New Zealand Tutoring Association (NZTA) Newsletter
Assessments and reporting systems throughout New Zealand schools have undergone huge change over the last 18 months. With the introduction of National Standards into primary and intermediate schools and more comprehensive reporting systems to parents, we as tuition providers are being approached and asked to close any ‘learning gaps’ identified. These changes have had a positive impact on the tutoring industry within New Zealand.
The NZTA are keen to have the tuition industry recognised by a wider audience and are excited about the upcoming coupon campaign that will be advertised nationally. Details concerning the coupon campaign, along with other relevant material can be found in this newsletter.
1. Education Gazette
One of the tasks for the NZTA is to educate both the public and school teachers about tutoring in New Zealand. At the AGM of 2010 it was decided to advertise in the New Zealand Education Gazette, a magazine read by many education professionals throughout New Zealand.
Some teachers have traditionally seen tutoring organisations as affront to their professionalism and ability to provide the level of education required for all students. Thankfully this perception has disappeared, or at least, reduced. Students now seek tutoring for a range of reasons such as: examination preparation, extension and enrichment work, additional support when in a competitive environment in order to achieve top results and those low achieving students needing extra help in areas they find difficult.
The amount of feedback received as a consequence of the advertising was difficult to measure. While we recorded increased visits to the NZTA website the article did not have a call to action so it is unclear if it was money well spent.
2. New Zealand Tutoring Association Website
At the end of 2010 the NZTA website was revamped and improved with prominent mention of each tutoring organisation affiliated to the NZTA. Site visits have steadily gone up and on average visitors are spending almost 3 minutes reading material on the site. We will endeavour to continue to improve the site and make it a good source of information for parents seeking tuition services.
3. When Your Child Needs a Tutor
Private tutoring to give kids a helping hand in their schooling is a growing business. However, it’s also an area where parents can be vulnerable to bogus offers and misleading advertising. If you’re considering using a tutor, find out how to get the best service for you and your child.
It’s important to know that the job of a school is to ensure your child’s educational needs are met in line with the curriculum. Teachers in New Zealand schools are university educated and use effective teaching and learning techniques. If you have concerns about your child’s education, you should discuss it with your child’s teacher or principal.
Qualities of a good tutor
Mohan Dhall, chief executive officer of the Australian Tutoring Association, says the right tutor can complement school education when “they instil confidence in the student and work in partnership with schools”.
Mohan says parents “should first think whether their child would benefit from tuition. After all, a well structured home environment may provide the best framework for parents to help children themselves”.
“However, if you have identified an area or areas that could benefit from extra academic attention then you need to be clear about what you want the tuition to achieve. Parents should also ask how the tuition can work best with the child’s school to achieve the best outcomes for their child. Tutors should be effective communicators, warm and empathetic, and open, honest and accountable, Mohan says. They will be subject matter experts who can break down complex concepts and build understanding through standard teaching processes. Their aim is to help kids build confidence in their skills to help themselves.”
What to ask a potential tutor:
- How long has the tutoring service been in business?
- Does the service belong to a relevant industry association with an enforceable code of conduct?
- Does the tutor have references/testimonials from other parents who have used the service?
- What qualifications and experience do the tutors have?
- What training does the tutor have in the subject area being tutored?
- Is the tutor equipped to give correct support in New Zealand education course requirements?
4. Coupon Campaign
At the last NZTA board meeting we discussed the results of the recent advertorial in the Education Gazette. It was decided that it was difficult to measure the direct effect of an advertorial where there is no input needed by the reader. It was also agreed that advertising that directly benefits our members should be a major focus. NZTA would like to run a campaign that targets parents directly to educate them about NZTA member’s tuition services and to encourage the public to visit local NZTA members.
We will be running a coupon campaign to encourage parents to take their children to NZTA members for a free assessment. Those parents would then go into a draw to receive a term’s free tuition. This tuition would be funded by the NZTA. We examined options for publishing the campaign and settled on Sunday Star Times as having the best balance between cost and coverage.
Take this voucher to a NZTA approved centre to get a free assessment for your child. You will also go in a draw to win a terms free tuition from your chosen provider.
The time frame for this campaign has not been finalised but we would like to have this done before end of Term 2 to take advantage of Term 3. To get the most out of this initiative for your centre we suggest backing up the NZTA advertising with your own advertising or actions to promote yourself as a NZTA member.
5. NZTA Membership (renewal)
Any business that relies on customers using discretionary spending (as we do) will tell you that the last year has offered some difficult conditions to trade in. Over the last 12 months GST, grocery bills, school fees and utility bills have all increased.
Interestingly our association has not only consolidated its position but continued to strengthen through this period. Continued expansion and strengthening of the NZTA is important for us all. We cannot stress enough how good industry behaviour affects positive government and media feedback. This helps us all. Our product does work; we need to ensure that it is always delivered in an ethical and responsible manner both business wise and educationally.
The NZTA membership renewal is upon us again. We will be sending out invoices in June. Please take a moment of your time and renew
6. Building relationships
The NZTA is currently talking to suppliers of goods and services that may be of use and benefit to our members. We will have more details soon.
7. NZTA AGM
At a recent board meeting it was decided that the AGM and date of renewal should coincide to allow members the opportunity of making their view heard. To encourage more people to attend we will be holding the AGM at 1pm on Saturday 9th of July at St Marks Church, Remuera, Auckland.