Have a detailed conversation with the parents and the student before any lessons start. If you know the starting point, you know the journey needed to achieve the target school place or exam grade. The process is the same regardless of whether you are a GCSE Maths tutor, GCSE Chemistry tutor or an 11+ Exam or 13+ Common Entrance Exam tutor.
Share your plan (invite parental input) and keep to it unless there is a clear case for change. Tutoring has great responsibility attached and a plan ensures the student has the best chance to meet their academic target in time and on budget.
A plan also shows a link between effort and exactly what the student will know - a good motivator and useful for discussing progress with parents. Comparing progress with the plan will highlight areas needing more focus. Ideally include a calendar.
Be consistent and dependable.
Each minute of the lesson must hold value. Plan.
Reply to emails quickly.
Know the differences between each specification and exam board. Students and parents want a tutor that knows the difference between the Edexcel Maths syllabus, the AQA Maths syllabus, the WJEC Maths syllabus and the CIE Maths syllabus and each board offers more than one specification for some subjects.