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Should a parent be home during private tutoring sessions?

Discussion in 'Private tutors' started by meniazovuttakto, Mar 29, 2019.

  1. meniazovuttakto

    meniazovuttakto New commenter

    I am fairly new to tutoring, and have only been doing it for a couple of months through a company that assigns me to students. The sessions always take place in a student's home. This week I ran into a dilemma with one of the students that I have been paired with. The student is in his mid-teens, and needed general organization skills and reading help. When I arrived to the first session, nobody was home. It took a few days to finally get in touch with the father, who was furious that his son failed to show up to the session. Apparently the father travels a lot, and is rarely home. The son would be most likely always be home alone for our future sessions.
    I have never dealt with my clients missing sessions, and parents being so hard to get in touch with. I am concerned that I have never got a chance to meet or speak to the dad. My manager is the one who has be able to get in touch with the dad (my calls and emails don't get returned). I am also concerned about coming to a one-on-one tutorial in an otherwise empty house with a teenager who is obviously reluctant (he missed the first session). I voiced these concerns to my manager, who was a bit surprised. She said that the student has been with the company for about a year, but with a different tutor (a man). The other tutor left for a better job, so the student was passed on to me. My manager also said that I would most likely never meet the father, since he travels so much.
    Am I right to be concerned about this situation, or is this fairly typical in this field? My gut was telling me to speak up about it to my manager, and I don't know if I should consider giving the sessions a chance or not.
    Any advice would be much appreciated.
     
  2. saluki

    saluki Lead commenter

    I tutor older teenagers home alone. But I have met the parents and speak to them regularly.
    The circumstances sound a bit odd in your case and I would be very wary.
     
    Kateray1 likes this.
  3. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    I think I would share your concerns. Are you able to say to your manager that as you are relatively new to tutoring, and concerned about lone-working and safeguarding in this context, you would prefer not to be allocated to this student?

    It's not that unusual for tutors/music teachers to be alone in a house with students, particularly if they tutor from home, but usually they've met the parents and been able to assess that they're comfortable with that.
     
    bonxie likes this.
  4. langteacher

    langteacher Occasional commenter

    I've tutored with no parents present but only after building up a relationship
    If it feels wrong don't do it
    I don't deal with agency lessons so the idea of having a manager doesn't sit well with me either.
    Build up your own client base and have control over who you work with
     
  5. gainly

    gainly Lead commenter

    I have never worried about this. I work on the basis that if they are happy for me to tutor without a parent present then that's fine with me. If I arrive for a lesson and the student is there without a parent I'm certainly not going to go away. In a couple of cases, the students have contacted me directly, made all the arrangements and I have never met the parents; I suspect they don't speak English.

    The problem here seems to be more that the boy is reluctant and may not be there if there is no parental supervision. I don't think there is any point continuing if he doesn't want to have lessons. I hope you still get paid if you turn up and he's not there.
     
    Piranha likes this.
  6. briancant

    briancant Occasional commenter

    Should a parent be home during private tutoring sessions?

    Yes!
    I only see sixth formers without parents present. School age children are another matter and any male teacher who would tutor a 14 year old girl with no one else present is putting their future at risk. This is a no brainer, no parent present, no lesson, simple!
     
    catbefriender likes this.
  7. suzette

    suzette New commenter

    I tutor students without the parents being present quite a bit. The youngest student being a girl of eight. The parents are always in the house, but the room I tutor her in, the door is always open. While they are free to come in they prefer to get on with their own things for the hour. I tutor GCSE students on my own as well. I think if you build up a rapport with the parents, demonstrate a professional attitude, keep the door open where you tutor & give the parents an idea of what you're doing, it shouldn't be an issue. I do have a current DBS certificate that helps to give a lot of clients peace of mind as well.

    When I've had parents in a couple of times while tutoring students, they've been a bit too fussy, interfering & too chatty. Plus the students have often felt they can't be themselves or relax, especially when they get things wrong, the embarrassment factor is huge for a teenager in this sense! So it has often impeded progress & confidence for the student.

    Generally I think you need to do what feels better for you. If you feel uncomfortable, it will mean you won't tutor well.
     
  8. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    I think there's a world of difference between parent elsewhere in the house and nobody else in the house.
     
    Kateray1 likes this.
  9. briancant

    briancant Occasional commenter

    Agreed. When I said I wouldn't tutor a school age child without a parent being present I meant they had to be in the house not actually sitting with us.
     
  10. catbefriender

    catbefriender Lead commenter

    I only tutor in the parental home with the parent present. If you are alone in a house with a child under 18, you always run the risk of having allegations made against you and this is why ALL private tutors should be insured, however, many aren't. Most teaching unions have deals with insurance companies to deal with such allegations, which, let's hope never arise. But remember, one false allegation and that's the end of your career.:(
     
  11. briancant

    briancant Occasional commenter

    What insurance can you get against false allegations?
     
  12. sabram86

    sabram86 Occasional commenter

    The norm for tutoring is that there is another adult (parent, grandparent or babysitter, usually) in the house - it's unusual for them to stay in the room for the reasons already given.

    The odd thing is, touch wood, I have never even heard of an allegation against a private tutor (real or otherwise). It seems a better arrangement than class teaching in that respect. I've found that some of the little scamps (who might be a pain in school) are perfectly well-behaved one-on-one.

    Insurance against "false allegations" could well be included in standard home legal insurance.
     
  13. briancant

    briancant Occasional commenter

  14. catbefriender

    catbefriender Lead commenter

    The thing is you can't, but you can get legal representation should the liars take the allegation to the police and it goes to court and re the case last year, there have been many, many more. Hence the need for ALL the major tuition websites to request scanned copies of uptodate DBSs from tutors and have those that have provided it, show they have compiled on their profiles.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2019
  15. sabram86

    sabram86 Occasional commenter

  16. catbefriender

    catbefriender Lead commenter

    Unfortunately it is not. There have been many allegations made against tutors, most of which are not in the press hence the rigorous registration processes many agencies put tutors through to protect themselves from being sued.

    https://metro.co.uk/2018/07/11/priv...-caught-by-father-using-a-smartwatch-7704211/

    Yep, that's what's out there.:eek:
     
  17. Kateray1

    Kateray1 Occasional commenter

    Yes somewhere in the house.
     

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