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Explore Learning Reviews

Updated 24 September 2018
263 reviews

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263 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "Great job that balances working with children with running a business" (in 30 reviews)

  • "Explore learning is a very welcoming and friendly place to work" (in 20 reviews)

Cons
  • "Working hours are only unbearable when you have to work extra days" (in 24 reviews)

  • "Work/Life Balance and Working hours" (in 12 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Flexible hours"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Explore Learning part-time

    Pros

    Flexible hours which are ideal for students. Making an active impact in children’s lives which is very rewarding.

    Cons

    Starting pay for tutors should be higher (although the new pay system means you can earn up to really high amounts now)

    Explore Learning Response

    10 Sep 2018 – Graduate Recruitment Manager

    Thank you for reviewing your experience as a tutor at Explore Learning. I am pleased you found the role rewarding and flexible around your studies. Thank you for your contribution as a tutor!

    I... More


  2. Helpful (2)

    "The AD role is what you make it, so make it a good one!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Assistant Director
    Current Employee - Assistant Director
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Explore Learning full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Well, what can I say?

    I was in the role for over a year and I had the best of times, and equally the most stressful of times. As ADs are predominantly fresh out of university, understanding the world of management can be quite the learning curve if you have never done it before - when they say real responsibility from Day 1, they wholeheartedly mean it!

    The role itself is very diverse, no two days are generally the same because of the different roles that you have as an AD and the way you plan the day to tackle the most pressing priorities. Whilst some elements are repeated (everyday you know you will be making sales calls, preparing and holding PCs) your abilities grow as you do them more and more.

    I held all of the responsibility areas that an AD can have which means I can now say I have been in charge of recruitment, marketing, training and development of tutors, rota, additional content classes, long term customer retention, financial management, schools coordinator that included two National Competitions... the list goes on! This is the key part, the role is what YOU make it, so make sure you give it 100%.

    Your actions have a direct impact on the day to day running of the centre so be prepared to be questioned on them and learn from both your successes and mistakes in the role, as this is such a good role for your professional development.

    And it has been said countless times, but the majority of people you meet in Explore Learning are some of the kindest most hardworking people you will ever meet, and this supportive environment means help is always there with a friendly smile to help push you along the way. Inevitably you will have off days and these people will rub you up the wrong way, but you get that in every job!

    There are also the two big annual parties which are absolutely brilliant, but my gosh you do feel like you've earned them after the work you put in. These are great to meet everyone in the company and to share in some well earned back slapping and having a good night, all at the expense of Bill Mills so thanks for those Bill, they were a treat!

    Training days are also a fantastic way to build your knowledge and have the biggest impact you can on your centre. You meet with different ADs and CDs, and it's brilliant sharing your experiences and coming together as a team there to really learn about the role and how you can change your centre fortunes by implementing changes and leading that change!

    I loved the majority of my time at Explore Learning, there were tough times but the important thing is to remember why you are doing the role; yes you are dedicating your time to help the next generation and what a wonderful way to do it, but equally remember you personal reasons why you went into the role; I was big on professional development and I developed this, and a whole tonne of resilience alongside the experiences I had too!

    Cons

    I worked with an array of different managers in my time at Explore Learning, and some relationships were better than others. This is again part and parcel of having a job, but CD actions can have a huge impact on and AD's experience, so the caveat to the best people are that sometimes you will feel under pressure and have no one to turn to if you feel you cannot talk to your CD. It was in these moments that the job seemed most difficult because the team spirit had disappeared. However, this dynamic did change when the team changed, and with the newer team we got on like a house on fire so the people really do make the job! It is the luck of the draw, and whilst it was tough I learned a lot from the other CDs, but different people work in different ways.

