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£31,500 earned from private tutoring during 2010/11

Discussion in 'Private tutors' started by Not_1_iota, Jul 13, 2011.

  1. Sorry about the block paragraph, but the system seems not to be able to recognise my paragraph indications
  2. Well done you! I do teach primary FT but do a bit of tutoring as well, and when I go on maternity leave hope to do even more.
    I totally agree that as qualified professionals we shouldn't feel guilty about charging a decent rate. I know I only tutor up to age 11 but I do feel that the rates some agencies suggest we charge- £18 approx, sometimes with commission taken off too, doesn't reflect out qualifications ad experience. I charge £25 an hour at my house, more for travel time, and so far no parents have complained. Why not give it a go charging more than you do currently? If it doesn't work no harm doing.
  3. Hello Sarah9, thanks for that info, and I must say you talk a great deal of sense!

    What we often forget in education is just how difficult and skilled our jobs are, and it is really good to hear a primary teacher not devaluing their skills as so many do. If you look at outfits like Kip Mcgrath, who I have worked for as a tutor in the past, half of the demand is from primary age pupils, and they charge ?24 or ?25 to be one of a group of 5 for 80 mins. Set against this, a full hour of individual tuition from a similarl qualified teacher as at Kip has far more value, hence should cost more!

    Trust me, when I say that if you put together a basic website outloning your qualifications, experience (eg what schools have you tutored students at, and what successes in terms of NC level progression did they make during the period of tuition?) the parents will be pre-qualified in terms of sales. What I mean is, instead of saying you offer tuition, parent asks how much you charge, and then you say ?35 (or whatever), this will lead maybe 80% of parents to say that sounds a bit steep for primary tuition.
    If you have your hourly rate prominently on your website oe advert, then it means you can screen out that 80% and only the 20% who value what you do similarly will actaully contact you.

