In my previous blog I highlighted the question “Is your child’s tutor qualified to teach?”

The feedback I received came in two broad categories; those that had made the assumption that every tutor was a qualified teacher, and those that posed the question “why is it important ?”

I highlighted that a qualified teacher has had two important criteria that a non qualified teacher can never have: professional training in how to educate children and constant appraisal by fellow professionals.

A tutor who commands a fee from parents cannot provide this level of professional skill, professional training and professional experience, yet they charge a fee commensurate with professional people.

How can they do that? Quite simply they don’t make it clear to their customers that they don’t have any teaching qualifications, they blur the issue of professional skill, here is a quote from a tuition company on their website “We only recruit the best staff to work in our centres, then we give them superb training” My view is simple, the best staff suited to teaching children are teachers, teachers who are qualified in educating your child and have received four years training.

Here is another quote, “All of our tutors are trained in the curriculum”, I went to University with primary school teachers who will be horrified that their four years of professional training in the curriculum can be learnt in a couple of weeks by a non specialist. Again, someone with minimal training in the National Curriculum, let alone a single day employed in a school delivering this to your children, is charging a fee commensurate with a professionally trained and certified educator.

I finished my postgraduate degree in Education in 1992. Since the day after graduation I have been employed in one capacity, to educate children. I have over the years been employed as an Assistant Head of Department, a Head of Department, an Assistant Head of House and a Head of House, this is coming up to my 20th year in Education, that’s a huge amount of professional experience, one that allows me to make constant decisions on how best to teach your children.

One parent recently admitted that her secondary school daughter was “challenging”; I had an easy answer, she couldn’t do, or say anything that I hadn’t come across previously! The first few lessons had gone well and mum thought I was a miracle worker. Sadly I can’t produce miracles, but I am experienced in teaching pupils; hard working pupils; lazy pupils; engaging pupils; disengaging pupils; model pupils and some flat out strange pupils! In a career spanning 20 years and over 350,000 pupil lessons that’s a lot of hands on professional experience. My local competitor, charging a similar hourly fee, can claim “a keen interest in education fulfilling two placements in secondary schools” I had one of our pupils complete work experience with us recently, but none of our parents would be happy if I allowed her to teach their children.

There is an old derogatory saying about teachers: Those who can, do. Those that can’t do, teach. It’s derogatory as it assumes that a maths teacher ends up teaching maths as they failed in a career in accountancy. The maths teacher teaches maths for one of two reasons, either they have a passion for teaching maths, or passion for teaching children.

If a “tutor” had a real passion for teaching they would have qualified as a teacher.

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