motivation and confidence

Having worked in the tutorial colleges for over 25 years Elizabeth Rickards has considerable experience of helping students get back on track. The first step is to understand the symptoms of under achievement which may be any or many of the following:

  • Low grades for effort
  • Disappointing exam results in relation to potential
  • Poor attendance or often late for school
  • Not doing homework or doing it at the last minute
  • Behavioural problems at school
  • Sleep problems
  • Exam panic
  • Alcohol or drugs issues
  • Fascination with computer games and so the normal routine has broken down

The reasons why students are underperforming are usually complex but may contain elements of the following:

  • They may be unhappy boarding
  • They are studying the wrong subjects and have lost confidence
  • They are in a highly competitive environment and are finding it hard to cope
  • They are very bright, get bored easily and then upset teachers
  • Their peer group lacks academic ambition
  • They are being bullied or friendship groups have broken down
  • There are undetected specific learning difficulties
  • They have a specific learning difficulty which is unsupported
  • They feel undermined by the academic success of a sibling
  • They may feel they can't meet the expectations of their parents
  • There is a mismatch between the pupil and the school they attend. Even excellent schools may not be excellent for every student.
  • There may be health problems
  • The family may be going through a difficult period


After an in depth discussion with the student, we talk through with parents what steps need to be taken to turn the situation round. This may mean support tuition, seeing an educational psychologist or other professionals, considering other schools, help to improve study skills and exam technique etc. These one to one consultations can help students considerably in terms of re-igniting their motivation and self esteem. This is one of the most rewarding areas of our work.

At Davies Laing and Dick

From Stephen East to Elizabeth Rickards: 'I remember the first day we met and was profoundly struck by your positive can-do attitude. Since that day I have witnessed Matthew's continual growth in confidence.'

From Nikita Patel to Claire Davies: 'Thank you so much for all the help and support you have given me over the past year….. I only hope that when I go on to university the teachers there will be as charismatic and inspiring as you.'

Nadia Khan to Elizabeth Rickards: 'I still can't believe I have gone through the care system to graduating at Cambridge ! Much of my achievement and happiness is largely thanks to yourself and the staff at DLD.'

From Dr Suzanne Evans to Elizabeth Rickards: '…how grateful we all are for all the wonderful support and help Will has had from you and all your staff over the last few years. I am practically speechless after a phone call from Will with his final results. I don't believe we could ever have come through to this result at any other institution. DLD is a very special place with remarkable people who run it and teach in it.'

If you would like to arrange a meeting in London please click here to email, or telephone +44 (0) 203 411 6797 .