Make sure your Tutor is professionally qualified!
A couple of years ago when I decided to go back to work I started the daunting task of looking for a friendly, reliable childminder who could fit around my slightly lopsided working hours and most importantly make my two girls feel happy and secure when they were picked up from school everyday. This is such an important job and so it is crucial that you get it right for the sake of your children and your own sanity!
My first port of call was the Northern Ireland Childminding Association as I wanted a registered and fully qualified childminder who had gone through all the necessary checks and was providing a quality service. Once I had found a few childminders I thought looked promising I visited them in their homes and phoned their references to get a full picture of the what others thought about the care my children would be receiving. Luckily for me I found an a lovely lady who has been looking after my kids for 4 years and who I couldn’t be happier with.
Unregulated Tuition and Unqualified Teachers
We all want the best for our children and so it seems to me that parents would want to have the same level of confidence and reassurance when choosing a tutor for their child. Kip McGrath Lisburn was recently interviewed by the BBC in a piece about Transfer Test Tuition in Northern Ireland and we were amazed to find that anyone can offer their services as a tutor. Websites such as Gumtree list many people offering their services who have no teaching qualifications at all. Not only that, they are providing a black market service which is unregulated – no tax is being paid, they often have no qualifications and therefore no idea how to plan lessons and conduct appropriate assessments and this also means they have not been vetted using a police check! There are also other tuition centres out there who do not require their tutors to be qualified teachers! Look out for the word “Instructor” used in place of “qualified teachers”. Unfortunately the tuition industry is unregulated so parents have to make sure they ask the right questions to ensure they get the service they want.
So how can you make the right choice when choosing a tutor for your child?
Here is a check list to help you make the right decision.
- Is this person a qualified teacher? Make sure you ask to see the certificates that prove the tutor is fully qualified.
- Is the person a member of the General Teaching Council of Northern Ireland? Ask to see their certificate of registration as this is also proof that they have been properly police checked.
- Can they conduct an assessment to allow them to gauge exactly where your child’s strengths and weaknesses lie? This is essential to ensure that the tuition is targeted at the correct level to enable the tutor to bring your child up to a level that is appropriate in their class or for a test. All children are different and come to tuition with different levels of ability and therefore the starting point is never the same.
- What feedback will the tutor provide me? One of the benefits of having your child tutored should be that unlike school you receive detailed feedback after each lesson. This allows you to discuss their progress and any areas that your child is struggling in.
- What resources will the tutor be providing? Make sure the resources that are being used are up to date and appropriate for the curriculum that your child is following. Will the tutor be able to cater for the specific learning needs of your child – a wide range of resources should be available including professionally designed worksheets, modern textbooks, computer software and multi sensory learning aids. If you are having your child tutored for a test ask about the types of past papers being used and the other materials used to reinforce this.
- Where will the tuition take place? Will the tuition take place in your house/their house – in which case you will have to make sure that the area chosen is quiet and without distractions. Or will the tuition be provided in a professionally equipped tuition centre?
- Is the tutor paying their taxes? Ask no questions and I’ll tell you no lies is not always the best policy! It is easy to turn a blind eye and say this doesn’t matter, however please bear in mind that tax is paid by you and I so that money is available to spend on public services used by everyone and that this year the government is having a crack down on tutors that do not pay their taxes.
At the Kip McGrath Education Centre in Lisburn we provide parents with peace of mind. Our tutors are:
- Fully qualified and registered with the General Teaching Council of Northern Ireland.
- We provide a FREE assessment that enables us to identify any strengths and weaknesses and develop a programme of study designed to target these areas and bring your child up to a level that allows them to be comfortable in their class or to achieve their academic goals. Assessment is ongoing and embedded in every single lesson.
- We provide detailed feedback after each lesson.
- Our centre is professionally equipped with a wide range of resources including professionally designed worksheets, modern textbooks, computer software, multi sensory learning aids, a wide range of past papers and appropriate stationary.
- Tuition is provided in a professionally equipped centre where every care has been taken to create an atmosphere conducive to learning.
- We are professional tutors and that means that as well as being fully qualified, highly experienced and well equipped, we also pay our taxes.
- We are delighted to have won the ni4kids Coach/Tutor of the Year 2012 award. This was voted for by parents whose children attend our centre who believe that the tuition we provide is of the highest quality. Read our testimonials.
If you want to find out more about the quality service we provide please give us a call on 92675071 to book a free assessment. This will also allow you to have a look around our centre.