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Tutoring through an agency or independently?

Discussion in 'Private tutors' started by nhdut15, Feb 20, 2011.

  1. Hi everyone,
    I'm currently a supply teacher and was considering branching out into private tuition to earn some extra cash. However, I was wondering, is it better to do it independently or through an agency?
    Does anyone know of any good agencies if that's the better option? Or are there any good websites where I can advertise as an independent tutor?
    Thank you in advance for any help. [​IMG]
  2. Ravena

    Ravena New commenter

    Hi Nhdut,
    It depends what you means by 'agency'. There are some organisations such as First Tutors, Tutor Hunt and tutors4me where you can sign up for free, build an online profile for free and then they will send you emails on behalf on prospective students. First Tutors makes its money from charging an introduction fee to the student, for example. These organisations are certainly worth joining.
    Other organisations charge you a yearly fee to advertise your profile online such as The Tutor Pages - also worth considering.
    Then there are actual agencies who will take a cut of your hourly pay (UK tutors, I think?) - I personally don't use these, but I assume that many tutors do.
    Best of luck.

  3. Hello There,
    I was in the same position as you a few months ago and have tried a few different options. Most agencies ask for a registration fee, and from my own experience I don't think I got enough work through to make it justify the large upfront payment.
    I am now looking at a few online options and they seem to make a lot more sense. Teaching live using webcam, mic and interactive whiteboard.
    My friend started using them last summer and is now invovled in doing testing for a new website which is set to come out sometime soon I think, he's pretty confident it'll solve our problems, and I'm hoping to get onto the testing too, I've sent off my application. I'll post the link when he posts it through.
    Before trying to go with an agency I tried going out myself and getting students, which seemed like the right thing to do. However it was hard to get the students without joining a network and paying a lot of money, and the legal and business side of it was complicated and made everything a lot more difficult. I did however get a bit of work from posting my name in the local paper.
  4. Hi,

    I think the idea of doing tuition online sounds really good and have looked into it myself but there don't appear to be many UK based agencies doing this on any significant scale. All the larger ones seem to be based in the US or India which is a real shame. Any chance you could provide any more details about this new provider?

  5. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    Go on, name them - is it just a little bit too coincedental that this poster has just 1 post and registered at a very similar time to the previous one?
    Or am I just too cynical?
  6. tortuman

    tortuman New commenter

    I have mainly worked teaching students I found myself. I did get a couple of students through agencies, and in my experience I've never had to pay to register with any agency, and I don't know any agency who would be stupid enough to charge tutors to register. You may have to pay to register with a directory, which is different.
    Personally, I found students really easily using my local commuity advertising network, namely: ads in shop windows, local free paper, local free shop-window advertising, local library or council online directory and word of mouth.
    I believe the response to different ways of advertising varies from area to area. But in my experience in the South East and the South West my best responses came from local free paper, council online directory (most councils have these) and word of mouth.
    Agencies did not really work for me. Firstly they charge a lot of money to students and pay little to tutors. Some of them make the teacher collect the money from the student and send the agency their cut every month. Which gives the tutor more work. Also agencies tend to work in a wide area, so many enquiries come from students who are not that near and you have to travel, which means that you work 2 hours (including travel time) but get paid for one. I work locally so my students are able to come to me. Sometimes I've had three students in one evening or one Saturday morning, back to back, this is not possible if you travel to them.

    On the other hand if your subject isn't a very sought for one, then joining an agency means they do the advertising for you in a wide area. So, you don't have to bother about that.
  7. tortuman

    tortuman New commenter

    By the way, tutoring agencies do not have you on payroll. This means that you still have to do your tax return independently and you don't get a P45 and P60.
  8. It's also worth mentioning that beanbaglearning.com is another tutor listings website. It's completely free to students, parents and tutors.
  9. kajalsengupta

    kajalsengupta New commenter

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 16, 2016
  10. Ravena

    Ravena New commenter

    Yes, since my post from 2011 roughly two thirds of my students learn with me online and I tutor students around the world. I still don't use agencies, though.
  11. Ravena

    Ravena New commenter

    PS I believe Wiz IQ charges tutors. Using Skype to tutor online is free :)
  12. musikteech

    musikteech Occasional commenter

    You mean you actually declare tutoring work???? It's cash in hand isn't it which means it's all tax free. You're mad to pay tax on it
  13. kajalsengupta

    kajalsengupta New commenter

    Last edited by a moderator: May 11, 2016
  14. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    Cash in hand does not equal tax free - HMRC might not go after starbucks, but will go after individuals. I'd not advise tax evasion....
    doctoryes and mathsmutt like this.
  15. musikteech

    musikteech Occasional commenter

    I joined one of those tutor websites and haven't had any luck getting students. Mind you it was for EFL tutoring and there are lots of EFL tutors on the website. I have since signed up also for piano tuition and hope this brings better results.
  16. musikteech

    musikteech Occasional commenter

    With regards to my last post, I have now received 4 leads on this tutoring website and so I am pleased about this. This is possibly quite a lucrative website. I am offering two different subjects. The pay is more than working for an employer per hour when you consider everything. Hopefully, this will turn into a good income if I get a few more students.

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