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My franchise story: Rediscovering my passion for education

My franchise story: Rediscovering my passion for education

“Tutor Doctor presented itself as the perfect opportunity to make me fall in love with education all over again," says franchisee Katrin Dennehy

Education has always been close to Katrin Dennehy’s heart. She spent over a decade teaching in secondary schools throughout Essex but eventually began to feel let down by the traditional education system. Not one to admit defeat, Katrin actively went on the hunt for something that would reignite her passion once again. She found the perfect opportunity in the form of Tutor Doctor.

“I began to disagree with some aspects of the education system. Nowadays, teachers are put under so much pressure that I started to fall out of love with that which I had invested so much time and effort into for so many years. I wasn’t keen on being involved with certain school systems that I just didn’t believe in and which, I felt, were detrimental to not only teachers’ but students’ mental health too. Now, Tutor Doctor allows me to create an impact by providing supportive education from a different angle,” she explains. 

Originally from Germany, Katrin came over to the UK in 1995. After a couple of years working as a foreign language assistant in colleges and secondary schools, Katrin decided to train to become a qualified Modern Foreign Languages teacher. After showing much promise, she was quickly promoted into middle management, in charge of pastoral care, before moving on to become vice principal of a secondary school in Romford. It was whilst in this role, in charge of inclusion, safeguarding and a coordinator for special needs students, that Katrin found her passion clearly lay in protecting and promoting the welfare of students.

But the role still didn’t give Katrin the satisfaction that she thought she would get. Although the job was very rewarding in many ways, she felt as if nothing much was ever accomplished despite working over 60 hours a week. So, with her own children grown up, she decided now was the time for a change.

“My husband, David, has had his own franchise for many years and he informed me of the support and success of investing into a franchise,” says Katrin. “In February 2018, I went to a franchise exhibition where I spoke to Nigel Mayne, the franchise director of Tutor Doctor. It was the first stall that I came across but I immediately thought ‘No – I don’t want to go back into education!’.

“I continued looking around the rest of the show, I was interested in a care franchise, but I somehow kept being drawn back to Tutor Doctor. I’d gathered information from other brands that I was interested in to make sure that I had a few to consider. Tutor Doctor stood out as I was able to provide support to students, however, in a way that I had a true belief in.” 

Tutor Doctor is the fastest growing in-home tutoring franchise in the world. Franchisees manage a team of tutors and work closely with families to identify the needs of students. As successful business owners at the heart of the local community, franchisees help children to achieve their potential and change lives for the better. In today’s modern, hectic world, the tired old centre-based model lacks convenience and the personal touch. Tutors visit students at home or work with them one-to-one via an online platform for a truly bespoke, person-centred service.

Katrin handed in her notice but school policy meant that she had to continue to the end of the school term before being able to go on her training. In August 2018, Katrin and her fellow new recruits flew out to Toronto for an intensive seven-day business boot camp.

“Once I’d eventually arrived, it was amazing. I learnt everything that I needed to know to get me started when I got back home. Although it was a very steep learning curve for me, I was certain that I’d be supported throughout the whole process,” she says.

After you launch your franchise, you are actively supported by a Learning Support Specialist (LSS) across all areas of your business through structured training programmes, weekly coaching calls, weekly global calls and on-demand support as you need it. As your business grows, Tutor Doctor has specifically designed support systems to help you continue growth, build momentum and ultimately scale your business to help you achieve your financial and personal goals.

Katrin continues: “I’m quite independent and like to figure things out myself. I prefer to do and learn as I go along. The good thing was that I knew I had support from my LSS if I required it. The support I’ve received from other people in my training class has been invaluable, too. We’re always in contact and it’s great to know that we’re all going through the same issues at a similar time – whether they’re good or bad.”

Tutor Doctor has over 640 franchise territories in 15 countries across the globe. Already topping the bill in Europe, the UK is also one of the top spenders on private tuition worldwide, with 25 per cent of households using private tutoring services. Its UK network of 70-plus franchisees all enjoy an exciting, scalable business whilst making a positive impact in the lives of children.

Katrin’s passion for education has given her the opportunity to create a lasting impression on many students’ lives in her local community. Since her launch, she has utilised her existing contacts to create relationships and boost her business – becoming part of Havering’s ‘Alternative Provision’ programme as an ‘approved provider’ for schools.

“As part of the programme, I work closely with several schools if students need extra tuition,” says Katrin. “It might be because they display challenging behaviour or because they have special educational needs, but the schools can come to me directly to provide that service in the knowledge that I adhere to strict practices. As well as those connections, I have over 50 tutors providing tuition to over 100 families.

“The sense of achievement that Tutor Doctor gives me is like no other. Families know that I have a lot of experience in education and they feel comforted by that. The satisfaction scores that I’ve received from my clients actually placed me in the top 10 across the whole global network. That is a great feeling!”

The first year of business for Katrin has been comfortable and has given her the satisfaction that she was once craving. The ability to set her own schedule has worked wonders for her personal life too.

“The flexibility of my schedule is perfect. With most of my family still living in Germany, I have the freedom to visit them if I wish. When I first started, it was all about generating attention for the business and making sure the foundations were set before growing, so I worked seven days a week. However, I quickly established myself in the local area and I’ve since been able to have Sundays off and most Saturdays, too.

“Since leaving teaching I now enjoy a much healthier lifestyle. I enjoy cooking and sitting down for dinner with my family as well as taking long walks in the surrounding parks and woods with our dog. I can still provide an education to local students but not to the detriment of my personal physical and mental health.

“Tutor Doctor has really allowed me to rediscover my passion. It presented itself as the perfect opportunity to make me fall in love with education all over again,” she says.

At a glance

Established:Canada 2004
Number of franchised outlets: 650+ (16 countries) (70+ in UK)
Location of units: UK-wide
Investment range: £29,700 - £50,000
Minimum required capital: £10,000
Contact: 0208 1333 525

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