“Great company - super friendly, professional and supportive team. Minerva are truly passionate and dedicated to helping students achieve their goals...Tutor, Google Review 2020
When Minerva Tutors started back in 2014, the world of private tutoring was very different. The only way parents were likely to secure the services of an accomplished tutor was through a personal recommendation or by using a pre-established ‘agency’, usually a far more expensive option. Neither of these avenues were open to all, nor did they offer the professional, forward-thinking standards that we felt a smart, modernised private education company could provide.
Over the last decade, the influence of Google and the internet has also enabled a new kind of tutoring platform to rise to the fore. There are now plenty of online marketplaces where parents can read reviews and choose between thousands of freelance tutors, who often vary wildly in price and quality. It’s the job of these platforms to make finding a tutor seem easy, but in our experience the reality is very different. With no professional body overseeing tutor recruitment, how can parents ensure things won’t go wrong? What assurances do you have that your tutor will stay with your child until their exams are done?
At Minerva, we try to strike a balance. Instead of working with an exhaustive database of tutors we hardly know, we specifically choose to work with a smaller, select group (around 60 at current count) who are willing to put 20-30 hours a week into tutoring and who aren’t there just to make some money on the side. This is a critical difference. These are passionate, career-focused tutors who amass 1000s of hours of one-on-one tutoring experience over the course of one or two years! In principle, for us, this is a no-brainer. In practice, it changes everything.
It goes without saying that a Minerva tutor requires one of the UK government's new, advanced DBS checks - but they also have to pass our comprehensive (but friendly!) recruitment interview process. Who do we look for? In our experience, a lot can be achieved by introducing a child to an inspirational "mentor"-style figure, a role model who is able to ignite their interests where others have hit a wall. But usually this isn’t enough. Tutors need to lead by example and must instil precision, creativity, critical-thinking, and exam savviness - all essential skills for growing up in today’s fast-changing world. Confidence is key - if unlocked, it can have a tremendous influence on a child's ability to create and improve. So... it’s a high bar, but tutors with infectious, naturally-motivational personalities and proven, razor-sharp intellects are the ones who make it through.
"Jenny is the perfect balance of freshness, youth and enthusiasm with professionalism and directness.”
Miles M, Chemistry A Level
On joining us, every Minerva tutor has the chance to complete tutor training - we are one of the only companies in the country that offer this. Tutors can also jumpstart their career by applying to our ‘Pro Tutor’ programme. In both of these cases, we train candidates to become outstanding in their profession, whether they continue to tutor with Minerva or go on to thrive in the wider world of education, such as teaching full time. From modules on confidence-building (built on the teachings of Harvard PHDs) to specialised courses on the 7+ and 11+ (run by an ex-headmistress of a top London preparatory school), our tutors emerge more experienced and more capable - ready to meet the exciting and diverse challenges set by the families we work with.
What services do you offer?
After School Tutoring
We offer private, “after school” tuition in all subjects for children aged 5-18 who are based in London, the UK, or around the world. In such cases, we organise tutors to help children who are struggling with anything from basic homework to breaking down and re-teaching entire subjects. Some of our pupils have learning difficulties and need help from our experienced SEN tutors. Some might already be high-flyers at school and need an extra push, e.g. training them for Oxbridge or studying for an extra A Level. For families of younger children, we can also put together bespoke tutoring and interview-prep plans for the 7+, 11+, or 13+ entrance exams. In all of these cases, tutoring sessions typically take place once or twice a week, usually after school or on the weekends, at the pupils home, or online. We can also arrange intensive one-to-one tutoring during half term and school holidays.
Over the years, as our “fewer tutors, more hours'' approach has become more widely-known, and we’ve attracted interest from the press and won one or two awards (see below), we’ve seen a rise in requests from families living around the world who require the services of a Minerva tutor to come out and live with them. Residential placements like this can last from a week to a year, or even longer - and every placement is different. We manage everything from our head office in London and always ensure our tutor on the ground has the support of our Education Support Managers so they can continue to provide first-rate educations no matter where they are in the world !
Minerva’s homeschooling department is a story all on its own. It’s hard to imagine now but five years ago there were only a handful of organisations in the UK that were offering private 1-2-1 homeschooling solutions. Today, our Head of Homeschooling Scott runs one of the most capable and switched-on departments in the country. It’s growth has in part been down to the fact we chose long ago to start working with career-focused tutors, resulting in Minerva gradually becoming the destination of choice for families looking for security and stability when educating their children at home. With Minerva, your tutor is committed to the entire homeschooling period, which can often be a number of years. While every homeschooling scenario is different, our work broadly includes organising timetables, recruiting and instructing tutors, running mock exams, assessing predicted grades, arranging outings to museums and galleries, enrolling pupils at our partner exam centres, and so much more. It’s a full blown service - we can completely replace school if that’s what's required - and even to this day, we still get comments from new parents saying things like ‘I didn’t even know something like this was available’, which makes it all the more worthwhile.
