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How To Assess A Tutor For Your Child

11/06/2024 / Online Tutoring

In today’s fast-paced and highly competitive educational landscape, many parents in the UK are turning to private tutors to provide their children with an academic edge.

Whether it’s to help with challenging subjects, prepare for exams, or boost confidence, finding the right tutor can make a significant difference in a child’s educational journey.

However, with so many options available, it can be daunting to choose the right one.

As an award-winning private tuition provider here at Principal Tutors, our guide will help you assess a tutor for your child, ensuring you make an informed and beneficial choice.

First, let’s get the mini answer before we head into the details.

To assess a tutor for your child, verify their qualifications and experience, check references, observe a trial session, and evaluate their teaching style. Ensure they offer personalised learning plans, communicate well, set measurable goals, and connect positively with your child.

So with the takeaway in place, so you can learn more about how to assess a tutor for your child, let’s find out more about where to start.

1. Understanding Your Child’s Needs

Before you start your search, it’s crucial to identify the specific needs of your child.

Are they struggling with a particular subject like Mathematics or English? Do they need help with exam preparation for GCSEs or A-Levels?

Or perhaps they require support with study skills and organisation? Understanding these needs will help narrow down your search and ensure you find a tutor who specialises in the required area.

According to the Department for Education, personalised learning that addresses individual needs can significantly enhance your child’s experience and outcome. So it stands to reason that having a very clear understanding of what your child needs is the first crucial step in finding the right tutor.

2. Qualifications and Experience

As you would imagine, one of the most critical factors in assessing a tutor is their qualifications and experience.

Ideally, a tutor should have a relevant academic background and experience in teaching or tutoring the subject in question.

For instance, a GCSE mathematics tutor should have at least an undergraduate degree in mathematics or a related field.

Teaching experience is also of course, invaluable. The best online tutors will have spent time teaching in the classroom and are likely to have developed effective teaching strategies and understand the curriculum requirements.

3. Teaching Style and Approach

Every child has a unique learning style, and it’s important to find a tutor whose teaching approach aligns with your child’s needs.

Some children thrive in a structured environment with clear goals and regular assessments, while others may benefit from a more flexible, discussion-based approach.

During the initial session, observe how the tutor interacts with your child. Do they explain concepts clearly? Are they patient and encouraging? Do they adapt their teaching methods based on your child’s responses?

According to educational psychologist Dr Tanya Byron, a tutor’s ability to build a positive rapport and adapt to a child’s learning style is crucial for creating the most productive learning environment for your child.

4. References and Reviews

Word of mouth and recommendations can be incredibly helpful when assessing a potential tutor.

Online reviews and testimonials can also provide insights into the tutor’s effectiveness and reliability.

5. First Sessions

The first online tuition session can be an excellent opportunity for you to assess the tutor’s compatibility with your child.

During this session, pay attention to the tutor’s punctuality, preparedness, and ability to engage your child. It’s also an opportunity for your child to express their comfort level with the tutor.

According to a recent study by the Sutton Trust, student engagement and comfort are key indicators of tutoring effectiveness.

6. Cost and Value for Money

Tutoring can be a significant investment, so it’s important to consider the cost and ensure you are getting value for your money.

Tutors in the UK can charge anywhere from around £30 to £60 per hour, depending on their qualifications and experience.

While it might be tempting to choose the cheapest option, remember that higher rates often reflect greater experience, qualifications and expertise. Principal Tutors have a policy of only working with qualified teachers for their tutors, which ensures your child is being tutored by an expert in the curriculum as well as the subject matter and they know how to effectively engage a pupil.

Discuss payment terms and any additional costs upfront to avoid any surprises later.

7. Location and Convenience

Consider the logistics of where and how tutoring sessions will take place.

Whilst you may be tempted to consider in-person tutoring, it requires travel time and hence expenses. Moreover, the most effective tutor for your child is unlikely to live within a 20 minute drive of your home, so you are potentially missing out on a huge pool of talent unless tuition is conducted online.

For this reason, online tutoring has become increasingly popular and offers greater flexibility.

Make sure that whatever option you choose fits comfortably within your family’s schedule and routine.

8. Monitoring Progress

Once you’ve chosen a tutor, it’s important to make your sure you check your child’s progress regularly.

Set clear goals and expectations from the beginning and ask the tutor for regular feedback. Regular assessments and progress reports will make sure that your child is benefiting from the tutoring sessions.

Ask your child about their tutoring experience. Are they finding the sessions helpful? Do they feel more confident in the subject?

According to the National Foundation for Educational Research, parental involvement and feedback are some of the most critical components of the most successful tutoring program for your child.

9. Professionalism and Reliability

Professionalism and reliability are, of course, essential qualities in a tutor.

They should be punctual, well-prepared for sessions, and maintain clear and open communication with both you and your child.

Establishing ground rules and expectations regarding cancellations, homework, and communication can help create a smooth and productive tutoring experience for your child.

10. Ensuring Safety

According to the NSPCC, parents should always verify a tutor’s background, including conducting DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) checks to ensure they are safe to work with children.

The most reputable tutoring agencies in the UK and beyond will always conduct these checks, and more, on their tutors, which helps to provide an additional layer of security.

How To Assess A Tutor For Your Child – Final Thoughts…

So as we’ve discovered today in our latest blog, Choosing the right tutor for your child can significantly impact their academic success and confidence.

By carefully assessing your child’s needs, evaluating the tutor’s qualifications and experience, considering their teaching style, and ensuring professionalism and safety, you can make an informed decision that will benefit your child’s education and give them a crucial head start.

Remember, the relationship between your child and their tutor is one of the most important aspects of assessing a tutor for your child.

Open communication and regular feedback will help ensure that the tutoring sessions are productive and that your child is progressing well.

Investing the time to find the right tutor will pay off in the long run, providing your child with the support they need to excel academically.

Discover more in our helpful resources below or get in touch to request a tutor for your child.

Parents’ Ultimate Guide to Tuition

5 Questions to Ask When Hiring A KS2 English Tutor

The Qualities of a Great Tutor


We are so happy with our 11+ tutor, she is always very professional and approachable, and she is helping my son to gain in confidence for his grammar school entrance exams next term.


Very happy with the Tutor who is working with my daughter for the 11+. He always replies to emails promptly, engages my daughter during the online lesson, and she's enjoying the work. Thank you.


We were recommended a tutor for our needs very quickly and were able to start immediately. My daughter is getting tutoring for her 11+ exam and according to her, the tutor is amazing. There is a long way until the exam but she managed to bust my daughter's confidence in Maths. Thank you!


Thank you for recommending such an amazing physics tutor for my son. We are now confident he will achieve the graded he needs to get into the uni of his choice, which is all down to the support we received from Principal Tutors and our wonderful tutor.