By Fran Riley
⏱Friday 6th January 2023

“The value of work-life balance is not something to underestimate.”

Meet Fran, who’s a qualified teacher aspiring to become an Educational Psychologist. She’s one of our full-time tutors, which means she delivers around 25 hours’ tuition a week. when she’s not tutoring, she plans her next sessions and does admin work, as well as helping to assist other areas of the charity when needed. After chatting with Fran last Summer to talk about GCSE Results Day, we had another sit-down to hear about the main differences between classroom teaching and tutoring, and what she’s got out of tutoring so far.

“I’m passionate about inclusive education and applied to work for Tutor Trust because I wanted to develop my teaching skills outside of a school setting, whilst keeping evenings and weekends free for postgrad work.

“The value of work-life balance is not something to underestimate. In teaching and some other public sector jobs, the hours are usually set and rigid. This isn’t always conducive to a fulfilling life outside of work because, to give a few examples, you’re commuting at the busiest times in both directions, there’s no possibility to take leave outside of school holidays, and there’s an expectation that you take home a certain amount of work each day. It wasn’t for me.

“The timings of tutoring sessions allow me to adjust my commute times slightly, which saves me a huge amount of time sat burning fuel in gridlock traffic. Because I’m no longer obliged to work outside of my contracted hours, I have additional time before work and a guaranteed free evening afterwards. You can read more about Fran’s daily routine here. If you’re a qualified teacher, planning for 25 hours’ tuition compared to planning for 25 hours’ classroom teaching is a dream – there’s also no marking to juggle and admin is kept to a minimum.

“Tutoring as made me more self-sufficient as I’ve had to figure things out for myself and make judgement calls as to when to ask for additional help and when to trust my own instinct. Working for Tutor Trust within a school is essentially working remotely. It’s increased my confidence and has had a positive effect on my wellbeing, which in turn makes me a better tutor as well!

“I love being able to show pupils what they’re capable of, given the right tools. Building their confidence as learners is really important to me and it’s lovely when you see this progress over the course of a tuition programme. Working in a small group setting (one-to-one or one-to-three) means you also get to know your pupils really well. In terms of relationship building, I’d liken a tuition assignment (typically 15 school weeks) to the equivalent of a term of being their class teacher; it’s quite intense, but very rewarding!

“The impact of tutoring is two-fold. First, in a practical sense, it gives pupils a greater chance of securing the grades they need to help with their next steps. The better their grades, the more options they’ll have for post-16 study and job opportunities. Keeping your options open at this age is critical because you’re still developing as a person. Second, (and this is hard to measure tangibly), it develops their agency as learners and encourages them to have confidence in their own abilities. So many pupils have the potential to do better than they are currently but have limited access to someone with the time to sit down with them as an individual and tell them what’s going well and what to do next."


Looking for your next classroom experience? Let Tutor Trust be your next step!

Become a tutor

As a tutor, you’ll take control of the learning, tailoring your teaching to small groups of pupils in either Primary (Maths and Reading), Secondary English, Maths, or Science in the Greater Manchester, Leeds-Bradford or Merseyside city region. You’ll use your expertise and continue doing what you live, while freeing up your weekends and evenings.

As a Qualified Teacher, you’ll earn a minimum of £24.50 or £28 (depending on experience) to plan and deliver each hour’s tuition. If you’re not a Qualified Teacher, you’ll earn a minimum of £21 to plan and deliver each hour’s tuition.


Fran’s daily routine

“My alarm normally goes off around 6am, when I like to take my dog out for a long walk, shower and get ready before leaving for school at roughly 7:45am. Both of my tutoring assignments are full days, so I do around five hours of tutoring each day, which aligns with the school’s timetabled lessons. I have break and lunch when the pupils do. When I was a Teacher and a Higher-Level Teaching Assistant (HLTA), break and lunch times weren’t my own as I was almost always on duty or completing admin, so it’s nice to now have comfort breaks throughout the day to switch off and gather my thoughts. I leave school soon after the pupils to beat the traffic then work on my laptop at home for the last couple of hours of the day. I’ll complete registers and/or plan for the next day. Apart from the odd planning night, I shut my laptop promptly at 5:30pm.

“To unwind, I enjoy long dog walks, running (I do Anglesey half-marathon with my boyfriend every year), disc golf and ultimate frisbee (I volunteer with a club in South Manchester). Basically, anything active and outdoors! I also like to read and play video games.”


Date of publication: 06/01/2023