Tips & Advice - Staying Safe
At TutorExtra we strive to offer only the best and most trusted services. We are commited to keeping our members and users safe.
IMPORTANT: It is important to understand that we do not perform checks on the service providers that are registered with us.
Therefore, due to the potential safeguarding risks we recommend that all parents, students or clients that are seeking a service provider, to make all necessary checks before visiting a provider or inviting them into your home.
We also recommend service providers to be cautious about visiting clients in their homes or inviting strangers to visit them until all necessary checks have been completed.
TutorExtra is a directory, so for parents or carers there are fundamental precautions to take like asking the service provider whether they have an up-to-date DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service, formerly CRB) check. This isn’t a legal requirement for one to one instruction but it shows good business practice and any positive accreditation will indicate the level of professionalism that they can offer. Note that where a DBS check is marked next to their TutorExtra profile, this uploaded at the time of the service provider registering with us. This should be requested when employing their services and checked to confirm it is valid and up-to-date.
All of the profiles you see on our website are all adverts – we don’t perform checks on the service providers listed – so any arrangement you enter into for lessons is your responsibility. TutorExtra will not get involved in any disputes between students and tutors.
On their profile, you will see their experience, and qualifications, however for peace of mind, do ask for evidence and even ask for testimonials, or up to date references. Personal recommendations are one of the best ways of getting to know the person in hand.
When meeting, see how they get on with you or your child. Trust is key to a good provider/client relationship. You are in control here so make sure you are happy with the way they communicate to you or your child and consider the location for sessions. Whether at home, at the service provider's residence or their place of work - it is important that the place of study is safe, comfortable, relaxed and free of distractions.
You can contact service providers on our website (if you’re over 18) using the messaging system provided. After using our provider search facility, either click on the ‘Send Message’ button or for upgraded members, you can view their direct contact details listed within their profile. If they have a website you can review their services and contact them there. You may want to ask the following questions and remember, all communications should be recordable, like emails, between you and the service provider.
• How much experience does the tutor or service provider have?
• How does he/she measure students’/clients' progress?
• Where do the sessions take place?
• Does the tutor or service provider offer online tuition?
• Can they provide a reading list?
• Can I be present, or 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 or service provider 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 service provider to agree. This means that any agreement you make is with the provider, not with TutorExtra.
Use your instincts and don’t be afraid of asking questions. If you feel inappropriate comments or body language is being displayed, then call the meeting off. It is prudent to meet during the day and in a public space. If you are visiting a provider, ask if they are going to be alone.
There is no reason why you shouldn’t interview the service provider, and they usually welcome this. It is a big decision and it’s important to get everything right from the outset. It also shows that you are being serious and professional too.
Try to talk on the phone before meeting for the first time. Ask the service provider pro-active questions and listen for inconsistencies in information you are being told. Trust your instincts, and don’t be afraid to call off the meeting if you are feeling worried.
• 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 are going, and when you expect to return.
If you experience behaviour that you think might be harming yourself or other users of the site, contact us and we may, at our discretion, suspend or delete the offending servie provider’s profile.
As a service provider, you will 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 (no trip hazards or dangerous pets) but also an awareness of the new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).
Also, be honest about what you offer and what your achievements are. False claims are easily found out. Equally, consider who you are teaching or working with – for example, if your client 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 for tutors take out private tuition insurance for protecting 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 is so easy to release information that could be detrimental to your online security, and with identity theft on the increase, it is well to remember how important this is. Here are the basic safety tips. They may seem like common sense but 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 it, and use it
• Never give out your passwords
• Keep your privacy settings as high as possible
• Think carefully about what you say 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 online
• 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.