Tutoring can help enhance your child’s performance at school. However, choosing the tutoring service that’s right for your child can sometimes prove a little challenging. It is essential that parents do some research beforehand.
Parents should think carefully before signing up and/or paying for any tutoring service, no matter how good it sounds. Asking a range of questions about the service is a good way to help you decide if it is the right service for you and your child:
Question any deal, including tutoring services, that sounds too good to be true because it probably is. In particular:
When you sign a contract for tutoring you are legally bound by its terms and conditions. Once you have signed, you usually can’t back out. Always read carefully any document you are asked to sign. If you don’t understand it, don’t sign it. Find out about things such as:
Face-to-face tutoring, either in-home or on-site, is a traditional and common method of tutoring. However, computer-based and online tutoring is becoming increasingly popular.
If you decide to go with a computer-based tutoring course for your child make sure that it is compatible with your computer hardware and software.
Many computer based training packages are made overseas and may not be applicable to Australian schools.
Ensure that you know exactly what the course involves and how it is expected to help your child. Check whether technical and/or educational support is available for the course and how and when this is provided.
Before deciding on online tutoring ask yourself the following questions:
Be wary of high-pressure sales tactics as well as false advertising. Advertising can be a useful source of information but it can also mislead the unsuspecting.
You should receive accurate information about the tutoring service you want to purchase. It is illegal for the tutoring service to:
By law you may be entitled to cancel your contract and seek a refund if an aspect of your child’s tutoring service was wrongly described or misrepresented to you.
The Australian Consumer Law allows you to claim compensation when a service does not meet a consumer guarantee. You may be able to claim compensation for your costs in time and money because something went wrong with the service.
If you’re not satisfied with the service you have received or how you have been treated, the first step is to make every effort to sort out the problem directly with the tutor or the tutoring service.
Be clear, firm and polite and state what the problem is and how you would like it fixed. Make sure you put your concerns in writing and keep all relevant documents, such as contracts, receipts, warranties and quotes.
If you don’t reach a satisfactory outcome, contact NSW Fair Trading on 13 32 20 or visit our website. We provide free information about your rights and options to resolve the dispute. This includes mediation of the complaint by Fair Trading staff or referral to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) which provides independent, low cost and accessible dispute resolution in consumer disputes.
You can also contact the Australian Tutoring Association (ATA) at www.ata.edu.au They may assist in conflict resolution through mediation and negotiation, and have fact sheets available on:
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