    The pay does not reflect the workload of an AD either, but does however match the inexperienced fresh graduate salary so make of this what you will. People generally come to Explore to make a difference and you will gain tonnes of experience, but it takes quite some time to get the big money, and the experience is a big gain in the role! , Yes, there are annual pay reviews and bonuses available to motivate you but it does not motivate everyone. In fact, the monetary rewards were quite disappointing after you have worked your socks off to get to your centre to near your targets, but even after all of that hard work you wouldn't get the bonuses because you had not reached them; numbers are rewarded, not effort. That can be quite demotivating, but again remember why you went in and use that to get you through the tougher times.

    I also struggled for the first few months with the workload, and regularly found myself doing work at home. These expectations changed when the team changed and I realised that this is not the healthiest way to operate, however in the beginning it does feel overwhelming but you will develop strategies to cope with this as time goes on. Seek support if you are feeling too overwhelmed, as there are people there to help with this. This isn't really a con, but be aware of it before you go into the role.

    Hours. I loved having a lie in and this was a definite perk throughout the job, but I had to move away from home as there was not a centre where I wanted, and trying to build a social life in a completely new city finishing at 8pm, getting out for 8:15pm and getting home for 8:30pm, proved difficult because everyone is in bed ready for work the next day! Be prepared; you will have to make an extra effort if you are moving city. The company do provide an interest free loan of £1000 for those moving, but again money isn't everything and having to wait 3 months until you get your first 9-6 day can seem quite a while to build a social life.

    Advice to Management

    Retention issues of staff; we get lots of experience but career progression is somewhat limited by vacancy of CD positions or HO positions. Getting tonnes of experience combined with a narrow career path, ADs will go and get another job that has better pay/better conditions and the like. Maybe that's just the modern way, but I do believe if there were other opportunities such as regional AD experts or secondment opportunities with other organisations (e.g. after 18 months go on a 3 month internship with an educational charity/organisation or business that the company has made links with, and then bring that experience back into Explore to help further grow the business) or other ways to develop the professional skill set, with better pay and rewards, people would stay longer.

    Also a diversification of the reward system is something Explore should work on, with initiatives like Team Days where someone from another centre will cover yours, which means the managers can go out and socialise and bond for the day, away from work. This is paramount for teams to build up rapport and is a great reward, much better than a monthly financial bonus and would reward effort too!

    I would also like to say... thank you! I had an absolute blast and I thoroughly enjoyed my time helping the fantastic families we serve each and everyday. The amount of laughs we had in that centre was phenomenal, and the skills I have developed will help me throughout my career to no end. I will always look back on my whole Explore Learning experience as a massive massive positive! To those students and graduates out there, if you've read this and think you're up for the challenge, then give it shot... who knows, it could be the making of you!

    Explore Learning Response

    18 Sep 2018 – Graduate Recruitment Manager

    Many thanks for leaving such a detailed review of your time as an Assistant Director. It sounds like you really made the most of your time working at Explore and have developed so many skills!

    I... More

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Three Lessons Explore Learning Taught Me"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Assistant Director
    Former Employee - Assistant Director
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Explore Learning full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The people you work with are fantastic:
    As I come to the end of my time working for Explore Learning as an Assistant Director, I leave so having learnt three key lessons that I feel any prospect graduate should know before working for them. The first and what I feel is the most important one to stress is that across your time working for Explore Learning you will meet some of the most fantastic individuals. In my case and I know for the majority of others, you’re given the opportunity to meet some of the most amazing, hard working and caring individuals who are always looking to provide a truly fantastic service to the kids they work with. These are people that join company with different and unique backgrounds yet all share a common goal of wanting to provide a truly rewarding experience for thousands of children.

