Wondering how to choose the right tutor for your child?

From support with school work to guiding your child through curriculum challenges or boosting confidence; we can help.

The choice of who to trust with your child’s education can be overwhelming with so many tuition providers and private tutors to choose from. 

We believe that our experienced tutors can deliver the results you need.

What qualities should a great tutor have?

You want the best for your child. This means you need a professional, knowledgeable and effective tutor that can adapt to your child’s learning style. At Explore Learning, we only recruit academic achievers and ensure they are experts in the National Curriculum, supporting your child to achieve their full potential. 

As a starting point, great tutors should have:

  • Excellent organisational skills

  • Fantastic communication skills

  • Good subject knowledge and Curriculum knowledge

What are the skills of a tutor?

Prior to tutoring for Explore Learning, tutor Sean Southerland-Kirby taught in a drama school, worked in pupil referral units and within SEND schools. With a wealth of educational knowledge and experience tutoring at Explore, he has a passion for getting it right for every child, every time.

Centre Director, Sean, with an Explore Learning member at a computer, both are wearing a sunflower lanyard, which is a symbol for people to showcase that they have a hidden disability.

Here he breaks down the key qualities that make a successful tutor:

Strong rapport building

“I believe that the most important skill a tutor and student build together should be the ability to connect and create a tutoring relationship. The first thing I do with any child is get to know them, using my active listening skills to remember their hobbies and interests.”

Good listeners who understand that each child is unique

“I know what their siblings’ names are, what their favourite colour is, what pets they have. This may not seem important, but asking “how is Rufus the dog?” shows my members that I see them as an individual.”

Professional and reliable

“Most of my members will spend their days at school in a class of 30+ pupils. I know from my own teaching experience in primary and secondary schools how difficult it can be to make sure every pupil is catered for. At Explore Learning we are able to go that extra step and really tailor each session to each pupil.”


“I have a motto that I tell all of my members: ‘It doesn’t matter if we get it right or wrong. An incorrect answer is an opportunity to learn something new’. It’s something I truly believe and something the children I tutor respond really well to. It takes the pressure off the need to be perfect and instead focuses them on how to overcome challenges and be a better learner.”

Approachable for children and parents

“If a tutor is patient and caring, the child will respond to that and so will their parents. I often have parents coming forward to ask for advice or help; parent relationships are just as important to me as my pupil ones.”

Adaptable to students needs using initiative

“I have spent many years working with children who are hearing impaired (as I am), visually impaired, or on the autistic spectrum. Adapting my teaching technique for these children is important, but fundamentally the same as with any other child. It requires a little more awareness on . For some of the children I teach, this may mean that we spend extra time refreshing subjects or coming up with fun mnemonics. By tailoring to each child’s needs, a tutor’s dedication to education really shows.” 

Honest, empathetic and trustworthy

“By building a relationship with the child founded on respect, my members trust me. That, in turn, means that a child can really open up to me and engage in their learning journey.” 

Fun and engaging

“More than just supporting children with , my passion is opening their eyes to how wonderful learning these subjects can be. A little laughter along the way certainly supports a child’s learning process. We spend time playing games while we work such as ‘2 Truths, 1 Lie!”

Enthusiastic, encouraging and inspiring

“I believe it’s really important to talk to children and not to talk at them or down to them. We are inspiring them to take charge of their own learning journey and to be fearless. So it only stands to reason that we talk to them with the same respect we would an adult.”

Dedicated; encouraging independence and tutoring for the right reasons

“We have a responsibility to do everything we can to empower these young people to be the best learners they possibly can be, and that’s something I’m proudly passionate about.”

Considerate of learning beyond the curriculum

“I think it’s really important that children see tutors as individuals. For instance, as well as a tutor I am also an artist, YouTuber and author. Being able to talk candidly with children about other subjects, and relate them to their education, brings an extra dimension to their Explore Learning experience.”

What makes a good tutor?

Your child’s tutor needs to be able to do more than just teach maths and English.

Our tutors inspire and motivate through rewarding achievements and build lifelong bonds by getting to know your child and how to get the most out of their sessions.

