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13th June 2016
Last week the BBC published an article about online tuition – BBC Article
This is the response from Joy Mason, Vice Principal.
‘There is no doubt that having access to a good one to one teaching can make the world of difference to a student.
Tutors can range in price from as little as £20 to £150 in some specific cases. I am concerned that Mr Yu says his tutors on this app will work for less than this and it will ‘help them make better use of their time.’ If you browse the internet you will see a lot of ‘tutors ‘on line have just completed their A levels or are in the middle of their university degree They have no training or expertise as a teacher and learn through those they ty to help. Parents can spend a lot of money finding a good tutor. I think peer mentoring is a very good idea and that older students have a lot to offer younger ones that is why many schools and colleges, like ours, would encourage and organise students to study this way. However, this would not replace the expert tuition our teachers give the students.
I am sure that an online assessment can help build an assessment of a student’s strengths and weaknesses. However the advantage of one to one teaching is that a teacher can work at the appropriate pace and adapt their teaching to the preferred learning style of the student. They can suggest different ways of learning and retaining information and help them with specific obstacles to learning like dyslexia, dyspraxia or other learning difficulties.
I am concerned that Mr Yu suggests that all students, if using this app, should have a parent or guardian present ‘at all times’ during lessons. It is given as a recommendation but it will be hard to see how this would be tested and whether this does provide sufficient safeguarding for vulnerable young people. Parents should always ensure that they are dealing with an agency that properly screens its tutors, or a private tutor that can provide them with references and a DBS/ CRB check, which will ensure the tutor has no prior convictions and they have been vetted properly.
There is some truth in the fact that students can lean on a tutor and spoon feed them . This does not teach them to think for themselves.
At Brampton College we pride ourselves on having small classes and the possibility of attending tutorials where students can get one to one help. However, in a well organised, safe environment students can be given the best learning material, respond to learning styles and share their expertise. We would encourage students to come to their tutors because of the variable quality of the tutors that advertise on line or join various agencies.
My advice would be to beware of a cheap service that offers instant advice, requires parental supervision whilst students use it because they cannot guarantee the safety of your child without it and look for expert help in a supervised and regulated activity.
A good private tutor may help provide guidance and support if they have the experience and expertise. However, if your child needs a structured and supportive environment it may be you should look at a school or college who can give you all the advantages of this help plus the safety and security of knowing the knowledge is being monitored and checked by experts.’
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