Back to School: How to make face-to-face tutoring safe?

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Updated  Tom Hamilton Stubber


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With back to school season fast approaching, it is clear that tutoring will be a key part of many children's school days. With the Nation Tutoring Program, many children will have access to high quality tutors to help them get up to speed with the new school year. Furthermore many parents are looking into getting a bit of extra school help from private tutors outside of school.

Above all else, safety is key for successfully reopening schools. This includes creating a safe environment for all normal school activities and new ones. While for many online tutoring has been a great resource for months, some parents will want to return to face-to-face tutoring.

Therefore, we have compiled a list of resources and tips about how to make sure in school tuition and private tuition are as safe and beneficial as possible for all children.

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Understanding each child's needs

For many younger children, COVID-19 has been a very confusing experience. It is key that tutors and educators learn to understand each child's individual experience, meaning their needs can be specifically catered for.

Make sure that before you begin tuition with a child you do the following things:

  1. Talk to each child about their feelings, experiences and anxieties regarding returning to school during the pandemic.
  2. Get in touch with parents about their child's individual experience during lockdown.
  3. Consider how changes in the school environment may affect children.

Making sure each child is safe

In order to avoid the spread of COVID-19, all schools are required to implement rigorous health and sanitation protocols.

While this may vary from school to school, here are a few things you can encourage as a tutoring working with children:

  1. Make sure each child knows how to wash their hands properly.
  2. Reiterate with children the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it' approach of dealing with sneezing and coughing.
  3. Set up all tutoring spaces to follow social distancing protocol, minimising the chances of spreading the virus.
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Keeping private tutoring safe

Aside from government funded tuition programs, many parents are considering hiring tutors for extra help outside of school hours.

The best option for tutoring outside of school is sticking to video calls. However, if this isn't an option, here are a few tips to make face-to-face tuition safer:

  1. Avoid handshakes: Stick to greetings which avoid physical contact as much as possible, so handshakes are out of the question. If you want to make it a little more fun, think of the silliest way you can greet your students!
  2. Create hygiene stations: Create a hand sanitising station, which you keep within reach at all times. A touch of antibacterial soap or hand sanitiser can drastically reduce the chances of passing on germs.
  3. Bring your own stationary: To help further reduce physical contact between yourself and students make sure you and each student have separate stationary. So keeping books, papers and pens separate!
  4. Sit further away from each other than usual: While this one may feel a little strange, social distancing can help drastically reduce the chances of spreading germs.

Make sure to think about how you can still engage students even if you are sitting further away from them!

More resources:

If you want ever more tips and resources here are a few helpful links:

  1. Contact, a charity helping families with disabled children have a great list of resources and tips regarding back to school 2020.
  2. Titanium tutors have shared a helpful article about keeping at home tutoring safe during COVID-19.
  3. Royal College of Occupational Therapists have created a checklist for getting your child ready for schools reopening.
  4. The UK Government's full guidance on school reopening can be found here.

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