This image shows a tutor who is young woman in a blue Explore Learning polo shirt standing in front of a plain white wall.

Tutor Kimberley Fish, discusses her recent successful tutoring and demonstrates exactly why our good tutors stand out from the crowd: 

“I am passionate about teaching children new things and helping them become more confident in themselves and academically. I love learning, I think that really helps me to be a great tutor because I always challenge myself to learn something new and I am able to project that onto the children. 

I tailor every single session to the child, so no one session is the same. My extracurricular learning has really helped to tailor my tutoring specifically when working with children who have SEND. One example of this is with a member who has selective mutism, I had heard of selective mutism before but didn’t really know anything about it or why people struggled with it, so I went away and researched. I looked at various websites which taught me different strategies to try in my tutoring sessions.

In addition to this, the child had various things they were passionate about so I learnt about those, and you could see how they got visibly excited when I spoke about their passions. They also speak Polish so now I am learning some basic Polish so that we can hopefully say a few words together! I am determined to have an impact on children’s lives and change the way they view learning.”

How to be a good tutor

For any aspiring tutors out there, we want to help so that you can go on to inspire young people in their education. If you’re wondering how to be a good tutor, here are our top tutor tips…

Be confident.

The first and most important step for any tutor! You’ve been chosen to help children with their learning because of your amazing qualities as a tutor, so don’t forget about that. 

Establish trust.

You need to be sure that children trust you enough so that they can open up to you about what they need help with in their learning. Particularly if they’re struggling with keeping up in school, some children may feel a little down or ashamed about learning so be there to reassure them – they’re in a safe space where they can learn at a pace that works for them. 

Be flexible.

Every student is different, so make sure that you keep that in mind as a tutor. You may need to adapt your techniques to different learning styles, so try to plan for that as much as you can. 

Be patient.

Everyone learns at their own pace, and some children may need a few extra steps before they reach their learning destination. So make sure you’re ready to be patient so that no child feels rushed or left behind. 

Be a good listener. 

When you tutor children make sure you’re taking the time to listen to them and what they’re struggling with in their learning. You don’t always have to be the one talking, or even directing the conversation. Children have a habit of being honest when they feel like they’re being listened to! 

Be open to sharing your own experience.

If a child is really struggling with something that you remember having difficulty with when you were younger, be honest with them about that. Tell them how you overcome it with your own learning strategy. That way they’ll feel confident that you can help them with their own learning strategy and that the problems can be overcome. 

Teach learning strategies.

Unlike a teacher, as a tutor you’re there to act as a supporter or cheerleader for a child’s learning. Rather than teaching children something new, you’ll support them with their school learning by teaching them good learning strategies that they can apply to their education, and eventually turn them into a fearless learner. 

Can I become a tutor?

You can become a tutor yourself if you believe you've got the qualities we've mentioned above!

If you're ready to be patient, confident and flexible with your tutoring approach then you could make a great tutor. With Explore Learning you'll benefit from consistent tutoring hours every week, so you won't have to worry about making last minute changes to your schedule or finding your own students.

If you're already an experienced tutor and are ready to take on the challenge, you could become a centre manager!

Child and tutor in Explore learning centre

How to choose a good tutor

Identify your child’s academic strengths and weaknesses 

Getting to grips with the areas your child feels confident and less confident in, can help you to direct their learning with their tutor from the get-go. If you’re unsure, you can ask their teacher or look at recent school reports to get a gauge of where they’re at. 

Our trial tuition sessions are also the perfect opportunity to receive honest feedback on your child’s academic strengths and weaknesses and to discuss their needs with us.

Keep your child’s learning style in mind

You know how your child learns best. Finding a tutor to complement this learning style is important so that your child can get the best out of every session.

Our maths and English tutors are experienced in getting the best out of your child and know that children learn best when they’re engaged with their learning. That’s why our award-winning approach caters for all different learning styles through interactive teaching methods to ignite their spark, every time.

