As we look forward to 2017, we thought now would be a good time to reflect on the last year, share what we have done, and most importantly thank the people that have helped us grow as a company in 2016!
Despite the aggressively topsy-turvy nature of the last year, from global political upheaval to the litany of celebrity deaths, Minerva has been working hard to provide the best possible service we can, and are always looking for ways to improve.
The full time Minerva Tutor
One of founder Hugh Viney’s big ideas when he started Minerva was to have full time ‘pro’ tutors, who are trained, dedicated, on a salary, a part of the company rather than freelance, and tutoring at least 12 hours a week – the only company with such a program. His idea was to begin professionalising an industry with a surprising lack of regulations by employing tutors who see tutoring as a potential career, rather than a part-time job.
This year, full-time Minerva Pro Tutors became a reality, and there are more on the way. We have found the pros generally have more time to dedicate to their clients, and are also involved in the company, from writing the blogs to digital marketing to developing training programs, including the Minerva handbook, as well as creating their own educational resources to help all Minerva Tutors improve.
We are proud to run one of the best holiday camp experiences in London, with a unique combination of exciting workshops, academic tuition and cultural trips around the city. This year, we delivered Me Club to 65 children from 10 different countries, and we are looking to expand that in 2017
Minerva was nominated for two awards in 2016, ‘Best Tutoring Company’ at the national Education Investor awards, and ‘New Entrepreneur of the Year’ at the National Business awards. Up against some longer-established and highly successful competition, Minerva finished as runners-up in both awards, but received high praise from judges and competitors alike, and we are looking forward to further recognition in 2017.
Good Schools Guide
In December, Minerva was assessed by the Good Schools Guide, and are proud to say we will be included in the 2017 edition! Their feedback was almost entirely positive, praising our emphasis on training our tutors, our ‘fewer tutors more hours’ philosophy, and our professionalism as a company. They called us “The Innocent Smoothie of the tutoring world” for our friendliness, passion, and innovation.
We’d like to extend a huge thank you to all the parents and tutors who took part in the survey, and spoke so positively about Minerva!
We sponsored the first ever National Tutoring Conference
Minerva co-sponsored the first ever National Tutoring Conference, hosted by The Tutors’ Association, at Stowe School. This saw us partake in talks and workshops focusing on how to inspire pupils, work with educational difficulties, and structure tutoring sessions to maximise the learning and fun potential of one-on-one tuition.
The Minerva Trust
We have been working with the Baytree Centre, a Brixton-based charity whose aim is to help refugee girls who have moved to the UK to get places at local schools, as well as providing tutors to assist with pupil development. We helped over 20 newly immigrated teenagers this year find a place at a local school so they could lead the normal life that they deserve. And we pay our tutors to help – they aren’t volunteers.
Our outreach has increased, including as far and wide as Malaysia, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Nigeria and India. Minerva is now offering tuition – both through online platforms and residential stints – in more countries than ever before, and continues to make connections with other education groups across the globe.
2016 was the first year of the Minerva Mentors program, designed to help those students who need an extra boost beyond the merely academic. This can include confidence-building, leadership and teamwork skills, and we have received excellent feedback from the first Minerva mentees.
Minerva continues to offer expert advice on university choices and applications, as well the entrance process for competitive independent schools. We have also hosted training sessions for our tutors with education specialists in the 11+ and 7+ exams, with more such sessions – including A level and 13+ training – already lined up for 2017.
In January we launched Nightschooler, our adult learning program, and have been providing group and individual classes for adults ever since, as well as recently launching our corporate learning arm. These classes have included languages, public speaking, and inspirational Ted-style talks.
We would like to thank all of you for supporting us through an eventful year, where we have become the fastest growing tutoring company in the U.K.
Roll on 2017!
P.S. We are always looking to improve and always listen to suggestions. Please get in touch!
By David Bard
David is a Minerva Pro Tutor who specialises in humanities subjects at A Level and is a trained expert in the 7 + and 11 + exams. Outside of tutoring, David writes blogs about creative writing and everything that’s trending in education.