Can I teach more than one course?
Absolutely! We are more than happy for tutors to teach multiple courses. Your initial interview will be for one age group and subject, however we may offer you courses in additional subjects or age groups within your given experience, or in other locations, as more courses open up. Our course start dates overlap by a week, which means that if you wish to teach concurrent courses you will have lessons both in the morning and in the afternoon on some days, as you will be teaching two different groups. This means that teaching overlapping courses in multiple locations may not be possible.
How will I be paid for my work?
We pay our seasonal staff either by BACS payment or through Payroll on the 28th of each month. Those on a consultancy contract (generally those who have EU nationalities) submit an invoice for their services each month and are considered self-employed, so are responsible for their own tax and National Insurance. Those on Payroll (Tier 4 visa holders and those with work permits that require them to be employed to work in the UK) receive a payslip, with tax and National Insurance automatically deducted.
Do I keep the rights to use my syllabus/ lesson plans elsewhere?
When you sign your contract with us, you give us permission to use your syllabus or lesson plans in the future, however you also have the right to do so. What you do not have the right to use after working with us is any of our templates or branding. We may use your syllabus or lesson to show prospective students who are keen to see examples of past courses that have run.
What are the students like?
Our students come from all over the world (including the UK), and from diverse cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. Some come with a clear plan for their career and are working towards it, some come because they are fascinated by a subject and want to know more, and some come because their family want them to have a good education. The general calibre of our students is exceptionally high, and the impact a tutor can have on their students is a hallmark that we are very proud of, which is why we look for the very best tutors to teach our courses.
Can I teach anything I want?
Within our list of offered subjects, and within reason, yes! Our tutors enjoy having autonomy over their lessons, and we encourage them to teach their subject according to their own particular areas of interest and expertise. Our students give the best feedback on courses that they felt gave them an insight into their subject that they would not have gotten in school or at another summer school. For quality assurance, we ask tutors to submit their syllabus in advance of the courses. We then check that the work is age appropriate, that the reading list is accessible and reasonable, and that there is enough homework and independent study work set. Once we approve the tutor’s syllabus, they are good to go.
Do you have past examples of what has been taught to give me ideas?
We have some samples from previous years that you can use as a rough guide, however we encourage tutors to use their own area of expertise as a starting point and to keep in mind the particular learning needs of the group they will be teaching- their age range, cultural and educational background, and potential range of ability and prior knowledge of the subject. For example, there may not be many Philosophy experts in a 13-15 class, however for an 18-24 group you can expect that some students may be studying the subject at undergraduate level, while others are merely curious about it as a new field of study.
Do students get assessed?
Our courses are not cram courses or revision courses – they are designed to be experiential and free from exam pressure. The main purpose of our courses is to encourage and inspire, and so we do not require tutors to test their students or give a grade to their written work. However, if tutors wish to give their students indicative grades they can do so. We do require tutors to give written feedback on each of their students at the end of the course. This gets put into a Letter of Recommendation that is given to the student after they complete the course, and that they may use to support future applications for scholarships and university places.
What will the classrooms be like?
The teaching spaces are mostly rooms within university college buildings, which means they can vary quite considerably. Some rooms are lecture theatres or libraries, while others are converted bedrooms or common rooms. We always try to place classes in rooms that will meet the requirements of the tutor, and we provide them with the resources they need in order to teach.
What resources will I have access to?
We can provide tutors with (on request) projectors , flip charts, whiteboards and markers. Tutors can print the materials they require to use in class. Tutors are reminded to check that they have the right to reproduce any printed material before doing so, and that copies they do make fit with the copyright guidelines for that piece of work. Sometimes a tutor may require additional materials (suturing kits for a medicine course for example, or arduinos for a coding course). In this case, we will consider any reasonable requests.For English Language courses, we aim to provide a classroom with a screen or smartboard wherever possible, and teaching materials such as textbooks are provided. We have a small collection of books and resources for English Language teachers to use to help plan their lessons.
Can I take my students out for visits to places?
This can be possible depending on the age of your students. We have strict policies on safeguarding and student/staff ratios, but we also encourage tutors to be creative in their lesson planning and make the classes exciting. If a tutor has an idea for an excursion as a part of their course we will consider it, provided it is discussed well in advance of the course start date.
What are the teaching hours?
Morning classes generally run from 9 a.m, and afternoon classes from 1 or 2 p.m depending on the course. The number of hours a tutor may teach per course can vary depending on the age group and group size. Here’s a rough guide:
9-12 subject explorers: 16 hours per week-long course, 9 a.m -1 p.m with scheduled breaks- Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri.
