Sally and I have run our Kip McGrath centre in Ashford for eleven years and our new centre in Hawkhurst since November 2015, and the question at the top of my blog has only been asked by a handful of parents in that time.

In a way, I’m pleased. It shows that society works, we trust the people around us, we trust that the people who do their job have the correct qualifications, training and experience. We trust that the company advertising gas central heating services use qualified gas engineers, that the mortgage broker has the relevant professional training. It also, perhaps, shows that my advertising works, we mention the words “Qualified teachers” in all our adverts. As you know, in Kip McGrath we HAVE to be teachers to own a centre, and we only employ qualified teachers.

In a way, I’m also horrified that I work in an unregulated industry. The examples above are both in trades and professions that are regulated, by Gas Safe and/or OFTEC for gas engineers and by the FSA for mortgage brokers, I know that these people are both regulated in their practices, and that they are certified in their training and competence to do the job they are being paid to do.

Sadly the tuition of children is unregulated, anyone can declare themselves to be a tutor and teach children English, Maths, Science, History and other National Curriculum subjects, with not a single recognised qualification related to teaching. The mention of a CRB is seen by some as the important decider (not long ago the government were suggesting that if you were to drive another child to a football fixture you would need to be CRB checked)

Interestingly, if I then tried to teach a child swimming or rugby I would then move into the regulated side again. I started as a PE teacher and taught both of these subjects for 10+ years, but now could not teach swimming at a local leisure centre nor rugby at my local club; my qualifications are no longer valid, whilst I’m a fully qualified and experienced teacher my ASA and RFU qualifications and training I received, and paid for, are out of date.

So, if you have a tutor for your child’s education, whether an individual home tutor, or someone who works in a tuition centre, either independent, company owned or a franchise like Kip McGrath, be bold the next time you see them. Ask them the most important question you can ask: “Are you qualified to teach my child?”

If they are a qualified teacher they won’t be offended. Like me, they’ll be really pleased you asked.