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Choosing a home tutor

We have received the following letter from the Director of Children's Services. To download this letter in PDF format click here.

Dear Parent/carer,


Wigan Council considers the Safeguarding of our children the highest priority. We are aware that
some parents employ private tutors to support their children’s learning in music, sport and other
academic subjects. Due to some concerns raised recently about the safety of private tutors, we are
issuing the following reminder to all parents who currently employ or are considering employing a
home/private tutor for their child/children.


Schools cannot advise on appropriate tutors. Parents could go through home tuition agencies that
will have carried out the relevant checks such as DBS Checks and references. Some Home Tutors
advertise locally, so when recruiting privately it is still helpful to inform the school that you are doing
so to enable them to be responsive to your child’s changing learning needs.


Parents should ensure that they are satisfied that the tutor in question is qualified and does not
present a threat to their child’s welfare. It is important that parents understand that there is no
regulation around home tutoring and people who have been Barred from Teaching, or even
committed offences, can carry on offering Home Tutoring. It is really important that parents check
any one they may be hiring to support their child and to ensure that children are safe when they are
being tutored.


How can parents, when selecting a tutor, be sure that they are properly qualified and do not
pose a risk to a child?


This is not a definitive list and parents should gather as much information as possible before
employing a private tutor:

  • Always interview candidates and ask to see and check their professional references and qualification certificates.
  • Check the tutor is competent in the area that you are looking for i.e. GCSE or A Levels, and are familiar with the syllabus.
  • If there are career gaps on their CV, ask for reasons and seek any additional evidence.
  • If the tutor is currently employed by a local school, or other educational establishment, ask for a reference from the head teacher or head of service.
  • Under the rules governing criminal records checks, individuals cannot request Disclosure and Barring Service checks on themselves.
  • Many private tutors will not have an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service Check for Regulated Activity (DBS check) for their work as a tutor. Some may have DBS checks done for other work such as teaching, fostering and adoption or volunteering. It is at the discretion of parents to decide whether it poses an unnecessary risk to their child to employ the services of a private tutor without a DBS check or with a DBS check undertaken for other purposes.
  • Some tutors may have DBS checks done through an agency or organisation offering tuition services. It is at the discretion of parents to decide whether the agency or organisation is sufficiently trustworthy to undertake these DBS checks.
  • It is also useful for the tutor to meet your child so that you can see if they get on before you hire them.

What happens when you have found a home tutor?
In the home, in a quiet place away from distraction is best for tuition. Bedrooms are not suitable for
study. It is important that you have access to the room and can watch the tutor at any time.

When your child goes to other premises for one-to-one tuition, you should stay with your child in
sight and, when your child goes for group tuition, seek assurances that your child will remain within
the group.


Yours sincerely,

James Winterbottom
Director of Children’s Services