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Spot the professional and the unprofessional in your online search for education support

We all know that seeking advice online is risky business.

 

Whether it’s Googling tax advice, a fine point of the law or a scary looking insect bite… we know that getting the right advice will involve more than a quick search and that we’ll probably have to speak to an expert.

 

These days we are time poor and we have a wealth of information at our fingertips… but we have also become more astute when it comes to spotting a marketing ploy or a hidden agenda. We know that just because a provider says they’re ‘the best in town’, it doesn’t automatically make it true!

 

Like any professional service, education support is advantageous to your family when delivered by knowledgeable and experienced professional people. Unlike many professional services, it is largely unregulated and this means there is a wide range in the quality of what is provided.

 

We’ve spoken about the benefits of choosing an accredited tuition provider before, and the importance of seeking a tutor who works to support the child’s school learning. What else should you look out for to tell the professional from the not-so-professional when searching for education support online?

 

For example, do you see evidence of:

 

  • Credentials: Teaching qualifications, specialist qualifications such as ECE, accreditation/awards, Working With Children Checks, success rates
  • Specialised Experience: Years in business, establishment in the local area or other niches, particular strengths in delivery
  • Knowledge: Demonstrated understanding of the school system, curriculum and assessment processes
  • Environment: Is there evidence that the learning environment (physical or online) provided for your child will be professional, functional, safe, inclusive and welcoming?
  • Social Proof: Testimonials that contain specifics and don’t seem too general; reviews and comments on social media are mostly favourable
  • People strengths: Who is on the team? For online activities – who is assessing your child’s work? Do the bios help you feel you are in safe hands?
  • Truth: Are you left in doubt about some of the claims made on the website or social media?

 

Picking the truth from the false claims can be the most challenging task in online research. For example, if you spy a web page offering past GATE papers, this is misleading, because exam papers are not made available after the exam! In this instance, choosing a provider who really understands the scholarship exam system may mean asking around and making some direct enquiries.

 

Most importantly, when you contact a tuition provider directly, you should feel that the response you receive is professional, confident, informative and transparent. It is easy to tell if the person you speak to has the experience and knowledge to recognise your needs and provide helpful solutions.

 

If you ever have a question in mind that needs clarifying, remember that we are here to help.

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