Meet the duo supporting students with a holistic approach to learning

Anna Coulson and Linda Burgess of Champion Tutor Ltd. Picture by Tom Banks
Tees Business Digital Media Pack

By Sarah Walker

Passionate teachers Anna Coulson and Linda Burgess have responded to a dramatic increase in demand for online learning with the launch of a new tutoring business.

Champion Tutor cares for its tutors and students alike with an emphasis on positive mental health and wellbeing for both.

Champion connects tutors from a variety of academic backgrounds with students aged five and upwards, taking into account their wide-ranging interests and hobbies for the most effective, personalised learning experience.

Its self-employed tutors include Oxford University graduates, from whom they have had a “brilliant response”, with exceptionally high-quality applications.

Former headteacher Anna, who has worked as a national leader in driving up school standards, said: “We already have 50 tutors and we’ve been inundated with fantastic applications and have been able to get the very best tutors.

“We only employ exceptional, experienced tutors who possess emotional intelligence and understand the reasons behind every child’s complexities.

“They understand all our work is about helping students find a growth mindset and make sure all their communication with children is positively framed and personalised.”

Champion Tutor prides itself on matching students with relatable tutors.

It was able to pair a Darlington student with ambitions of being a pilot with a graduate who not only helped with maths and physics but had also experienced flying lessons.

Another student struggling with their Macbeth homework was put in contact with a tutor who, as a drama graduate, had recently acted in the play and could inspire interest as well as academic rigour.

Anna said: “We only employ the best tutors who relate to our students’ interests and ambitions.

“They learn quickly about the child’s interests and find unique ways of connecting with them.

“Our tutors can help with all sorts of things, including children having self-limiting beliefs such as ‘I will never be able to catch up’ that can lead to self-esteem issues.”

The worry many students have about falling behind is very real due to the impact of Covid and the closure of schools during lockdown.

Anna said: “We see top-performing students aiming for aspirational targets in primary and secondary schools, studying for GCSEs or A-levels, or trying to get into grammar schools or independent schools, and many feel pressure and have a fear of failure and of making mistakes.

“They want everything to be perfect, but missing five months of education can cause a great deal of anxiety.”

Education Endowment Foundation research shows that children who receive tuition make five additional months of progress compared with peers.

Linda, who has a degree in psychology and a postgraduate qualification in working with students with special educational needs, added: “In April, when Anna had this idea, I was leading special educational needs for the whole of Sunderland, developing personalised learning strategies, and I saw first-hand how children who were missing out on their education struggled.

“We were both very passionate about incorporating wellbeing in learning and personalising education for the children. Our tutors adopt growth mindset communication, which inspires a can-do approach in learners from all starting points.

“They can also support home-educated pupils’ timetables, including group sessions, giving opportunities for social interaction in learning.”

Anna and Linda have invested heavily in bespoke software so lessons are taught in an interactive and safe environment.

The company also funds enhanced DBS checks on all its tutors for parents’ peace of mind.

Anna said: “We wanted to bring something really spectacular to our students, not just using Zoom or Skype.

“We don’t know what is going to happen with exams next year, but we will be getting children ready and feeling confident they can feel self-pride and show their teachers just what they can do.”

Champion Tutor is offering six lessons for the price of five to Tees Business readers and normally applies a 10% discount to bookings of 15 lessons or more. For more details, email support@champion-tutor.co.uk or visit champion-tutor.co.uk.