Literacies tutor

literacy tutor reading tutor private tutor
Education and training

Career outlook for literacies tutor

Average UK salary


Currently employed in Scotland


"LMI for All" supplies our salary and employment status information. "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

You’ll use your talent for teaching and have an excellent grasp of English to help people improve their reading and writing. Your students might still be at school, or they might have left long ago and would benefit from support with these essential skills. 

This role is about much more than teaching literacy. Often the people in your classes will have complex needs – they might need your help to overcome learning difficulties or domestic challenges. The adults you teach might be suffering from addiction or homelessness.  

You’ll be empathetic and understanding of the fact that struggling with reading and writing can affect students’ self-esteem. You’ll design lessons around the pace they’re able to learn, and think beyond traditional teaching techniques to find innovative ways to engage and inspire.  

Above all, you’ll create opportunities to grow your pupils’ confidence and give them the skills they need to study independently and thrive beyond your lessons. 

Some literacy tutors work one-to-one, while others teach small groups. 

What you’ll do 

  • Prepare lesson plans tailored to students’ interests 
  • Create teaching materials including presentations, worksheets and handouts 
  • Track pupils’ progress and provide reports for parents or guardians 
  • Mark classwork and homework and give feedback to help students improve 
  • Demonstrate how to use educational computer software 
  • Identify if a student is struggling, find out why and provide extra support 
  • Respond to student questions by email or phone 
  • Prepare students for exams or tests 
  • Keep confidential student records up to date 
  • Coordinate teaching assistants 
  • Keep up to speed with curriculum requirements 


Working conditions


Most tutors have the option to set their own hours. Working after school or during evenings and weekends is common. Tutoring sessions typically last an hour, but this depends on the size of your groups and the needs of your students.


Where you work is generally up to you. You might choose to base yourself in a school, community centre or other public space. Or you could work at home or in your students’ homes. If you choose to visit your students at home, you’ll probably want to have your own transport so you can travel from place to place efficiently.

UK employment status





Self employed


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  • Adaptability
  • Building relationships
  • Verbal communication
  • Written communication
  • Developing a plan

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you'll need.


You can develop the necessary skills for this role through a variety of routes.

Some Literacies Tutors will have an NC or Professional Development Award (PDA) in Educational Support Assistance but you don’t always need formal qualifications.  You would, however, be expected to be able to demonstrate competence to at least National 5 level in reading, writing and maths.

Depending on the provider you work for, you may be asked to complete a course such as ‘Introduction to Tutoring in Adult Literacies Learning’ (ITALL). 


You can gain skills and qualifications in the workplace through options such as:

Modern Apprenticeships (MAs) mean you learn on the job. You get paid and work towards a qualification at the same time.

You might want to consider an MA in areas such as:

  • Youth work

Useful subjects

Many colleges and universities will have required subjects that you must have for entry. They might also highlight additional subjects that they would value. Look at individual institution websites for specific entry information.  

Useful subjects for this job would be:

  • English 
  • Maths
  • ICT subjects

Helpful to have

Not all employers list specific qualification requirements but they might ask for relevant experience, usually work based, that show a range of transferable skills.

You would need to be confident in your literacy and numeracy skills and be a confident communicator who is patient and supportive.

It would also be useful to have experience of working with young people and/or adults and this could be through paid or voluntary work.