A revamp of the Bucks 11+ for 2014 grammar entry seems to have created heightened worry amongst some parents. Demand for information about tutoring shows little sign of decreasing. In a seemingly unregulated market place, just how does a parent evaluate a potential tutor to make sure that their money is invested wisely?

Although everyone is in the dark about the new format tests for Bucks, it is essential to engage a tutor with some experience in this area, as well as one with a proven success record. Likewise, regarding support for Common Entrance, GCSE, A level, IB or Oxbridge. Some of the questions below may be helpful in reviewing potential tutor options.

Does your child appear to engage better with male or female teachers? Do the resources the tutor proposes to use fit with your objectives? Will your child spend most of their time sitting practice papers, or will learning time be fun and interesting? Will their tutoring style and personality inspire and enthuse? Arrange a trial session before booking long-term and assess its quality by popping in once in a while.

Be wary of published success rates. Some tutors ‘select’ only the best candidates to teach. Ask to see evidence of a recent enhanced CRB and review references from parents who have used their services recently. If using a tutoring centre, (such as www.flyingstarttuition.co.uk) this can be a good way to ensure a more consistent, accountable service. Enquire which tutor will teach your child and insist this will this always be the same one, so that they get to know your child. Centres tend to offer intensive courses during school holidays, which may suit some children better than weekly tuition over time and limit some of the pressure they feel to succeed.