Initial Investment

From £9,995+ VAT

Training provided



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We were initially founded in 2012 as Starr Tutoring (my maiden name). My background was early years and special needs so everything I had learned in 20 years of working in education pointed to a holistic approach to learning that needed to boost confidence as well as learning.

I had had it drummed into me that everyone is different and therefore we all learn differently. In 2012 when a friend suggested I had a go at tutoring, I had no idea of what was expected so I sat down with another friend and brainstormed what we would expect from a tutor if we had one for our own children.

Clara James Tutoring Radio interviewMaybe we were naive, but my background and this brainstorming session were the foundations of what was quickly to become a business which grew from an amazing reputation. It went from being something to subsidise my job to a full-time commitment.

Every lesson is tailor made to the needs of the individual and we provide everything. The lessons always take place in the comfort of the child /student’s home so that they are in an environment where they feel confident.

It is also one less commitment for the parents to concern themselves with. We use a range of resources to make the lessons engaging and fun and to ensure we are relating the child’s own learning style.

Our mantra has always been what would the best tutor do?

These qualities already mentioned and many others which seem insignificant when mentioned independently have become our trade mark which have helped us to go from strength to strength.

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Training & Support

The training will be carried out by myself over 5 days in Aylesbury.

During these 5 days, we will pay for your accommodation, food and drinks. All you will need to do is to get yourself there.

Day one

  • How we learn and the importance of making it fun
  • In the afternoon we will look in more depth at specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia, ADHD and autism.

You will also be given access to courses I have written and books by other established authors to help you understand each of these subjects further. The more knowledgeable you are, the better you will be able to help the individual child and the better your reputation will thrive. In turn the more successful you will be!

We will also consider what happens when a family gets in touch for the first time.

Day two

  • We will start by us exploring in more detail what initial support we can offer these families. At this point we are not trying to sell Clara James Tutoring to them, we are trying to gain their trust.
  • By the afternoon you will be in a position to start to plan a lesson for this new hypothetical family!

Day three

  • Now you know the structure a lesson would take you will be in the perfect place to think about who you might want to tutor.
  • Now is the time to create a profile that you can use to get your business out there. You will be able to explain to families how the lessons will be structured and the type of resources you will use.
  • During the afternoon you will be given a new scenario that will be used as the base for your assessment on Friday. You will have time to start to plan and prepare this lesson.

Day four

Some of you may decide that you want to employ tutors to work with you. This would allow them to tutor subjects / areas where you feel less confident.

This morning will be spent considering:

  1. Who would be your ideal employee?
  2. Where might you find them?
  3. The administration involved with employing a tutor.

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Financial Information

A bespoke 5-day training course in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. You will have your accommodation, refreshments throughout the day and breakfast, lunch and dinner provided.

You will be responsible for paying for your travel to the venue and any alcoholic drinks consumed with your evening meal.

  • At the initial 5-day training event in Aylesbury, you will be presented with a comprehensive start up package including branded shirts or blouses
  • You will receive a pair of car magnets with your personal details to promote your franchise
  • 1000 fliers
  • 100 business cards
  • The start-up fee will also include 3 months of Google Adwords and Facebook Ads to a total value of £1,000.
  • The comprehensive training manuals and a personal mentor for the first 6 months.
  • You will be given your own dedicated landing page and email address from the company website. Google maps will be set up for you to help you appear in local searches and you will have your own official Clara James Tutoring Facebook page to help you raise your local profiles.

You will have the right to use the Clara James Tutoring brand name and associate yourself with the reputation we have strived to achieve over the previous years.

We are all only as strong as our weakest link, so it is important that we all work hard to build on this reputation to help each of our own businesses grow.

We will get your DBS carried out for you and subsidise any DBS checks for you on tutors you wish to employ.

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From infancy through adolescence to maturity.

The road to here

For a lot of people tutoring is a means of making a bit of extra cash. That was me in 2012.

A year or two previously I had moved out of our martial home when things went wrong with our marriage, gave up my business as a childminder and took a job in an optician’s so I had the money to pay the rent on the new house.

Since my youngest had been little I had worked and studied childcare and education. My A’ Levels had been a disaster. My dad had died within weeks of starting them and my inspiration and motivation had died with him. I met Steven and we got married. Within a few very short years we had three children: Clara, Jamie and Angel.

When Angel was born, I decided I needed to do something with my life, but it had to be something that would work alongside having 3 children under 5. I asked Mary, the lady who ran the Pre-school that Clara attended if I could go in there as a volunteer whilst I studied for a diploma in Pre-school Practice.

Her saying yes, was, unbeknown to me, the beginning of the journey that has brought me here.

