For parents or carers
At TutorExtra we strive to only offer the best and most trusted services, but we're a directory. This means that, parents or carers, there are fundamental precautions to take, like asking the personal trainer or tutor whether they have an up-to-date DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service, formerly CRB) check. This isn’t a legal requirement to teach but shows good business practice and any positive accreditation will indicate the level of professionalism that they can offer. The profiles you see on our website are all adverts – we don’t perform background checks on the tutors listed – so any tuition arrangement you enter into is your responsibility. TutorExtra will not get involved in any disputes between students and tutors.
On their profile, you'll see their qualifications, but for peace of mind ask for evidence. Even ask for testimonials or up-to-date references, as personal recommendations are the best way of getting to know the person in hand.
When meeting, see how they get on with your child, since trust is key to a good tutor/student relationship. You're in control here, so make sure you're happy with the way they communicate with your child and consider the location, whether that's at home or whether it's at the tutor or trainer’s residence or place of work. It's important that the place of study is safe, comfortable, relaxed and free of distractions.
As long as you're over eighteen, you can contact tutors on our website free of charge. After using our tutor search facility, either click the "Send Message" button or click through to their own website to contact them there. You may want to ask the following questions - and remember that all communications between you and the tutor should be recordable - e.g. emails.
• How much experience does the tutor have?
• How does he/she measure students’ progress?
• Where do the lessons take place?
• Does the tutor provide online tuition?
• Can they provide a reading list?
• Can I be present, in another room?
• Which books do they recommend?
• Do they provide progress reports?
• How many hours per week are recommended?
• Do they set homework? If so, how many hours a week should my child study at home?
• Do they charge for travel?
• When does tuition normally begin for exams and what are the requirements?
While some tutors are happy with a verbal contract, we recommend a written contract, because it sets out clear boundaries and clarifies what’s to be expected. If a tutor doesn’t use a written contract, you may wish to suggest using one, in the interest of maintaining a clear and professional relationship. The terms are for you and the tutor to agree. This means that any agreement you make is with the tutor, not with TutorExtra.
Use your instincts and don’t be afraid of asking questions. If you feel inappropriate comments or body language are being displayed, then call the meeting off. It's prudent to meet during the day and in a public space. If you're visiting a tutor or trainer, ask if they are going to be alone.
There's no reason why you shouldn’t interview the tutor or trainer, as this is a big decision, and it’s important to get everything right from the outset. It also shows that you too are being serious and professional.
Try to talk on the phone before meeting for the first time. Ask the tutor pro-active questions and listen for inconsistencies in information you're being given. Trust your instincts, and don’t be afraid to call off the meeting if you're feeling worried.
For your first meeting, it’s important that you:
• Meet in daylight and in a public place, if possible.
• Don’t get picked up in a car, use your own transport.
• Take your mobile phone with you (and maybe a personal alarm).
• Tell a friend or family member where you're going and when you expect to return.
Complaints about a tutor
If you experience behaviour you think might be harming yourself or other students, contact us and we may, at our discretion, suspend or delete the offending tutor’s profile.
As a tutor, you'll be expected to be aware of all aspects of the law so, as well as having the relevant paperwork and accounts in place, there are safety concerns regarding the place of work, such as no trip hazards or dangerous pets. You also need to be aware of the new General Data Protection Regulations, as well as beinghonest about what you offer and what your achievements are. False claims are easily found out. Equally, consider who you're teaching. For example, if your student has learning difficulties, it may be prudent for you to take on additional training.
If you favour a contract, make sure you provide all terms and conditions and take out private tuition insurance to protect you in the event of being sued by a client. This should cover public liability and professional indemnity.
With so many gadgets, apps and increasing use of social media, it's so easy to release information that could be detrimental to your online security. Identity theft is on the increase, so it's well to remember how important this is. Here are the basic safety tips. They may seem like common sense, but are well worth remembering and adhering to:
• Don’t post any personal information (your address, email, mobile number, bank details) online.
• Think carefully before posting pictures or videos of yourself. If you’ve posted a picture of yourself online, people may be able to download and use it.
• Never give out your passwords.
• Keep your privacy settings as high as possible.
• Think carefully about what you're saying before you post something online.
• Don’t befriend people you don’t know.
• Be careful if you meet up with someone you’ve met online - not everyone is who they say they are.
• Respect other people’s views, even if you don’t agree with someone. Politeness and dignity always win out.
• Beware of phishing emails or any site that asks for personal details.
• Destroy the hard drives of old, defunct computer equipment.
For further information regarding safety, go to the www.nspcc.org.uk, the Stop it Now! campaign or the Suzy Lamplugh Trust – all these offer good advice on personal safety.