London Home Tutors : Finding a Niche

Balham based Mary Lonsdale bought London Home Tutors 4 years ago from a family in North London where her friend, who was also a teacher, had run it for over thirty years. She trained Mary up for 6 months and then sold her the business. It’s now Mary’s family business which she runs with the help of two local mums.

Mary Lonsdale

So Mary, what is London Home Tutors?

London Home Tutors is a family-based business, over thirty years old and has helped more than 90,000 London school children since 1982. We specialise in one to one tuition for the main academic subjects taught in UK schools and London schools’ entrance exams, particularly the 11+ and increasingly the 7+. We also provide Academic Assessments for primary aged children.

What sets you apart from other tutoring companies?

We believe the quality of our tutors sets us apart. 80% of our tutors are qualified teachers with many senior teachers, Heads of Departments and Examiners amongst our tutors. We don’t employ under graduates or graduates and all our tutors have significant teaching experience.

We think this makes a real difference to the experience your children will have, because the tutor we send you will have a toolbox full of techniques and bags of experience to help your child whatever their situation and learning style. Whether they need a confidence boost or have a block on a particular topic, are feeling unhappy at school or have additional needs and need to learn in a particular way…our experienced teachers will know where to start.

We also have lots of tutors that specialise in school entry for specific schools. So if you call us and want to prepare your child for the Highgate School exam we can send you a tutor with a track record of success for that particular school.

What is your speciality?

Our particular speciality is providing Academic Assessments to help London parents understand their child’s suitability for competitive London day schools. We know from experience how stressful planning a school entrance campaign can be, especially when both independent and state primary schools don’t always tell parents clearly where their child is relative to their peers’ attainment wise.

It is also difficult to know what their potential might be and hence choose a school where they will really thrive and be happy.

Our assessment tells parents both where their child is now and what they are capable of, two crucial pieces of information that enable parents to plan properly and reduce their stress levels enormously!

This means school visits can be tailored and any tuition minimised. The assessment includes a full 11+ practice test and a tailored assessment report with age-related, standardised scores; comparing your child with British school children of the same age.

What is your niche?

Our niche is to help families in a holistic way. Of course, parents are pleased when grades go up and exams are passed, but what parents often value more than anything else is seeing their child’s confidence return and watching them enjoy learning again. Parents often mention that one to one tuition improves their child’s focus and concentration and as a result they become much calmer about stressful situations such as exams. With the right teacher helping them, it’s amazing how many parents tell us their child’s behaviour at home and at school has been really positively affected.

Mary’s Favourites

Shop : I love our local toy shop QT Toys on Northcote Road in Battersea. I’ve spent hours in there with my kids comparing boxes of Lego and train sets…such fun! I think it’s really important to support our local shops on high streets in London as we’ve had so many lovely shops close down.

Website : When I have some free time I like to watch videos on www.TED.com because the subjects are so varied and fascinating and it reminds me that there are so many big unsolved problems in our world, it gives me perspective on whatever I am worrying about that day.

Restaurant : My local Italian in Clapham, Numero Uno. It always reminds me of good times with my family and lots of much needed date nights with my husband when my children were tiny. The food is scrumptious and the staff so welcoming.

Hotel: Limewood in Hampshire. It’s not too far from home in South London and is grown up heaven when you get there. Having a glass of champagne in their outdoor jacuzzi is my idea of bliss.

Holiday destination : I love the quiet north of Ibiza and particularly the area around Benirras beach where the sea is crystal clear and the bay is nestled amongst fragrant pine cliffs. I love the sunsets and the sea food!

Parenting tip : Daily reading is the most important habit you can instil in your child that will set them up for life long enjoyment, intellectual curiosity and exam success!

londonhometutors.co.uk