what to look for in a tutor

8 Key Criteria to look for in a good tutor

So, you’ve got through the first week back at school, Well done! You are probably now thinking about the next steps for your children’s education. We understand that you only want the very best for your little ones and know how hard it can be to choose the right tutor. There is, however, a certain expectation that a GCSE student from a local school or a top-grade student in their first year of university will make great tutors, this is not always the case. Whilst they may have good subject knowledge, they lack experience and skills in other areas.

There are 8 key criteria that we recommend when looking for the right tutor for your child.

1. Experience and Qualifications

Whilst tutors in England do not need any specific qualifications, at Learn Happy London we insist that they have GCSEs in English, Maths and Science and a degree in their chosen subject. 

Tutors should have experience working with children, or the age group they choose to tutor, in a school setting, youth club, or as part of after school activities. You want the tutor to build a rapport with your children, understand their personality, learning needs and nuances. If you choose a tutor who has never worked with children, they may have difficulty in building a good learning relationship with your child and they may feel overwhelmed by the situation. Ultimately, the more experienced and qualified a tutor is the more expensive they are.

2. Empathy and Passion

School and the classroom environment can be quite overwhelming for many children, which is why it is so important to be able to see things through their eyes. A good tutor will have a genuine interest in other peoples’ perspectives. They will understand what you and your child are going through and how you both feel. They should be as invested in your child’s future as much as you are.

3. Subject Knowledge

In order to teach effectively, tutors must know their subject well, hence why we ask them to be degree qualified. Tutors should have a thorough understanding of their subject and be able to explain and answer any questions you or your child may have. They should be familiar with the National Curriculum and Syllabuses taught in schools.

4. Enhanced DBS Check

Whilst it is not compulsory for Tutors to have an enhanced DBS check, at Learn Happy London we insist on it. This is to ensure your safety and that of the tutor.

5. Budget

Tutoring is a long-term commitment. A tutor is prepared to tutor for at least 1 academic year or until your child’s exams. Therefore, if you have a budget in mind, try not to stray over it too much but remain a little flexible. Remember to factor in travel costs and time in your budget, whether you are travelling to the tutor or the tutor travels to you.

6. Value

Value the time your child spends with a tutor. When doing your research, you will find that tutor prices range from as little as £10 to over £100 per hour. The fee is indicative of experience and qualifications. The more experienced a tutor is, the more expensive their hourly rate. It is therefore worth considering whether 10 hours tutoring with a very expensive tutor compared to 20 hours tutoring with an inexpensive tutor is better value for the same cost.

7. Where?

Find a tutor that is close to you in order to minimise travel for yourself and the tutor. Decide whether you will travel to the tutor or if tuition will take place in your own home. Consider the possibility of online tuition, which since COVID 19, has increased hugely. This is often a cheaper option since travel is not required, and children can do lessons in the comfort of their own home.

8. Growth Mindset

At Learn Happy London, we believe in a growth mindset. Teaching children to be resilient, to let them know that it is ok to make mistakes, to help them learn how to deal with challenges and setbacks and know that it is ok that they don’t know how to do something – they simply haven’t learnt it ‘Yet’.

What to expect from the First Lesson

The first lesson is an opportunity for the child and tutor to meet and get to know one another. At Learn Happy London, we don’t do much teaching in the first lesson. We spend the time finding out about your child, his or her personality, nuances and academic ability. We run informal assessments, which are then marked, and feedback is then given with strengths and areas for development. Teaching generally begins in the second session.

Building a rapport with your children takes time, one lesson is often not enough to get a true picture of a child’s learning style, needs and requirements. Therefore, we always recommend a minimum of at least 1 month tutoring.

Private tuition relies on so much more than academic achievement alone. A good tutor will have a natural ability to mentor, generate trust and in many ways become a role model for your child.


We look forward to working with you and your children. Please don’t hesitate to ask any questions. You can find more information about Private Tutoring and Learn Happy London on the website, along with reviews. https://learnhappylondon.co.uk

We are also on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/learn.happy.london and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/learnhappylondon.

You can also join our Facebook group Let’s Talk Education to get support, advice and more.

Please call on 07540893384 to discuss your requirements. Alternatively you can email us.

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