Unity Schools Partnership

THE CHOICE FOR GREAT TUTORS

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FAQs
for Tutors

We have tried to think of all the questions you might have about the National Tutoring Programme and SP Tutors. If you cannot find the answer you are looking for, please get in touch by emailing us at contact-us@sptutors.co.uk or by telephone (01440 333110).

We are looking for high-quality tutors. Ideally, you will have Qualified Teacher Status, or another education qualification. However, we know that there are many excellent Teaching Assistants who do not have such qualifications and would make fantastic tutors. If you have neither experience, nor relevant qualifications we will invite you to interview when we can decide whether our tutor training programme will be sufficient for you to become a great tutor.
You will need to build new relationships quickly so being able to communicate well with children and adults will be paramount. To be a successful tutor you will need to gain the confidence and respect of pupils quickly, and you will need to communicate effectively with the staff in the pupil’s school to understand the needs of the pupil to ensure continuity of education and maximum impact.

All our tutors are offered zero hours contracts and are employed by SP Tutors. It is up to you to decide how many hours of tutoring you wish to work to fit with your availability.

Tutors with QTS get a total of £28/hr which is paid at a rate of £22.40 per hour with 20% (£84) paid as a bonus upon completion of a 15-hour block.

Tutors without QTS get a total of £20/hr paid at a rate of £16.00 per hour with 20% (£60) paid as a bonus upon completion of a 15-hour block.
We structure it this way as our evidence suggests tutoring is at its best when the tutor is consistent throughout the block, and as such, we ask tutors to commit to the whole 15-hour block of tutoring.

As part of our responsibilities to safeguard children, we operate a Safer-Recruitment Policy, which means that, to work with our pupils, you must have an enhanced DBS check with Children’s Barred List Check. The DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) makes background and criminal checks for those positions that involve caring for, training, supervising or being in sole charge of children or vulnerable adults. An Enhanced DBS will show the following offences: sexual, violence, the supply of drugs and safeguarding.

Even if you already work in a school, and may already have a DBS with them, for the purposes of tutoring (so your school and pupils can benefit from the 75% subsidy from the Government) you will be employed by SP Tutors’ and therefore need an Enhanced DBS carried out by SP Tutors.

Please inform us if you are registered on the DBS Update Service during your application. The Update Service is an online subscription service that lets you keep your standard and enhanced DBS certificates up-to-date. It also allows employers to check a certificate online, with your consent. You can use your certificate again when you apply for a position within the same workforce, where the same type and level of check is required.

You can join the Update Service at the same time you apply for a DBS check or within 19 days of the date of issue printed on your Certificate. Registration lasts for one year. The service costs £13 per year and starts from the date your DBS certificate was issued.

You can subscribe here: https://secure.crbonline.gov.uk/crsc/subscriber

As part of our Safer-Recruitment process, we must have two professional references for you. These should be from your two most recent employers and should cover a minimum of 12 months (and preferably 5 years). Your referees should be someone in a position of authority such as a headteacher, deputy headteacher or key stage leader, or your line manager or company owner (for non-school referees).

If you have been working at school for more than 5 years and therefore do not have 2 professional references from different workplaces, we will ask you for a second reference from the school – i.e. someone who knows your work well – i.e. the class teacher if you are a Teaching Assistant or another member of the Senior Leadership Team.

If you have been working in industry for the same company for more than 5 years, we will ask you for a professional plus a personal reference (someone of standing in your community – i.e. someone you could ask to sign your passport photograph).

If you cannot provide references as above, please contact us – we can advise you on the next step forward.

To apply to become a tutor with us, please visit our online portal, T-Reach.

SP Tutors does not accept applications through agencies or by CV.

SP Tutors has developed a bespoke online portal called T-Reach which not only handles registrations from schools and applications from tutors, but also provides a matching service, allowing schools to view tutor profiles.

Tutor interaction within T-Reach is currently limited to the application stage of the process. Once tutors have completed their applications, all communications between SP Tutors, schools and tutors are automatically sent to tutors by email, to their SP Tutors email address.

Once a member of the SP Tutors team has reviewed your application, you will be sent an email with link to complete a profile. N.B. It is very important to keep this email/link as it is the only way you will be able to return to your profile to amend it.

