Does my child need a private tutor?

tutoring during and after lockdown 2?

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Pop into a Facebook parent group these days and you might see messages like, “I’m looking for a qualified teacher who can privately tutor my 7 year old English” or, “I’m looking for a tutor for my son is writing their university applications and also desperately needs help with their History A-Level.

As the school year kicks into gear even as the coronavirus pandemic persists, parents are trying to balance the dangers of exposure to the virus and the importance of their children’s education. Among the solutions for those who can afford it include hiring private teachers and tutors to help kids at their homes.

“I think parents are honestly making this up as they go along,” says Richard Endacott, founder and CEO of Castle Tutoring, who’s been helping parents navigate a whole range of challenges.

“Will my kids fall behind and will they need need tutoring in order to catch up with their studies once lockdown is over?”.  

This is a common question during these very troubling times. The good news schools are staying open but judging by the number of calls I am receiving for daily supply work it seems that there is a shortage of teachers in schools.

Tutoring can be seen in two ways, either a means to catch up on work missed ahead of public examinations, or as ongoing support for a particular need. If you decide that yes, having a tutor will really benefit my child then the next stage of finding the right tutor can also be difficult, unless you have a recommendation from someone you trust, it’s difficult to know if you’re choosing the right tutor for your child.

The Coordinated Campaign for Learning Disabilities (CCLD) offers the following suggestions:

  1. Explain to your child why you think a tutor is needed and what a tutor does. Talk about what you hope will be accomplished with a tutor.
  2. Ask your child’s teacher or other parents for recommendations. Consider interviewing several tutors with your child. (If your child is a part of the process, he/she will be more open to accepting help.)
  3. Check the tutor’s credentials. Ask about training, experience, and references. It is important that the tutor is a certified teacher or has expertise in the subject being taught. Find out whether the person has experience working with students at your child’s grade level. If the tutor is working with a child with a learning disability, it is essential that he/she has been trained to use appropriate techniques that can address the student’s special needs.


Photo by Julia M Cameron on


Private tutoring online

Castle Tutoring aim to do things differently. Specialists in tuition for Sats, 11+. GCSE and A-Levels, Castle Tutoring’s focus is 1-1 tailored lessons in a variety of subjects and exam boards, delivered both face to face and online.

With in depth experience if getting to know students individually, and tailoring lessons specifically to suit the child, we are able to change the focus of the explanation, encouraging different ways of looking at problems, and then another, until we find something that makes sense. We have enjoyed particular success in tutoring students with SEND, ranging from mild dyslexia to ADHD and autism, with this student centred approach, making our tuition both inclusive and ensuring progress.

“Richard has just started tutoring our 10 yr old boy who is year 6 and has a super power – ADHD. We were very nervous as parents when the first session took place as anyone with a child with ADHD would know that they have a very short attention span. Once we could see how Richard was very engaging and personable with our child but kept tasks short, clear and concise, Richard was able to hold his attention the whole time during their sessions and they have loads of fun learning about various topics. 
Our child is always excited to see Richard as he can’t wait to see and learn what they will do for their session.  
Finding Richard has been a dream come true as a parent, as it has been very hard to find someone like Richard with a wealth of teaching experience but someone who tunes into kids and their super powers!”

Trinity, Windsor

Castle Tutoring emphasise a holistic approach to education. Extensive experience in schools show that learning is a not a destination, but a life-long process. That the purpose of learning is not to just get through exams and school, but to learn how to learn, how kids learn best for themselves, and how to apply it in life going forward. 

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Does tutoring help?

Private tutoring can help students if the tutor understands the family situation and life circumstances of their students. Students have also shown to have improved results if they can relate to their teacher.

This also means that working the same tutor long-term is also beneficial for improved results. Keep in mind though that this only refers to tutors who help your child and whom your child has a good relationship with. Don’t hesitate to make a change if your child complains about the tutor or you do not see any improvement.

Traditional tutoring can help students boost their self-confidence levels. While this may not help your child get better grades right away, it can be extremely beneficial long term. A self-confident student is more likely to participate, answer questions, and less afraid of making mistakes. There are all essential not only for optimal learning but work environment in the future.

Tutors who coordinate private tutoring sessions with the curriculum taught at school help students more than teaching unrelated topics. This doesn’t mean that tutors need to teach exactly what’s been taught at school. Instead, they can provide additional, hands-on practice that helps reinforce school material and make it more applicable and relatable.

Working with a private tutor can help after lockdown

Is private tutoring worth it?

Schools have remained open in the latest pandemic and whilst the likes of the Secretary of State for Education might be a bit slow in recognising the heroic actions of the teaching profession in completely overhauling their working practices to make the environment as safe and positive as possible, it must be acknowledged that nearly all schools are doing a sterling job for your child. In the last academic year, we were taught how to harness technology in a matter of four days in order to be able deliver online lessons for children and to work out how to set, collate and mark work in a virtual environment.

My hat is raised to the hard working teachers who have adapted and thrived in the most challenging of circumstances.

I’m so aware though not every child had such a positive experience and I know that many children won’t be in as good a place, so there must be a lot of parents wondering if extra tuition might be a consideration? Castle Tutoring might be one way of  catching up on study progress lost during the Covid lockdown, and making sure you’re not behind. Whether it’s worth the cost is a difficult one. You can only decide that after you see the results for your own child. But I do think if a child is frustrated with their lack of progress, or worried about upcoming exams, it’s definitely worth trying, if you can afford to stick with it for a couple of months to see if there’s an improvement.

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