Our Story

Inspired by a background in education and a track record of supporting the mental wellbeing of students, co-founders Anna Coulson and Linda Burgess created Champion Tutor, to offer private one-to-one and group online tuition with a difference. "Our tutors are not only equipped with the academic excellence that it takes to help your child realise their learning potential, they possess the emotional intelligence which allows them to embed positive growth mindset communication and emotional literacy in lessons."

With three decades of joint experience in education, the co-founders have worked side by side in pioneering a special approach to learning. Recognising that no two children are the same, tutors' bespoke approach aims to connect with each individual learner to identify the way they learn, break down pre-existing barriers and inspire a thirst for learning. With academic engagement and success being intrinsically linked to wellbeing, valuing positive mental health is the cornerstone of the support that tutors offer their students’.

Champion’s ethos is simple: to give students the precise support they need to reach highly aspirational goals, delivered by tutors with the intuition to assist their positive mental wellbeing.

Pupil with headphones writing notes

Our Values

  • Award
    Educational Excellence Tutors from top universities who have excelled in their field, and are exemplary role models, ready to inspire academic success in the next generation.
  • Brain
    Wellbeing at the Core A team with intuition, emotional intelligence and a ‘growth mindset’ approach, who can provide students with the support they need to engage and thrive.
  • Plant
    Inspiring Curiosity Passionate and approachable tutors, who identify individual barriers, engage students’ interest, ignite a love of learning and inspire a thirst for knowledge.
  • Lock
    Safety Enhanced DBS checked tutors are all safeguarding trained, and recorded online lessons ensure the highest levels of safety for students.
  • Certificate
    Inclusive Practice Educationalist co-founders bring a wealth of experience and a track record of success in supporting all learners to aim high and achieve highly aspirational academic goals.

Meet the Founders

Anna Coulson

Anna Coulson - BSc, PGCE, NPQH

Managing Director & Co-Founder

In a teaching career that has spanned almost two decades, Anna progressed quickly from teaching to increasingly senior roles. She has held positions such as: EYFS and Key Stage One leader, Deputy Headteacher, Head of School, Executive Headteacher, and Director of a large Teaching School Alliance. Anna’s areas of expertise include delivery of school improvement, strategic operational change, curriculum design and innovation and all aspects of teaching and learning. Throughout her career, Anna has conducted leadership development programmes for middle and senior leaders in primary schools.

Starting her career in the business world, Anna recognises the benefit of working alongside business colleagues to secure the best outcomes for children. In 2016, she developed a programme entitled ‘Developing Future Winners’, which offered a greater understanding of the business environment children may enter, in order to motivate them to strive to reach their goals.

To this end, Anna has completed her NPQH and, in 2016, was designated a National Leader in Education (NLE). She completed the 'Building Capacity in a multi-academy trust: the critical role of an executive leader' programme. In January 2018, Anna was appointed the chief executive officer for a large multi-academy trust, where she led ten schools. Although geographically close, these ten schools were diverse in nature and need. In April 2020, after two years at the helm, Anna left the Trust. This was driven by the motivation to create the most emotionally intelligent tutor company, attuned to the personal motivations of its students, to achieve the greatest academic progress and excellence and a thirst for success in life.

Linda Burgess

Linda Burgess - BSc, QTS, PGCert NASENCo award.

Operational Director & Co-Founder

Prior to becoming a teacher, Linda had a highly successful business management career in London between 1990 and 2000 in which her pursuit of exemplary customer service, exceptional standards and a shared team vision built strong customer loyalty and success.

An interest in developmental psychology inspired the direction of Linda’s teaching and special educational needs and disabilities leadership career. Leading in research projects to better understand metacognitive approaches and the importance of wellbeing in learning, Linda’s postgraduate work led to positive outcomes for previously disengaged and children lacking independent skills in school.

As a specialist leader in education working across schools, Linda also ensured learning targets stretched learners working at the highest levels and supported them to realise aspirational learning outcomes.

Recent work leading a local authority in special education needs and disabilities has seen her collaborating with parents and carers, headteachers, social workers, the Department for Education and NHS England during the Covid 19 climate across more than 150 educational settings. Linda has seen first hand how pupils of all academic levels have been impacted by school closures. Anxiety has escalated for many, including higher achieving pupils who are suffering with stress around future exam grades by lack of structured teaching. Facilitating inclusive education practice and positive outcomes through solution focused communication, and an aim to achieve the best educational results for children and young people underpins Linda’s vision for Champion Tutor.

