By Cailum Finnegan
⏱ Thursday 10th December 2020

I’ve been working with the Tutor Trust since 2018, following my completion of a PGCE in Secondary Science after studying MPhys Physics at the University of Manchester. I initially tutored part-time across Greater Manchester as a means of continuing to work in education whilst having more flexible working hours; I tutored Science and Maths for a few months before taking on my first assignment working in Alternative Provision with Looked After Children. This involved me working with the same students every day of the week, supplementing their learning to account for them no longer being in mainstream education.

Working with these children and seeing the impact that I was having on their school experience was the catalyst for my application for the role of full-time Alternative Provision tutor. Having spent the 2019/20 academic year as a full-time Alternative Provision tutor, I have worked almost exclusively with AP/LAC pupils in long-term assignments on a one-to-one basis.

I have now taken on the role of Lead Tutor for the Tutor Trust, which will involve me supporting other tutors more directly, spending some of my time ensuring that our amazing network of tutors are fully supported in their endeavour to deliver outstanding tuition.

As a Lead Tutor I will be offering a less formal avenue of support to our tutors, as I am still ultimately a tutor myself. For example, I will be offering informal quality checks, both for lesson planning and (where possible) tuition sessions. These quality checks will not have the same implications as an official quality check; they will be for me to directly feed back to the tutor on how they can improve wherever they have concerns and offer advice where needed.

The idea behind this is that having an additional tutor to offer ideas will remove the pressure that comes with an official quality check by a member of our quality team, whilst also ensuring that practical feedback and guidance can be given.

Another method of support will be running drop-in sessions for tutors that just want some advice as opposed to informal monitoring. We'll be working out the format of these sessions as we determine what tutors find more valuable between having access to a regular Zoom session when I will be available to help (outside of working hours so as to best accommodate tutors during busy times of the year) or setting up a forum with our new online platform, Thinqi.

Where it becomes apparent that multiple tutors are encountering difficulty with the same aspects of tuition, I will produce new CPD videos focusing directly on these issues, making sure that future CPD is tailored to tutors’ needs whilst they are actually undertaking assignments. I will also be able to offer additional subject-specific training sessions in each of the Sciences for those tutors that are less confident in either Biology, Chemistry or Physics. This will open our Science tutors up to more assignments whilst also increasing the scope of what we can provide to schools.

Ultimately, this role will be shaped by the support that our tutors feel they would benefit from having, so please email me if there is anything regarding tuition that you would like to receive additional support with!

Date of publication: 10/12/2020