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Thinking of a Tutor?

Updated: Sep 6, 2021

Education and attainment in SQA National 5 and Higher courses has never been more publicised than it is today. Competition for university places, college courses and apprenticeships is fierce and it is often all about results, making the hunt for qualified tutors in Scotland an important task.

More and more students are looking for that extra level of support to ensure they gain every possible mark in their exams and coursework – this often leads to the recruitment of a tutor; but be careful and make sure you do your homework first. Making the decision to find a tutor for your child is one thing but actually finding the right person or tutoring school is another story.

When, who and where? Saturday School Ltd aims to answer some of these questions and offer guidance to help you make the right decision.

When should you start searching for tutors in Scotland?

Some families will choose a tutor very early in a learner’s life – even at primary school. Identifying potential learning barriers can often be a catalyst to a parent choosing additional tuition for children in their primary years; but it is important not to overload learning so early in a young person’s life. It’s very easy to take the fun out of learning – enjoyment of learning is fundamental to a successful education.

Most typically, parents will look for a tutor when their child reaches the senior phase of high school. S4 parents evenings or prelim diets are typically when the help button is pressed; there’s a reason why this is the most popular time as it’s certainly the most pertinent.

The winter before the final SQA exam diet can be the ideal time to commence tuition as there will be test scores and prelim results to act on, with enough time remaining to make the necessary improvements to knowledge, skills and confidence. However, after a hard day at school for both the tutor and the tutee, tuition can be exhausting. Is this really the best time of the week to run the session? Are both people at their best?

Weekend sessions can often be the best solution, away from the distractions of the school day and enabling tutees the time after school to complete homework and maintain participation in extracurricular activities.

Who are the right tutors in Scotland?

Finding the right tutor to support learning is the most important decision you will make in this whole process. Many people newer to teaching will often bring a range of new and fresh learning strategies to the table – literally if it’s home tuition you choose – but that can be offset by a lack of teaching experience at certificate level.

There’s no substitute for experience, finding someone who has plenty of experience presenting classes for SQA exams who also delivers brilliant learning experiences is key. These tutors are the holy grail; they are out there but they are hard to find and may already be snapped up or employed by a tutoring school.

It is highly recommended to find someone who is an actual teacher, PVG checked, GTCS registered and delivering the qualifications on a day-to-day basis. This is the only way to guarantee that they understand the SQA standards to maximise the marks attained in the final exams and externally assessed coursework.

Where do you find tutors in Scotland?

Many people will opt for home tuition, having the tutor visit at home, so that support is conveniently delivered in the comfort of their own home. It is crucial that you make sure that after the first few sessions that you discuss and evaluate the progress being made, listen to the opinion of your child, it’s likely to be brutally honest!

If no progress is being made, is it worth the time and money? A tutor is not a magic wand but grades and confidence should improve pretty quickly if it is working.

Not all homes offer a calm and effective learning environment – family life can be hectic – a venue away from school and home is often ideal. Tutoring schools are becoming more and more popular but choose wisely.

Look for tutoring schools that only employ fully qualified teachers that have professional accreditation such as SQA approval. There are lots of charlatans out there who don't actually know the courses they offer tuition in - take your time and be thorough in your selection.

Doing a google search for "N5 or Higher Tutor Near Me" will bring hundreds of results, and mostly from the larger national tutoring agencies. There's nothing wrong with these organisations but be aware that they have thousands of registered people on there, mostly undergraduates, offering tuition. Basically, the large national agencies and even the smaller local ones, are just a matchmaker. They let you enter some details and then show you a list of the closest matches for your criteria. When you find the one you want, you and/or the tutor pay a small fee to the agency to be connected. The agency have probably not met the person in question.

At Saturday School, things are different, we are a small team of proper teachers, and we have worked together for over a decade, with unrivalled success.

The appeal for tutoring schools is that you are away from both the home and school environment and a fresh setting can mean a fresh and positive mindset. However, some tutoring schools have subject graduates who aren’t actually teachers and have no knowledge of SQA systems and assessment standards.

Saturday School Ltd only employ full time practicing teachers many of whom are SQA markers and Principal Teachers. We are proud to be an SQA Approved Centre and an Approved Training Provider of Skills Development Scotland – something no other tutors in Scotland can compete with.

Saturday School Ltd offers a range of weekend revision classes to suit the needs of all learners. Please visit our website for details of our Weekly Revision Lessons, Grade Booster Days, Scholarships and other awards.

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