There is a question that I take with me wherever I go: What is the difference between a £5/hour tutor and a £50/hour tutor?
Recently I discussed this question with a very impressive tutor to learn her thoughts. Melissa Harvey has a degree in French & Spanish with a distinction in Spanish interpreting. She also holds an international Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE), and has spent almost two decades living abroad and travelling the world, including numerous placements as a residential tutor for UHNW families. For the past three and a half years, Melissa has built up a full schedule of online tutoring – she is the epitome of a professional tutor.
Melissa told me that she, and other tutors like her, resent explaining to agencies why it’s not OK to list her services for £24 alongside tutors with far less experience and rate expectations. Melissa is a very soft-spoken person, but admitted that she found it demeaning and unfair, when given her vast expertise and experience, she often finds it difficult to find opportunities which reflect her value.
Of course, there is nothing wrong with spending £24, or less, for tutoring and one-to-one live tuition is not the only way. Depending on the needs of the student and the preferences of the family there are now a huge number of delivery models available. Dr Claire Wilshir is an ex-teacher whose tutoring service, National Tutors, is designed to be a more affordable option. Her platform hosts pre-recorded courses, written and delivered by experienced tutors. Starting at £5/month the students access the material independently, and can ask tutors questions by email. Claire also works one-to-one with high needs students at rates that recognise her professional expertise, but is she passionate about making sure that there are options at every price point.
Melissa remembered that her first tutoring job aged 16, was working as a French tutor for a language company which visited local primary schools. At that time she was very happy to receive £5/ hour. After a number of years tutoring, including working with one particular family for over six years, Melissa received such glowing references that she landed her first big residential placement – the first of many. Looking back, Melissa agreed that in those early years, when she had very little experience at a young age, her time felt fairly valued at £5. More than twenty years of full time tutoring later, with a solid track record of boosted confidence and improved educational outcomes, what is Melissa’s time worth? I would suggest it’s significantly more than £50/hour.
Both Claire and Melissa are QT Members. Their ‘how’ may be different, but their ‘why’ is the same: They are committed to raising standards in tutoring together.
There are credible, effective solutions at every price point in tutoring. The most important thing is for tutors and their clients to have a clear understanding of what they’re giving and what they’re gaining. A fair exchange is one based on clarity.
That’s why we created QT Digital Credentials. This verifiable, shareable resource closes the knowledge gap so that expertise can be more accurately evaluated. Now there really is a way to ensure fair pricing in tutoring. For more information about our QT Digital credentials, go here.