My child is a little apprehensive about tuition. What can I do?

This is extremely common – children are often apprehensive about new experiences, and unfortunately a stigma exists where tutors are called in because the child feels they aren’t ‘good enough’. First and foremost, sit down with your child and ask about their concerns – they may need reassuring of their abilities. Explain the benefits to your child, and start slowly – I am happy to offer trial sessions to allow children to explore our working relationship. It may help to incentivise our lessons – often times a short-term benefit in addition to the long-term academic benefits can support learners to engage with sessions.

How does your calendar work?

As a University student, I am given my timetable before my semester begins. Once I have been provided with this, I look at regularly available slots to book students in for. I offer these ascending in age – as I am sure parents can appreciate, my Year 10 students are far more likely to be able to manage a 7pm slot than my Year 1 students! I work evenings and Sundays, taking Saturday off except in rare circumstances for PPA time.

How involved/deinvolved do I have to be?

As a family-focused provider, this is entirely your choice. For some of my clients, I have weekly phone meetings to cover learning outcomes and set an additional session worth of content as home learning. For some of my other clients, we only communicate when we are arranging slots. I understand that different people have different priorities and am happy to work within either parenting style.

What can my child bring to a Homework Helper session?

I exclusively deliver both online and offline sessions through my Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite, running Samsung Internet. Typically, anything I can access. This includes clear photos of paper worksheets, and PDF worksheets. For web platforms (e.g. ClassDojo, Google Classroom, Sparx, MathsWatch, Hegarty Maths, Dr Frost), I will only be able to offer Homework Helper sessions via these platforms if they are compatible with my device. I strongly urge students and parents to research the platform in question and ensure these are compatible with my device before booking!

What device do I need?

I ask that students have a device with a big enough screen to be readable (13 inch screen or bigger), but any device compatible with Google Meet (Chromebook, Mac, iPad) is fine. If your child is on a Mac or Windows computer, I ask that you install the free Google Chrome application.

What are your fees?

I do not publicise these – however, in my market research, I have been told these are highly competitive.

How can children communicate with you?

Students can independently contact me via email to george@georgehalltuition.com. For students with access to Canvas or Microsoft Teams, they may also use the messaging tools inbuilt. 

As of May 2023, I am trialling a three-way messaging system in which parents, students and myself can liaise in a WhatsApp group – for safeguarding, children must block my number and I will block theirs, ensuring all messages go through the group, mitigating prominent safeguarding concerns as parents are active participants in reviewing communications. Parents are welcome to reach out to me to set this up.

Parents are welcome to privately contact me through WhatsApp, email, parent portal or social media. For privacy-conscious parents, I am happy to install preferred communication methods so long as these are compatible with Mac and Android.

I would like to partake in virtual tuition, but I am apprehensive of providing my child with a digital device. What can I do?

If you are on iOS or Android, look at Guided Access or App Pinning respectively. If you would rather not deal with the technical side of a locked down device, I offer locked down ‘managed’ devices to students as a paid service.

How do you handle technical difficulties?

While I am asked this often, I find this occurs far less often than people would think! Especially post-move to Google Meet, the web-based nature of this means there is far less that is able to go wrong.

To mitigate any issues, I encourage students to join the meeting 15 minutes early to make sure any updates and any parental control issues can be completed. For a students first lesson, I allow a greater amount of time to allow children to log in and resolve any teething issues. After this, I allow 15 minutes between lessons for technical issues and overrunning.

Beyond the first month, I will always try and make up lost time – however, where these are too long to fit in, technical difficulties come out of lesson time. If this is the case, at my discretion, I may ‘bank’ lost time.

What is your cancellation policy?

I understand that children fall ill at sudden notice, and as such I offer free rescheduling if this is within a seven day period (subject to my availability). I offer one free cancellation per term, and charge 60% for any other cancellations made without 5 days notice.

How do you protect mine and my child’s data?

I own two sets of devices – one for university/personal and one for tuition, with little to no overlap. All devices are protected with a strong password, and biometrics on compatible devices. On a monthly basis, I review the applications and processes I use to ensure that I am sharing data with as few companies as possible – this list can be viewed at this link to ensure parents are aware of how, where and why information is processed.

The only information regarding tuition stored on my personal devices are payment records. For privacy-conscious parents, I encourage you to pay online. On my bank statement and the banking app stored on my personal phone, the name of the payment processor “PayPal” is all that is stored.

In addition to my rigorous internal policies, I am ICO registered to store information. I do not publicise this certificate on my website for privacy concerns, but this is available to current, former and prospective parents upon request. Lesson recordings are stored securely in the Cloud for seven years and then erased.

How do you manage homework?

This is, again, largely up to parents. For students who want homework, I will either send this to parents via email or via Canvas for students who want to take a higher level of independence in their learning. However, for some students, I am asked not to set homework as the workload from schools is intense on its own. This is, again, largely left up to parents – I am happy to work within the boundaries of parental wishes.