Tutoring can be a brilliant vehicle for social mobility not only for learners but for those looking at it as a new career. However, for tutoring to serve the majority and to be effective, we must provide a high-quality service.
I have been a tutor for the past 10 years. It is one of the most rewarding and sustainable jobs I have had. It can provide you with a stable income, the opportunity to supplement income and work flexibly. I have witnessed first-hand the benefits of one to one tutoring on student learning and academic confidence. Whilst this investment by government is needed and long overdue, for a sector the has remained largely unregulated and, with an average tutoring session costing £45 per hour, it remains a resource that cannot be accessed by most.
A pathway to tutoring in the UK will depend on the agency or organisation a tutor candidate signs up with. Apart from a DBS check, most online and agency applications require no legal minimum entry requirements, training, or qualifications. Tutors of an academic subject will tend to have a certification in that field or expected to be the level above the qualification they will be teaching or be a former or current teacher, but it is not compulsory.
For parents, schools or students searching for a qualified tutor online your experience will be different depending on the agency you choose to go with. Hourly pricing structures vary from years of service, feedback reviews, and ‘proven’ track record of results.
The need for entry level training
The demand for tutoring is creating jobs. If we are to meet demand and attract more people into the profession it needs to continue to be accessible and encourage a diverse range of backgrounds, transferrable skillsets, and experiences; increasing entry level standards is not the answer.
At Myelin Academia we believe that entry level training from a certified training partner should be the minimum requirement for tutoring and we are on a mission to ensure it becomes one.
For tutoring to be considered a credible option for remote or supplementary learning it will rely on quality tutors. For those institutions identified as having the greatest potential supply of tutors including universities, tutoring agencies, schools they should focus on growing their own highly trained tutors in a ‘train the trainer’ model, who they can rely on to get the job done, to a high standard without impacting the core learning relationship they hold with them.
Tutoring should therefore be a solid partnership between the tutor, the learner, the service provider, and a training provider.
What are the entry level skills needed to be a tutor?
Good tutors do not rely on academic qualifications or educational backgrounds. Whilst on the job experience is helpful there are several key transferrable skills that mean anyone no matter what their ability can become a tutor.
As a basic requirement tutors should be given training to develop the below fundamental skills before embarking on any official tutor engagement:
- Ability to identify and spot barriers to learning
- Introduction to safeguarding
- An understanding of memory and information retention
- Critical thinking and problem solving
- Ability to deploy effective feedback processes (managerial skills)
- Educational theory
- Conflict Resolution
- Resilience for independent support systems
Leona Potter, Founder of Myelin Academia
A professional development training partner for tutors and their service providers, Myelin Academia is the only provider of courses certified and endorsed by training body Training Qualifications UK.