Online tuition is now live! 



Dr Karen O'Rourke offers clear, purposeful tuition through motivation and understanding in a secure online environment.



Dr Karen O'Rourke

Celebrating my first 25 years of tuition . . . 

Autumn Term 2020



All tuition has taken place online since March 2020.  I am pleased to say that I have been able to maintain the provision of tuition which was agreed with parents before the lockdown.   Tuition will continue to take place online throughout the Autumn Term 2020. This is because one member of my household is in an 'at risk' group.  I will review whether to resume face-to-face individual and group tuition during the Christmas holiday 2020, and in line with medical advice.    Please read the whole page before you fill in and send the <contact me> form below.



Specialisms of Dr Karen O'Rourke

I am a female tutor who has for the past 24 years been specialising in preparing individual and small groups students in English, maths and reasoning for grammar school places and academic scholarships and bursaries for selective independent schools of the King Edward Foundation in Birmingham.

Dr Karen O'Rourke Tuition is not associated, and never has been associated, with any other tuition provider.  All tuition is delivered by me personally; I do not employ any staff. All tuition takes place online or face-to-face at my home in Handsworth Wood, and not in a tuition centre. 


I have no intention of retiring for the foreseeable future as I have never tired of teaching !

Making a difference

Through teaching, I have tried to make a difference to the lives of individual children, many disadvantaged, in a teaching career which has spanned over three decades. As a result of a chronic mobility disability, for over the last two decades I have pursued my teaching career from my home in Handsworth Wood in Birmingham. In all that time I have taken just twelve days' sickness leave, including recovery for a knee  replacement! Most of my teaching up until now has been focused on preparing students for the ‘premier-league’ King Edward’s independent schools and grammar schools in the West Midlands, GCSE and A-level English Language and Literature.


One of the main reasons for my success is selecting students families - both parents and children - who will provide effective role models to other able students whose families might not be aware of the considerable benefits of selective education to those lucky enough to receive it. 


Since 2013 (the year from which I have been keeping comprehensive records) my students have included – apart from grammar school successes - students who have been offered 10 academic scholarships and 12 assisted places at the prestigious and much-esteemed King Edward’s High School in Birmingham.  Beneficiaries of scholarships and assisted places have included children from second-generation refugee families, the children of single parents, and many students from schools judged by Ofsted as ‘requiring improvement’.  Many children I have taught have had English as a second or additional language. Every female student who has kept in touch with me has gone on to enter Oxford or Cambridge or a premier-league Russell Group university.  I'm proud to have played a small role in my students' success. 

Celebrating 25 years of tuition 

In September 2020, I shall be beginning to celebrate my 25th year of teaching at my home in Handsworth Wood in Birmingham. On reaching my ‘Silver Anniversary’ I will be marking the occasion by reducing the number of  11 grammar school + groups which I teach in person, and shall be extending the provision of tuition I offer to focus more on small groups of five students or fewer, preparing for independent schools and  individual ‘one-to-one’ students in online tuition, extending the service I offer beyond the West Midlands.    

Since September 2020, I have reduced the amount of face-to-face individual and group tuition I offer in my home, and have increased opportunities for students throughout the British Isles to receive online group or individual tuition with me in English and Reasoning.  (This would be subject to my usual process of assessment of prospective students.) 

Places for future online independent school preparatory tuition from September will continue significant provision for students who attend state schools, along with mature and productive students from independent schools.  Hardworking students with effective parental support, and those who are currently attending a course of grammar school preparatory group tuition with me will continue to have priority for available places in future online tuition.

Please read the comprehensive information below before making contact with me to understand the way I prepare students for these highly competitive and challenging tests.


My own 11+ students will continue to have priority for tuition for independent schools' entrance tests. However, from September 2020, I expect that vacancies will arise for suitable new students. Recruitment is taking place now.

For some students who show above average natural ability, many 'premier league' independent schools in Britain offer

•             generous bursaries ('assisted places' up to 100% of the full fees);

•             academic & music scholarships;

•             awards of combined scholarships and assisted places.

Parents often don't realise this until it is too late to prepare their children for independent school tuition and that the selection tests differ considerably from the grammar schools' entrance tests.

Several of my students have been awarded full scholarships with assisted places; and some of their families are charged no fees at all!

If you would like to know more about online tuition for individual students, please use the form at the head of this page.

For more information about  independent schools, click on the <11+ INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS> tab at the head of this page, then submit a contact form.  I will reply to every enquiry within 72 hours.

©2017 Dr Karen O'Rourke updated 20.08.20