13-15: 24 hours per two-week course, three hours per teaching day- Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri
16-24 Spring 2019 (Oxford): 18 hours per week- long course: Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri
16-24 Summer 2019 (Oxford or Cambridge): 6 hours of seminars, plus one hour of tutorials per week for every two students. So for example if the tutor has a class of five, they will teach 12 hours plus six hours of tutorials over the two-week course, so 18 hours total.
15-17 (London): 12 hours of taught sessions, 12 hours of group project sessions plus 9 hours of collaborative work over the two-week course, so 35 hours total.
Do you pay for my travel expenses?
We do not pay for travel expenses, except where we might ask a tutor to cover a class in a different location that requires a longer journey than would be involved in undertaking the originally contracted role. Like any other job, the tutor is responsible for their own travel and we do not pay for commuting time. Any travel expense reimbursement will be discussed and agreed on in advance. We advise that if a tutor wants to teach for us but lives some distance from the location where the classes will be held, that they consider the commuting time and cost before agreeing to take the class.
Do you offer accommodation?
Can I contact my students prior to the course?
Provided the tutor has a clean DBS enhanced disclosure and has completed safeguarding training, we can put tutors in touch with their students prior to the course start. We encourage tutors to make contact and introduce themselves. Students are signing up right until close to the start of the courses, so the student list for any given course is subject to change.
Can I change my class times or days?
Unfortunately not. Our timetable is fixed and there is no scope to change days as students are busy with other activities or on day trips when they are not in the classroom.
What happens if I sign a contract but then can't teach the course?
If a tutor finds that they will be unable to teach a course that they have agreed and signed to teach, they can withdraw if they give notice no later than two months before the course start date. If notice is given after this period, there is a fee to pay for finding a replacement. This fee is not a penalty, but a reasonable amount to cover administration expenses involved in finding a replacement.
If the tutor is unavailable for a class within their course, they can offer a substitute to teach in their place, subject to approval from the academic team. The substitute must be of a similar level of academic expertise and teaching experience as them, and also have completed a DBS enhanced disclosure and completed safeguarding training with Oxford Summer Courses. If a substitute is used, we pay the tutor their normal rate for the class and the tutor is responsible for paying the substitute.
Are you affiliated with the University of Oxford / Cambridge?
No, we are not affiliated with the University of Oxford or the University of Cambridge. We use the colleges’ teaching spaces and accommodation during the holidays while the full-time students are away, and we mirror the famous Oxford Tutorial teaching methodology in our Oxford and Cambridge 16+ courses in order to give students a taste of the academic aspects of university life.
When will I know my timetable?
We aim to have timetables fixed four weeks before the course start date, however tutors will know the times of their seminars or lessons already as these are fixed – the only changeable part will be tutorials for those teaching 16-17 and 18-24 students in Oxford or Cambridge, and are booked according to classroom availability. Tutors will know their tutorial times four weeks in advance of their courses. We recommend tutors keep their tutorial days free from other commitments until they receive their timetable, to avoid clashes.
Will I get a chance to meet other tutors?
Absolutely! We have a strong tutor community that enjoys regular networking and social events hosted by us. We also run a lead tutor system so that those who are newer to Oxford Summer Courses can benefit from the guidance of one of our more experienced tutors. Lead tutors organise peer observations as well as social get-togethers, giving tutors the opportunity to collaborate, make friends, and share ideas, teaching tips and resources.
What training is there?
Our tutors enjoy excellent quality induction training prior to starting the courses. We offer general training which is split by student age range and teaching methodology, and includes such topics as interactive teaching methods, classroom management, and understanding the science behind the teenage brain. As well as general training, tutors attend generalist safeguarding training. This training is face-to-face and delivered by our Designated Safeguarding Leads. Once on-course, tutors will be observed and receive feedback on their classes. The lead tutors also arrange peer observations and feedback sessions so that tutors can see how one another teaches – a valuable chance to share skills and techniques, and get some constructive feedback on their work.
Do I need to set homework or extension work?
Yes, the students are given independent study time after lessons in which to complete homework set by the tutor. For 9-12 year olds there is an hour of supervised homework per class day, for 13-15s there are three two-hour sessions of supervised homework time per week, and for 16-24s there is a full independent study day per week to allow them to work on essay assignments or problem sheets in preparation for their tutorials. Tutors should be prepared to set enough homework to fill this time reasonably, and to spend time marking the work they set. Our students are generally extremely bright and eager to learn, so we expect tutors to have extension work prepared for those who need more of a challenge in the classroom.
