Top Ten Tips for Private Tutors


Becoming a private tutor is a rewarding, fun and challenging career choice that you can pursue on a part-time or full-time basis.

What do I love about being a tutor?

That I have the opportunity to be creative in the way I share knowledge and educate others.

If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough. Albert Einstein.

Tutoring requires that you break information down to its simplest form. That means that if you want to help your student understand a concept, you have to express it in a clear, concise and simple manner.

That’s hopefully how this blog will come across too – clear and simple (with concise points).

So here are a few keys to becoming a private tutor:

Identify your why

Firstly, ask yourself this question: ‘Why do I want to become a private tutor?’ What are your motivations?

Here’s one tutor’s motivation: To earn an income by helping young people realise their potential and to build within them the tools essential for living with self-confidence, self-belief and a full knowledge of the best exam skills and techniques.

Another tutor writes: To provide students with the additional support they need to both understand and even fall in love with the subject they’re learning.

What’s yours?

Personal Qualities

As a tutor, you have a unique and profound role in the lives of the students you are supporting. Building a positive relationship with your students is essential to helping them learn and grow in a healthy environment that draws the best out of the them.

Personal qualities unique to private tutors – whether those who tutor in small groups, 1-2-1 or both – are those such as patience, self-discipline and personal leadership.

You’ll also need to be able to plan and organise effectively – your time, schedule and lesson preparation. Often, new tutors have the problem of being unable to plan their time efficiently within lessons. This means the lesson either significantly overruns (I’ve spoken to tutors who used to spend an extra 30 minutes on top of a one-hour session when they first began tutoring! Talk about time and a half.) And, unless otherwise agreed upon, you cannot expect the client to pay for this extra time. Time is something that you can learn to manage more effectively with practice and careful planning.

All new tutors are provided with training in time-management, planning and organisation to ensure that our tutors provide the highest-quality tuition for all. Tutors are also taught best-practice for reporting and, finally, it is essential for tutors to have good computing skills for research, lesson planning and CPD in their chosen subject(s).

Do you fit the bill?


As you progress in your career, you’ll discover what you enjoy the most – subject, age-group, teaching style, etc.

What brings you most joy will bring you most. Iris Van Ooyen

When you discover the subject(s) that you really love to tutor and you zoom-in on these, you become a better private tutor. Why? You’ll be able to deepen your focus and discovery in your chosen subject(s) at a specific level, learning more and therefore equipping yourself with more knowledge and tutoring techniques to apply to your lessons.

Ultimately, you’ll enjoy the experience more, as will your student!

Legal Requirements

Most private tutors are self-employed. Certainly, every private tutor working with Manchester Tutors is registered self-employed. It is therefore essential that you register for self-assessment. Visit for more information. Please note: you can be both self-employed and a PAYE earner at the same time, so private tuition is often an additional source of income for the majority of tutors.

Receiving Cash Payments

I am a massive proponent of online payments via Direct Debit or BACS. But if you are unable to set this up for whatever reason, using a simple cash-tracking sheet will improve your accounting system’s efficiency and reduce your worry about errors and miscalculations so significantly that it’s difficult to truly express its impact. Before I switched to cashless transactions, it saved me countless hours and 100% guaranteed accurate accounting for me when completed at the end of each day (it takes 30 seconds). If you’d like your own cash-tracking sheet, email .

DBS Reference Check

Although a DBS Reference Check is not currently a legal requirement for private tutors, a DBS check offers security and assurance to the parent and student so it is always good practice to carry your DBS certificate with you to any home that you work at, particularly for the first lesson.

Insurance – Public Liability and Professional Indemnity

Whilst you undoubtedly take pride in your work as a private tutor and seek to provide the most excellent, high-quality service to your students, mistakes and accidents happen. In the event of a claim, it’s important that you’re protected. For more information on this topic and/or to get a quote, visit:


As with many things in life, it’s not solely about what you know; equally important is who you know, and in this case it’s all about who knows you…and what they say about you.

After working with any student for a period of time, encourage the parent(s)/guardian(s) and student(s) to write a short review about your service.

Quick tip: Make the review process quick and easy so that they’ll be more willing to provide you with the review you’re asking for. Here’s an example of a simple, but effective 2-step questionnaire:

On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate our tutoring lessons?
Please give a reason for your answer.
Let us know how this goes for you! Better yet, add your responses to your application!


We encourage our tutors to blog or write about their subject or an area of learning or education that interests them or they think may be important for parents and students to read and learn about. These are then distributed in an online newsletter. If you are interested in writing, email with your submission.

Join an agency

If you’ve got this far, why not…Join us!? Applications are open and we have vacancies for private tutors in Manchester, Cheshire and Trafford.

We are always on the look-out for new tutors, especially in the following subjects:

Science (Chemistry, Physics, Biology) GCSE & A-Level
Maths GCSE & A-Level
English Language and English Literature GCSE & A-Level
11+ Entrance Examination Specialist Tutors – for Manchester & Trafford
Are you a tutor interested in working with more students across Manchester and the surrounding areas? Do you seek to provide excellent, high-quality service in everything you do? If so, you align with our values and we’d love to work with you! Download the application form (Manchester Tutors Application Form Updated Sept 2018) and join us today!

Training for New Tutors

We also offer free private tutor training courses to improve your tutoring skills. This training is run by Manchester Tutors and essential for all new tutors with no tutoring experience. Existing tutors are also welcome. Please get in touch to find out about the next course date.


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