    Cons

    Explore Learning has little concern for who you are or where you want your career to go:

    While the majority of managers always have the best intentions at heart, the company upholds a culture of manipulation and confidence knocking. For me this was the second critical lesson I learnt, Explore Learning care very little for who you are our who you want to be. Ironically, while they sell the business as a confidence booster for children the managers are consistently told they could do better for one task, or that they have not trying hard enough on another. Nearing brainwashing techniques, while graduates start the role excited and keen to learn and apply their skills, many leave feeling unaccomplished and not good enough for any graduate role. In part this comes as the company values longevity in a role rather than the skills sets of it’s employees. In my case I come from an analytical background with experience in data base management and statistics. This is more of an unusual background than the majority of their employees so surely you’d think it could be used as an asset. While trying to make my abilities known to Regional Managers and Head Office I was only every pushed to the side. Even when bringing up more serious concerns in regards to what I felt was Explore Learning's extremely alarming lack of knowledge for data management and data safety. Just looking through some of their dashboards in a lot of cases individuals such as part time workers and managers have access to the personal information of thousands of customers as well as details of those who had answered surveys under the pretence that it was anonymous. While this data was by no means easily findable it was something that I could access with a single password at home after my first day of working for Explore Learning and something that after leaving I can still see (the same for Part-time tutors *unsure if tutors can see after leaving). While I brought all of this to the attention of Head Office it was never taken seriously. I started this role keen to learn and apply my knowledge but leave feeling valueless and drained.

    Mental Health is not a real concern for Explore Learning:

    So what does sort of treatment result in? While on a performance and company side this results in a lack of staff engagement and high staff turnover, for the individual it can be soul crushing and demoralising. This also leads me into my third and final lesson, Explore Learning is a nesting ground for mental health concerns. To understand why this is, its important to put yourself in the shoes of a manager in a centre. Typically, you’ll be working with two other colleagues responsible for up keeping numerous business roles (parent conference lists, 10-day calls, Debt management, recruitment, Schools curriculum, Internal marketing, External Marketing, Staff training, Sales and general centre management) within a 4-hour time slot before kids come to centre. Your lunch break is dependent on how quick you can complete these jobs, and you’ll often be working days when it is just one manager. While at the beginning or your employment your told these hours, it’s important to note that they have not given you the full picture. As you work in such a small team you all grow a dependency on one another to support you in your work. While this is fantastic for team morale it means that when you’re sick there’s an underlying pressure to toughen up and come in as if you don’t and it was a two-man day you are then forcing one of your colleagues to pick up the pressure. If you take a holiday for a week, you get the feeling of guilt as you know that your other two colleagues will be having to pick up the slack in your absence. And when you’re on your final legs, stressed, needing a break, the company simply tells you to “toughen up”. In my case and the case of other managers we’ve all had serious mental breakdowns all of which were shrugged off by the company. They are a company that don’t take mental health as seriously as it should be and instead say the employee has a “lack of engagement” or “lack of enthusiasm” for the role. In all honesty, this to me seems inhuman, and and polar opposite to the work environment sold to graduates.

    Advice to Management

    So in conclusion, after a year working for Explore Learning with many ups and downs these are the three critical lessons’ I’ve learnt. 1) you’ll meet some of the best and most caring people across your time there 2) You may leave feeling less confident about yourself than when you started3) Explore Learning cares solely for the business not the people. In my opinion Explore Learning has a lot of things to change but at the top should be Head Offices lack of knowledge to what happens in centres. In just my year at Explore I saw the centre change so much so how someone in head office who hasn't worked in one for 3 years could relate I have no idea. While I recognise that it all sounds very negative its not to say I haven’t enjoyed moments of working there.


  4. "Meh"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Tutor in London, England
    Former Employee - Tutor in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Explore Learning part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    - decent people to talk to
    - nice managers
    - work itself isn't boring

    Cons

    - managers were not understanding to personal problems
    - some employers very snakey, sucked up to managers but acted friendly to new employees


  5. "Best job for students"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Part Time Tutor in Redditch, England
    Current Employee - Part Time Tutor in Redditch, England
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Explore Learning part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great benefits from a company who seem to genuinely care about there employees. They have regular awards/giveaways to reward hard work and give out amazon vouchers. They also have 2 tutor socials per year where the tutors can decide on an event to get to know the other tutors out of the centre(e.g. meal, bowling etc...). This job gives you the opportunity to practise a wide range of skills including customer service when working as compere, interacting with the parents, as well as being able to work on your sales techniques when out on RMUs trying to get walkers by to sign up to to the programme.The flexible hours also fit in really well with school/university and the managers have been very accommodating in terms of time off for exams etc...

