Are you thinking of hiring a private tutor for your child?

It is becoming more common for parents to hire private tutors to help their children achieve more, both in and out of school.

While the vast majority of private tutors are reputable, if you do hire a tutor for your child you still need to exercise caution.

The Tutor Pages website has some advice on keeping your child safe – and here’s a summary.

Consider hiring a tutor who has an up-to-date DBS check. The Disclosure & Barring Service perform a check on anyone before they work in schools or other organisations to make sure there is no known reason they may not work with children.

Ask to see the tutor’s DBS certificate and check that it is recent.

The tutor should also be able to show you their qualifications and accreditations. You should ask the tutor for two referees, and follow them up with a phone call. You can also ask for the contact details of current or former parents of pupils.

Make sure you ask the tutor pro-active questions before starting lessons. For example:

How much experience do they have?
How do they measure their students’ progress?
How many hours a week will be necessary?

Listen for inconsistencies in information and observe the tutor’s body language. Trust your instincts, and don’t be afraid of calling off the lessons if you or your child feels uncomfortable.

Before lessons begin, it is very important to agree on a safe study space. Discuss with the tutor where you want the lessons to take place and who will be present.

You may wish to be in the same room yourself, or to leave the door open and enter the room at random. The child’s bedroom is not a suitable private tuition space.

Once you have decided on a tutor, you should ask for a written contract between yourself and them. This not only sets out clear boundaries but also raises expectations all round.

You should also make it clear that all communications about booking lessons should be done through you and not your child.

Private tuition can be a highly successful and personalised way of learning. For further advice and to find a tutor near you, visit The Tutor Pages at http://www.thetutorpages.com

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