New Zealand parents are increasingly making a choice to supplement their children’s education by sending them to tuition providers. Private tuition centres have exploded in numbers and are catering for pre-schoolers to school-leavers with after-school and holiday programmes. In Australia one in five children is estimated to have some tutoring. Researchers in Britain say more than a quarter of state school pupils receive private lessons.
“Tutoring in New Zealand is a multi-million dollar business. Like many burgeoning industries, tutoring has attracted a number of unscrupulous operators. Most tutors and tutoring organisations do the right thing but we want to ensure the industry becomes more accountable and operates in a professional manner”, says Dr. Ralph Wesseling of the newly formed New Zealand Tutoring Association.
The New Zealand Tutoring Association represents tutoring organisations and educational tutors throughout New Zealand. The NZTA believes it is time for self regulation of the tutoring industry to ensure accountability and consumer protection. Membership means strict adherence to the NZTA Code of Conduct. Upholding the Code of Conduct should ensure that there is consistency and reliability for the practitioners and their clients.
The New Zealand Tutoring Association was set up in close cooperation with the Australian Tutoring Association (ATA) and has been formed in recognition of the need to unify standards for the tutoring industry nationally. Moves to set up the NZTA was initiated and sponsored by two of New Zealand’s foremost tutoring companies: Kip McGrath and NumberWorks’nWords. The NZTA aims to represent tutors and tutoring organisations, act as a lobby group and raise the standard of tutoring in New Zealand.
In order to become NZTA members tutoring organisations must agree to abide by a strict Code of Conduct which addresses all of the main issues related to ethical conduct including the need for businesses to:
• have a refund policy
• have full disclosure of qualifications of staff
• demonstrate a particular focus on honesty in advertising as there is no place for exaggerated or misleading claims, deceptive practices or high pressure selling
• engage in accurate reporting which provides insight into the students’ progress and avoids creating dependencies
• refuse to do student work for the student – avoiding plagiarism and encouraging independence and the learning of their students
• disclose the form(s) of testing used or to be used by the tutors in assessing students
• have a written grievance procedure available for parents in the event of any dispute.
To find out more about the NZTA visit their website www.nztutoring.com