Q. Where does the tutoring happen?

Tutoring is conducted at the student’s home or a location arranged by the client (e.g. the grandparent’s house).

Q. How are the sessions charged?

Clients are charged a fixed hourly rate for a minimum of one hour and then in half hour increments.

Q. For what times can sessions be booked?

Tutoring is available to start from 0800 to 2200, 7 days a week unless already booked.

Q. Are there travel costs?

There are no travel or travel-time costs for students within 20 miles of Highworth. For students beyond that distance, each situation is considered on a case-by-case basis.

Q. If we employ the tutor, what is the minimum number of sessions we would be obliged to take?

There is no minimum number of sessions . You would book sessions until you do not need or want the tutor any more.

Q. When and how do we pay?

Payment is usually made at the end of each session. With long-standing clients it can be arranged for the payments to accumulate.
Payment can only be made in cash, as a cheque made out to ‘Darling and Alii’ or by bank transfer. There are no alternative methods of payment.

Q. What do we need to provide?

The student needs to provide his own paper, pens, calculators, revision guides etc. The client needs to provide a table to work on (a dining or kitchen table is best), a safe, warm environment and a mug of tea (milk, no sugar please). The tutor brings what he needs to provide the tutoring.

Q. Is there any homework?

Generally the homework that the student is expected to do between sessions is to produce their own notes on the subject matter that has been covered in the session, review what has been covered in previous sessions and prepare for the next session. Advice will be given on where to find practice questions and papers. At the end of the day, tutoring can only be successful if the student makes the effort to learn.

Q. Is there a policy on confidentiality?

We do not identify or talk about our clients and students with other clients and students. We certainly do not compare students against each other.

Q: My daughter used to do very well in maths but has now got a new teacher who she does not like and her performance has become very bad. What should she be doing?

Many times I meet reasonably smart children who has coasted through their early maths education, able to rely on their natural ability, without needing to make too much effort. As they go up each academic year, the subject gets more difficult and there will come a time when their natural ability is just not good enough. They become disheartened, they no longer get the praise they used to get, they even start to get criticised, they lose self-confidence, they fall behind (a particular problem in maths), they develop a grumpy attitude, become disruptive in class, fight with the teacher and it all goes downhill from there.

What your daughter needs to do is change the way she does school because her current method of working may no longer good enough. It is harmful to just tell her to “work harder”. You need to encourage her to “work cleverer” which will mean that she will have to do things off her own initiative instead of only doing the work her teacher tells her to do. She will have to accept responsibility for her own effort and success.

That will be a frightening change for her and she will need your support while she develops her new skills, regains her self confidence and catches up on her maths. This is what I do as a tutor.

Q: My son does well at all the maths tests but gets into trouble by being disruptive in class. Why?

Children are disruptive in class either because they have been left behind by the rest or because they are not being challenged by the maths they are doing. As your son is doing well in the tests, it would appear that he is finding the work too easy.

In the past, when tutoring such children, I have struck a deal with the child that if they behave in class I will teach them more advanced maths: GCSE maths for the KS3 students and not-even-in-A-Level maths for the GCSE students.

Q: Can you tutor more than one child at a time?

I have done in the past but have found it not as effective as one-to-one tutoring. For tutoring to work a child needs to be confident that he or she can admit to not understanding something without that admission being used against them in teasing or bullying. I would not betray a confidence. However another child would, even if they are “best friends”. You have to balance the reduced costs per child against the lower effectiveness of the tutoring.

Q: Does an adult need to be present at the sessions?

When tutoring children up to and including GCSE then a responsible adult needs to be nearby (for obvious reasons) but not sitting in on the session. It is a difficult balance. I once had a proud father who insisted on taking part. His son was never able to relax and be honest about his understanding of the subject for fear of disappointing his father. It was not helped by .the father contributing his own versions of the topics and speaking on behalf of his son. The adult needs to be close enough to hear but not close enough to overhear.

Q: Do you have Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)? Do you work at a School?

No. I came into tutoring from teaching adults in Further Education full- or part-time between 1987 and 2006 for which QTS was not required. I neither have taught nor do teach classes of children at school; to get QTS I would need to demonstrate competence in front of a class. Tutoring and teaching are similar but different activities and QTS is not totally relevant. Finally, it should be noted that all the “bad teachers” at school have QTS as well as the good ones

More details on the terms and conditions will be provided at the first session.