The cost of hiring a tutor
In a world where both parents have to work, many middle income households have resorted to hiring tutors, and au pairs, to help their kids with homework and look after them in the afternoons. Tutors are also a solution for children struggling at school, offering extra classes with more attention paid to your child’s needs. Moneybags journalist Jessica Anne Wood looks at the cost of hiring a tutor agency.
There are a number of tutoring companies around South Africa, offering a range of services. Some companies offer services nationally, while others are region specific. Among these companies are: GeMi Tutoring, Leopard Tutors, First Tutors South Africa, Education Matters, Cape Town Tutors, Master Maths and Sitters 4 U.
Before making the decision to hire a tutor privately, you could consult your child’s school directly to see if they offer extra lessons or could recommend someone. This might be cheaper than hiring a tutor privately.
Below is a breakdown of the cost of services at each of the seven tutoring companies mentioned above.
- GeMi Tutoring
According to the GeMi Tutoring website, there are several packages to choose from. These are as follows:
Each class package has its own focus and level of difficulty. For example, an hour class for primary school students may address a problem as simple learning to read, whereas high school tutoring may focus on the difficulties associated with learning algebra. The packages that offer multiple classes offer a broader service offering, including helping to prepare your children for exams, and for younger students, assisting them in learning the basics.
In addition to these packages, there is also a package targeted at university students. These classes start from R160 an hour and can be arranged by contacting GeMi Tutors.
- Leopard Tutors
The rates according to the Leopard Tutors’ website are:
One hour sessions
For study circles (i.e. where there is more than one student) an extra R75 per student is charged. A maximum of five students per session is recommended. In addition, a levy of between R50 and R100 per hour may be applicable for certain tertiary level subjects.
“In exceptional circumstances a transport levy may be necessary: When a preferred tutor is required to travel a distance in excess of 20km round trip. This will only occur with your knowledge and agreement,” says the Leopard Tutors website.
Furthermore, Leopard Tutors also offer assignment assistance, time management, study skills and exam preparation.
- First Tutors South Africa
Unlike the other tutoring companies compared here, First Tutors South Africa is an international tutoring database that allows people to find a tutor in their country, within the field or discipline they require.
With First Tutors South Africa, the tutors can set their own fee, starting at R100 per hour. The average tutor fee however, is R200 per hour. There is also an additional introduction fee of R60.
- Education Matters
With Education Matters there is a once off administration fee of R280. Included in this fee is a complimentary one hour introductory lesson. This is payable on confirmation of the first session and prior to the arrival of the tutor. “After meeting the tutor and enjoying the first lesson, the package most suiting the individual learner’s needs can be ordered,” explains the Education Matters website.
Packages can comprise of multiple subjects and tutors, and the lessons can be used over 12 months or longer. Lessons can also be shared with siblings or transferred (within reason) to other learners.
The package fees are as follows:
One tutor and one learner for one hour
One tutor and one learner for two hours
For study circles (up to a maximum of four students) there is an additional charge of R80 per student per hour. In addition, a levy of up to R100 per hour may be applicable to certain tertiary level subjects.
As with Leopard Tutors, Education Matters notes: “In exceptional circumstances a transport levy may be necessary, i.e.: When a preferred tutor is required to travel a distance in excess of 20km round trip. This will only occur with your knowledge and agreement.”
“Discounts are only applicable when payments are made in advance. Payments made in arrears may be billed at the out of package rate of R280 per hour for single hour sessions and R250 per hour for multiple hours,” explains Education Matters.
- Cape Town Tutors
There are three tutoring packages available and a range of subjects catered for. According to the Cape Town Tutors website, you are not bound to a fixed-term contract. “We stand by the performance of our tutors and if at any time you wish to discontinue tutelage you may do so without prejudice.
The lesson costs are as follows:
Each lesson package includes the cost of transport. Group rates are also available on request for study circles.
- Master Maths
Focusing on mathematics, Master Maths offers individual tutor sessions. The following factors are taken into consideration when recommending how many hours a child should attend each week:
- The previous exam and test results that the learner obtained at school.
- At what time during the curriculum year a learner enrols, e.g. if a learner enrols in the third term of the year, more hours of attendance will be required, to prepare this learner for the final exams.
- Which grade the learner is in, as the volume of work can differ substantially from grade to grade.
- Where the centre is situated, as fees in rural areas are slightly lower than fees charged in the urban areas.
Master Maths highlights that individual tuition fees will vary, but a typical example of the cost for a learner attending three hours per week in an urban area equate to: R100 enrolment fee plus an annual fee, or R120 for the theory notes and re-enforcement exercises of the year’s curriculum, and R1,340 monthly tuition fee (approximately R103.88 per hour).
- Sitters 4 U
Sitters 4 U offers a range of services, from housesitting and childcare services to tutoring. The website explains: “Our one on one tutors will assist you in the comfort and security of your own home. Improve your child’s grades, increase their test and exam results and reach their full potential.”
All tutors are required to have a degree and/or other certified tertiary education related to the subjects they will teach. Sitters 4 U notes: “Fees vary according to the type of tutor required and the number of lessons per week and rates paid to staff normally vary from R 100 to R 200 per hour depending on the candidate.”
Before hiring a private tutor or tutoring agency, shop around and look at the services available. It is also advisable to have contactable credentials for the tutors you are considering so that you ensure that you are getting value for money.
Your child’s school might also be able to assist with recommending a tutor, or even offer extra classes after school. In some cases these classes may be free or cheaper than hiring an agency or private tutor.
It is also important to know what you can expect from the tutor, and if they meet the needs of your child. Many of the tutor companies looked at here do assist in assessing your child and recommending the time and assistance they think the child requires. The varied needs of each child may impact on the cost of the extra lessons you are paying for.
Note: All prices accurate at time of publication, 25 August 2016, as per the companies’ websites. Cost may vary depending on your needs or requirements.