Private tuition has come in for some scathing attacks from commentators and service users-alike. It would be foolish to dismiss the criticism without further thought, as such arrogance would serve to further harm the industry. News stories such as the following are not rare enough:
> The Paedophile Who Touts Himself As a Private Tutor
>'Radioactive' paedophile suspect on the run after skipping court
> Tuition agencies rip off students
> WEST WICKHAM: Private tutor jailed for 10 years for molesting children
Private tuition is growing at a rapid rate - standards should be driven up and maintained high!
You know that people can see through these attempts to drive traffic to your business website right? If I found your site whilst looking for a private tutor for my child, all of that content about peados would make me change my mind about getting a private tutor at all. If I wanted to get a private tutor I would hire a qualified professional teacher, there you go sorted - thats the only registration you need in my eyes. How the hell are you going to know that somebody already registered with you is not a potential sex offender? Dont discount that danger Jan, your extremely heavy and uncalled for marketing strategy could shoot you in the foot.....
I totally agree with you. I wouldn't want any child to be risked being taught by a paedophile!
Tutors are usually college students in my area and when our son needed help his freshman year in high school we used a tutor but they met and worked in a public area like the library. You should always control the enviroment your child is in, they're your children.
I totally agree. There's only so much that regulation can do anyway. In Britain we now have a Criminal Records Bureau that runs background checks on people wanting to work as state school teachers or in other jobs that involve children. A CRB check will tell you if someone's got a criminal record for offences involving children, but there are plenty of people who don't have such a criminal record, but whom you wouldn't want anywhere near your children!
What percentage of those who perform private tutoring perform illegal acts with youth?
Let's be realistic.
With technology to the extent it is if a parent or caregiver chose to do a background check on a potential tutor this could be done without major cost, and probably cheaper overall than a government bureaucracy to regulate such a miniscule section of the education sector of economy.
Now, I am a long-time tutor, having worked for a college, working for a non-profit tutoring organization, as well as performing private tutoring.
If the money I was making from this part of my work (private tutoring) was enough of a source I would be compelled to get a business license, or some type of legitimizing documentation as in any other industry.
There are always risks involved to human interaction, from priestly "meetings" to "extra activities" in schools across the nation, even to the halls of Congress. The issue is ultimately for the individuals involved to be responsible, which the government cannot regulate.
There are enough ways, from demanding public meeting places and incorporating inexpensive technologies, to utilizing private information finding sources, for concerned caregivers and parents to take advantage of.
Perpetuating helplessness, even worse of the learned kind, is not productive.
Sneakorocksolid - you are absolutely right - the well-being of our children is absolutely paramount.
Mikelong You ask - What percentage of those who perform private tutoring perform illegal acts with youth? I wish I had the answer - I know you don't! The point is that in the absence of regulation we have no way of knowing who is tutoring our children. We know who comes to check our microwave and who services our radiators because those industries are regulated – radiators more important than children?
You make the comment - Let's be realistic - That's exactly what those who advocate regulation want - a realistic, trustworthy system. In my 10 years in the industry I cannot count the number of times students have said that they have been so glad to find me after having bad experienced with other tutors. It has been my experience that there are regular complaints about tutors who have failed to deliver (either too lazy to plan & prepare or just plain overwhelmed).
You tender the question - Regulation? Mike what exactly do you think regulation entails - signing in blood? Regulation would provide exactly those services you go on to mention later in your response. What intrigues me most about your post is the 360 degree turnaround when you go on to say that if you were making more money that you'd submit to a range of regulatory checks. It seems to me that you are in fact an advocate of regulation. Come on Mike you’ve got to admit it I agree that where money is scarce it can seem cumbersome to be subjected to all these checks, but I think you miss the point. Regulation will professionalise the industry; this will raise the profile of tuition and provide a PR and marketing platform for the industry. As a result there will be more parents/students looking for good tutors like you. I believe in self-regulation i.e. tutors regulate the tuition industry - we can set the spirit, tone and parameters rather than letting the government foist their rules upon us.
As a general point - I began tutoring to supplement my main income, within 18 months I had so many students, I was working 7 days a week and still had a huge waiting list. In he end I was 'forced' to open a centre and take on 3 teachers to work for me. The money was fantastic. We had an excellent reputation, and a 100% pass rate. The success in part was to do with my ability to market my services - I’d be happy to help anyone trying to boost the number of students being taught.
If one works for a company that supplies tutoring services I can see why this is important. But there are many who don't follow that route.
I only tutor privately because, through my official work, I have gained referrals. I can go the route as a private contractor, in a sense, but gain no real advantage in doing so.
Again, private people have the means to background check those they wish.
To work for a tutoring agency, at least any that I have worked with over the past 7 years, one has to get fingerprinted and background checked.....
My work is my mark of professionalism, and I have gained a wide variety of jobs because of my reputation. I don't see how regulation would do anything to benefit my work.
I'm not altogether opposed to your thoughts, but I have to spend more time thinking about this.
