01. Does the tuition take place at home?
02. Do your tutees have minimum/maximum age limits?
03. What geographical areas do you cover?
Bespoke Tuition’s central branch is in London where we have offices in Fulham and Mayfair. We specialise in hourly tuition in London but can also provide ‘live-in tutors’.
Bespoke Tuition’s second largest presence is in Hong Kong where we offer both hourly and meticulously planned weekly live-in tuition. In August 2014, we were requested to feature in the ‘Good Schools Guide’ supplement of Hong Kong Tatler 2014. Emma now visits Hong Kong four times a year to meet new families and tutors. Each term, we send out two tutors (one to cover English, the other to cover Maths/Science) who can offer hourly tuition to several families.
Worldwide “travelling tutors”:
For families who regularly travel, we can provide experienced tutors to accompany the children and ensure academic continuity. From USA to Europe and Asia, our travelling tutors can tailor a programme towards set exam/test goals or offer academic enrichment within the location inclusive of museums, galleries, local history, geography etc. Our customised solutions attract a discerning clientele interested in a tailored programme of tuition for their children. This also results in rather unique locations for tuition that have previously included: a tiger national reserve in India, a lakeside cabin in Quebec and a safari lodge in Kenya.
04. How many tutors do you have on a regular basis?
05. How do we know what the tutors at Bespoke Tuition are like before we book them?
Emma has personally recruited, interviewed and vetted each and every one of her 500+ tutors. For every successful tutor, Emma composes a 4 page profile on their background and experience to show to prospective families. These profiles include:
- a biography with photograph
- case studies detailing previous tuition assignments undertaken by the tutor
- testimonials from parents who have previously hired the tutor
- a list of specialisms noting ‘added value skills’ of the tutor
- a personal message written by the tutor describing their approach
Having been sent a personally matched tutor profile, families are given the opportunity to interview the tutor via telephone or skype. Online tutorials via skype can also be arranged as a means of ‘trying out’ the tutor which is particularly useful for those families based overseas. Example tutor profiles can be viewed on the website in the ‘Our Tutors’ section.
06. What is the average age of your tutors?
07. How do you select your tutors?
Bespoke Tuition receives an average of 10 applications per week from experienced, high-achieving tutors wishing to join our exclusive team. We have a discerning client base with exacting standards and our recruitment process is suitably rigorous and selective. Approximately 80% of tutors called for interview have at least two years’ tutoring experience and around 60% of tutors we recruit attended Oxford and Cambridge Universities. Others have attended Ivy League/world class universities such as Imperial College London, Edinburgh, Brown, UCL, LSE, Cornell and Sorbonne.
Tutors must pass our criteria at each of the following stages to proceed to the next: • Stage 1 - Tutor applies via CV and cover letter, both of which are analysed
• Stage 2 – In-person one to one interview with Emma including: analysis of tutor’s experience and teaching/communication style role play exercises (eg tutor is given a blind exam question and asked to talk through how they would help a student to tackle it) multiple intelligence testing (based on Howard Gardner’s 7 intelligences model) analysis of the tutor’s pre prepared lesson plan which hes/she is asked to deliver personal motivations questioning discussion of Bespoke Tuition’s core values and tutor’s teaching philosophy
• Stage 3 – Qualifications check is undertaken and testimonials requested from previous employers
• Stage 4 – Tutor is classified as either a ‘standard rate tutor’ or a ‘premium rate tutor’ and pay rate set
• Stage 5 – Bespoke Tuition registers the Tutor and conducts a renewed DBS background check if needed
• Stage 6 – The Tutor is sent a copy of Bespoke Tuition’s ‘Tutor Protocol’ along with our Terms
• Stage 7 – A 4 page profile is composed on the tutor which will be used to present to prospective families
• Stage 8 – Emma sits in on occasional tutorials to monitor the tutor’s performance
• Stage 9 - Testimonials are regularly gathered from parents to use as feedback on our tutors
• Stage 10 – Tutor’s pay rate is reviewed monthly to reflect referrals generated and positive feedback Beyond academics, qualifications and tutoring/teaching experience, Emma seeks tutors with charisma in person as well as a drive to exceed expectations and excitement at the prospect of making a difference to a child’s educational journey. On interviewing the tutor,
• Emma seeks:
- An ability to explain a concept in multiple ways
- A lively yet composed communication style
- In-depth knowledge of curriculum and assessment objectives for chosen subjects
- A well-structured and methodical lesson plan delivered engagingly and concisely
- Natural professionalism, diplomacy and discretion
- A thirst for teaching creatively and inspiring/building confidence in young people
- Proven ability of developing personalised tutoring programmes
- A natural energy, spark and enthusiasm
- Added value – what will set them apart from other tutors?
