A Derby dad has set up a tutoring academy in one of the country’s most deprived areas in a bid to help local youngsters “secure the career of their dreams”.
Habib Sharief has launched Tutor Me, a Centre of Excellence specialising in the teaching of primary, secondary, GCSE & A-Level English, maths and sciences.
Based in newly renovated offices in Normanton Road, Derby, the dad-of-two’s venture provides professional male and female tutors, and also offers one-to-one online tuition.
Habib grew up in the area, which according to the Individual Deprivation Measure (IDM), is 839th most deprived out of 32,844 neighbourhoods in England.
Habib, an accountant, said: “The problem in this area is that there are low aspirations and the children’s role models live a life of crime. Drugs are a real problem.
“I want to help kids secure the careers of their dreams. I want them to live the lives they dream of.”
Tutor Me is something Habib had dreamed of setting up for several years.
Having previously worked in London, his aim was to come back to Derby and “do something for the local community” by providing accessible tuition to more parents for less, with sessions from as little as £7.50 per hour, “to get more children invested and achieving the grades”.
He said he is able to attract top-calibre tutors, some of whom are part-time, at such a low rate as they are “attracted by the whole ethos” of his business.
The doors to the state-of-the-art tuition centre, based in the former Castledine Plumbing building, opened in February.
But the dream was temporarily disrupted as Covid-19 struck, and the centre was forced to close.
Habib said: “It was a sad time all round - when I’d put all this effort and time into this for the local community.
“I’ve always looked outside the box, and that led us to online tuition.”
The premises also houses a nursery in a separate building, and Habib was keen to keep up the attainment of these youngsters, who at the age of five move on.
“I wanted to gain their interest and help them when they hit primary school, and take them away from the local crime statistics,” he added.
Habib, who eventually plans to roll out his online facility nationally, also hopes to help youngsters whose parents may feel that they have lost out on their education due to the lockdown.
He said: “School closures have been in place for many months and children have suffered greatly because of it. Their learning and their grades have been affected.
“It’s about helping them to boost their knowledge. I have helped to prepare children for their GCSEs - they are already getting that head-start.”
Habib added that it was not just about helping those who had fallen behind - one parent whose daughter aspires to be a doctor, had enrolled her with Tutor Me years ahead of her GCSEs, to help her get ahead.
To find out more about Tutor Me, visit www.tutormeacademy.co.uk or call 01332 492166.