Published 10 Feb 2022
Choosing a tutor to support your children
In 2021, Victorian schools recruited over 4,100 teaching professionals as tutors to support students catch up with any learning they may have missed due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. With the ongoing disruption to schooling and learning environments, more parents/guardians are engaging in private tutors to support their children’s learning at home.
Parents/guardians should first ensure their selected tutor is qualified, suitable and child-safe. This article provides parents/guardians with practical steps to consider in their choice of an appropriate tutor for school-aged children.
Does the tutor have appropriate qualifications, skills or experience?
Parents/guardians should check the tutor has appropriate qualifications, skills and experience. This may include asking whether the tutor holds an initial teacher education (ITE) qualification that is approved or deemed equivalent by the Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT).
You can read more about these qualifications.
VIT-approved ITE qualifications ensure the tutor has first-hand experience undertaking professional placements within a teaching environment. This may also help ensure your child is being supported by a tutor who understands teaching methods and can apply these to their learning outcomes at home.
Steps to consider
- interview the tutor and confirm their relevant qualifications, skills and experience as a teacher or tutor
- ask the tutor for proof of their qualifications, skills or experience as a teacher or tutor.
Is the tutor registered with VIT?
The Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT) is responsible for registering and regulating teachers. This means that the most qualified and suitable tutors will be registered with the VIT.
To become registered, applicants are assessed to ensure they have appropriate qualifications and are suitable to teach. Once registered, teachers are subject to continuous monitoring. This includes regular and extensive criminal record checks, and actioning any complaints received about teacher conduct, competence or potential impairments.
All teachers currently registered with VIT are listed on the Register of Teachers.
Some teachers who are no longer registered, and have been subject to disciplinary action taken by the VIT, may appear on the Register of Disciplinary Action.
Steps to consider
- ask the tutor to provide their VIT registration number
- confirm the tutor’s registration status on the Register of Teachers
- check the Register of Disciplinary Action to determine whether the tutor has been subject to VIT disciplinary action that has been published on our website.
Does the tutor have a Working with Children clearance?
Working with Children Check Victoria (WWCCV) screen and assess people who care for children or engage in child-related work (paid or volunteer work involving those under 18 years of age). This includes assessing the person’s criminal history and relevant professorial conduct findings.
If a person is assessed to be suitable to work with or care for children, they will be granted a Working with Children (WWC) clearance. Similar to VIT, WWCCV monitors and assesses whether the person continues to be suitable to work with or care for children. WWCCV has the power to re-assess a person’s suitability and revoke their WWC clearance or issue a WWC exclusion if necessary.
If you are planning to engage someone as a tutor, you must ensure they have a current WWC clearance, as tutoring is considered child-related work. It will also provide reassurance that the person has been assessed as suitable to work with or care for your child.
There are, however, some people who are exempt from this requirement. In Victoria, registered teachers are exempt from requiring a WWC clearance, as the VIT conducts its own suitability assessments (that are closely aligned with WWCCV assessments). Therefore if you plan to engage a registered teacher as a tutor, they may not hold a separate WWC clearance.
Steps to consider
- if the tutor is not a registered teacher, ask them for a copy of their Working with Children clearance or their reference number
- verify their current status with the Working with Children Status Checker to ensure the tutor has a current Working with Children clearance and has been assessed as suitable to work with children.
Is the tutor otherwise suitable to support your school-aged children?
Other individuals and organisations may be able to share valuable information about whether a tutor is suitable to support school-aged children. This includes employers, former employers or organisations the tutor has volunteered with.
Sometimes, there is also other publicly available information that may help you decide whether the tutor is suitable to support your child. Parents/guardians should also consider these pathways to help determine whether a tutor is suitable to tutor their child.
Steps to consider
- ask the tutor for the names and contact details from a least two current/former employers or organisations for which they have volunteered
- contact the current/former employers or volunteer organisations and confirm the tutor’s qualifications, skills and experience, their ability to work with children, and whether they have been the subject of any complaints or disciplinary action
- search other publicly available information to determine the tutor’s suitability to tutor your child (e.g. social media or news articles).
Further resources and support
Working with Children Check Victoria
The Working with Children Check is a screening process for assessing or re-assessing people who work with or care for children in Victoria.
Department of Education and Training
The Department of Education and Training offers learning and development support and services for all Victorians.