Tips on choosing a tutor

Word of mouth recommendations from friends and family or through a tutoring agency are generally how parents find a tutor.

You should look for a qualified teacher with experience of teaching children the same age as your child. Recommendation has its attractions, but what suits your friend’s child may not suit yours.

Checking the suitability of a tutor

If the tutor has recently been employed as a teacher working with children and young people, you should ask to see their most recent Disclosure and Barring Service certificate (DBS formerly known as CRB).

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.  Doors should be open, so you have access to the teaching area and can observe and hear activity.

Only accept arrangements which you are comfortable with. If your child is going to the tutor’s home for lessons, you need to be happy it’s suitable. A tutor should not object to this and you are not being unreasonable to expect this.   

Most tutors are more than happy to answer as many questions as you want. You may want to ask:

  • if they set homework, are you supposed to help
  • do they charge for missed lessons? 
  • can your child meet before you make a decision? Observing their interaction may help inform your decision
  • do they have any references from other parents/children?

If you approach an online agency, ask lots of questions, the same as you would if you were interviewing the tutor yourself.  The agency should have information on their website or be able to talk you through the checks and interviews that have taken place with the agency.

What if I have concerns about a tutor?

If your child tells you of inappropriate behaviour, as the employer, you have the right to end the agreement at any time and should do so if you are unhappy about the way that the tutor behaves with your child.

In addition, you should alert the police if the tutor has:

  • Behaved in a way that has harmed or could have harmed your child
  • Behaved towards your child in a way that that indicates that they are unsuitable to work with children
  • Committed a criminal offence against your child.

The London Borough of Hounslow do not hold a list of 'approved tutors or tutor agencies’. Links to external websites are provided purely for your convenience.