School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering


1 Dec 2022

Wolfson School graduate launches online platform to help families with private tuition

A group of 7 standing outside, in front of a house, all smiling and looking at the camera. Green and white flags are positioned either side of them which read 'Sherpa- one-to-one online tutoring.'

Conor Hughes has successfully launched an online service that enables families of school children to find private tuition. Once someone has registered on the Sherpa platform they can contact tutors, book introductory meetings and schedule lessons. 

Tutoring is available from primary level and Key Stage 3 up to GCSEs and A Levels.  The Sherpa team has further developed the website to include additional free resources such as exam guides, education blogs and advice about studying and preparing for exams.  There is also a free online GCSE Maths course that consists of short videos covering all of the essential topics that are likely to be found in exams.  Outside of lessons curriculum-related questions can be posted on the Sherpa Q&A Forum, where tutors will provide answers.

The idea for Sherpa came about following Conor’s own experience of trying to find a Maths A-Level teacher.  He had to rely upon word-of-mouth to find someone suitable, meaning he was not able to compare the skills costs or locations of different tutors.  He had to travel 35 miles for lessons, so incurred additional expenses.  He felt there was a gap in the market that he could fill by creating an online service that would appeal to a large customer base.

Conor started to create Sherpa over the summer between his first and second years of study at Loughborough.  One of his prior employers provided financial assistance with the initial start-up.  They also helped to create a group of shareholders who invested in the business.  This enabled them to build their service and drive growth through marketing campaigns.  The success of this investment is clear as, to date they have provided more than 30,000 lessons on the platform.

Speaking about the success of the business, Conor said:

“I started Sherpa with the goal of making a platform where we could combine easy-to-use software with highly qualified, experienced teachers, and a classroom that could rival the quality of a face-to-face lesson, for less money.”

As users of the platform have responded so positively, Conor plans to enhance it by adding more facilities.  He feels that Sherpa can provide even more benefits for students that will keep them engaged and help them to work towards their future careers.

Conor studied Robotics, Mechatronics and Control Engineering, graduating in 2021. Congratulations to Conor and the Sherpa Team, we hope that your business will continue to thrive.

Athena Swan Bronze award

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The Wolfson School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering
Loughborough University
LE11 3TU