    Hope you see what I mean. I have just typed this on my new 'smartphome' so it is likely there will be a few typos, for which I apologise.
    Congrats on charging ?25 for home tuition, though: this is equivalent to ?32 for tuition in the client's home, because none of the travel cost or hassle is on you.
  4. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    How did you get that? Do you work daytime as well? Last year I had 16 clients - 3 on Mon, 3 on Tues, 1 on Wed (childcare), 5 on Thurs, 3 on Sat and 1 on Sun. No way could I earn that much as I charge £25 an hour, it's quieter at hols and gets really quiet during summer.
    Interested to hear your hours.
  5. Thanks for your reply Not 1. I do have a very small website and post my charges clearly on there- interestingly the parents who do contact me and choose to go along with me say they liked the fact that I am not an agency, they know it will be me personally who tutors their child and they know that I have several years of qualified teaching and tutoring experience, so they feel that they are more likely to get good results than by going with the cheapest tutor they can find/someone from an agency. I'm definitely glad I set the website up, it took a while to hear anything from it but its proving worthwhile now.
    Robyn- I am thinking of ways to boost the number of clients in summer, possibly by pushing it more as an opportunity for parents to get extra sessions fitted in when their child feels 'fresher' and less tired than during term time, or by offering discounts for block bookings to take place over the summer... not sure if I'll sort much by this summer but hopefully next summer. 2 of my parents have already asked to up the hours of tuition over summer after I explained the benefits of keeping it going and the way that many children 'dip' temporarily when going back to school in Sept.
  6. I am amused to find (via Google search) that I am the person charging £50 per hour for biology tuition in Oxford! I have no idea if you are still following this thread, but I could not agree more with you about having to charge a sufficient sum to reflect the years of education and training required to know how to answer questions effectively on all the UK examination boards. It has taken me 23 years to get to the point where I feel that £50 per hour reflects a fair remuneration for all my years of experience. A colleague in Oxford charges even more (£60 per hour) and is generally heaving with students. There are, of course, many others out there who charge a lot less (there seems to be a proliferation of students who 'do a bit of tutoring' nowadays) and that is their absolute right and privilege. However I would be lying if I said that this (together with the proliferation of online 'agencies' employing dubious 'tutors' at rock-bottom rates) has not hit my business hard in recent years. My viewpoint is that since I know thoroughly what I am doing my services are actually very cost-effective and I am not proposing to drop my charges even if my hours have dropped considerably, possibly as a direct result - in a free market it is my job to make sure that my marketing and delivery skills match up to what is required by parents and students.
    I have never been (and never could be) a 'proper teacher' - partly as my job is largely picking up the mess left by so-called 'trained teachers', which engenders a high degree of cynicism regarding the so-called 'teaching profession'. My gut-feeling, like that of a lot of my tutoring colleagues, is that a bit of injection of free-market discipline into school teaching would not be a bad thing, ie poor teachers, like poor tutors, can shape up or ship out! Alas it does not seem likely that this will happen in practice anytime soon, which at least ensures that there will always be a market for my services!
    To return to your original question: is it possible to make a 'proper' living as a private tutor? The answer is 'yes'. Is it hard work? The answer to that question is also yes - I am generally working at ten o'clock at night in term-time and am effectively on-call 24/7. But having been brought up in the Protestant work ethic that 'the harder you work the more you earn' I cannot say that this is a bad thing and certainly gives me a feeling of personal virtue that I have done a good day's work for a fair day's pay. Having briefly been exposed to the world of employment I have to say that I was twitching all the way through the endless 'coffee breaks' and wondering continually who the heck was paying for all of this unproductive time!
    Private tutoring is definitely a Stakhanovite, highly-productive sector of society which has been catapulted in recent years from being a shameful sub-culture peopled by those who could not get 'proper jobs' to one of being in high demand and able to command high fees for the more experienced and successful. It is no bad thing that the public sector (which has been shown up as woefuly inadequate in many respects in recent years) has this private competition and the fact that it is a thriving niche suggests that it is not one that is going to go away anytime soon! Whether it is now approaching saturation and attracting the unwanted attention of wannabe 'regulators' is another and more complex debate.
  7. I agree that a good lesson requires 1 to 1.5 hours of planning, so we should charge a rate that reflects our qualifications, skills and experience.
    However, the rate depends on what your local market will bear. Most parents in my area know the 'going rate' is £25 per hour. A few charge £30, many charge less. I have to accept that my effective hourly rate given planning time is £10-12.50 per hour.
    If I lived in London/Oxford/Cambridge or in a county with grammar schools I could charge more. If you live in these areas, good for you, but make sure you set your fees appropriately.
  8. That's great.

    How did you find your students?? I have registered for a website called http://lessonpark.com and have found quite a few students so far but i'm always looking for new ways to be put in contact with new ones. I typically charge 20 euros per hour but more than that is a problem.

    Any marketing advice would be appreciated.


  9. I absolutely agree with your point about tutors charging proper professional rates. We change young people's lives for the better and we should charge accordingly. By under-valuing ourselves we be one under-valued. I wish we could get this message across to the tutoring agencies.
  10. David Getling

    David Getling Lead commenter

    Unfortunately, as any Tom, Dick or Harry can call themselves a tutor, there will always be plenty of people out there to drive the price down.

    The law needs to be amended to prevent anybody who isn't a qualified teacher charging for tuition. Many other services are regulated, so surely one that grants access to vulnerable young people should be.

    If we got rid of the cowboy tutors (lots in Enfield) then the genuine ones would be able to charge a fair price.
  11. Thanks for the link suggestion, I'm an advocate for using the internet to gain students. I use http://www.chalksy.com but will take a look at lesson park too.

  12. adamcreen

    adamcreen Occasional commenter

    Make it illegal? But how could you stop a friend of the family, or a word-of-mouth contact, from helping people for money? Would there be a "Tutors Hotline" where you can report them like cones or terrorists? Would police examine newsagents windows for coded messages "French masseuse who doesn't offer massages"?!
  13. David Getling

    David Getling Lead commenter

    There are lots of laws that are regularly broken, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't have them.

