Herald Sun Article: How Learnmate is Addressing Australia's Tutoring Concerns

September 19, 2023Learnmate

In a recent article by Julie Cross featured in the Herald Sun, the challenges and concerns surrounding private tutoring in Australia were brought to national attention. From the need for transparent rating systems to concerns about tutor qualifications and safety, the article painted a troubling picture of the tutoring landscape in Australia.

However, we're proud at Learnmate to be able to say that we recognised these trends long ago and have been actively addressing them since 2015, and this blog intends to shed light on how.

1. Transparent Rating Systems for Tutors

Julie's article highlighted the suggestion by Glenn Fahey from The Centre for Independent Studies about the need for an "Uber-style" rating system for tutors. At Learnmate, we've not only implemented such a system but have gone a step further.

Our platform already features a 5-star rating and review system for tutors, with ratings provided by students who have completed lessons with tutors. Every student who completes a lesson with a tutor is invited to leave them a review, with those reviews and the tutor's ratings all visible on a tutor's profile.

Additionally, we have deployed a 4-tiered tutor structure (Bronze, Silver, Gold & Pro) that reflects a tutor's experience on Learnmate. The more lessons completed and experience gained on Learnmate, the higher the tutor's tier.

Our rating system plays a key role in enabling parents and students to make informed decisions about who is entrusted with their educational outcomes. Whether you're after a fresh approach to tutoring or someone who has the runs on the board to give you the confidence you need, you can easily find them on Learnmate.

2. Honest and Affordable Pricing

In her article, Julie highlighted anecdotes that we're all too familiar with such as tutors charging up to $200/hr for tutoring.

We're happy to say you won't find a tutor on Learnmate at that price point! Learnmate stands out from others in the industry with its commitment to affordable pricing, flexibility and transparency. By taking a marketplace approach to tutoring, Learnmate provides a platform for tutors to pick their hourly rates and price competition on the platform keeps those rates affordable. In addition, because we support tutors in choosing their hourly rates, we have tutors available at every price point and to suit every household budget.

As a result, you can find qualified teachers on Learnmate available for as little as $30/hr! This is a stark contrast to the industry trend where tutors are charged out at arbitrary and unaffordable rates and often by companies who retain a significant majority of that pay (ie. the tutor barely sees any of it!).

Our commission model is an industry leader and is outlined in full on our website, but the overall principle behind it is to ensure that the difference makers (the tutors) retain the significant majority of hourly lesson rates, not us.

3. Detailed Tutor Profiles & Verified Qualifications

Another concern raised in Julie's article was the lack of available information about a tutor's qualifications and experience. In fact, it is common practice in the industry for families not to have a say in who their tutor and the companies they approach appoint the tutor for them while keeping their experience or qualifications opaque. This means families are entrusting someone with their educational outcomes without the tools required to adequately assess if they are the right person to achieve them.

In contrast, every tutor on Learnmate has a detailed profile that showcases their background, qualifications and experience, ensuring that parents and students are empowered with all the information they need to find their perfect match. We empower families and students to pick tutors who suit them best and to give them the confidence that it's the right person to achieve their goals.

4. Safety First: Verification & More

Safety is paramount, especially when it comes to working with children. We've integrated a badge system where tutors can display their verified credentials, including real-time tracking of their Working with Children Check (WWCC). This proactive approach ensures that our platform remains a safe space for both tutors and students.

5. Platform Updates for Enhanced User Experience

We're always striving to improve and enhance the user experience on Learnmate. Stay tuned for updates in due course that further bring the features outlined in this blog to the forefront of the platform.

In conclusion, while the tutoring industry in Australia faces challenges, platforms like Learnmate are actively working to address these concerns already and have been for a while. We're committed to ensuring that every student has access to quality, affordable, and safe tutoring.

If you're interested in learning more, check out our platform and see the difference for yourself.

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