What services can DHC typically offer?

Home and School

DHC draws off its long experience to help parents in the selection of schools, and in the preparation for entrance tests and interviews. Thereafter, it tries to support parents in organising the most effective liaison between home and school and in guiding parents and children especially during the time of transition to new schools.

Our academic experience allows us in particular to help pupils and parents pick a way through subject choices, especially at GCSE and at A Level. When it comes to university, we are especially well-placed at helping older teenagers and their parents to identify likely courses and destinations, and in advising them how to maximise their eligibility, whether for UK or US Universities. In particular, we guide them through UCAS, Personal Statements, and applications to Oxbridge. (We do not prepare candidates for Ivy League entrance, but will ensure access to expert College Counsellors.)

Most schools work diligently at trying to forge good relationships with pupils and their families. It’s a complicated dynamic, however, and sometimes a third party– especially one familiar with the ways of both children and teachers - can help. DHC does a lot of work around this, for instance in offering an independent take on school reports (which comments should be taken literally and which, perhaps, should not); in managing homework, fashioning a full extracurricular life and getting the best out of IT – most of the classic flashpoints of teenage life. We’re there to advise and, sometimes, to defuse.

Where support is needed which we cannot provide, we’ll arrange for speedy referrals as appropriate (DHC has access to a range of educational and clinical therapists with particular experience of this age range). And, while DHC is primarily a consultancy, it sometimes happens that we may be able to support a client most usefully by doing some teaching. If the subject specialism falls outside our remit, we will provide access to someone appropriate.

The university student

Students want more space – that’s a given. But they still typically hit a few problems along the way. Universities have often become better at offering formal support to those struggling, but it is in the nature of things that many students want to address their concerns, or simply to search for advice, with someone independent.

Our contact with students is often done via Skype and – now and then – in face-to-face meetings. Typically we talk about managing work demands,especially in those cases where work has piled up or revision seems to have become insurmountable. We also talk about how to research efficiently and how to structure essays. Sometimes it is necessary to rehearse difficult conversations which students may need to have, especially with course tutors.

Life being life, talk can also turn to problems in managing money, substances of all kinds - and about coping with the ups and downs of friendships and relationships which are part and parcel of emerging adulthood.

DHC's engagement with students follows the patterns one might expect – when somebody is under pressure, there can be quite intense contact for a limited period of time, and then very little or none at all. In term time especially, it generally happens via Skype or phone.

Success in this context rests in part on an ability to distinguish between concerns which are transient and relatively unimportant and those which, just now and then, threaten to become more serious. I never betray a confidence. But, in a way which is appropriate to age and context, I try to take my part in ensuring that students and their families are working closely and meaningfully alongside one another.

The Graduate

As the time to leave university approaches, there are big choices to be confronted - and some harsh realities.

Some students know exactly what it is they want to do, and how to set about it. They may also be on the edge of getting the kind of degree which makes that all possible. Many more have good ideas, but appreciate advice in planning out their early moves, especially in deciding whether to apply for a permanent job at once, or somehow to glean relevant experience which will make them more attractive to potential employers.

The first couple of years can be hard, as we all know. Unanswered letters and repeated rejections following interviews can make anyone feel fragile and disillusioned. It’s hard for families too: after years of expensive investment in education, parents often face the prospect of their now adult sons and daughters returning home, without a clear game plan or money of their own. That can put pressure on everyone.

DHC does an increasing amount of work with people in their early years of life after university. The main focus typically involves assessing possible options for work – temporary or permanent, drawing up resumes and applications, and preparing for interviews and assimilating feedback which may result from them. Inevitably, there is a less formal but equally important dimension: if trust and confidence grows in what we do, people talk more freely about their wider concerns and aspirations. 


David Hargreaves


What are the charges?

  • DHC charges £180 per hour plus VAT.
  • All face-to-face consultations are timed to last one hour, although this can be extended by arrangement; Zooms (and other calls) are typically charged in units of twenty minutes; time spent editing is also billed at the same rate.

Fix an appointment to see me:

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Call me on 020 7684 7491
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How does it work?

The first step is to fix an appointment to see me


Call me on 020 7684 7491
or on
07931 525681

Send me an email!
(or fill out the form
on this site here)