For as everyone from Kazakh billionaires to Oscar-winning actors knows, if you want a tutor to brag about, they have to be British.
‘We drop talented young people into families,’ says Charles Bonas, MD of Bonas MacFarlane. ‘They’re artists, West End actors, PhD scholars . . . gifted, exciting people who can offer a lot to children.’
Highly qualified Oxbridge graduates are turning their backs on banking and deciding to become tutors instead as they discover they can name their own price.
These modern-day Jane Eyres work with everyone, as Mr Bonas says, from ‘some of the most successful families in the world, royalty and household names to London’s successful professional classes and then some who aren’t wealthy at all, but who invest in tutoring instead of private school fees’.
Clearly, every tutor hopes to be taken up by a super-rich family, such as one governess Mr Petty knows who was chaperoning Middle Eastern princesses.
One night she was told they were going out and to get ready at lunchtime. Then she was flown by private jet to the opera at La Scala in Milan and back the next morning — charging £100 an hour all the while.
‘The presents are quite something too,’ says Mr Petty. ‘Fine wines, cases of Veuve Clicquot champagne, antique first edition books and huge boxes of Rococo chocolates.’