The cost of tutoring can vary significantly. It depends on a few factors, including the quality of the tutor, location, level of study, who the provider is, and the number of students in lessons. Students and parents can be quoted anything from £15 per hour up to £150per hour or more. It can be a confusing space in which to find the right tutor. In this post we aim to provide some clarity. We’ve broken down the factors that influence the price of tutoring and provided our recommendations on where the best value for money lies.
At Tutor In, we provide one-to-one tutoring delivered by qualified, expert tutors. All lessons are tailored to the individual student. We find this by far the best and most cost effective form of tutoring. You can find out details about our own pricing here.
For more information on the cost of tutoring, you can also contact us directly at email@example.com.
The quality of the tutor
The most important factor to consider when thinking about price is the quality and experience of the tutor. With the popularity of tutoring – and the immense impact it can have for students – more and more people are offering tutoring. This does mean you need to be careful who you select. Some tutors advertising elsewhere may be students themselves, with limited experience. They may charge £15-£20 per hour (or even less). This, however, offers limited value for money as the tutors often lack the experience and know-how to deliver quality lessons.
Experienced and well qualified tutors – including qualified teachers – may charge between £40 and £80 per hour. This is where the best value lies. An experienced, well qualified tutor will deliver personalised lessons focused on the course and exams the student is studying for. Students will learn a lot in each lesson and be able to focus their work as a result.
At Tutor In, we only use the very best experienced and well qualified tutors. With excellent degree, masters or PhD qualifications in their subjects, and fantastic tutoring or teaching experience. Wherever you search for tutors, we recommend looking for this level of qualifications and experience before booking a first lesson.
The nature of the provider
As the tutoring industry has grown, so too has the number of different providers. These range from independent tutors, to local tutoring companies, to huge multi-national online platforms or chains of tuition centres. Each type of provider has different approaches to recruiting tutors and delivering lessons, so costs vary widely between them. In general, the larger the provider the more extra costs will be added to the rate parents pay for tutors. Tuition centres also have increased costs, which are passed onto parents in higher fees, or mean larger groups taught by less experienced tutors in order to make the lessons feasible for the provider.
Independent tutors and locally run tutoring companies generally have the lowest costs and can therefore offer the best value for money. They can also provide personalised one-to-one tuition, which is by far the most effective form of tutoring from our experience. Working with a local tutoring company provides an added level of assurance in the quality of the tutors. The company should also provide added benefits like resources and educational advice at no extra charge.
Group tutoring at a centre or online
Group tutoring is a popular option for parents. This can take place at a tuition centre, with a traditional classroom or a bank of computers, or online. Costs again will vary from £25-£40 per hour online and from £30-£45 per hour for lessons in tuition centres. This will depend on group size and whether the tutors are qualified and experienced. Centres obviously also have to factor in various extra costs including rent, utilities and rates, which generally push up prices.
Some tutoring centres will operate a standard programme for each subject delivered through computer software. Unqualified tutors will then oversee the lessons and answer questions. These groups can end up being quite large. Often these sessions don’t even provide a cheaper alternative to more personalised tutoring, given the extra costs of running a centre.
If you feel group tutoring is right for your child, then we recommend visiting the centre or trialling an online lesson initially. Ensure that the groups are as small as possible. All the available evidence shows that tutoring becomes less beneficial as group size increases. Look for groups no bigger than three or four students. Anything beyond four students and, arguably, it’s not really tutoring anymore.
As well as group size, make sure the lessons are tailored to the group and delivered by the tutor, not based on a standard “one size fits all” computer programme.
One-to-one tutoring allows tutors to truly tailor each lesson to the individual student. Students can gain in confidence and knowledge quickly. Learning will be at the student’s pace and they can ask as many questions as they want with the undivided attention of the tutor. As such, the cost per hour will generally be slightly higher than group tutoring, but often is very comparable. Rates for a qualified and experienced tutor will range from around £40 per hour up to £80 per hour. Given the great benefits of one-to-one tutoring we feel this is by far the best option for students.
One-to-one tutoring can take place at the student’s home, or online – making it a very convenient option for parents. There’s no need to worry about ferrying students to tutoring centres.
Online tutoring provides an excellent option, particularly for secondary and A level students. When online tutoring is delivered well, it is very effective and provides opportunities to work with expert tutors who live further away. Online tutoring also provides a cheaper option, as there are no travel costs for tutors. Online tutoring will generally be between £3 and £5 cheaper per hour than face-to-face lessons.
Be aware that there are some tutors advertising one-to-one tuition at £15-£20 per hour. These tutors will generally be students themselves with little experience or expertise, offering less value for money in the long run.
Level of study
With all of these options the level of study will have an impact on price. Lessons for more advanced qualifications will cost a little more, as tutors need extra knowledge and expertise to deliver the best lessons. A level lessons, for example, will generally cost around £5-£10 more than GCSE level lessons.
So, what’s the best option?
Clearly there is a lot for parents and students to consider when looking for a tutor. Different options will be better for different students and different budgets. In general though we recommend one-to-one tutoring as the most cost effective tuition. It usually costs only slightly more than group tutoring and allows for learning to be totally focused on the individual student.
If you’re opting for group tutoring, then just make sure the group is as small as possible. Anything above three students and the benefits of tutoring become dramatically lower.
To summarise, one-to-one tutoring may cost between £40 and £80 per hour, while group tutoring may cost between £25 and £45 per hour.
You will see some tutors (and even tuition centres) advertising with dramatically higher rates than the ranges in this post. There is, generally, not much benefit to going beyond the price ranges we’ve suggested. Dramatically higher rates don’t equate to better lessons. The best tutors we know provide lessons for between £40 and £70 per hour.
Whichever option you decide, always ensure that the tutor is qualified in the subject, experienced and fully DBS checked. You can find out more about our pricing for one-to-one tutoring here. You can also contact us directly to discuss how tutoring could best work for your child.