All tutors will be asked to set up a profile within T-Reach which will be viewable by schools. This is your opportunity to showcase your experience and skills in detail, along with specifics as to your availability. If you have been recommended by a school and only wish to work in that school (or two or a few), there is the option to ‘limit’ your profile so it is only viewable by the schools you specify. The photograph is particularly important if you will be tutoring in a school in which you do not currently work, as it will be printed on your SP Tutors photographic ID badge (with lanyard) that you must wear while tutoring (even if tutoring online).

When entering details into your profile, please take time to consider the distance you will be willing to travel as T-Reach will use your home postcode and map the distance to schools within that area – those schools will be able to see tutors who are open to travelling within that area. If online tutoring, please enter 999 miles to make your profile viewable by all schools.

TutorKnowHow is SP Tutors’ bespoke, evidence-informed tutor training app, available for exclusive use of employees of SP Tutors.

TutorKnowHow has been written by SP Tutors in collaboration with Anspear Publishing and John Catt Educational. TutorKnowHow provides tutors with mobile learning, putting tutors in control of the time, place and pace of training.

Training is divided into three key components: core, school-focused and specialist.

Core training highlights SP Tutors’ values, vision and guiding principles and provides evidence-informed training.

School-focused training guides tutors’ relationships with partner schools to ensure tutors have the information they need to make a robust start. Amongst other things, you will need to know the school’s child protection procedures, behaviour policy, where the pupils are starting, their strengths and challenges, what the aims of each block are, SEND requirements for each pupil (as appropriate) and what the pupils are currently studying so you can align your tutoring with what’s going on in the classroom.

SP Tutors’ specialist training is responsive and evolving; a blend of live and pre-recorded content builds on the excellent links from the Unity Schools Partnership, the Research Schools Network and beyond.

SP Tutors closely follows Safer Recruitment procedures and holds Safeguarding as paramount, therefore our application process is thorough.

We will work as quickly as possible to progress applicants through the process and we encourage you to be as responsive as possible to our requests. You can help speed up your application by sending us documents ahead of time and booking in for the ID documents check as soon as possible.

Please refer to the pdf below for our self-assessment checklist which will help you to keep track of where you are in the application process.

Tutors’ Application Checklist – Self Assessment and Tracking

 

Yes, but there are rules around this and it has to be in keeping with ‘the spirit of the National Tutoring Programme’ which is to provide extra capacity and/or expertise to schools, to supplement high-quality teaching.

Part-time members of staff can tutor in their own school as long as they have the capacity to do so and have applied to be employed as a tutor by SP Tutors.  They have to be employed by a tuition partner in order for the school to receive the subsidised tutoring.

SP Tutors will still need to run the normal, necessary pre-employment checks like DBS and Teacher Prohibition check, plus ensure tutors have valid Safeguarding and Prevent certificates. There are some core training modules within SP Tutors’ TutorKnowHow app that should be completed within 6 weeks of starting to tutor.

Once a school is fully registered with SP Tutors, they will be given a login for T-Reach (our bespoke school – tutor matching system designed by SP Tutors and developed solely for our use). T-Reach enables schools to search for tutors who can meet their requirements – search fields include location, SEND experience, QTS/non QTS, etc.

Once a school identifies a tutor who they think could meet their requirements, they “make an enquiry” with the tutor by clicking the link in their profile. The tutor is then sent an automatic email via T-Reach to their SP Tutors email address with details of the school’s request – you details are not revealed to a new school at this point. Tutors can then converse with the school to discuss the specific requirement before accepting or declining the tutoring opportunity.

Once you have accepted the enquiry, your SP Tutor email address and phone number is shared with the Key Contact at the school.

Tutors are free to choose their working hours to fit with their availability. As a minimum, we ask that all tutors commit to the full 15-hour block of sessions, as we know that consistency of tutor throughout the block maximises the outcomes for pupils.

If you have been recommended by a school and only wish to work in that school, there is the option within tutor profiles to limit your profile as viewable by only the schools you specify.

Remember that schools may search for tutors by location – this is based on the school’s postcode and the distance that tutors specify in their profile that they are willing to travel. For online tuition, please put distance as 999 miles to be viewable by all schools.

We recommend all tutors keep their availability as up to date as possible on the profile page to prevent receiving enquiries that you cannot accommodate (use your email with profile link to change your profile at any time).

Tutoring will be most effective when it is closely aligned with the curriculum and guided by the class/subject teacher. Therefore, we do not prescribe a series of lessons, rather SP Tutors asks schools to provide tutors with information about the needs of individual pupils, as well as any important information about the school, for example, its Child Protection, Behaviour and Covid policies.