Consider the tutor’s experience and certifications

Your child will be spending a lot of time with their tutor, so it’s important that you find someone you can trust. In order to reach their full potential, children need the ultimate cheerleader, someone they can confide in, who understands them – a mentor to guide them, a role model to inspire them. 

With over 20 years of tutoring experience, we can help your child to believe in themselves and discover the magic of learning.

Get references and recommendations

Asking friends, family and your child’s teacher for their advice and recommendations can support you in guiding your child to the right tuition for them. 

We’re trusted by parents and highly recommended by teachers for a reason. Our proven results and multiple awards will reassure you that we can help your child excel academically, but crucially become a fearless learner who is confident and thirsty for knowledge.

Think about what environment your child works best in

Considering what learning atmosphere is right for your child prior to beginning tuition, can set them up for success.

We operate 100+ vibrant tuition centres UK wide and have adapted our hugely successful approach to give our families the same experience with online tuition.

Learn what a typical tutoring session looks like and how much it costs

Understanding how your child’s tuition is going to work can support you in reassuring you that you’ve made the right decision and can support your child with feeling prepared. We offer a free trial session for you to see our vibrant tuition brought to life, explore how it works and see if we’re the right fit for your family. 

Find out how your tutor keeps up to date with the school curriculum

Every parent wants their child to have the best chance of success, and choosing the right tutor and considering their expertise with the school curriculum is key.

That’s why we only recruit academic achievers and ensure they are excellent tutors and experts in the National Curriculum, supporting your child to achieve their full potential. We only employ passionate educators and inspiring role models.

Ask if your tutor provides student progress reports

Discovering how your tutor is going to relay feedback to you is important for you to stay on track with your child’s achievements.

At Explore, we like to involve both the student and parent in keeping them updated with academic progress. After every session, your tutor will provide tailored, real-time feedback to you and your child, and we’ll schedule regular meetings with you to discuss their progress and plan ahead.

Whether it’s face to face in one of our tuition centres or online, your child will always be met with a warm welcome. Our qualified tutors always provide a safe space for your child to work towards their academic goals and give personalised feedback to enhance their learning.

Looking to get started? Speak to our experts to find the perfect membership for your family.

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What qualities make a good tutor FAQs

What qualities should I look for in a good tutor?

There are several important qualities to consider, such as subject knowledge, communication skills, patience, adaptability, and the ability to motivate and inspire students.

How important is subject knowledge for a tutor?

Subject knowledge is crucial for a tutor as it allows them to provide accurate information, answer questions effectively, and guide students in a comprehensive and authoritative manner.

What role does communication play in tutoring?

Communication is vital in tutoring as it enables tutors to explain concepts clearly, listen to students' questions and concerns, and foster a supportive and engaging learning environment.

Why is patience an essential quality for a tutor?

Patience is crucial because students have different learning speeds and may struggle with certain concepts. A patient tutor can provide guidance at the student's pace, ensuring a better understanding and learning experience.

How important is adaptability in a tutor?

Adaptability is highly valuable in tutoring as each student has unique learning styles and needs. A tutor who can tailor their teaching methods and approaches to suit individual students is more likely to facilitate effective learning.

What role does motivation play in tutoring?

Motivation is key to helping students stay engaged and committed to their studies. A good tutor knows how to inspire and encourage students, fostering a positive attitude towards learning and helping them overcome challenges.

Should a good tutor be flexible with their teaching strategies?

Yes, a good tutor should be flexible and willing to adjust their teaching strategies based on the student's progress and feedback. This flexibility allows them to find the most effective approach for each student.

What other qualities are important for a good tutor?

Other qualities to consider include empathy, organization, adaptability to different learning environments (online or in-person), the ability to provide constructive feedback, and a passion for teaching and helping students succeed.

How can I identify these qualities in a potential tutor?

When evaluating a potential tutor, consider reviewing their qualifications, experience, and testimonials from previous students. Additionally, you can conduct interviews or trial sessions to assess their communication style, patience, and adaptability.

Can these qualities be developed or improved upon?

Yes, many of these qualities can be developed or enhanced through experience, training, and self-reflection. A tutor who is committed to continuous improvement can further refine their skills and become even better at supporting students.

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