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Union membership?

Discussion in 'Private tutors' started by elzbells, Apr 27, 2019.

  1. elzbells

    elzbells New commenter

    I currently work full time as a primary school teacher so am a member of NEU teachers union. Can anyone advise whether I will need to remain a member when I finish teaching solely to tutor privately? I have several pupils to which I travel to their home currently, but as of September plan to tutor from home as well. Thanks in advance
     
  2. langteacher

    langteacher Occasional commenter

    I'm not in a union
     
  3. gainly

    gainly Established commenter

    I can't imagine why you would want to be in a union.
     
  4. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    In case someone you tutor or their parents makes an allegation against you of inappropriate behaviour?

    Ask NEU if you can continue to be a member
     
    digoryvenn likes this.
  5. briancant

    briancant Occasional commenter

    As a tutor you are no more vulnerable than a member of the public who is exposed to children. Allegations without evidence mean nothing. In a court of law an allegation must be supported by evidence. The reason teachers are vulnerable in schools is management trying to protect themselves, in real life evidence is needed. If you are guilty of nothing then you don't need union support as a tutor. If however you work in the horrible education system we have today then of course you do need one.
     
  6. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    How many members of the public spend their working day alone in a room with a child? Police and social services investigate allegations to establish what the evidence is. And someone's statement that, say, their tutor touched their genitals is evidence. It isn't proof of course. Evidence and proof aren't the same thing.
     
    digoryvenn likes this.
  7. briancant

    briancant Occasional commenter

    Well the OP said they wanted to tutor in their own home a better protection would be cctv installed at the property with all sessions recorded. The reason teachers get malicious allegations in schools is that badly behaved pupils want to get back at them in some way for some perceived injustice. When tutoring the relationship is very different. How would membership of a union stop someone saying their tutor touched them?
     
    langteacher likes this.
  8. elzbells

    elzbells New commenter

    Thanks for your responses everyone. I know only too well the importance of being in a union whilst in primary school-it’s the unprofessional, bullying behaviour of SLT that has been fundamental in my decision to resign.
    And I do see there may be a very slim possibility that I may need advice from them as a tutor- but probably not. I was just interested to see if other tutors were members or not.
     
  9. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Obviously it wouldn't, any more than it would stop a child making the allegation in a school. No-onr has ever claimed it would. Unions are there to help you defend yourself afterwards.
     
    digoryvenn likes this.
  10. SayItLikeItIs

    SayItLikeItIs New commenter

    I tutor in my own home, at times when my spouse and child are also present. I can't see a union protecting them from unfounded allegations, even if they were prepared to cover me. It is more important for me to keep my DBS check up to date. I think other adults living in the property are also checked where you tutor in your own home. Of course, a DBS is only as good as when the last check was done, but it bolsters up your credibility, even though your teaching qualifications & experience are solid. In turn, that increases parental respect as well as trust.

    Other protection you should consider is public liability insurance and perhaps professional indemnity insurance.

    When lessons are taking place I usually leave the door or my tuition room open. You could also consider allowing parents to sit and observe for a few sessions until they and their child feel comfortable to stay on their own.
     
    pepper5 likes this.
  11. sabram86

    sabram86 Occasional commenter

    I'm not sure how having a union would help with a false allegation. Parents who feel that a tutor is "dodgy" would probably just find another one, rather than go through the drama of involving the police or social services.

    Legal insurance is perhaps a better investment for those fearful of false allegations, but an accuser, as has already been said, would need to prove it in a court of law before a jury beyond reasonable doubt, which is, righly, a high burden of proof.

    If you are still concerned, you could ask to make audio recordings of sessions and provide them to the tutee as a revision aid while keeping a copy for your own peace of mind.
     
  12. langteacher

    langteacher Occasional commenter

    Never once been asked for DBS in my own home. And it never crossed my mind that my partner would need one!
     
  13. gainly

    gainly Established commenter

    I rely on the fact that I'm so old and decrepit that I'm clearly not a threat to anyone!
     
    bramblesarah, Piranha and BG54 like this.
  14. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    Will unions help people who are self employed as tutors? The NEU website only talks about employees as far as I can see.
     
  15. briancant

    briancant Occasional commenter

    Snap. I think a few of us are in the same boat.
     
  16. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    Me too!
     

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