    Cons

    Doesn't involve much teaching, more support based. This allows the children to move through the work at there own pace however this means that some children waste too much time on easy work and children that require constant monitoring may not be able to get this.

    Explore Learning Response

    4 Sep 2018 – Graduate Recruitment Manager

    Thank you for the lovely review of your experience as a tutor at Explore! It is great to read all about the development and training you have benefitted from and also the variety of your role... More


  6. "Time as part time tutor"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Explore Learning part-time

    Pros

    Good management
    Great experience working with children

    Cons

    Short hours
    Steep initial learning curve

    Explore Learning Response

    11 Sep 2018 – Graduate Recruitment Manager

    Thanks for reviewing your time as a tutor at Explore! It is great to see that you had a great experience working with children. I will ensure I pass on your feedback to the relevant people. All the... More


  7. "Tutor"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Tutor in London, England
    Current Employee - Tutor in London, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Explore Learning part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    I really enjoyed working there.

    Cons

    Nothing bad to say about it.

    Explore Learning Response

    4 Sep 2018 – Graduate Recruitment Manager

    Thank you for your review and your contribution as a tutor. All the best for the future!

  8. "Tutor"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Explore Learning part-time

    Pros

    Really fun working with children.
    Lovely staff

    Cons

    You never know how busy it will be.
    Sometimes told to leave early, which isn't so bad

    Explore Learning Response

    4 Sep 2018 – Graduate Recruitment Manager

    Thanks for reviewing your role as a tutor at Explore - it is great you have fun working with the children, and that all your colleagues are lovely! All the best and thank you for your contribution as... More


  9. "TUTOR - Great job, poor management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Explore Learning part-time

    Pros

    I had a LOT of fun going to work each day with Explore Learning. My particular branch had such a diverse array of children that would attend so no shift would ever quite be the same. I built great relationships with the children and the fact you sometimes got put as a playtime monitor was a plus.

    A great job for building on people skills, skills working with children, maths and english skills as well as problem solving.

    Cons

    The management were in their early-mid twenties and were fresh from university. I know there are acceptions but generally people of this age and experience do not fare well being chucked into management roles and head-of-branch positions. The way my Explore Learning was managed was attrocious. A few employees didn't see a paycheque for almost 3 months.

    They were lovely people but I felt the running of the centre was, at times, a bit of a shambles.

    Advice to Management

    Hire more experienced people for managerial positions who have a bit more life experience.

    Explore Learning Response

    10 Sep 2018 – Graduate Recruitment Manager

    Thank you for reviewing your experience as a tutor in one of our centres. It is wonderful to read about the relationships you built with the children and that you had a lot of fun at work. Thank you... More


  10. Helpful (2)

    "Assistant Director"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at Explore Learning full-time

    Pros

    - Dynamic work environment
    - Tutors were brilliant
    - Loved working alongside kids and their families (friendly environment)
    - Ownership of roles and responsibilities
    - Good head office training

    Cons

    - Working hours! (No consideratiom given to personal life)
    - If you're not a particular type of person, you're automatically not 'explore' enough.
    - Pushy sales approach
    - Intimidating and sometime unfair management
    - Not always enough guidance within new areas (e.g. very little support within roles and responsibilites)
    - Not enough diversity within staff team
    - Often very stressful working environment

    Advice to Management

    Considering an individual more (e.g. well being)

    Explore Learning Response

    4 Sep 2018 – Graduate Recruitment Manager

    Many thanks for reviewing your time as an Assistant Director at Explore. I am pleased you enjoyed working with the kids and families and benefitted from the training.

    I am sorry to read there... More


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