About us

Pencilcase provides systematic training for tutors. The training programme is built on a basis of business coaching, neuroscience, mentoring, pedagogy, linguistics and social psychology. Our website provides a space for trained tutors to list their services, and connect with parents and students.

Head Tutor Jesse Pirini is available to consult with various social and for-profit organisations to help them implement educational programmes.

how it works

  • 1

    Submit an enquiry to all the tutors in your area.

  • 2

    Receive replies from available tutors and view their profiles and hourly rates.

  • 3

    Get started with an initial tutoring session.

  • 4

    After three-hours of tutoring, we’ll bill you a one off relationship fee of $79.95.

At Pencilcase we help you work with well-trained independent tutors at competitive prices. You pay the tutors directly, and all tutors charge between $30 and $60/hr.

You save up to 50% because you don’t pay the usual agency fees.

Relationship fee and three hour guarantee

We charge a one-off relationship fee of $79.95, invoiced by email after you have had three hours of tutoring. Read more…

What to expect in a tutoring session

You can expect a consistently high standard of tutoring where tutors use a range of techniques. Read more…

The tutoring methodology: Relate – Explore – Organise – Deliver – Reassess

We have developed a comprehensive approach to tutoring based on work in business coaching, psychology, pedagogy and neuroscience. Read more…



  • What is a Relationship Fee?

    The Relationship Fee is $79.95 and covers upkeep of the site, tutor training and ongoing tutor support. We have a Three Hour Guarantee, so the Relationship Fee is only payable once you have had three hours of tutoring.

  • How do I set up a tutoring session?

    Simply use the form on each tutor's profile page to send an enquiry. Your tutor will then call or email you back. We recommend setting up a one-hour initial session to make sure their is a good fit between your student and the tutor.

  • What is the hourly rate?

    Rates range from $30 - $55/hr. The hourly rate for tutors is based on their experience and demand in their area. The hourly rate is payable directly to the tutor. Usually they will email you an invoice after the session that you can pay by internet banking or cash. Tutors keep all the money that they earn.

  • Where do I meet my tutor?

    You can meet your tutor at your home, or at a local library. Check the Availability section on each tutor's profile to see where they tutor.

Learn to become a great tutor with Pencilcase. You first need to apply to tutor and we will assess your application within a few weeks. See the apply to tutor page for more details about our expectations.

Once your application is accepted you’ll be invited to complete the training. We will publish your profile on the site as soon as you finish the training, and you’ll begin to receive enquiries from interested parents.

The tutoring methodology: Relate – Explore – Organise – Deliver – Reassess

Find out more about the tutoring methodology that you will learn during the tutor training. Read more…


  • How do I determine my hourly rate?

    We recommend starting on $30/hr. If you have more experience you could start at a higher rate. We are happy to discuss this with you. You can also keep your rate purposefully slightly lower so you can be accessible to a wider range of parents.

  • Hmm, I have another question…

    Just send us a message! We are happy to help you launch your independent tutoring career!

  • When will I start tutoring?

    We can't guarantee when you will start tutoring. We are constantly collecting data on when tutors start on average, and we'll begin to publish this soon. We can assess what area you are in, what subjects you tutor, and what your profile looks like to give you an idea of how soon you might start getting enquiries. In our experience if you put effort into your profile, and are responsive to parents, then you will get as much work as you want. It might take a few months to get going, but after a while you will have a high paying job, with flexibility, that develops your academic and social skills. Perfect!

  • Can I list myself on the Pencilcase site and tutor elsewhere?

    The short answer is yes. The long answer is that it depends on you and whoever you are working for.

    We have no problem with tutors who work for other companies listing themselves with us, as long as they reach our standards. We encourage tutors to move towards being independent because they can earn much more, and parents pay less.

    Most tutoring companies take a very large cut of tutoring earnings to pay for things that are not essential to good tutoring. These things include offices, staff, and managing the relationship between the tutor and parent for far too long (so they can keep taking their cut).

    Watch out for clauses in tutoring contracts that state you cannot work for other tutoring companies. This is a fairly dubious practice that takes advantage of the power differential between tutors and tutoring companies. They likely wouldn't stand up in court, especially because tutoring is a part-time thing. It's not really fair to offer someone five hours work a week and then tell them they can't use their skills anywhere else. If you have a clause like this, don't let it stop you seeking a better deal as an independent tutor.

  • How does Pencilcase work for tutors?

    We focus on training you to be a great tutor, and supporting you to find work through the Pencilcase website. Our training is based on research into tutoring, and draws on a wide range of sources. Our site is carefully structured to rank well when people search for tutoring services, and we do a targeted amount of online advertising.

    Parents will contact you directly through the site, and you will manage your relationship with them. You invoice parents directly, and keep the full hourly rate. You will earn between $30 - $55/hr, and you rate increases with your experience and demand for your services.

    We'll help you set up your profile, and continue to provide you with support as you tutor. We also make sure that only very good tutors are listed on the site, so you know you are listing your services among the best tutors in NZ. We also provide advice around resources you can get for yourself, offer to students, or suggest students purchase.

  • How do I become a tutor?

    You can apply to attend the Pencilcase tutor training @ www.pencilcase.co.nz/become-a-tutor

    Our selection criteria are based on your grades (for subjects you wish to tutor we expect Merit grades or higher for NCEA, and A grades for CIE), your previous experience in tutoring or activities where you are working with people or taking a leadership role, and your interest in being a tutor.

training and consulting

Learn more about our training programme and how our education consulting can help your organisation.

learn more

meet the head tutor


Jesse Pirini

Jesse is an education researcher and head tutor at Pencilcase. He focuses on training and supporting tutors to deliver world-class tutoring. Jesse has tutored for over ten years and incorporates a wide range of approaches into tutor training. Tutors are trained drawing on work from business coaching, social psychology, education research and neuroscience. Jesse has a PhD from AUT University. His research focuses on how people communicate knowledge to each other in face-to-face situations, and how people's daily lives are influenced by the environments that they are surrounded by.