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Within a couple of weeks, I became chair of the group’s committee and then I became the group SENCo (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator). I took on much of the planning and the policy writing and I felt as if I was regaining myself respect.

Once the diploma finished, I decided I wanted to take my education further and I started a degree in childcare and education through the Open University.

At about this time Clara started in the Junior’s at her primary school. She was a very eloquent child who grasped things easily but her spelling was appalling. It looked like it had been done by a much younger child. The same word could be written two or three different ways on the same piece of paper and she couldn’t see it at all.

I did a course at the local college on supporting children with reading and spelling difficulties and used Clara as my case study. At the end of the course, with the backing of the course tutor, I approached Clara’s teacher and asked if she could be tested for dyslexia.

At that time, she was a very quiet child and dyslexia was seen by many as just an excuse. The school didn’t think the test was necessary so I decided that I would learn what I could so that I could help her myself.

Over the coming years I worked in mainstream schools, early years settings, with children in autism bases, as an NVQ assessor and as a childminder. At one interview I was told I didn’t have the confidence needed to work with children or to complete a degree. Another person told me they didn’t realise you could get a degree in changing nappies…

Now I had something to prove! I studied hard, I read a lot.

Everything I was learning and experiencing was teaching me that learning needs to be varied to ensure you cater for the child’s individual learning style. Worksheets don’t work in isolation for many people and the student needs to feel confident in their surroundings.

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So, in 2012, when I returned to college to do a course to teach adults in a college setting and someone said to me, I might enjoy tutoring, I had quite strong beliefs on how people learned. But I had never qualified as a teacher and didn’t know what people expected from a tutor.

A friend and I brainstormed what we would expect from a tutor if we had one for our own children:

  • They would travel to us
  • The lessons would need to focus on the child’s individual needs
  • A copy of the lesson plan would be sent to the parent in advance
  • We would supply everything that was needed for the lessons so that the parents didn’t have any additional unseen costs

With that Starr Tutoring was created. I had my first lesson in February that year.

I drove up to the house at the end of the lane and parked the car. A lady came storming out of the house and asked what I wanted.

I introduced myself. She told me that I was at the wrong house and marched off back inside. I wanted to cry as I got back in the car. I pulled off the drive and parked in front of the cottage next door, grabbed everything I had prepared and tried to smile as I knocked on their door.

The lesson was a success.

Within 6 months I left the job at the opticians as I had enough hours tutoring to make that my fulltime job. In fact, I had more work than I could cope with.

A couple of years later I joined a mentoring group in Birmingham and inevitably we all had to introduce ourselves and what we did. They were all million pound plus businesses. I was completely out of my comfort zone.

This was time to change. I started employing tutors to work for me and the business continued to thrive.

We’ve tweaked things over time and our mantra is now: What would the best tutor in the world do?

This has enabled us to become finalists twice for a National Customer Service Award.

Then at the beginning of this year, I decided that 2019 was going to be THE year that I would achieve great things. But I’ve said that a lot of times and things have never changed…

I happened to see a random post in a Facebook group about franchising your business.

I had a chat with Clara about it. A random chat that probably wouldn’t be more than words. Then a friend of my son (21) was killed in a road accident. It made me realise life is short and this really did have to be the year. Within days I had a new mentor. Her background was franchising and I told her my daft idea.

Suddenly it was no longer a daft idea and the wheels were in motion. I was going great guns. Then in March I went to the bank for a loan to pay for the additional costs that would be involved and they said no. So, I went elsewhere and found I’d jumped straight into a scam and lost nearly £1000.

I added a few more hours to my day, and made the money back.

A few days after Mother’s Day I emailed my brother to mention that mum wasn’t happy he hadn’t been in touch. He rang to apologise to mum soon after. That Saturday a friend of his son (12) had been hit on the head with a hockey ball during a match and killed.

Again, things were put into perspective. I picked up momentum and started running again.

Then, in May I was told someone might want to contest my trade mark (Starr Tutoring- my maiden name). Again, I felt like throwing the towel in.

That afternoon I had a text from the aunt of someone I tutor. The girl’s mum had been in a horrific accident. Could they cancel the tutoring for a while?

She died two weeks later.

The trade mark was contested and I was told that fighting my corner could cost a fortune and take years. If this was going to be the year that made a difference, I couldn’t wait that long.

I chose a new name: Clara James Tutoring (the names of my oldest two kids) and got things moving.

This year has been about a clear goal, determination and putting things into perspective.

It’s paid off and now here we are, on a whole new journey which I hope will result in offering children all over the United Kingdom support which is tailor made, enjoyable and offered by tutors who continually ask themselves what would the best tutor in the world do?

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