Advice on choosing tutors

New South Wales consumers are being reminded to be careful when choosing tutors and tutoring services for students.

Fair Trading Minister Anthony Roberts and the Australian Tutoring Association (ATA) say there is a need for vigilance when people are looking to hire the services of a tutor or tutoring company.

ATA CEO Mohan Dhall says although self-regulation of the industry  is increasingly effective, one area where vigilance is required is businesses offering or promoting their tuition online.

"Consumers need to check the claims made on websites very carefully. The ATA has had a number of complaints from consumers alleging that online tutor matching agencies do not always properly vet their tutors and that anyone can list with such services.

"We encourage parents to take appropriate steps to verify claims made by tutors on these sites," Mr Dhall said.

Minister Roberts said consumers should lodge a complaint with Fair Trading if they encounter any difficulties with tutors or tutoring businesses.

"Fair Trading has always provided support with mediation on disputes about tutoring and under Australian Consumer Law, consumers are entitled to ask for a refund if any aspect of their child's tutoring service is wrongly described or misrepresented," he said.

Some of the questions parents should ask prospective tutors are:

  • Are you a member of the ATA?
  • What are your relevant qualifications and experience?
  • How long have you been tutoring/teaching this subject?
  • Do you have satisfied clients I can contact?
  • Have you been screened for child protection purposes?
  • Is there any homework or after hours study required of my child?

The Fair Trading Tutoring tips for parents fact sheet can be downloaded from the Fair Trading website and is available in English, Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Korean and Vietnamese.

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