‘Why Cohort?’ is something we get asked now and then…
Cohort Tuition planted its roots in 2008 in a café opposite Birmingham University when two friends decided to make a little extra cash by tutoring local kids. Both friends were just about to embark on a teaching career and tutoring, to begin with, was just a little something to do over the weekend.
(Not a momentous scene when someone realised, they had a gift that could change the world we know).
Where is all started…
The search for a location starts and is found on Moor Street, West Bromwich. Like many new tutoring businesses, our founders set about searching for quality free furniture from local schools and the cheapest and fastest photocopier on the market. Leaflets were designed on Microsoft Publisher, printed in bulk and hand distributed door to door. Our West Bromwich Centre opened its doors at the beginning of the academic year in 2008 with 2 teachers tutoring 4 students in a small room owned by landlords akin to the Dragons from the BBC One show Dragons Den.
Our values shaped
The first momentous moment came to our founders in the early weeks after a meeting with a concerned single mum who had been let down by her child’s school and was struggling to provide the best for her son. They realised very soon after this meeting and after speaking to multiple parents, that this new ‘part-time’ venture of theirs was not the same as any other stereotypical quick buck on the side part-time business. West Bromwich was not the leafy suburbs, it was in one of the most deprived wards in the UK and many of the parents that sent their children were investing a significant proportion of their income into their children. For these parents, this was a significant investment for a better future for their children. Many of these social climbers worked extremely hard and long hours to give their children the best start in life. Our founders got together and had to have a soul-searching rethink, this was not something they could just do ‘on the side’, this was a serious undertaking and a massive responsibility. From this soul-searching period Cohorts, the top three priorities quickly emerged.
- Students making excellent progress in a safe, engaging environment and offering excellent value to parents was their number one priority. They needed to help their parents realise their dreams and aspirations for their children, Cohort needed to make their hard-earned money go as far as possible, by offering excellent quality tutoring at reasonable prices.
- The 1st priority could only be achieved by having the best tutors working with students and by fostering an excellent ethos of hard work and passion for achievement. Ensuring teachers were valued and had the resources at their fingertips to deliver excellent lessons was essential.
- They had to stay viable and be able to pay the bills to continue to be able to make a difference. However, they believed that if they focussed on the first 2 priorities and did not get carried away with extremely expensive photocopiers, priority number 3 would simply look after itself.
With these values slowly shaping and embedding themselves into their business, Cohort started to catch the attention of parents looking for a tutoring centre that stood out for making an impact and provided excellent value for money. The premises in Moor Street were fast becoming too small and epic battles with the dragons to keep the rent at a fair level were beginning to take its toll. The search for bigger and better premises had to begin and a subsequent move to Wood Lane Community Centre was made in 2011 to the dismay of the huffing and puffing dragons.
With comments like ‘an awesome find, a gem of a centre’ being bandied about by parents, the word spread, and the West Bromwich branch soon became a bustling centre with over 100 students attending every week. Our two now seasoned teachers and their eager team of tutors now set their eyes on moving slightly further afield. The Rowley Regis Branch opened its doors in 2013 on top of the old NatWest Bank. The team felt confident that their now relatively expensive photocopiers would be safe on top of a national bank. Two short and quick years later Cohort Tuition Gloucester started providing quality home tuition to students in 2015 and has gone from strength to strength from there.
As the years passed by, Cohort Tuition student numbers kept growing and despite NatWest and a whole host of businesses closing shop and leaving Blackheath High Street, Cohort Tuition Blackheath has weathered the storms of the economy and bucked the prevailing trend and kept growing, running more and more classes year on year, and receiving more and more rave reviews from extremely happy and satisfied parents and students alike.
The West Bromwich service had once again outgrown its site and a move to a brand-new centre took place in July 2018. The new centre located on Pennington Close West Bromwich was much larger in size and able to accommodate 150 students at any one time. With student numbers reaching over 400, a move to the new site could not have come at a better time. Over the next year and half our two budding teachers, now a team of over 40 dedicated tutors built the student numbers up to nearly 600. Now offering to tutor for Primary, Eleven Plus, Secondary, GCSE and AS / A-Levels to nearly 600 students. Our reputation for offering excellent tutoring has been firmly embedded and our expertise in the sector is second to none.
Taking the next big leap
In 2020 Cohort Tuition launched its online service called Cohort Tuition at Home. The online service using the bespoke online tuition platform Bramble has been a pivotal lifeline for many of our students and tutors during the Covid-19 pandemic. Our new online service has in a short space of time grown from strength to strength with nearly 100 students enrolled by the end of 2020. Offering the same courses, we offer at our centre using the same excellent quality tutors, we are now poised to deliver impactful lessons to even more students across the country.
We are so grateful for the journey we have had, to all our past and present student who have put their faith in us. We will always put our student and parents first, ensure they have the best tutors at their disposal as that is what has led to our success and growth to date. So please feel free to get in touch and join us on this journey if you so wish…
So why the name Cohort? You may still be asking… No particularly deeply pondered reason. One of our founders had a bunch of friends at university that used to call themselves ‘The Cohort’. He was possibly being nostalgic at the time. But the name has kind of stuck, and we believe is now synonymous with excellent quality tutoring for many of our past and present customers, as well as the wider community and that, is something we are proud of…