Parents who employ private tutors for their children may unwittingly be putting them at risk, warned ISA CEO Neil Roskilly in an article in the Evening Standard today.
Around a quarter of UK pupils are now believed to have used a private tutor at some stage, but a lack of regulation means that some tutors may not be properly qualified. More worryingly, a minority may not even be safe to work with children.
“Hiring a tutor is a minefield for parents and some tutors can actually cause damage to a child’s chances, given the lack of regulation and quality control in the industry”, says Neil Roskilly, CEO of the Independent Schools Association.
“Many tutors have been out of teaching for years, and do not keep themselves up to date with current thinking or practice. Some are simply under qualified, and parents may well be wasting their money – particularly as many selective schools are moving to introduce tests which cannot be tutored to: so called tutor proof exams. “
The growth in private tutoring has also led to concerns about potential safety issues for children, as Neil Roskilly explains:
“Of even greater concern is that parents take quite a risk with their child’s safety when they hire a tutor. Schools have a legal obligation to check that everyone they appoint has not been barred from contact with children through the Department for Education’s “List 99” and the Disclosure and Barring Service, as well as an additional range of pre-appointments checks that include fitness and references. Parents, however, have no such recourse, apart from the word of the tutor.”
“Few tutors will have actually obtained portable DBS checks and parents would find these difficult to verify in any case. It is surprising that some parents will choose to leave their children in the hands of tutors without any additional supervision, something that a school could never contemplate. “