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private tuition

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by geotrupes, Feb 10, 2011.

  1. Quick question to anyone who may be able to give advice. What should I do if I know that someone is charging parents of pupils for additional lessons in their subject after school. Is this allowed. The majority of teachers I work with do this for nothing as an after school activity already. I'm just a little concerned of whether this is ethical or not. note they are not pupils from another school, they are pupils that are taught by them during the day.
  2. Nothing wrong with tutoring regardless of the school the pupils attend.

    It is then up to the individual concerned if they declare the additional income. Unless you are in an independent school which may not allow you to do this, you can take any additional work you want.
  3. Ravena

    Ravena New commenter

    I'm a full-time teacher and a private tutor but would never tutor pupils from my own school. As you say, I offer extra help via lunchtime clubs (free of charge) to pupils in my own school.
    There are a couple of issues here:
    Is the teacher visiting pupils at their home (not recommended due to child protection, and probably a breach of school contract)
    Are the pupils going to the teacher's house for tuition? (same problem as above)
    Is the tuition taking place at school? - not sure if this is illegal, but there is probably something in the school contract about using school buildings for personal/business use.
    I suppose that if the teacher concerned has sought permission from senior management, then it's probably ok, even if rather unethical.
  4. YesMrBronson

    YesMrBronson New commenter

    It's not a breach of contract. Parents are involved remember.
    Same answer as above.
    That's true. Perhaps this has to be agreed with the Head/Governers. If it's not in school then this doesn't apply. We need the OP to clarify.
    I do not think that private tutoring is unethical.

  5. littlerussell

    littlerussell New commenter

    It's between the teacher and the headteacher/governors whether this is acceptable. There are complications here which mean that everything must be above board. An example (which may well not apply) would be that a teacher who approaches parents (or even publicises that they are available) may well be taking advantage of their position (e.g. "Your child is going to get a D, but if I tutor them ... ).
    Some schools would ban this outright. Others would want certain assurances and safeguards in place. Personally, of the three scenarios - in school/teacher's home/parent's home - I find the first two unacceptable - the first because it suggests the school is offering more to one pupil than another for a financial, rather than educational reason - and the second because students visiting a teacher at home would be totally unacceptable re: safeguarding. Teachers visiting students with the parents present is less of a concern.
    I am not sure what makes it your responsibility to blow the whistle on this, however, unless there is a safeguarding issue here.
  6. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    I used to tutor children that I taught in the evenings for money in their own home. Parents asked me to do it in the run up to KS3 sats. Worked very well for us.
  7. YesMrBronson

    YesMrBronson New commenter

    Even if their parents accompany them? I don't think so. I know that this happens with music lessons with a friend of mine. He teaches music in the day and teaches saxophone in the evening. Three or four of his saxophone pupils attend his school.
  8. YesMrBronson

    YesMrBronson New commenter

    These are good points.
  9. Thanks for all the replies. Appears to be a grey area. I only asked as it sat a little uncomfortably with me. It is indeed the C/D borderlines that are getting these lessons. In my opinion you help these students in your own time for free.
  10. imho - if you are tutoring your own class students for cash, you are saying 'I am not giving you a good enough education unless you pay me extra for it', so therefore completely unethical - they are already paying you to do the very best job you can by paying taxes etc and the LA paying your wages. This doesn't nec.mean you need to give up your lunch hour etc to do this, just make sure you are doing a good job of your actual teaching.
    If they are from another school, you are saying the other school is not providing an adequete service, however, in this day and age, schools are surely meant to compete against each other and be better or worse (indeed have to be better or worse by the very idea of legue tables), and therefore this is understandable.
    But to tutor your own class? Terrible.
    (should point out I used to tutor. I would never have accepted someone from my own class, nor my own school, even when it wasn't really an issue of the above - I had a parent approach me to tutor her son who was a new arrival to the school from another country (primary) and had some moderate SEN issues - whilst I felt this wasn't inethical as such (it was to catch up what had been missed whilst overseas and was considered all round that it just wasn't possible for this student to catch up in the 25 hours of school per week), I still didn't think it was a good idea, as it would open a whole can of worms and live is complicated enough already. I refered him to a friend in another school, and we worked in school to give him additional support as well.)
  11. I
    disagree. Whilst we all help children after school from time to time, I
    would not expect to see one child for a regular slot of one to one
    attention. My own personal free time is just that- unless I decide otherwise. I don't think it is reasonable to expect staff to feel bad for charging per hour for their expertise outside of school hours. I also think that if the parents enter into a paid agreement, and the child
    needs it, what concern is it of anyone elses? What exactly is the problem if the parents, teacher and child agree? How is it a 'child protection issue' if parents let a teacher enter their own home? And finally, the suggestion (can't remember who wrote it) that teachers
    would lie to get a parent to pay for tuition is a ridiculous reason to
    stop private tuition for children that need it. Do you have evidence
    that these colleagues of yours are willing liars and cheats? Or are you going to
    just let them get on with earning a living? It's worth mentioning that in a previous
    school I worked in, a colleague complained to anyone who would listen about her maths colleagues getting paid
    for tuition. It was seen by most other staff as sour grapes about them getting a regular extra income that she was envious of.
  12. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    I wouldn't do it now, just because I don't need the money any more. However parents still often ask if I know of any tutors and of I do tuition. Lots of parents who would pay for private tuition anyway prefer to have someone they know and who better than the person who teaches their child?

    Damm right the education received in school by the children I taught and tutored wasn't good enough. There were 30 children in the class and some very special behaviour needs. the good hardworking, but not especially bright children could not have the attention the both deserved and needed. I had no problem with that thought in my mind, but it was never brought up by parents or me.

    My HOD and the relevant DH both knew about it and weren't at all fussed. Not sure who else knew or didn't. No-one fell out with me so it can't have been an issue.
  13. One wonders who appoints whom as the moral compass of the school?
    As time goes by, your actions might become the subject of another colleague's deliberations as to what is morally/ethically acceptable. I wonder how you will feel then?
    Does it really matter what other folk do in their own time, providing of course that it is legal and above board?
    If in doubt, ask the head!

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