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Has anybody made a full time career out of private tuition?

Discussion in 'Private tutors' started by geek84, Feb 3, 2014.

  1. Orkrider2

    Orkrider2 Star commenter

    I started in September 2013 with the aim of getting 6 students a week to keep my head above water (not being the main wage earner). I've advertised with a couple of tuition websites, through childcare.co.uk and gumtree and I also registered with an agency that takes a cut of everything I earn (thought they charge a higher fee to clients than I advertise on the websites so I get the same from their lessons as I do from the ones I pick up myself).

    I've now picked up 22 hours of teaching a week, at £25 an hour (on average - I offer discounts for people who book multiple hours per week). Location has played a massive part in this, I'm sure. I'm lucky to be in a relatively affluent part of London, with a number of selective schools local to me. I'd say the breakdown of pupils I have now is as follows:

    50% sitting entrance exams this September

    30% children who need help to reach a level 4 in their Yr6 Sats

    15% children in lower years who are generally falling behind at school and need a bit of a push

    5% EAL children whose parents do not speak English well and want their child to have support from a native English speaker to ensure they don't fall behind.

    So far, the agency has provided me with about 6 hours work, but the rest has come from the websites or from flyers that I've handed out at local clubs (I made friends with my son's football and tennis coaches and they hand out flyers periodically for me, as do my friends who run dance and drama schools). Just 2 were personal referrals so far but I'm hoping that as time goes on I'll start to get more recommendations and build up a client base that way.

    It's not the wage I was on when I was teaching in a school, but the lifestyle suits me and my family better. The hours are definitely unsociable, but with a young child it means I don't have to pay for childcare during the day now. A definite bonus! I'm not sure I could support the family alone on this wage, if it ever came to that, but the fact that I've still got my days free to do supply on top of the tuition means that I've got the ability to earn a very good wage if I needed to - and this is something I'll probably do when my youngest is at school full time.
  2. Orkrider - I live in a middlingly affluent area of NW London - here, the going rate for your services is £35 ph.

    Ask more - you may get it.
  3. David Getling

    David Getling Lead commenter

    I started about the same time, and I've got about half the number of hours at £30. However, I cater for GCSE and A-level students, expect them to come to me, and don't give any discounts. Also, Enfield isn't particularly affluent, most of its schools run from slightly bad to appalling, and I don't think many of the parents around here particularly value education - they would rather spend their money in the cafes, fast food joints, pubs or betting shops, of which Enfield has no shortage.

    In fact my students either come from (decent/affluent areas) further afield, or have Asian parents who appreciate how important education is.
  4. Orkrider2

    Orkrider2 Star commenter

    I disagree, parts of Enfield are quite affluent. Winchmore Hill for example. Admittedly, anywhere east of the A10 is generally a lot more grim than west, but that's true of everywhere. Look at Haringey; Tottenham Hale at one end, Muswell Hill at the other.
  5. geek84

    geek84 New commenter

    Hi Folks

    Many thanks for your replies.

    Dougal69 - How do you find out about magazines that get delivered to schools? Is it a case of just ringing around different schools to find out? I rang my LEA who could not provide me with much info.

    Georginalouise - I'm quite surprised and happy for you that you are making an income of around £20k. What's the secret? (LOL). What are the best place to advertise in order to get most students?

    Finally, a few of you mentioned about 'business networking'. How do you go about doing that?

    Thanks in advance for your responses.
  6. Dougal68

    Dougal68 New commenter

    Hi geek84,

    Primary Times is. the main publication that goes into our local schools. Google them.

    Also worth looking in libraries, local after school clubs, cafes and restaurants to see what other publications go out to the local population. Families magazine is another popular one (families on line.co.uk).

