Earlier this year Lucy Alexandra Spencer was awarded “Thames Valley Female Entrepreneur of the year”. Following her awards success Lucy spoke to SME Today about her business, it’s origins and her aspirations for the future.
Lucy is the founder and Director of Education Boutique, a tutoring business for children of all ages, as well as being the Vice President of the Tutors association. Lucy founded Education Boutique 6 years ago and has now been acquired by the UK’s biggest education recruitment job site and Ed tech company, Eteach, allowing the company to expand it’s reach and customer base.
Throughout the years of her business Lucy has been determined to make a change to the way children are taught and show how important it is to educate individuals on what the future may hold.
Lucy’s journey wasn’t initially focused on creating a ‘business’. She explains that she didn’t see a specific ‘gap’ in the market, but just wanted to have an impact on those that she taught. As a classroom teacher Lucy was exploring the different career paths within the education system and came to the conclusion that she didn’t want to work in a school for the rest of her working life. She describes how she felt trapped and disagreed with certain elements within the education system which drove her to want to make changes. Leaving her teaching job just before Christmas of 2015, Lucy started Education Boutique on the 1st January 2016. Within the first couple of months she was fully booked and she began to realise just how in demand tutoring was.
2020 and the dawn of the Covid 19 pandemic saw a significant change to Education Boutique as the many social distancing and lockdown measures had to be implemented. Before the pandemic the tutoring was 95% face to face. Having previously been involved in online tutoring for international students, Lucy had a good level of understanding of remote teaching, allowing her to flip quite easily to an online based business.
At the start of lockdown Lucy held free webinars for over 500 teachers and tutors over the course of 2 days to train and guide them on how to effectively teach online and showcase how effective online education can be. Covid 19 on the whole impacted negatively on children’s education, but for Lucy’s business specifically, it allowed her to grow and shine a positive light on online tutoring.
During the height of the pandemic, Lucy and her team of tutors carried out virtual schooling for over 400 children at a time, all from different backgrounds and different levels of learning. Lucy is quite rightly proud of the critical work her company does and the educational opportunities she is providing. Online teaching is now well and truly integrated into the business, enabling a ‘learn anywhere’ approach with global access to world-class tutoring, through digital and physical blended learning solutions.
Lucy told us, “As a business owner you always want to achieve more of your business goals and are never quite ‘done’ with the growth and exposure of your business.” Her recent merging with Eteach opens up more opportunities and brings greater recognition for Education Boutique.
When asking Lucy about her plans for the future she hopes to recruit 100 new tutors and as of September 2021 deliver 1000 hours of tutoring a week. The aim is to do more consulting work and presentations on what should be changed within the education system today and question why everyone has to travel to learn in the same place. Lucy is passionate about the development of a blended model of education, and aspires to make this the norm.
Visit Education Boutique
Interview by Lilly Daffon