will pay extra for very experience tutors so factor this in when making a decision. Like the best private schools, the best private teachers can cost the most.

When/ Where?

Obviously a tutor that lives nearby is ideal. Tutors may well charge you extra for travel expenses. A tutor living nearby is much more likely to be on time. When you first speak to your tutor make sure their availability matches your own/ your child’s. A packed schedule can easily mess people about and throw bookings into disarray. Ensure that the scheduling of your childs private lessons doesn’t clash with their sports or with their allotted playtime. The lessons should also be timed well before bed-time – trying to tutor a tired child is a nightmare!


The most compelling motivator to selecting a private tutor is a positive referral. If you can find a tutor that has great feedback from others, especially from your own social group then you’re on to a winner! If you know someone that is using a private tutor, ask them if you can sit in on the lesson and watch it. The tutor may be uncomfortable with this so be sure to check with them first. First-hand experience is the best way of choosing a tutor that’s right for you.

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