When is the deadline for applications?
Although there is no specific deadline as new classes open right up until the start of the courses, we encourage tutors to get their application in as early as possible. This gives them the best chance at getting the subject, age group and course dates they would prefer to teach. Our teaching positions fill up fast, especially in certain subjects, and the closer we get to the course start date, the fewer positions we have available and the fewer options available to the tutor.
Can I just send you my CV?
Unfortunately, we do not accept CVs, and ask all applicants to fill in our online application form. We insist on this in order to comply with safer recruiting guidelines as part of our safeguarding policy. All applicants should fill out the form fully, detailing their employment history with any gaps explained.
What’s the interview like?
The interview is around 45-60 minutes, during which we will ask candidates about their academic background and interests, their teaching experience and their pedagogical style. Candidates are asked to prepare in advance of the interview a rough outline of the syllabus they wish to teach, and a detailed, one-hour lesson plan, of which we ask them to ‘teach’ five to ten minutes. There are generally two interviewers, and we will contact candidates with a decision by the end of the week, if not sooner.
Where will the interview be? I won’t be based nearby until the summer.
We recognise that many of our tutors our based elsewhere for the rest of the year. Interviews generally take place at our offices in Oxford, Cambridge or London depending on the course you have applied for. If you are outside the UK we may be able to make alternative arrangements.
Is there parking available where I will be teaching?
Some sites have parking and some don’t, so it is a good idea to enquire before planning a commute by car. You can contact the academic team at email@example.com
What’s the pay?
Our pay is better than other summer schools because we want to attract and retain the best quality tutors to teach our courses and uphold our reputation as a world-class education provider. We pay our tutors based on their level of academic expertise and years of teaching experience. For 9-12s and 13-15s, the pay is a set fee per course. For 16-17 and 18-24 the fee is per teaching hour. The rate takes into consideration preparatory work and marking time, and these are not paid for in addition. Training and induction sessions are unpaid.
I’m a returning tutor and I have gained a qualification/ gained a year of teaching experience since last year. What do I do?
Contact the academic team, who will recalculate your pay based on your new level of qualification. You may be entitled to an increase.
I’m interested in teaching your international courses. Who do I speak to?
As well as running courses in Oxford, Cambridge and London, we also run courses in Chile, Peru, and India. Please contact Emily or Sarah via firstname.lastname@example.org and they will answer any questions you may have about our international courses.
I’m interested in volunteering for Universify. Who do I speak to?
Speak to Alex Whitton, who will answer any questions you have: email@example.com
I’m interested in running the skills workshops and lectures that you offer. Where do I sign up?
We run skills workshops and lectures as part of our academic programme. Generally, we hire experienced trainers and keynote speakers to deliver these, If you have lecturing or training experience then please do contact the academic team at firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you sponsor visas?
No, we are unable to do this for seasonal staff. You will need to hold the right to work in the UK in order to work for us.
I have a DBS already. Can I transfer it, or do I need a new one?
If you are subscribed to the update service, you may be able to transfer it. If not then we will need to complete a new check for you. We cover the cost of all DBS checks, and if you subscribe to the update service you can take the DBS with you to other jobs.
I completed safeguarding training for my previous job. Do I still need to attend yours?
If this is your first year with us, then attendance at safeguarding training is mandatory. We offer a face-to-face training that is tailored to the specific needs and circumstances of our students, circumstances that regular safeguarding training does not necessarily cover. We aim to give our tutors the tools they need to deal with any issues in a professional and responsible manner.
I’m only interested in teaching 18-24 year olds, do I still need to attend safeguarding training?
Yes, while our older students are adults they may be vulnerable and we all have a duty of care towards them. In addition to legal safeguarding, our face-to-face training also addresses the specific welfare needs of our students which are applicable to all tutors, regardless of the age group they are teaching.
Will I have a teaching assistant?
There won’t be an assistant in the classroom with you, however we have on-course staff available to assist with any issues you may have in the classroom. There will be someone to register your arrival and show you to your classroom, ensure that it is tidy and prepared for your class each day, and collect your student registration sheets.
Will I have any pastoral duties?
As a tutor, your duty will be purely academic and will not include attendance on any day trips or participation in any other activities unless specifically detailed in your job description. The on-course team will guide students to and from your classes and supervise breaks where necessary.
Can tutors join students outside of teaching hours?
We run a series of lectures for students aged 16+, which our tutors are also very welcome to attend. If tutors wish to spend time with their students at other times, or if they wish to attend graduation, they are advised to speak to the academic team email@example.com