Education Blog

How do I choose the best 11-plus tutor?


The Telegraph, 15 November 2017- Read the article in full here.

Vivienne Durham: The most practical advice is: practice, practice, practice

A good place to start is to contact The Tutors’ Association (thetutorsassociation.org.uk): tutorial companies and freelance tutors are members of this professional organisation although some work only in London.

Do also ask friends, family and parents of Year 7 children, who have already successfully taken the 11-plus exams, because word of mouth recommendation is often the best starting point. If you can’t find a local tutor with whom you’d like to work to then you might want to consider online 11-plus tuition, unlimited by location you can focus on finding the best tutor for your children.

Reputable tutorial companies will always interview prospective tutors face to face and monitor tutors’ professional success. Tutoring companies also should ensure that all tutors have a DBS check. It’s worth looking out for companies who are members of The Tutors’ Association (TTA).

Do ask independent tutors for their DBS checks and references – this can act as a type of vetting but in many ways it is this ‘rating’ aspect which sets companies apart from independent tutors.

 

Do ask schools you intend to apply to about how best you can prepare your child – you are likely to be amazed by the disparity of advice you receive.

Do ask schools you intend to apply to about how best you can prepare your child – you are likely to be amazed by the disparity of advice you receive. Some schools will tell you, “Nothing at all.” Many will say, “Your child needs to read voraciously, especially literature.”

 

The most practical advice is: practice, practice, practice, especially at completing answers under timed conditions. Do ask prospective schools for sample 11-plus examination papers; these are sometimes available on school websites. A tutoring company will often have excellent resources to stimulate intellectual enquiry and extend a child’s enjoyment of learning.

 

Visits to museums, art galleries, concerts, plays, sporting events, historic places or places of interest also provide the opportunity to spark a child’s enthusiasm. Schools are looking for children who enjoy learning at every opportunity.

Vivienne Durham, schools advisory director at Enjoy Education and former head at Francis Holland School, Regent’s Park

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