We’re sitting down with our founder Hinesh Patel to discuss how lockdown impacted the tutoring industry, online learning and what’s next for students…
Thanks for taking the time to chat to us today Hinesh. Firstly, let's talk about how Covid-19 and lockdown affected Educo London?
It’s great to finally sit down and look back at the last 3-4 months. I haven’t really taken stock of everything we did as a business to adjust to Covid-19 until now. In the beginning of March when we realised that the UK was likely to follow other European countries with the potential of a lockdown, we started asking our students and tutors if they would be happy moving their face-to-face teaching online.
Until then, we had primarily been a face-to-face tutoring business. Naturally, many of our students were used to turning up to class, many of them were small group classes, and the prospect of online learning was daunting I’m sure.
You must have had to react quite quickly to keep your classes running despite lockdown?
Yes, exactly. Our priority first and foremost was to ensure our students received their weekly lessons without any disruption. We set up our online teaching platforms within days and trained our tutors on how to use them immediately. I have to praise our tutors, they were all very cooperative in adapting to the quickly changing situation.
Admittedly, some parents were hesitant. I think the idea of learning Maths or English through a video call or an online teaching site was quite new to them. Once we demonstrated that the students were learning as efficiently online as they were face-to-face I think many parents felt reassured.
We did change most of our group classes to one-to-one lessons to allow the students time to adapt to online learning.
Many students will be anxious about returning to school after several months away from teachers, friends and the classroom. Do you have any advice for them?
The first thing I would say is that you won’t be the only one feeling this way. There will be other students feeling just as anxious or hesitant about returning to school. Whether that’s due to feeling like they’ve fallen behind with schoolwork or fear over maintaining social distancing and feeling safe at school, there will be a range of reasons for students to feel this way. I would suggest talking to your parents, siblings or even friends about how you’re feeling, as they may be able to reassure you and help you to find practical solutions to your concerns.
If a student does not get the result they expect when GCSE and A Level results are awarded next month, they’re able to take written exams in the Autumn. Is two months enough time for them to catch up and improve their grade?
It is, if they’re willing to put the work in. At Educo London our tutors offer supplementary help. We expect students to learn the core material and syllabus at school and our tutors focus on tackling problem subject areas and with exam paper practice.
We can certainly help students if they need it once they find out their grades, but we recommend not leaving their studies until the last minute. If a student has a feeling they may be awarded a lower grade than what they’re expecting, I would suggest they use the time now to get their subject notes in order in case they have to sit their exams in the Autumn.
We've noticed that there are increasing numbers of people advertising tutoring services on social media since lockdown. How can parents and students find reputable tutors?
Yes, I have noticed this too. It's understandable that there are university students sitting at home wanting to offer tutoring services to earn some money.
I would say though that particularly with online tutoring, you want to ensure the safety of your child. Although not required by law, I would suggest asking the tutor to provide you with a copy of a DBS certificate (it will show if a person has any criminal convictions and cautions). Additionally, ask to see a tutor's CV. Make sure they are experienced in the subject they are teaching.
At Educo London we conduct DBS checks on all of our tutors, we ensure all tutors adhere to our Professional Code of Conduct, we take pride on being reliable and committed and most of all we put the students at the heart of what we do.
We also provide reports to parents so they are up to date on the student's progress and we adapt our teaching methods according to the needs of the child.
If you would like to find out more information about our tutoring services please get in contact: firstname.lastname@example.org