While it is impossible to be too prescriptive about the role, good tutoring is characterised by excellent individual knowledge of each tutee and a genuine concern for his or her wellbeing and success. Tutors need to get to know their tutees well and be fully aware of what they are doing, how and why, and also what they are not doing and why. Such awareness is essential to facilitate effective tutoring.
In part, the tutor's role is to acknowledge, praise and positively reinforce when pupils achieve both personally and, as so many do at Canford, at a school-wide, regional or national level. But it is also crucial that pupils are encouraged to seek guidance and support when things seem to have gone off track – as will almost certainly happen on occasion throughout their school careers. Through building a relationship based on productive and measured communication tutor and pupil can work together to identify the real extent of an issue – whether that be in terms of swiftly resolving a passing anxiety or perhaps identifying something deeper.
Time is pressured in our schools and teachers very often have many different hats to wear. However I believe the role of the tutor should be a major priority in order to offer pupils that individual support within a broader educational context. At Canford, it is the glue that binds together all of those key elements that constitute the education we offer.