I'm not sure what attempts at marketing you're talking about? It's a legitimate question. And the issues about paedophiles are real.
The business you are referring to is not yet launched and will be a non-profit business for which we hope to achieve charitable status. For some of us - doing the right thing trumps making bucket loads of money.
Your contemptuous comments are just that - contempt!! I am a new hubber - enjoying the writing experience (the serious and the frivolous) - Yesterday I started two forum's this one and one about Gordon Brown which you responded to - was that about driving traffic? If you had bothered to look you would have noticed that not one of my forums and only one of my hubs refers to my business - very unlike many business hubbers here.
Check yourself Ryankett not everyone is as ruthless as you appear to think.
I find people who dismiss very, very serious issues, really ignorant and quite worrying!!!!! Ummmhhh what's your real motive Ryankett? What's going on? Do you need to talk?
Your crap website uses scare tactics in an attempt to drive customers, sorry if this revelation has rattled your cage, but this forum thread initiates discussion on the exact same topic area of your online business. Is that business registered as a 'not-for-profit' under UK legislation? Doesnt look like it to me. It says copyright 2007, why has it taken you 2 or 3 years to design a 5 page website? I am not dismissing this serious issue, but I would have 500% more confidence in education authorities deciding who is safe to tutor my kids than a cheap and tacky website who use scare tactics. What methods of assessment do you use to determine whether a private tutor under your so called 'professional' registration is a danger to children or not? If any, it would be a CRB check - exactly the same method used by education authorities. So I stick by my statement, I would only employ a registered qualified teacher. I have no hidden agenda, just a genuine opinion that you are trying to hard sell your business with no real substance other than those cheap scare tactics. Your highly charged and non-informative response has given me no reason to believe otherwise.
thank you, ryan, for bringing a bit of rational thought to the process.
the op starts with paedophiles, then wanders into the arena of microwave and radiator technicians, then comments that "the money was fantastic" and almost in the same breath is launching a non-profit business.
jan, you can't regulate tutoring any more than i can regulate photography. give it up.
Ryankett - it seems we are in total agreement!!
Parents/students deserve the best. About 75% of tutors are not teachers. Like teachers some are excellent but some are exploitative, dangerous and ill-prepared - parents and students often have no means of knowing and many assume tutor = teacher (I know I did). I love you unwavering passion - WE NEED MORE OF THAT - Too many of us limp along not taking a stand (I'M GUILTY LOCK ME UP).
By the way the crap website was my effort at using a template only 4 weeks ago. The 2007 refers to the date of the web hosts design of the template not to the date of the site oops ;-)Gosh in 2007 I wad doing different things - I was childless, healthy fixated with empire building and trying desperately to topple Richard Branson (LOL) - Lots of things have changed since then -new perspectives have emerged. I hope you'll stop by when the proper site/business launches in February (a proper web designer is putting it together).
In spite of your 'rant' I do have much support for my endeavour (I'm not really a philanthropist but we're OK financially and this is about giving something back). I'll be looking for board members in the near future - are you interested?
Look we're on the same side of the debate (Thank goodness) - not everyone is and whilst I have a little time left on earth (that'll be another hub) I want to do the right thing - you appear to only hate any marketing I might do - not the debate.
I'll be adding you as a friend. Have a wonderful day - wrap up warm - as you know it's really cold here in the UK. I'm hoping for a white Xmas - my daughter is 1 year-old so she's just getting into things - she'll love the snow. Hope my wheelchair won't seize up.
Oh gosh while I've been responding my little darling as managed to squeeze a whole tube of toothpaste over the bed ... grrrrr
Love your passion - By listening to comments especially the negative I hope to grow.
Blue Dog - your perspective does put some humour into the mix - BUT WHILE I'VE GOT MY LAST BREATH I'VE GOT TO TRY - you can't hate a girl for trying - PHOTOGRAPHY+REGULATION - I agree it doesn't work... But then ... you never know - My friend is convinced aliens are running the local takeaway so anything's possible.
Empress felicity you're right about CRB's but you'd be amazed at how few parents insist on these. I would like to see every single tutor CRB checked - unfortunately the system is far from perfect. In an ideal world checks would capture 100% of criminals but it's not possible - you only have to look at the Vanessa George case(nursery worker). Mandatory CRB checks would mean that the convicted criminal won't be able to go unchecked. This will at least protect some students.
My point was that extending the remit of CRB checks isn't the answer, particularly in a situation like private tutoring where (as Sneako said) you can easily control the environment your children are in when they have their lessons. And as you say, parents do have the option of getting a CRB check done themselves.
There seems to be this idea prevalent in Britain at the moment that if you only have enough regulation, then all risks will be eliminated and we will all live lovely, safe lives. Not so. There will always be risks, and people can't rely on the State and the law to eliminate risk - that way lies totalitarianism. (I think the UK is well on the way to that already, BTW.)