• Academic excellence is inevitably high in Bespoke Tuition’s recruitment criteria but Emma places equal importance on superb communication skills; tutors must be able to simplify concepts and transmit information in an informative yet engaging manner. The ‘added value’ element is key. As well as tutoring for exams, school entrance and other outcome-focused goals, Bespoke Tuition looks for tutors who can offer students the tools for lifelong learning where time and objectives allow - critical thinking, time management, organisation and memory techniques amongst others.
08. Do your tutors need minimum qualifications/experience?
09. What references do you require? What vetting procedures do you undertake?
- Two references are requested: one employer, one character
- Testimonials from parents who have engaged the tutor previously are also requested
- Further vetting by Bespoke Tuition includes the checking of: --degree certificate --teaching certificate and; --other relevant qualifications --CRB/DBS (criminal records check) --passport copy
10. What resources do your tutors use?
11. Does Bespoke Tuition have a universal style of teaching?
12. What drives your tutors?
13. How do I know that your tutors are good?
With a distinguished client base who expect the very best, Bespoke Tuition simply could not continue producing such positive outcomes and success stories, if the selected tutors were not of the highest standard. Just as Bespoke Tuition has steadily grown since 2010 from providing an exceptional service, the quality of the tutors also continues to rise year on year.
For every successful applicant, Emma composes a 4 page profile on his/her background and experience which is used to show to prospective families. Having been sent a tutor profile, families are given the opportunity to interview the tutor via telephone or skype before committing to a session. Example tutor profiles can be found on the website.
Only 15% of those who apply to Bespoke Tuition, on average, are called for interview. Emma deliberately keeps the team small so as to retain quality and offer the very highest standard of tuition. As part of the recruitment process, testimonials are requested from parents who have previously hired the tutor by way of a past performance review. We will simply not hire a tutor who has received negative feedback from previous employers.
Beyond a demonstrated ability in subject matter and excellent communication skills, Emma looks for additional areas in which tutors can add value such as: critical thinking, executive functioning, verbal/non-verbal reasoning, essay writing, exam technique, mentorship, learning disability experience, speech and language training as well as additional qualifications of relevance (eg CELTA, TEFL, PGCE, Phonics training etc.)
Once a tutor has passed Bespoke’s recruitment processes and has earned his/her place on the team, he/she must receive consistently positive feedback from our families in order to remain a member of the highly regarded team. A selection of comments written by parents who have hired our tutors over the last few years can be viewed on the ‘Testimonials’ page of the website.
14. How do you retain your tutors?
15. What are your charges including VAT?
We do not charge a registration fee or tutor search fee. The only charge to clients is the hourly or weekly tuition rate. We offer both standard and premium rate tutors – all tutors are ranked based on their experience, qualifications and track record of success. Customised quotes are provided on tutor profiles that are emailed to families upon request.
Hourly tuition in the UK commences at £40 per hour. An additional £15 per hour is charged for an additional student sharing a lesson. In Hong Kong where we do a lot of business, our hourly rate ranges from 590-790 HKD per hour. We also offer live-in residential packages that start from £900 per week plus full board and flights. These rates vary according to the nature and demands of the assignment as well as the experience/qualifications of the tutor.