A perspective on Tutor Training by Leona Potter

By Leona Potter, Affiliate Partner of TTA and blog contributorTutoring is one of the most rewarding and sustainable professions. It’s a change from the regular 9 to 5, you are constantly problem-solving and adapting to each students’ unique set of needs in creative ways. It can provide stable income, gives you the feel-good factor, as well as the opportunity to work flexibly. As a result, the industry attracts an array of individuals from a multitude of disciplines.Whilst this diversity caters to a variety of differing needs, it means identifying high-quality tutors is becoming increasingly difficult. Some large agencies boast over 80,000 tutors on their networks. In order for agencies to gain clarity and clients to have transparency, a new high-quality metric needs to be identified. So, what is being used to identify these high-quality individuals?Merit-based market Tutor training provided Myelin Academia have recently partnered with First Tutors. First Tutors are an internationally renowned company that not only has a large network of tutors in the UK but also in America under the name Varsity Tutors. Their decision to award a training badge on successful completion of Myelin Academia’s tutor training as a new quality metric is a first Myelin Academia Tutoring Standards (MATS) are available to download from their website and outline the role and responsibilities of a tutor.The Level 3 Award in Tutor Training course ‘PRESET’ is recognised and quality assured by Training Qualifications UK and is now the new in-house metric to identify self-motivated tutors out of their 60,000 strong tutor network. It’s standardised training that targets the key principles leading to effective tuition.

Tuition Partners and the NTP

The National Tutoring Programme has brought well-deserved attention to the importance of tutor training. Their eligibility criteria state that training is a pre-requisite for Tuition Partners wishing to apply to the scheme. This was based on research evidence from the Educational Endowment Fund which found that tuition is most effective when tutors are provided with training. 

“Evidence indicates that tuition is most effective when tutors are provided with training” – National Tutoring Programme

A paradigm shift & the call for reform

Having carried out investigative analysis and research as part of their developments Myelin Academia surveyed the tutors using their platform which shed some interesting findings on tutor profiles and the direction they believe that the industry needs to go in. 

Finding 1: Early training is paramount

Research support: 

  • 40% of tutors were either new to the sector or had less than 1 year of experience
  • Less than 5% were currently teaching in schools
  • Fewer than 10% had PGCE backgrounds
  • And most interestingly those who were qualified teachers were the only tutors to have been offered prior training. 

Conclusion 1: There is a real need for entry-level training for tutors.

Individuals who have received training are more likely to seek or be offered other further training. Therefore, offering training and continued professional development early on in a tutor’s career is paramount.

Finding 2:PRESET’ Tutor Training is highly valued by users 

Research support: 

  • 95% of users were ‘very satisfied’ or ‘satisfied’ with this training 
  • 92% of users ‘strongly agree’ or ‘agree’ that this training has made them better prepared for tutoring 
  • Despite having a PGCE, every qualified teacher except one person would recommend this training 
  • 95% of users would ‘strongly recommend’ or ‘recommend’ this training 

Conclusion 2: Training is well received when it is offered.

With this in mind, the value of training tutors about psychological research, executive skills, educational theory and good practice such as growth mindset and effective praise cannot be undervalued.  

For details about Myelin Academia’s training courses such as ‘PRESET’ & ‘Achieving Certified Tutor Status (CTS) or bespoke workshop offers for agencies visit their website www.myelinacademia.com 

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