I hate talking about money. I am horrendously British and get stammery and pink-faced whenever the subject comes up. But unfortunately when you are in any sort of industry, the subject of payment is not one you can ignore.
Working in education makes the topic even more sensitive. I am a great believer that a good education should be a right rather than a privilege and thus when a parent tells me that they can't afford my rates, it stings: I am not in this for the money. To be clear, my rate is my rate and I do not negotiate but I am still aware that one-to-one tuition is simply too expensive for many families who want to support their child's learning.
The pandemic has made educational imbalances even starker and, National Tutoring Programme aside, there is simply not much chance of those students in greatest need being able to access the support of an individual tutor. Until someone makes me Education Secretary (and since there's likely to be a vacancy in the not-too-distant future, do bear me in mind won't you Boris?) I can not change the educational experience of every child in the country but I can try to make my own offer more accessible.
This is why I'm starting down the path of group classes. I have shied away from them until now because I love the interaction that takes place in the safe environment of a one-on-one session. But what we lose in intimacy we can replace with targeted, skills based sessions which allow students to support each other in their learning. Moreover, we can slash the cost to the parent while still maintaining value.
My thoughts are still in the most formative stages at the moment but my plans are mainly around generic skills: text analysis; historical skills; note-taking, etc. These would be suitable for students who are learning within schools as well as those who are home educated. I am considering a price of around £5-10 per student, per session. With enough interest I will consider text/topic specific sessions/courses.
I am also contemplating a marking service which might particularly benefit home-educated families who are happy to work through a course by themselves but who need occasional check-ins to ensure that they are on the right track. I am still considering pricing on this.
All these ideas are entirely dependent on take-up so if you are interested at all, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will keep you informed of developments.