A guide for parents and students of all ages on selecting the right tutor to work with you.


Are you struggling to find the best private English GCSE tutor for you or for your child? 


Or maybe it’s not even for English – but another subject? Maths?


You are not alone. 


It is unsurprising that now a quarter of secondary school children have private tutors.


And many adults need help in the wake of GCSE resits and other mandatory credentials.


Whilst tutoring is an aspirational act to some, there are some rogue tutors out there.


So knowing who you’re dealing with is crucial.


So how do you know who to choose?

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Many have asked “How do I find the best English GCSE tutor?”


“How do I find the best tutor for [insert subject here]?”


Whilst there are financial constraints and necessary checks – tutoring clearly works.


It does work – I should know.


Here are three questions to ask in order to find the right (English) tutor for you.


1. Do they have enough subject knowledge?


Ask yourself:

  • Do they have an English / [insert relevant subject] degree? 
  • Did they achieve an excellent degree pass? Check qualifications.
  • Is there any evidence they currently write? (For anyone? / in their respective field?)
  • Have they taught the credential before? 
  • And have they taught students before?
  • Can they actually teach well? Ask previous students.
  • What’s their pass rate? Find out.
  • How long have they been teaching this specification? They ought to tell you.


You ought to find out this information at once. 

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It will help you to decide if the tutor has the knowledge and abilities you need.


They should tell you about themselves (example here).


And be happy to show you their setting and work.


And if they want to tutor you online their website should be fun and easy to use – like mine 🙂 


But there are are many tutors around. Especially online tutors – so do your research. It’s worth it.


You should also ask yourself…


2. Do they connect with people and with you?


Think about it. You (or your child) want to learn from this person.


Whether you’re an adult, teen, or parent – learning can feel like a vulnerable place. 


Are they approachable?


This person must be trustworthy, kind and considerate.


They must care about their students.

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Ask yourself:

  • How do they come across face to face/ online?
  • Are they posting online regularly and do you like their message?
  • Do you feel you can get to know them online?
  • Are they happy to answer your questions?
  • How do they help people? What have they done and what are they currently doing for others?
  • Are there any FREE resources/ classes/ groups available to see if you or your child could learn from them?


Don’t underestimate this stuff. It matters a great deal if you or your child are to learn successfully. 

It needs to be comfortable to learn and that means connection is key. 

Do you feel you know them?

And if you’re a parent of a child tutored face to face – does your tutor invite you to observe their teaching every session? They ought to.


And finally….


3. Do their efforts outweigh their costs?


We all know 1-2-1 tuition sessions cost money.


And generally the best tutors aren’t cheap. They’re the pros who have been perfecting this for years.


But their efforts must outweigh their costs. 


GCSE English Language / Literature are important exams. If you cannot pass Language you’ll have to resit.


It’s the same for other core subjects and any other exam you care about.


People can get stuck and no one wants to fail. 


Of course everyone wants to pass first time so their tutor may look this DELIGHTED on Results Day (yes, I was really HAPPY) 🙂

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That means your tutor’s efforts must be equal to or worth more than their cumulative hourly rate.


Look at:

  • Their integrity.
  • Teaching abilities, including personal connection.
  • Quality of feedback.
  • Kindness.


Research the tutor. Talk to previous students. Read their website and blog. Ask questions. 


And if after all that you’re not satisfied – move on.


Life is too short. Tutoring is too expensive to get the wrong tutor.


Do your research with these three questions in mind to find the right person.

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And if you still need some help with English I’m always happy to advise 🙂


I can’t help with Maths though (although this lady can – her online tutorials are great!)


How I help students

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