Journalist and Writer
Hilary Wilce specialising in all aspects of education
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The Quandary - 04 Jun 2009

Should my children go to a good local maths tutor who is rumoured to behave suspiciously with pupils?

Hillary's Advice

Like so many questions submitted to Quandary, this is all about common sense, and neither I, nor any readers, can sensibly answer your question. We donít know this maths tutor, nor do we know strong and valid these rumours are.

All I can say is: evaluate things for yourself. Weigh up what you feel about the rumours. Ask around among parents who have used this man and, if heís employed by an agency, ring and ask if his Criminal Records Bureau check is in place. If you havenít already met him, do so and then be honest with yourself about what you feel. If you do decide to go ahead, suggest to him you have a trial couple of sessions to see if it works out with your children and make sure you are always close at hand. At the same time, make sure your children know what to do if they find themselves in an uncomfortable situation with an adult Ė in fact, do this whether or not you decide to use this tutor.

More than one in ten children in state schools has a home tutors at some time in their school lives, and very many of these tutors are working entirely unchecked -- so if you go into this situation at least do it with your eyes open.

Of course the one thing no good parent would ever do is let their driving ambition for school success cloud their judgment about their childrenís health and welfare.