Tutors' Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to have graduated to tutor with you?

No. The minimum requirement to become a Blue Tutor is that you should either have completed a degree, be currently undertaking one, or have significant teaching/tutoring experience. Also, each of our tutors must be 18 or over.

Do I need teaching experience in order to apply?

Teaching experience is not required to become one of our tutors. We welcome applications from experienced teachers and tutors, but you shouldn't be discouraged if you have no experience. Our tutoring assessment is designed to test your potential to be a Blue Tutor, whether you have tutored previously or not.

What if English isn't my first language?

We are a tuition agency based in the UK, and as such all of our tutors must have excellent spoken English. During your teaching assessment one of our criteria will be to check that you can communicate ideas clearly and fluently in English. We will also check that your sentences are grammatically correct.

How does it all work?

Once you become a tutor, you will be able to log in to the website and view a list of potential students, some of whom you may be keen to teach. If you accept the offer to tutor a student, we will usually let you know within 7 days whether you have been selected as that student's tutor. If so, you will each receive the other's contact details so that you can arrange a first lesson.

How do you match tutors to students?

We look at a number of factors to decide which tutor would best suit the needs of the student. The key criteria are the qualifications tutors have in the subject to be tutored, and whether they can travel to the location required by the student. We also look at whether tutors are able to meet any individual requirements a student may have, and take into account a tutor's feedback from previous students and their assessment performance.

Which subjects can I tutor?

As a general guideline a tutor will have studied a subject at least one level above that at which they intend to tutor. However, this is not always necessary; a tutor who has completed their degree will be allowed to tutor at degree level, and if we consider a specialist subject to be complementary to another qualification then the tutor may be allowed to teach that qualification. For example, a tutor with a Maths degree would be allowed to tutor Physics at A Level, assuming that the tutor has studied Physics A Level.

Can I tutor during the summer vacation, or during vacations in general?

Yes, this is possible, but you should bear in mind that the summer period is far quieter than during the academic year. If students want tuition during holidays then we can organise tuition for just that period.

Where do lessons take place?

If a student has requested face to face tuition, this usually means that they require a tutor to come to their house. For students under 16 years of age we strongly recommend that tuition take place in the student's home, where a parent or guardian is present. However, for all other students, tuition may be arranged wherever agreed. If tutors are unable to travel to a student's house but would still like to apply for the opportunity, then they may conditionally accept and suggest an alternative location.

How far will I have to travel?

When accepting the offer to tutor a student, you will see the tuition location displayed. This allows tutors to decide if they are able to travel to the student, and to plan their journey. A travel expense of up to £5 is usually stated as part of the details of a new student. However, tutors are always welcome to conditionally accept a student and request an increase in travel expenses, or an alternative location.

How much are the lesson fees?

Our lesson fees are on the subjects and prices page. Occasionally the fee structure may differ from the standard fees. The lesson fee for new students is always stated whenever you search accept a student and are sent their details.

You may use the conditional acceptance facility to suggest a slightly higher or lower fee if you feel it is warranted. If you suggest a higher fee we will usually search for other tutors before offering your services to the client. Once you have accepted a student the fees for the lessons will be confirmed along with all the other details. The student will have received a confirmation of the lesson fee, but it is always a good idea to confirm the fees with them directly before you begin tutoring.

How will I be paid?

Usually students or their parents pay tutors directly at the end of each lesson and tutors are then required to pay commission to us when it is due. Sometimes students prefer to pay us directly, in which case tutors will receive a payment from us at the end of each month.

How much is commission?

Commission is 20% of the tuition fee. The lesson fee is made up from the tuition fee and your travelling expenses, and there is no commission on travelling expenses.

I'm not able to tutor right now. Should I still get in touch?

Absolutely. There is no minimum or maximum amount of tuition that we require from any tutor. Tutors can be registered with us indefinitely without actually doing any teaching. If you are keen to tutor now, or at any time in the future, then we would love to hear from you.

How much work can I expect to get?

This depends mainly on where in the UK you are, and which subjects you're able to teach. There is a high demand for tuition in London. It is difficult to find many tutees per tutor in Cambridge and Oxford, simply because we have so many tutors there compared to the size of the two cities. Elsewhere the number of tutees we have varies, but we are very keen to recruit tutors outside of London, Cambridge and Oxford.

How many lessons does a typical student want?

The most common time commitment for a student is 1 hour each week until their exams which are usually in May and June. There are often students who only want lessons a few weeks before their exam, just over summer, or intensively for a week. Of course every student is different and we will let you know what the student expects from you along with any other information.

What are the most common subjects and levels requested by students?

The majority of our students are studying towards their GCSEs and A-levels. We also receive many requests for tuition from university students and pre-GCSE students, such as 11+/Common Entrance and primary level. The rest of the requests we receive can be very varied, including instrumental tuition, language tuition, EFL, and access courses for mature students.

What method of teaching do your tutors use?

We ask our tutors to teach in line with Tutoring Standards' Pedagogy. These guidelines are built on an ideology, and still allow tutors to bring their own personality to lessons. The teaching ideology is deliberately not restrictive, and is centred around the student.

What support is available to tutors after we have been assigned to students?

We are always here to help with any queries that you may have. We regularly ask for feedback from our tutors and our students to ensure that the tuition is progressing as well as possible.

Do I need to buy materials such as past papers and course books?

As a tutor you should have at least a few past papers and books in the subjects that you wish to teach. If you intend to teach many students in one subject, the more materials you have, the better. Sometimes a student may require you to have a specific book or lots of past papers that may go over and above that which you may need to teach your other students. In this case you can inform your student that you may need to buy extra material specifically for their use and they should be happy to reimburse you for the expenses.

Where can I get hold of teaching materials?

You can obtain syllabuses from the examining boards' websites and usually you can also find specimen or sample papers. Actual past papers can be purchased from the examining boards. Our tutors know the material which they are teaching inside out, but we ask them to constantly keep up to date with the current syllabus.

What happens if I feel that tuition is not going as well as it could?

We regularly ask students for feedback in order to check that their lessons are going well. It is also a good idea for tutors to periodically check with students and parents whether they have any concerns. Tutors are also welcome to discuss any concerns they have with us, and we will do our best to offer advice. If at any time the student or tutor feel that they are not deriving the maximum benefit, we will discuss it further, and can change the tutor for that student if either wish to do so.

How long after my application will I have to wait before I can start tutoring?

Due to the nature of what we do, we feel that a face-to-face meeting is necessary before we can accept anyone as a tutor. Assessment sessions are held regularly throughout the year. We realise that you may be very keen to begin tutoring, but we never intend our relationship with tutors to be short-term, and as such do not rush to recruit anyone.

Once you have attended your assessment, you will be contacted within two working days. If successful, you may view a list of potential students and start accepting tutoring opportunities.

If I'm tutoring for Blue Tutors, can I also tutor privately or for other agencies?

Of course, we don't restrict what tutors do outside of their lessons. All that we ask is that you're aware that you represent Blue Tutors when tutoring our students, so you should always follow our teaching guidelines, and adhere to your Tutoring Agreement.

Tutors are regarded as self-employed for tax and N.I. purposes. What does this mean?

In order to tutor with us you must be eligible to work in the UK. All of our tutors should register with the Inland Revenue as being self-employed if they wish to tutor for us. This is very simple.

You can call the Inland Revenue on: 0300 200 3300

You can also visit their website to register.

  1. “Chris was absolutely brilliant. He's an excellent tutor.”
  2. Mrs M, London