Becoming a private tutor

How to become a private tutor

Registering as a private tutor can open the doors to new paid opportunities and help young learners develop new skills. Find out what you need to do to become a private tutor, including what insurance to take out, with this guide.

What qualifications do I need to become a tutor?

You don’t need any standard qualifications to become a private teacher, but you do need relevant experience and an in-depth knowledge of the subject. Previous teaching experience can help you find work more easily. Consider filling up your CV with relevant experience, such as volunteering at your local school or at a learning charity, to further build your reputation.

A degree in your specialism may help you stand out. There are also several tutoring agencies you can join to boost your presence.

Responsibilities of a private tutor

Becoming a self-employed tutor comes with its own set of responsibilities to ensure you have enough work to sustain your livelihood, as well as help your students develop. This includes:

  • Managing your schedule to plan your tutoring sessions with each individual student.
  • Calculating and submitting your self-assessment tax return.
  • Preparing lesson plans and tutoring resources to use in the sessions.
  • Setting up a suitable payment method and managing your income.
  • Organising travel arrangements for where your sessions will take place.
  • Securely storing student data and reports in an easily assessed way.
  • Monitoring your student’s performance to identify strengths and areas for improvement.
  • Reviewing student work and providing constructive feedback.

Additionally, if you are working with younger children, you may need to regularly speak to parents or teachers to share your student’s progress.

Safeguarding and private tutoring

Before you work with children, it’s important to be aware of any safeguarding concerns which may disrupt your work or put your students at risk. The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) is a public body which runs a background check on an individual to check if they are suitable to work with vulnerable groups.

While you are not required to have a DBS check to tutor privately, many parents will request to see one before agreeing to work with you. This gives parents peace of mind that their children are in good hands and can improve your reputation as a tutor. 

Obtaining a DBS check

You can request a basic DBS check through the government website  provided you’re over 16.

To obtain a higher DBS certificate, you must join a reputable organisation such as The Tutor’s Association. They can then help you get a DBS clearance for an Enhanced certificate.

Can school teachers teach privately?

In most cases, schoolteachers are free to teach privately outside of the classroom, so long as it isn’t their own students. However, check your teaching contract for more details on the legalities and make sure to disclose additional work with the school board.

Many schoolteachers also retire from the classroom to become a full-time private tutor. As they already have experience working in education, prospective employers may find their CVs more appealing than a tutor’s with little experience.

What insurance does a private tutor need?

As a private tutor there are two main insurance packages you should consider taking out to safeguard your students and protect your reputation. These are outlined below:

  • Public liability insurance –This protects you against any injuries which may occur on your property or any damages to a third-party property such as a public space or your student’s possessions.
  • Professional indemnity insurance – If a parent or student is unhappy with your service, they could take legal action against you. This insurance covers all the legal costs and any compensation if lost.

For more information, read our guide to what insurance do private tutors need.

Becoming a private teacher can be a rewarding experience, but it does come with its own risks and considerations. Find out more about teacher and tutor insurance  from Markel to help protect your new career path.