Notebook Tutors attended an interesting conference yesterday about issues affecting the tutoring community.
There was a strong sentiment that direct tutor listings will not replace the traditional work of tutoring agencies. Parents realise the value that agencies provide: good agencies have experienced tutors on their books, and they know the educational system very well and can therefore give sound advice to parents on what and who would be the best fit for their child. Also, good agencies will have checked the tutor’s references in order to have a clear picture of their strengths and weaknesses. By contrast, although direct tutor listings may seem simpler, they have more potential pitfalls as parents do not have the security of the background checks required by an agency. For example, we require all tutors to have an Enhanced DBS check; we interview every tutor; and we contact references as well. This means that we can be confident of the quality of our tutors. With direct tutor listings, either parents have to do without these checks, or they must do them themselves, which can be laborious and inefficient.
The conference also considered the future of exams in the UK. There was consensus that as a country we are moving more and more towards the American model of one exam at the end of a learning programme, rather than modular exams throughout the year – witness the abolishing of the AS-level exam for example. We also expect that the number of different exams as well as exam boards will decline over the next 5 years as the education system focuses on fewer, higher-quality qualifications.
We enjoyed meeting other stakeholders in the tutoring community and thinking about how best to serve our clients and our tutors, and how to continue to adapt to the changing world of education in the UK.