    Magazine advertising can be expensive, it's worth researching, be careful about signing up for long term commitment. Hopefully one carefully placed add, at the right time in the academic year (half term around parent consultation time is a good bet, particularly early in the academic year)will see a return on outlay. Then do a good job and the students will come.
  7. Georginalouise

    Georginalouise New commenter

    Business Networking is what it says on the tin, and has been really successful for me. You go along to an event where everyone is there to promote their own business. Tends to be sole traders and SMEs. They are at different times of the day and a bit of research and balancing personal commitments will probably dictate what will suit you best. You really need business cards and a website to be credible. You have the opportunity to talk to people and tell them what you do. Don't expect business straight away. It's all about building relationships and referrals.

    Try searching for BNI or Business Biscotti in your local area as a starting point. One is early morning (not for me, the school run rules them out) and the other is over coffee. Also Athena, but that is women only as is WIBN and WIRE.
  8. I am doing exactly the same as you but about 6 months behind. I put one ad in Gumtree and have more pupils than I can cope with. Maths and physics are popular subjects.

    Thanks for this helpful post.
  9. geek84

    geek84 New commenter

    Good Morning Folks

    In order to attract students to my tuition business, I was thinking of getting some leaflets printed and actually standing outside schools at home time in order to distribute the leaflets to give to parents and students.

    Do you think that would be a good idea? Would I be breaking any rules/laws?

  10. You wouldn't be breaking any laws. Are you aiming at secondary or primary?

    Secondary is a peak time at the moment because of approaching exams, although if you pick up exam crammers they will only be with you a short while until finished (unless year 10s). The only problem is most kids would not pass it on to parents. It's worth looking up and targeting schools in special measures and RI though.

    At least at Primaries you would be giving leaflets to parents, SATS and 11 Plus are coming up.
  11. Hi everyone,

    I'm new to the board.

    Geek 84 leaflets or even advertising in the local paper would be a good idea to attract new clients.

    I've made private tuition as a full time career following graduation from my PGCE course. I spent a year or so supplying but got fed up of it.

    I was initially worried about it but the one to one environment has been really great!

    I initially signed up with an agency and was with them for a couple of years until they started increasing their commission fees. I realised with their fees I wasn't making much and losing clients when I had to charge higher tuition prices to cover the commission. Now I'm doing it through my own company which I'm enjoying :)
  12. geek84

    geek84 New commenter

    Hi folks

    Thanks for your replies.

    mini7263 - I am aiming at both primary and secondary students. What do you mean by RI?

    wildcat83- I'm glad you have made private tuition your full time career. What subjects do you teach? Would you be kind enough to give me a few hints as how you managed that? You can always PM me if you like. I am having big problems at the moment attracting students and like you, I too love the one to one environment.

    Any further advice greatly appreciated.
  13. Hi Geek 84

    I teach Science up to GCSE and numeracy and literacy upto KS2.

    During term time, I do some sessions after school but then most of my sessions are concentrated on Saturdays as well. During holidays I like to keep my weekends free and so have sessions during the week,

    Putting an ad in your local newspaper under the education section might be helpful and to put down that you're experienced and an ex-teacher? Also word of mouth and maybe leaflets.
  14. geek84

    geek84 New commenter

    Good Morning Folks

    Many thanks for your reply, wildcat.

    Is science in much demand in your region? I did put an advert up for science a few times but did not get much of a response. By science, I persume you mean biology, physics, and chemistry?
  15. Hi

    Yes science is popular. Actually tuition as a whole is quite popular where i live! :) Yes I teach Bio, Physics & Chemistry.

    Even if you get a couple of students that's still good. It's slow to start with but it probably will go crazy just after Christmas. Keep on at it.
  16. Hi GordonNome,

    I an new to this forum. Would like your advice of how to get primary students to tutor. I hold 2master degrees and work as an HLTA for last 12 years. Regularly cover classes too.

    Now thinking of doing private tution in my spare time. Don,t know how to advertise to get students.

    Any advice will be appriciated.

    Thank you.
  17. RI means requires improvement.
  18. It depends.

    I'd say the number one reason why clients come to me is because I studied at Oxford. And they want their children to go to Oxford.

    I don't have any 'teaching qualification'.


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