Is tutoring too cheap?

The national recommended rate for one-to-one tuition is £30 per hour. This is what I charge to everybody. But is this too cheap?

cropped-hat-image.jpgA few quick searches on the internet reveal the following average figures for what other professionals charge for their services per hour. Here are a few of them:

Solicitor £100
Car mechanic £74
Chiropractor £65
Counsellor £50
Plumber £45
Personal trainer £35
One-to-one tutor £30
Driving instructor £25
Gardener £20
Cleaner £10

I will leave it to you to put a value on education from an experienced, qualified professional. Is tuition for your children more or less valuable than the other services on this list?

As a general point, I would argue that education professionals are greatly undervalued in our society (not in some other countries though, I may note). Teachers work long hours and are generally poorly rewarded. Most have been to university for three, four or five years and have then started in the profession at the bottom and had to work their way up.

I respect everyone on this list and can hardly blame them for trying to make as much money as possible. But what price education?

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Never too late to learn!

writingIt is never too late to learn! I am launching a new service aimed at adults who might be available for tuition during the daytime.

Have you always wanted to complete a GCSE in English Language or Literature? Have you experienced problems in basic Mathematics and would like to re-visit the subject now you are a bit more mature? Or were you disappointed with your first grade, and would like to try to improve it?

Do you lack confidence in basic Mathematics, or have always struggled with basic English?

I am offering daytime tuition to adults in English or Mathematics. You might want to work towards a qualification. You might want to do it just for fun. I already teach children at primary and secondary level in the evenings – now I am looking to offer the same service to grown-ups during the day. There is no age limit! Anyone who is keen to learn is welcome to come along.

I can design a course specific to your needs. For instance, if you wanted to improve your written English, I could plan a series of sessions looking at spelling, punctuation and grammar. We could work on descriptive or persuasive writing.

mathsIf you were interested in analysing poetry, we could look at part of the GCSE English Literature programme and work through some fantastic poems, and how to answer exam-level questions. You might want to do this just for your own interest, or to work towards a qualification. Here are a few possible ideas:

Working towards GCSE Mathematics
Working towards GCSE English Language and/or Literature
Basic Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar for adults
Basic Mathematics for adults
Relationships poetry (part of the GCSE course)
Conflict poetry (part of the GCSE course)
Music theory (up to Grade Five)

The above would be taught on a one-to-one basis, but could also be taught if you had a small group (please enquire about details).

What does it cost?

My basic fee for one-to-one tuition is £30 per hour. If you would prefer a 45-minute intensive lesson, that would be £22.50. Usually, I offer lessons once a week, though some people prefer fortnightly. (These are the standard national charges for tuition by graduates). Group lessons would be open to negotiation.

Please contact me on 07753 357251 or email me for further information.

Try this GCSE Mathematics question

Pupils sit GCSE maths examCan you answer this GCSE Mathematics question?

Send me your answer on the form below and I will tell you if you got it right!

In August 2008, Eddie hired a car in Italy. The cost of hiring the car was £620. The exchange rate was £1 = 1.25 Euros.

(a) Work out the cost of hiring the car in Euros.

(b) Eddie bought perfume in Italy. The cost of the perfume in Italy was 50 Euros. The cost of the perfume in London was £42. The exchange rate was still £1 = 1.25 Euros. Work out the difference between the cost of the perfume in Italy and the cost of the perfume in London. Give your answer in pounds (£).

(Question taken from June 2010 paper. A calculator is allowed)

By the way, this was one of the easier questions, being number 3 on the paper.

GCSE Mathematics: How I can help

Pupils sit GCSE maths examIf you are looking to improve your Mathematics grade, or lacking confidence facing your GCSE course or exam, then I might be able to help.

Currently, I am tutoring several GCSE students at various stages of their courses, from Year 9 to Year 11. My initial approach is to work through past papers and find areas in which they are struggling or need extra help. I would then design sessions which focus on these needs, hopefully leaving them better placed to do well when they next face such questions.

Tutoring is likely to be of most effect by tackling problems as early as possible. So, even in Year 7 or 8, support can be helpful in addressing misunderstandings and addressing areas where a student might be confused. However, some students are just looking for an extra boost in Year 11, often before, or shortly after, their mock examinations. Often there are particular topics – such as algebra – for which they need extra one-to-one tuition and I am happy to help.

When I was at Lawrence Sheriff Grammar School, (many years ago now!) and studying Mathematics A-level, I know that some extra one-to-one sessions made a huge difference to my confidence. It is amazing how much can be achieved in a one-to-one tuition lesson.

If you would like to discuss how I can help, please use the contact form on the front of this website.

11-plus: How I can help

11+ Essentials Comprehensive Book 1 frontWarwickshire is unusual in retaining the 11-plus examination to determine entry to its grammar schools. In the Rugby area, many parents and children will choose the 11-plus as a means to gaining entry to either Lawrence Sheriff Grammar School, Rugby High School or the grammar stream of Ashlawn School.

Most children who choose to sit the exam will do so in the September of each year. It is not an easy set of tests and I would strongly recommend even the most able pupils to practise carefully beforehand.

The reason for this is that, even though a child may be very able and working at Level 5 in maths and English (or beyond), the types of questions in the 11-plus will be very unfamiliar to them. The child needs to be exposed to these questions on a regular basis, and have an adult or elder brother or sister on hand to discuss strategies and compare answers.

I would suggest that preparation should begin about a year before the 11-plus is actually taken. It doesn’t have to be anything heavy, but a handful of questions tackled each night would be a good habit to get into. Children should be encouraged to become familiar with the style of the question, and, after a while, they will come to recognise them and be able to apply strategies used before.

As a Personal Tutor, I am available to provide support to children who wish to take the 11-plus. It is a question of maximising their skills, and ensuring they do justice to their own abilities. I cannot promise miracles, but I can promise that they will be well prepared for the tests, and will recognise the type of questions they are likely to face.

If your child is thinking of taking the 11-plus in September 2015, then this would be a good time now to begin sessions to help them through what is a very challenging time in their lives. Please contact me if I can help you.

Read more about the 11-plus in Warwickshire.

New Year’s resolutions

As 2015 begins, why not turn over a new leaf and learn a new skill?

Several people have said to me that they might be looking for music tuition in the New Year. This does not surprise me. What better time is there to start learning and developing a new skill?

Why not set aside half an hour a week to learn to play the piano, the guitar, or singing with the ukulele? Of course you will also have to set aside time at home each week to practise, and I would strongly recommend you do so twice a day. You will then find that you are learning and applying the skills you have acquired in our one-to-one sessions.

Can anybody learn a new instrument? I strongly believe they can, whatever their age or previous experience. It is simply a question of working hard at it. I may be able to show you how to play several chords on a guitar. But it is only you who can practise this skill at home every day until it becomes automatic.guitar

Similarly with the piano. I can show you how to play a simple tune with both hands. I can comment on your first attempt and give you helpful suggestions. But it is only you who can practise this at home and be proud of what you have achieved when you play the same tune for me again next week.

I look forward to hearing from you if you think you might be interested. Please fill in the contact form on the front page, or call my mobile number which is also listed on the front. Good luck in 2015!