As a community based business, we strive to improve students' education in and around Hyndburn. We want to help those disadvantaged or struggling young people, receive the support and guidance they need without the need to pay for high tuition fees.
What are we trying to achieve?
Hyndburn today, is in the top 20% of most deprived authority areas, in 28th place. (With 1st being the most deprived and 326th being the least deprived). The percentage of pupils achieving five or more A*-C grades at GCSE, including English and Maths in 2014/15, was just 52.3% in Hyndburn.
By offering our services to the community, we aim to see an increase in GCSE Math grades, a decrease in the general stress & anxiety with exams and an increase in students’ confidence & engagement with the subject. After all, why should any student miss the grade they truly deserve just because they can't afford extra support or are simply too scared to ask. This is something, as a company, we feel very strongly about.
What makes our project great?
We offer two ways in which young people and adult learners can access the support and guidance that we offer. Our Online Learning Platform and our very own small scale Classroom.
Our Online Learning Platform (a Virtual Classroom), allows our tutors to share their audio, slides, chat, video, and desktop with students. We even have a Whiteboard area where annotations and markings are automatically displayed back to students, in the session, in real-time. Tutors also have the ability to zoom, highlight, draw and write on their presentations making their points clearer to remote students, this makes it easier for students & tutors to work on practice exam papers together. We also, don't impose any limits on the number of people in a session. This means, we can offer the classroom for 1-to-1 sessions or 1-to-50! There simply is no limit, as long as our infrastructure can support it, you can do it. This is all thanks to an Open Source Project called BigBlueButton, in which our virtual classroom is based on.
Recently, we have been gifted a small space at The Globe Centre, in the heart of Accrington. This enables us to offer our very own small scale classroom for in-person tuition, for up to 6 students at a time. Thanks to the local community, we have received a number of donations to equip our new classroom. Some of these include:
- The Globe Centre - Office Space
- Bevlan Office Interiors - Office Furniture
- St Andrew’s CE Primary School - Promethean 595 Pro Interactive Whiteboard System
- Telcom.io - Cloud Telephone System
- Harrisons Direct - Stationery
With these two options, this increases the flexibility of our schedules and allows our students to learn from anywhere. This means they aren’t restricted to our new classroom. With our online platform, they could be anywhere in the UK!
Digital Tutor Services differs from other tuition providers as we only accept tutors who are currently teaching in schools, are fully DBS cleared, have obtained Qualified Teacher Status and the necessary experience in helping any student achieve their best. Our aim is to match learners, wherever they maybe, with qualified professionals while at the same time giving our tutors the freedom and flexibility to do what they love; help people learn.
We are passionate about helping children to reach their full potential. There is no greater sense of fulfilment for us than seeing a student grow in confidence and ability. We pride ourselves on our ability to help children unlock their full potential and go from ‘I don’t understand’ to ‘I get it now!’
Who are we and what’s our experience?
Digital Tutor Services is run by two people, David Reid and Christopher Welch.
David is just 17 years old and has been living in Oswaldtwistle for just over 12 years. His aim in life is, and always will be, to help others. This is what he has done since 2011, when he was just 11 years old.
This all started with one letter to his local council. Between 2011 and 2015, he had a mission to get his local play area refurbished for his younger siblings and the local community to use and enjoy. This was because the existing site was unsafe and frankly dangerous for all users. Over the course of the four years, after hard work and dedication to the campaign, he managed to raise a total of £103,000. Along the way he received many awards including one at the High Sheriff of Lancashire’s Young Citizen of the Year ceremony, in which he came 2nd across Lancashire.
This inspired him to go on and do more work for his local community so, his next stage was to join a Young People's board with Ynot Aspire (a local charity working with young people). As a group, the board found ways to help tackle Area Deprivation in Hyndburn. This lasted one year and they reached out to various young people through a variety of small projects.
Alongside all of this, he also swims for his local club (Accrington Swimming Club) where he is a swimmer, the Club Captain, a Committee Member and he also runs the club website. He is also an IT Technician and Web Admin for St Andrew’s CE Primary School in Oswaldtwistle! Whilst all this is going on, he is also currently taking his A-Levels at St Christopher’s Sixth Form Centre, in Accrington, taking Computer Science, Maths and Business.
Chris started his career as a teacher back in 2011. Since his very first day as a teacher, Chris instantly found a passion for helping students reach their full potential. Since then, he has worked in a number of schools teaching students of varying abilities and ages. These include, St Christopher’s CE High School and The Hollins Technology College.
Chris’ energy, drive and passion comes from helping his students achieve their full potential when it comes to the exam season. With Digital Tutor Services, this is what he plans to keep doing. He understands that students often don’t tell their teachers when they need extra support. Instead, students often begin to “suffer in silence”. This then begins to drive their confidence down and when exam season arrives, their worry and fear increases. This is something Chris wants to change and through Digital Tutor Services, he wants to offer students a way to receive the extra support they desire, at their own convenience, without having a financial burden on parents and guardians.
In 2015, Chris’ top set (Y1) class, wanted to find a simple way to work together or individually whilst still having access to support from a teacher, all from the comfort of their own homes. A number of ways had been attempted to do this however, as a class, they simply couldn’t find a way to achieve this. There simply wasn’t a tool available to create this “virtual” classroom.
After class one day, David and Chris sat down together to try to find a way of offering a platform for teachers to tutor, without the awkwardness of being at one another's home. We wanted to find a way to tutor online, either in groups or 1-to-1 sessions, so that private tuition is affordable, effective and convenient. This was the very start of Digital Tutor Services Ltd. (www.digitaltutorservices.com).
In September 2015, we began to research and develop our online learning platform; a virtual classroom which allows effective online tuition across a range of subjects and teachers the freedom to support their learners as they see fit.
Fast forward to September 2016, Digital Tutor Services officially incorporates and launches its comprehensive online tuition service, offering unrivalled one to one tuition in Maths for all academic levels from Key Stage 2 through to A-Level. In the near future, we also have plans to expand our online tuition service to include English and Science and other subjects, as demand sees fit.
Today, not only do we have a fully functional online classroom but, we now have a beautiful small scale classroom, based at The Globe Centre, in the heart of Accrington. This will help to continue our mission and to help expand this community project.
How is the money being spent?
The money raised through this campaign, will ensure that Digital Tutor Services can reach out to a high volume of students in and around Hyndburn in order to support them with their education. The money raised will be spent on the following:
- The Infrastructure behind our Online Learning Platform (Server Costs)
- The Running Costs of our Classroom at The Globe Centre (e.g. Electricity, Rent, Internet etc.)
- Equipment that our students can use and benefit from (e.g. Computer Equipment)
- Marketing to reach out to students and parents across Hyndburn
- Security Costs to ensure the highest security and protection for our students and their data
- Legal Fees and Insurance
We hope, together, we can make our vision a reality! If you have any questions or would like to know more, please visit our website at www.digitaltutorservices.com or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank You for your support!