Have you sometimes wished you'd taken up teaching? Well, maybe this is the perfect time to make that come true. Perhaps your job has disappeared in the lockdown, or maybe the future of your sector isn't as secure as you'd like. You could train, of course, to work in a school or a college, but that's a long process. Alternatively, you could set up straight away as a self-employed teacher.
Reasons for Becoming a Self-Employed Teacher
There have never been as many great reasons for becoming a self-employed teacher. The disruption to children's education during the pandemic means that record numbers of parents are turning to private tutors to help their children catch up. And the Government last year announced a National Tutoring Programme, to ensure that disadvantaged children could also have access to this resource. This means, of course, that tutors will be in high demand during this year and beyond. At the same time, most lessons are being given online, meaning you can offer your services to students anywhere in the country.
Do I Need Qualifications to Become a Self-Employed Teacher?
If you're aiming to teach in a school or college, you'll need to be fully qualified, but this doesn't apply to a private tutor. In a strict legal sense, anyone can set up as a tutor — but that doesn't mean you don't need to know your subject. Parents looking for a tutor for their children (or adults looking for a tutor to continue their education) will want evidence that your knowledge is sufficient. In practice, you should have qualifications at least at the level you're teaching. For example, if you're going to be teaching GCSE, you should at least be studying for A Level in the relevant subject.
What Do I Need to Become a Self-Employed Teacher?
If you intend to work with children, even remotely, it would be a good idea to be DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) checked. This isn't a legal requirement, but parents may be looking for it, and you're likely to get more work with a certificate. As a self-employed teacher, you'll be responsible for reporting your income to HMRC and paying any taxes and National Insurance contributions due. You'll need to register as self employed and fill in a tax return annually — even if you also have a full-time employment. You'd also be advised to take out private tuition insurance, to protect yourself against a client suing you, among other risks. While this may seem less important if you're teaching remotely, there are still manyhazards you need to protect yourself against.
How Much Money Can I Make and Where Do I Find Students?
The amount you can charge for a lesson depends on the subject you're teaching and your level of experience. It can also vary according to where you are (you can generally charge more in London, for instance) though this may be less significant if you're teaching online. Broadly, though, you're likely to be able to charge between £18 and £30 for a lesson. If you're teaching a subject with fewer tutors available, you can probably charge more — for instance, Russian lessons tend to be more expensive than Spanish lessons. So where do you find your students? There are places to advertise, from shop windows to online platforms, but these tend to be random approaches. Alternatively, you could register with TutorExtra and gain access to large numbers of parents and students looking for a self-employed teacher.