    At least it would put a stop to a good percentage of adverts on the tutor websites. I've just seen a history student offering A-level maths tuition for £12.50, and there are plenty of other adverts that are just as ridiculous. Kids deserve to get someone who can really help them, not charlatans, out to make some pin-money at the expense of their education.

    I could most certainly offer tutoring in chemistry and physics, as well as maths, and do a fairly good job of it. The reason I don't is to give kids the chance of getting a teacher far more experienced in these subjects, who could do a better job.

    Others should follow my example. There are far too many one-eyed tutors trying to rake it in, in the educational kingdom of the blind.
  14. It's easy to say that "kids deserve good tutors", but then advocate higher fees that only a privileged few could pay for on a regular basis. Those who charge in the £50+ region are knowingly attracting a particular 'clientele'. Which is fine, provided they see it as purely a financial endeavour rather than enshrining private tuition as a fundamental right for all.

    I personally charge £35 (I live in the Kingston area), which is I think is a 'fair' fee, and seemingly the going rate for an actual teacher. I know given the number of students I have to turn away that I could charge more, but I quite like the current mix (i.e. both state and independent sector) that I have, and I'm faily certain that raising my fees would detract the former. www.drfrostmaths.com/tutoring
  15. David Getling

    David Getling Lead commenter

    I'm certainly not advocating £50+.In fact, I advertise at £30. However, as a qualified, experienced, maths teacher, those who come to me will genuinely benefit. I'm somewhat dubious that spending £12.50 to get A-level tuition from a history student is a good idea. Unfortunately some parents may not appreciate this, or be able to judge the quality of tutoring their child is receiving. The only way to protect such parents, and their children is legislation.
  16. Georginalouise

    Georginalouise New commenter

    As a parent, I don't feel that I need "protecting". It's my money that I pay out and I should be free to choose a tutor of my choice. We have a local maths tutor that I used for my own daughter for A level. She is an expert mathematician but not a qualified teacher. She has tutored for some twelve years and gets excellent results. By your definition she would be a "cowboy".
  17. I'm inclined to agree with Georgina. Tutoring is a whole different ball park from classroom teaching. And on two occasions I've had tutoring requests from parents who were unhappy with their previous tutor, on both occasions a qualified teacher.
  18. profmatt

    profmatt New commenter

    I must say I find this thread very irritating. We live in a seemingly mindless society in which we must only make judgements based on qualifications and certificates. Without a teaching qualification, a tutor is cowboy, apparently. Without a CRB check a person is a potential danger to children. But with the right pieces of paper, we can be fully confident. Jeremy Forrest was a qualified teacher. And had a CRB check, presumably. Oh well.

    I've been a private tutor for seven years, after having worked in boarding schools for fourteen. And all without a teaching qualification. Tutoring has been my sole source of income for those seven years. I make as much money as the original poster of this thread. The majority of my students come from recommendations. I've taught a student, then his younger brother, then his youngest brother. And I'm not cheap. (Why should I be? I've 21 years teaching experience, and two degrees.)

    I teach around 900 hours a year. If I wasn't any good, don't you think someone might have noticed? Wouldn't have word got round?

    As has been observed, wholly different skills are needed to be a successful tutor compared with being a classroom teacher. Hell, private schools are stuffed with unqualified teachers. And they seem to do OK. Yeah, yeah, they're highly selective, But they still manage not to screw things up.

    If some people had their way, I'd be plunged into unemployment. And a whole lot of private school teachers would be barred from becoming tutors. All to support the myth that qualified = good and unqualified = bad.

    PS I do have a CRB check. I have a whole drawer of them. I'm probably more CRB checked than most school-based teachers. I'm not sure what the point of them is, but there you go. The law's the law. Let's not have any more of it, please. As Mr Forrest will tell you: it doesn't mean a thing.
  19. Oh dear what an arrogant post. Try teaching 30 instead of one like a proper teacher then judge.

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