Parents may consider employing a private tutor for a variety of reasons. They might wish, for example, to assist their child with school work, to help them with a particular subject or skill, to help them improve their exam grades, to help them learn a musical instrument or to study religious texts and ideas.
This leaflet is intended to assist parents in selecting an appropriately trained and verified professional to work with their child as a private tutor.
Does the Local Authority or Cambridge Education hold a list of approved tutors?
No. Home tutors are employed to make provision for children who are unable to attend school for long periods and for whom alternative arrangements are necessary. Neither the Local Authority nor Cambridge Education approves tutors and the names of tutors employed by these organisations cannot be made available to the public.
Many private tutors advertise in local newspapers or on the Internet, or register with agencies or with tutoring websites. You will need to be satisfied that the tutor you recruit is qualified to tutor the subjects required and is safe to work with children, even if the tutor is registered with an agency or on a tutoring website.
Your child’s school may have details or knowledge of tutors who work in the local area and might be able to provide names and contact details. However your child’s school is not able to endorse tutors or check their suitability and you should always follow the steps described below when selecting a tutor. Some teachers at your child’s school might offer private tuition outside of school – you will need to check with the school.
Always interview candidates, ask to see their career Curriculum Vitae (CV) and certificates evidencing their qualifications. If there are any gaps in the tutor’s CV ask for the reasons and seek evidence of any explanations provided. You should also obtain and check professional references by contacting and speaking with the referees – never accept open references or testimonials. If there are any career gaps ask for the reasons and seek evidence of any explanations provided. If the tutor is currently, or has recently been, employed in a school, contact the head teacher to request a reference. If the tutor is, or has recently been, employed as a teacher or in another post working with children and young people they will have been required to obtain a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and you should ask to see their most recent DBS certificate. It is also helpful for the tutor and your child to meet before you make a decision. Observing their interaction may help inform your decision.
Tuition is best undertaken in a quiet place, which is well organised and suitable for study away from any distractions such as TV.
A bedroom is never appropriate. You or another trusted adult should always remain on the premises.
It is important that you have access to the teaching area and can observe and hear activity at any time you wish. Intervening doors should be kept open. Any tutor who is aware of current expectations of professional staff should have no objection and is likely to offer such an arrangement. You should not feel that you are acting unreasonably to expect this and should not accept inferior arrangements.
If your child tells you of inappropriate or abusive behaviour please listen and assure them that it is not their fault.
As the employer, you have the right to terminate the employment at any time the tutor and should do so if you are unhappy about the way that the tutor behaves with your child.
In addition, you should contact the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) if the tutor has behaved in a way that has harmed or could have harmed your child or other children, has behaved towards your child or other children in a way that that indicates that they are unsuitable to work with children, or has possibly committed a criminal offence against your child or another child.
The LADO will discuss your concerns with you and decide if further action needs to be taken.
The LADO can be contacted during office hours on 01753 690904. Outside of office hours please phone 01344 786543. In an emergency always contact the Police (999).