Our Inspiration

Linda and Anna’s shared philosophy for a person centred approach, and an ‘extra mile’ ethos, underlies their belief that the rigorous recruitment and induction process experienced by a wonderful platform of self-employed tutors, will bring to fruition the five months additional progress which the Sutton Trust and Education Endowment Foundation have evidenced. Their tenacity as former business leaders, educational track records and personal stories can inspire customer confidence in Champion Tutor.

Anna Coulson and Linda Burgess

Anna Coulson

My earliest memory involves me, as a very young child, acting out the role of a teacher. Teaching is all I have ever want to do. I have been lucky to work with some of the most inspirational teachers. I have always been passionate about allowing each and every child, in my care to shine and feel strongly that a good tutor needs to find and show appreciation for children's interests, achievements and motivations.

As a head teacher, I always made time to single out children, whether appreciating extracurricular pursuits in assemblies, taking time to talk to children going through hard times, noticing when behaviour was a sign of personal conflict or helping quiet children find their voice.

I watched a child who struggled to engage and behave flourish when given a 'real world' opportunity to apply his learning. Where Maths in the classroom had failed to inspire, showing him how Maths could be viewed to make money in the real world reignited his interest in the subject.

For some years now it has been essential for me to plan something special with my dear friends at least every six weeks! Whether taking a trip away or gathering to let our hair down, this is so key to managing a work life balance, that I honestly couldn’t be without it. Although in Covid we’ve had to think more creatively, connecting with friends has meant so much throughout the years, when we have supported each other in some challenging times. I also take great strength from my gorgeous family who I adore and am so grateful for. As Alistair Campbell so rightly says in his book ‘Living Better’, these times help fill my jar and give me energy to face life’s challenges.

As a busy working mummy of twin girls, I am driven to place the best tutors in the UK with children that are part of the Champion community. Online learning means that children can access the best tuition wherever they live, giving children and young people access to country-wide role models who ignite their enthusiasm. How exciting!

Linda Burgess

“As a mother of two children I took inspiration from Dorothy Nolte’s 1972 book ‘Children Learn What They Live’. My inspirational neighbour was a teacher, and a great role model to me. Memories of the laughs, tears, and the many parenting challenges we shared in our toddler group, and lasting relationships built there, will stay with me forever. I’m also ever- grateful to my lovely mum’s dedication, as she travelled from the North East to London each week, to care for her baby grandson when I returned to run my business, and to my dad for the joy of games he shared with my children. Alongside the love I share with my family, I am grateful for the strength gained from friendships made at school, in London days and since moving North.

I have always tried to encourage my children to know they are loved, that their voice counts, that hard work and practice can be valued and enjoyed, and mostly, that they should follow their passions. The joy and confidence they have gained from music and acting alongside studies, has brought pleasure and some balance, despite pressures in their lives. I am so proud of the reflective, curious, and capable people my children are, and of the kindness and humility they show.

Having experienced the effects of poor one-to-one tuition on my own child, I know that a positive approach is the most important ingredient of success! Watching a tutor set unrealistic amounts of homework, ignore other commitments, and end sessions pointing out mistakes, squashed enthusiasm. Faced with a negative approach which lacked sensitivity, my child felt like giving up, and a chance to fulfil great potential in these subjects was lost. Contrasting this with times when my own children, who fortunately have also had the benefit of very special teachers, when a personal connection is made, interest, engagement and success follows.

As a teacher, school leader and local authority leader, I have always tried to understand children’s motivations, in the absence of judgment, knowing that a love of learning can be nurtured. With the right level of support and passion, pupils from all starting points can achieve great things, and overcome obstacles. As early years leader, I loved finding personal ways to support children, some pre-verbal on entry to nursery, to communicate, interact positively, read, write and count. This has fuelled my vision for Champion Tutors being truly exceptional people, who have both the knowledge and empathic inclination to give students the personalised approach they deserve.

Pre-Covid, I treasured rare visits from my home in the North East to London as I miss the energy of the city. I was recently so inspired to hear Phillipa Perry talk about parenting, Ruby Wax speak on mental health, and to meet some favourite childhood authors like Michael Rosen and Lauren Child, with my now mostly grown-up children. I look forward to special trips again. In the meantime, my love of books, cooking, walks, music, workouts (still working on that one!) and socially distanced and online connectivity, help with life’s stresses and feed my soul.”

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