Complimenting our private education services, we also arrange one-off academic pupil assessments, and run a comprehensive "school search" department, finding places at, and training candidates for, entry into some of the country's top schools. Our network has grown over the years and we have developed fantastic relationships with many prestigious institutions. We'd be delighted to talk to you if you're looking for assistance in what can be a major decision for you and your family in your child's early life.
We’re a company of natural, enthusiastic workers. In the office, we operate with the same values that we encourage in our pupils - meet challenges with a smile and work hard to get the required results. We’re not a ‘school’ and we don’t act like one. We put tons of energy and personality into what we do - loving the days on the phone to parents just as much as recruiting new tutors and dishing out plentiful supplies of croissants at our monthly tutor breakfasts! We believe strongly that tutoring should be both exam-focused and holistic and it’s our aim to lift every child into a place of intellectual independence and empowerment - with the ultimate view that greater academic success means greater choice later in life. In terms of the bigger picture, it was one of our founding wishes to see a world where as many children as possible can benefit from a strong educational foundation, setting them on the pathway to success and happiness. We’ve got some way to go, but so far, signs are good. We’ve been called ‘the Innocent drinks of the Tutoring world' by the Good Schools Guide and have been recognised with many industry awards and nominations, as well as making regular appearances in the country’s top newspapers, which you can read about here.
What the future holds
For some time now, we’ve been thinking about how to help more families with home schooling. And while the pandemic has changed the way people perceive both home education and online learning, the reality is that hiring a full time private tutor - or team of tutors - to teach the UK syllabus one-on-one to their children, isn’t financially viable for most. We’re also very conscious that some parents - although curious about the fantastic opportunities and freedoms made available by homeschooling - are reluctant to take the plunge due to the perceived negative impact on their child’s social development; at the end of the day, how will they make friends?
So, in November 2020, we launched Minerva’s Virtual Academy, a unique 100% online independent school for pupils aged 12-18. “MVA” (as it’s already known) embodies everything we have learnt about homeschooling and like it’s sister company approaches the challenge of running a school with some fresh ideas… If you’d like to find out more, please head directly to their website.
Head of Homeschooling & Tutoring
Education Support Manager
Head of Education (MVA)
Head of Technology
Marketing & Content
Tutor Training Coordinator
Education Content Creator
Education Support Manager
The 4 T's.
Since the beginning, it’s been our founding mission to put together a unique team of professional tutors, trained and qualified to deliver memorable and inspirational educational sessions to our pupils across the country and around the world. To do this, we realised we needed to hire fewer tutors, rather than more. The logic behind this was simple: we wanted to know our tutors personally, and we wanted them to feel part of something more than just an agency. We also wanted to work with tutors we could trust, who would benefit from our ongoing training and professional development programmes, and who would be committed to tutoring for the long term. For parents and pupils alike, this makes things much easier: knowing a child won’t be abandoned right before those crucial GCSE’s takes a significant weight of everyone’s mind. For our tutors, this also comes with the advantage of fostering a sense of professionalism and self worth rarely found in the industry. In a nutshell, hiring fewer tutors into a tight-knit, dynamic team means everyone wins. We’re really proud of the tutors we work with, and we look forward to working together for years to come.
Our tutoring philosophy values motivation, confidence and well-being above academic attainment. This philosophy encourages an enjoyment of learning, and aims to achieve positive, long-term results in the classroom and the wider world. This broad minded approach to success not only informs our recruitment policy, acting as a guideline for the sorts of tutors we’d like to see working with us, but also keeps our pupils engaged and inspired to achieve their very best even after their tutoring session ends.
It’s all very well having an “inspirational” educational philosophy, but how can we verify it’s working? This is one of the reasons why we built Temple, a purpose built online reporting platform, based on years of research. After the end of each lesson, tutors log into Temple to write pupil progress reports, measuring pupil progress over time against our key development metrics: Improvement, Motivation, Confidence, and Ability. This means parents can login and monitor their child’s progress over the short and long term, and provides more meaningful performance data about their child’s personal and academic journey.
No other tutoring company invests as much time into the training and developing of their tutors as we do. The very best professionals from the world of education, such as retired Heads of top independent schools and highly renowned education scientists, contribute to our training modules as part of our ‘Minerva Tutor Training Program’. We want to ensure our tutors are constantly developing into better tutors. As well as our training modules, we hold a monthly tutor breakfast at Minerva HQ where tutors discuss the latest trends and share their pupil experiences over coffee, fruit and pastries.
- Module 1: Introduction to the basics, giving the tutors the confidence and knowledge to inspire pupils
- Module 2: Looking at the theories behind intelligence and how this affects tuition
- Module 3: Introduction to the importance of motivation on the success of pupils
- Module 4: Overview of the UK school system
- Module 5: 7 / 8 +
- Module 6: 11+
- Module 7: 13+
- Module 8: KS5
- Module 9: Working with children with dyslexia
- Module 10 Online Tutoring
- Module 11: Safeguarding
- Module 12: Mental Health
- Module 13: Resources
- Module 14: Understanding Autism