by Graeme Matthews

February 2, 2019

Are You Being Reactive Or Proactive?


Have you noticed the billboard advertisements on your daily commute into work for the franchise tutoring agencies? Maybe you have noticed the advertisements for the tutoring agencies on the side of the local buses or tubes? Or maybe you have noticed the flyers for the tutoring agencies in your junk mail that arrives in the mail along with your monthly bills. Have you noticed that they all follow the same format? A child is seen smiling as they work with their private tutor as they sit around a table. Or another child is seen holding up their A-level results letter which states they have earned A* or A grades on their exams and are going off to the university of their choice. Or another advertisement states that their franchise tutoring agencies almost guarantees an A* or A grade on the final exam of A-level courses.

And maybe you pause for a moment and think about how well your own child is doing in their A-level courses. Maybe you have just received your child’s mock exam results and are worried about what they predict for your child. If you need an explanation of the results, read the blog post “Mock Exam Results Explained: Are They A Good Indicator Of Your Child’s Future Success?” And you wonder if rather than spending a lot of money sending your child to a tutoring franchise once a week, whether hiring a private tutor directly would help them earn better grades on their final exams at a cheaper price. So you conduct a quick Google search on private tutors in your area which shows not only the Google advertisements for the franchise tutoring services but also a page of links to tutoring websites. One of those websites where teachers post their credentials and hourly rate and show up to your house in the evening during the week or during a Sunday afternoon.

In an act of desperation as your child brings home a failing or a poor grade on their latest A-level course exam you reach for your phone and schedule an appointment with the local franchise tutoring agency. Or you enter your credit card details into a website, purchase the contact details of a private tutor and hire them to come to your house and tutor your child for an hour on a weekend afternoon.

Did parts of this story sound familiar to you? When you read the story did you think that you knew exactly what that parent felt like? Did you see yourself in the story scrolling through pages and pages of search results on your phone while you waited for a tube on the way into work? Or maybe late at night after you finally get a few minutes peace and quiet to yourself?

Would you like to be able to compare the advantages and disadvantages of working with a franchise tutoring company versus a private tutor?

Need A Tutor: Five Advantages Of Using A Franchise Tutoring Company

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Franchise tutoring companies along with private tutors are part of the shadow education market. They both provide supplemental education to your child in order to help them succeed on benchmark exams such as their GCSE or A-level exams. The franchise tutoring market segment is growing rapidly. According to IbisWorld, the franchise tutoring market has grown over the last five years to $1.15 billion. If it’s a growing market, then it must mean that a lot of parents are using their services so the tutoring that the children receive must be making a difference in their education. And one would assume that its good value for money, right?

There are several advantages to consider if you are thinking about using the services of a tutoring franchise. First, is that you bring your child to the centre to be tutored which means that you don’t have to tidy up your home for a home visit from a private tutor. Second, is that tutoring centres only hire teachers that have passed a background check and are qualified teachers in their subject fields. So you know that the teacher that is tutoring your child is qualified to tutor in their field of expertise and you are not paying for someone who claims that they can tutor in a given subject but are unqualified to do so. Third, is that the tutoring centres tend to follow a systematic program of instruction when tutoring your child. Your child will take an initial diagnostic test and the results will be used to create a plan of action for the tutor to follow using the centre’s resource materials. Fourth, the tutoring centre will give your child progress tests so that you can see the progress that they are making in their studies. And fifth is that children who attend franchise tutoring centres do make academic progress throughout the academic year.

Need A Tutor: Five Disadvantages Of Using A Franchise Tutoring Company

need a tutor

The disadvantages are the opposite of the advantages outlined above. First, is that you have to bring your child to the tutoring centre several times a week. This means that you need to drive to the tutoring centre, drop your child off at the centre, wait for tuition to finish, pick your child up and then drive back home. Is this something that you want to do several times a week after you have been at work all day? Second, is that the teachers who work at the tutoring centre are paid minimum wage or just above minimum wage for their time. Most of the teachers who work at franchise tutoring companies are doing so in order to pay off a credit card or other financial obligation or are saving up for a vacation. If you stop and think for a minute, why else would a teacher who has been background checked, qualified as a teacher and has several years of teaching experience work for minimum or just above minimum wage after teaching all week? Do you think that the teacher has your child’s best interest at heart or are they just going through the motions of tutoring your child in order to collect a meagre paycheck once every two weeks? Third, is that franchise tutoring companies follow a pre-programmed system of tuition. Once your child has completed a diagnostic test they are placed into a stream of worksheets that they complete and the teacher checks against an answer key. If they score a certain percentage then they can move onto the next worksheet and gradually work their way to the end of the sequence of worksheets, take a diagnostic test and then repeat the process again until they graduate from the tutoring centre. Do you want a one size fits all approach to your child’s education or would you rather have a bespoke approach that is tailored to your child’s educational needs? Fourth, is the cost of the lesson itself. Franchise tutoring companies charge anywhere from £40 to £99 per lesson depending on whether you want your child to be tutored in a group setting or individually and what topic is being taught i.e. GSCE or A-Level or English or Maths. Now, it doesn’t take a parent too long to realise that if the teacher is being paid around £10 per hour, then the rest of the hourly fee is being used to cover franchise fees, operating overheads and the salaries of the director and the administrative staff. Fifth is that the owner of the franchise is not required to be a teacher and often does not have an educational background. Rather, all they need is a desire to own and operate a tutoring franchise and they will receive up to two weeks of training from the franchise corporate headquarters before opening their franchise. Again, would you trust your child’s future to someone who isn’t a qualified teacher?

Need A Tutor: Is Sending Your Child To A Franchise Tutoring Agency Worth The Money?


There are good points and bad points to take into account when considering sending your child to a tutoring franchise for tuition. Using a tutoring franchise is an expensive option, which for most parents in the United States is equivalent to paying for the first year of their child’s college tuition. However, like buying clothing off of the rack in a department store, tutoring franchises may offer a solution that isn’t quite the right fit but it does get the job done. Your child will graduate with GCSE or A-level grades that are higher than they would have been without having tuition from a tutoring franchise. However, before you make the decision to send your child to a tutoring franchise for tuition you may want to consider private tuition by hiring the teacher directly through a tutoring website which will be discussed in the next blog post.

About the author 

Graeme Matthews

Graeme Matthews has a B.Sc and an M.Sc in Chemistry and a PhD in Adult Education. He has been teaching a combination of university level, college and A-level chemistry for over 23 years. He has taught over 10,000 chemistry students in his teaching career. He has a proven track record of helping students earn an A* on their A-level chemistry exams so they can attend the university of their choice.

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