My son would go to school and he loved sports and he loved eating his lunch but he wasn’t very engaged in any of the school work. The academic side wasn’t really his strength or his main focus.

He was struggling and he didn’t have any confidence in himself so rather than put himself out there and really try, he gave up before he even started. He was a bit scared of failure. At first he was quite upfront about really not wanting to [go to Vital] but slowly we’re seeing a bit of maturity and he always does the work...

I think he knows now that he’s having success. And so he’s committed to going. Because Allan always gives 100% it means that my son knows he has to do the same back. He has been with Vital Education for one term and one set of holidays and he went from being the bottom in the class and to being second in English.

Marama - Epsom

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Before my children started they were both performing where they should have been but we noted particularly with our son some troubles with maths and that he hadn’t got the basic concepts of mathematics and lacked confidence.

Once we did an assessment at Vital we realised he had some comprehension problems as well.

After about three or four weeks he just started showing more enthusiasm. I couldn’t believe that they were so enthusiastic about going to Vital Education in the first place because I thought they might see it as a bit of a chore. But they really look forward to it and they enjoy the challenges that they get set.

There was an addition challenge and my son was really motivated by that.

For our children it has worked better than how they’re being taught at school. I’ve been really happy and I think it’s great.

Nicola - Remuera

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I had my twin boys going to Vital for about three years. When we went to see Allan he was just so keen to get them up to [a level] where they could read and write just like everyone else.

School is so mainstream - if you’re a little bit outside of the square it doesn’t cater for your needs. The great thing with Allan is that he takes them back down to the basics - the simple things.

Vital definitely catered for their needs. They were pushed, but just enough so that they could have small successes as well, which I think is really important for the kids. I’m really happy with the progress they made.

Viv - Ellerslie

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My eldest daughter went through from year 11. She needed to pass NCEA and so we sent her along to Vital where they found her a tutor that matched her personality and she got through. 

My youngest daughter is in year 10 now and she happens to have the same tutor. It’s going well - her marks have improved since she started.

With both my girls, confidence is not a big thing for them. Vital gave them the confidence that they could actually pass.

Amanda - Parnell

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Both my children have been going through Vital for quite a number of years.

When [my son] hit high school he went and did essay writing. My older one was already quite academic and I put him through Vital just to give him more of that competitive edge. 

They went in for an assessment and what happened at the assessment pretty much had me sold. Both the boys had a 50 minute assessment and within that time Allan had pretty much nailed what each of my children were like. And he picked up things that I wouldn’t have thought you’d easily be able to pick up having just met someone.

After having that session I was blown away and so I made the decision that I wanted them both to attend. There was such a positive environment for them that they just found it really easy to go to.

With my younger one, he wasn’t quite as motivated and lacked a lot of confidence. He has a stuttering problem and all of those things can have an impact . They have done a lot and as a result of the fact I’ve found it fantastic, I’ve recommended Vital to friends.

Nancy - Epsom

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At first [my son] was in the ESOL class but after a year he moved out. I think Vital was very helpful for him. Now he’s in the top class.

I would say Vital is a good choice if you want to build up confidence. And the teachers there are really nice. 

You have teachers who have the time to focus on you and pick up what you need help with. That’s the other good thing.

Tina - St Heliers

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I chose Vital because I liked the fact students were actually writing stuff versus using computers. I kept the kids going because their English improved at school.

They seem to do more and more on the computers at school which is fine but they still need to be able to string a sentence together and be able to express themselves on paper.

They’re never going to be writers, but now they’re more confident than before.

Sarah - Meadowbank

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At school they do too much computer learning. [Vital] was organised, structured, old fashioned.

My children have all improved a lot. The five-year-old definitely has a lot more confidence because she now understands what she’s doing. She’s now able to work more independently than she used to.

Her learning curve is significantly higher than any child in her class who hasn’t been to Vital and then there are quite a few kids in the class who have gone to Vital.

It’s the same with my eight year-old. The teacher the other day at a parent interview said she just couldn’t believe this other girl had gone up so quickly and it’s because she just started Vital.

Parents are always looking for something and a lot are looking for non computer based stuff. If you go to Number Works it’s all computer based and there are quite young tutors. I like the fact that Vital has older tutors.

Nicky - Remuera

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We needed to get [my daughter] some extra help with her English and strategies for exams and studying and we were told that Vital Education was very good.

It has been a very positive thing for us to do for her. I like the goal-setting and I like the way Allan approaches the children and talks to them.

I think they’re very caring towards the children and I think they treat them very much as individuals. They do try and cater for the individual needs. It’s not like Kip McGrath where it’s the same programme for everyone.

It’s a very safe environment. I think if a parent was late your child wouldn’t be left standing outside. There’s a lot of care and responsibility there.

Marg - Mt Eden

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I think Vital has been very helpful for my son to ‘get’ English.

When he was nine years old and we first came to New Zealand he didn’t know English at all and Vital really helped him to get a grab of English.

This year he’s gone back to Vital and he is above average for his class in English. He’s in the A class.

Li - Remuera

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Ilona has thrived at Vital (with Nigel), and her confidence has grown no end - which is great to see.

Daniel - Parent