Presumably Vanessa George didn't have any criminal convictions for paedophilia on her record, otherwise she wouldn't have got her job in the first place. CRB checks have their place, but they can only go so far and they will never be a substitute for common sense, word of mouth and even gut instinct on the part of parents.
Around here, lots of certified teachers do private tutoring in the evenings and on weekends. I did it for years. If you need a tutor, a good place to start would be to call the guidance department at a local school. Chances are that they can recommend a reputable tutor.
Of course private tutors should be registered, you do not want some bimbo giving you incorrect answers or playing the guessing game.
Definitely true - it's the same for all businesses - you can't beat word-of-mouth even if it's only someone to fix your microwave (couldn't help that blue dog);-)
Yes, by God, Yes! Anyone that has access to your children should be thoroughly investigated. Pedophiles are drawn to those kind of situations. Any activity involving children must be closely supervised, registration is one way to weed them out.
Jessicab & Janiek13 - You've both hit the nail on the head- I just don't get how the industry is unregulated - it's crazy!
All I'm doing is trying to raise this issue and get a regulatory body off the ground. I worked as a tutor/lecturer for over 9 years - unfortunately ill-health means I can't do so now. I always provided a CRB, original qualifications, lesson plans and genuine references. I think it was that openness that put students/parents at ease, but amazingly not one of them ever asked for these documents.
About 60% of my students were undergraduates so the paedohile issue is less relevant, but I think jessicab makes a good point about professionalism. I now have a daughter and if I'm not around I'd like to think that if she has a tutor that he/she would be properly checked out.
I know I've been seriously criticised on this hub for my attempts but I won't give up. As an educator I feel I owe it! Regulation won't solve all ills - regulation for regulation's sake is foolish but what's the alternative? Do nothing?
Being a tutor is a privilege - next week some of my old students/parents are coming over for a 'catch-up' a post Christmas buffet - I'm really looking forward to it. They support my ideas and at the end of the day it's people like these who really matter - students deserve the best from private tuition.
Im a tutor through an online service.
They required online competency tests and a full background check before listing me on their website.
If someone desires a tutor and they want to do a background check or use a service that certifies their tutors, there are many options out there for the careful parent
Not sure what the issue is? You want it to be illegal to offer yourself as a freelance tutor w/o the involvement of a regulatory body?
Balls to that! Lets Parents take some responsibility for their own homework into who gets to spend time alone with their children
Hi MikeLong - fingerprinted - wow that's much further than I had in mind.
There's a huge debate going on in the UK about the collection and keeping of fingerprints & DNA on a database. Essentially the Police are storing DNA of those who have charges dropped against them or are subsequently found not guilty. One such person, Michael Marper took his case to the European Court of Justice which eventually ruled this year that it was an illegal practice(a breach of human rights). Nevertheless senior Police Officers have been instructed by goverment to resist any attempts by Strasbourg to remove DNA from the database.
I think that regardless of regulation (or not) some parents will choose tutors like you, who have both credentials and a great reputation, even if you're not certified.
I love the tuition industry unfortunately in the UK I still feel it lacks the respect that it so deserves. Mike I'm so pleased that you're taking time to think this through - That's exactly what I hoped would happen when I posed the question. Thank you.
Sunforged - it's so unfortunate that many, many parents don't do as you've suggested. Some would not know where to start. I understand that many think tutor = teacher, hence they see no reason to ask more.
Oh and by the way I'm not against freelancing - in fact that's exactly what I stand for. Should I get better a freelancer is what I would be - I like the idea of being self-employed, free to accept or reject work as I feel. The idea of long-term commitments to a particular employer without the freedom to say yes or no makes be squirm :-(
At first I thought this was a tough question for me. But as I thought about it, I realized that I do have an opinion about it; mixed though it maybe!
On the one hand, if the tutor is an adult, then by all means I think that person should be registered! On the other hand, if the tutor is just one kid tutoring another, then it would seem that having that child tutor registered could be overkill.
Whether the tutor is a child or and adult, and whether the an adult tutor is a freelancer or works for a service, I think the parent has the overall responsible to determine if that tutor (kid or adult) is someone the parent would want to have tutoring their child.
Regulations may scare off some that would do wrong, but not a determined individual that is not afraid of the law; or worst, gets into the thrill of the potential of getting caught.
Regulations can only go so far, the parents need to pick up the rest of the slack to try and make sure that their child is as safe as possible.
So, to the question 'Should Private Tutors Be Registered?' I would answer, YES! But for me, the next question would be, 'What is the cutoff age to differentiate between a child tutor and an adult tutor?'
Floating Mind You are such a 'learned' person - your ability to 'cut the wheat from the chaff' is uncanny. Your writing style allows the reader a front row seat into your thought process - I LOVE IT. You provide clarity. I'll definitely be seeking your opinion on other matters. Thank You.
I think private tutors are earning money which is taxable in some cases if the number of students are more. So i think there should be registration for those.
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I have heard that may soon be done and I just wonder how anyone could do that and why they would want to?
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