Have questions? Call Julia Silver (07970 485 294) or Ludo Millar (07490 123 331)

The Birth of Qualified Tutor

 

Prologue from our new book (more information coming soon).

In 2009, I was a qualified teacher; I had managed an Early Years setting, leading it from an Ofsted ‘Inadequate’ to a ‘Good’; I had tutored at least 30 students, clocking more than 250 hours tutoring – and yet I suffered from acute Imposter Syndrome as a tutor.

‘Am I doing this right?’ Was always the question. 

‘The children are happy and the parents seem pleased’, was the best I could reassure myself with.

I hadn’t read Hattie on the problem of learning being invisible. I didn’t have the EEF Teaching and Learning Toolkit to show me what I was doing right. 

Crucially, I didn’t have any other tutors to compare notes with.

Teaching is hard, really hard, but it’s also really social. You’re constantly bouncing ideas off other teachers around the school – whether you mean to or not. How the Year 2 teacher lines her class up; how the Year 6 teacher pulled that field trip together.

So many moments of inspiration, encouragement and sheer delight happen every day working alongside other teachers. 

But tutoring is lonely.

I tutored through all my maternity leaves (there were 5 of them) until eventually I had more experience as a tutor than as a teacher.

Fast forward to 2019 and my father passed away. I was Deputy Head in an orthodox Jewish girls’ primary school and had just completed an NPQH (qualification in headship – which I highly recommend). I specialised in ‘improving student outcomes by developing teachers’.

Our eldest son needed a Modern Hebrew tutor. I didn’t want to pay the local premium, so I started to explore online tutoring sites. It was so easy to find tutors in Modern Hebrew online. It was too easy – I honestly didn’t know how to choose. 

Well, actually I did – because I interview teachers for a living (and Josh turned out to be fantastic!) but I started thinking about all the parents who wouldn’t know where to start, and all the tutors who were more than capable, but not getting the jobs.

I thought about regulation: how do we know these tutors are safe?

And quality assurance: how do we know these tutors are good?

But then I remembered my own beginnings in tutoring and realised: what tutors need is training, is community, is a quality mark to set themselves apart. Tutors don’t need to be shut down, regulated, restricted; they need to be nurtured, encouraged, enabled.

And so Qualified Tutor was born.

The big QT vision is this: 

The more, and better qualified, tutors we have, the more our students will benefit: tutoring will become cheaper and more accessible and at the same time tutors will have a steady supply of students.

 

It’s time to democratise tutoring.

It’s time to develop our tutors.

It’s time to professionalise tutoring.

Who’s with me?

Julia Silver
Passionate about unlocking learning, Julia launched Qualified Tutor to enable tutors to improve outcomes for all our students. Julia is Senior Leader in a primary school in London, has been tutoring for fifteen years and has children ranging in age from 4 to 14.

1 Comment

  1. Mike Bergin
    6 February 2021 @ 2:13 pm

    Powerful mission, Julia. I’m with you!