Friday 15 February 2019

Meet the teacher who earns up to €119,000 educating the world's super rich children

Valerie Westfield
Valerie Westfield
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

A Northern Ireland teacher who tutors children to get into elite private schools in the UK has spoken of the glamorous lifestyle her work affords her.

Valerie Westfield (56), from Lisburn, earns up to £104,000 (€119,000) a year tutoring children privately. The uber rich fly the teacher around the world at a moment's notice and she is sometimes paid £900 (€1,000) for half an hour's work.

In the past year she has been flown to Switzerland, Morocco, Dubai, Greece, France and Saudi Arabia where she can earn up to £2,000 (€2,300) a week teaching, with all expenses paid.

Ms Westfield, speaking to the Mail Online, said she has seen no shortage of pushy parents who are willing to pay huge amounts for a tutor.

"It's an interesting lifestyle to step in and out of," she says of teaching on yachts, mid-air, in chauffeur driven cars and at luxury hotel pools.

"It can be very glamorous, people are paying you big money and you have to live up to what you say you can do,

"If you can't deliver then they will find someone else. I have years of experience, I can guarantee to get them up to the level needed, and I know I can do it."

Ms Westifled spent many years teaching in north Wales before moving back home to Northern Ireland to care for her father.

She is signed up to two agencies in London - the Duke and Duchess International and The London Governess Agency - who both cater specifically to royals, millionaires and billionaires.

The agencies negotiate teaching packages with the families for the tutors, with prices varying from client to client depending on their needs.

Ms Westfield has become accustomed to travelling abroad at short notice since switching to tutor for the super rich in August 2017.

"I was contacted on a Wednesday for a seven day contract in Switzerland starting on the Friday. So I flew to Zurich the next day to spend seven days teaching and preparing a Swiss boy for the 13+ common entrance exams for a top Scottish boarding school."

"Most of the time it’s OK and I kind of have a schedule of what I’m doing, but sometimes on a whim [the family] will just decide they’re leaving.

"They will say 'we’re leaving tomorrow'. I was in Dubai twice in one week, you have to pack all your stuff and go too, otherwise they can just cut your time short."

The tutor said that she was once gifted a Range Rover by a Chinese family she taught and that families are prepared to pay high prices for her services because of her record of getting pupils through exams.

"I have a solid record of getting pupils through their GCSE level and entrance exams for example at Eton, Harrow, and Merchiston Castle."

Ms Westfield said the headmaster of Eton College even recently got in touch to encourage her to apply for a teaching post.

She said that it is not always the super rich who will secure her surfaces.

"I find that some families are not high earners, but they will sacrifice other things for tuition and I don’t charge them extortionate rates.

"Other families don’t have a lot of money but they will still pay. They want their children to have the better chance than what they had."

Belfast Telegraph

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