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When a student might not be coming any more ...

Discussion in 'Private tutors' started by SayItLikeItIs, Mar 8, 2020.

  1. SayItLikeItIs

    SayItLikeItIs Occasional commenter

    On occasions I have had parents whose attitude has been such that I have been the one who has ended their child's tuition when in fact this was what they intended to do all along.

    Examples of this include: 'We would like to take half a term/a term out ... we've got a busy period coming up, so we'll leave it for a while ...we want to wait until the Coronavirus scare has passed ..[yesterday]". Often, they seem to be really charming, pleasant, well-mannered people.

    But surely such well-mannered parents would realise that if I were to take them at their word then I would have to hold their place open, thereby turning down potential new students. So they are in fact forcing me to tell them pleasantly that it is unsustainable from a business point of view for me to hold the place open for them and therefore I cannot continue to tutor their child on this basis.

    I don't specify a period for giving notice because I don't think I could compel a parent/student to continue tuition if they were not happy with it. But I consider it a given that, if they do want to end tuition, then they should at least clearly state that that is what they want to do. I don't mind if they make up a reason or whether they just feel they have come as far as they can and want to stop. I just think they should distinctly say that they are stopping.

    Has anyone found a way to obviate this in their T&Cs or should I just accept that it goes with the territory?
  2. gainly

    gainly Lead commenter

    If a parent says something like this I just assume they are stopping tuition. I don't bother to say anything. In the unlikely event they do contact me again, which has happened a couple of times, I just say I have no spaces available.
    phlogiston likes this.
  3. colacao17

    colacao17 Senior commenter

    "If you miss more than two weeks then I will assume you no longer need the slot and will offer it to someone else, unless you are prepared to pay a retainer of 50%"
    allison1972 and phlogiston like this.
  4. phatsals

    phatsals Established commenter

    If they cancel twice that's it, replacement in place. If it's a case of coronavirus then I've offered them skype and Idroo. That way no session has to be missed.
  5. alsoamum

    alsoamum Occasional commenter

    I always just say it's fine and that if they wish to restart they can contact me and I'll let them know my availability.

    I do not hold spaces open for people who don't wish to attend regularly. I don't mind if tuition isn't their priority at a certain time but they can't have it both ways.
    allison1972 and phlogiston like this.
  6. doctoryes

    doctoryes Occasional commenter

    If a parent or student tells me that they would like a break from tutoring, I usually say that's fine but after 2 weeks absence I cannot guarantee my availability for "their" current time slot.
    allison1972 likes this.
  7. doctoryes

    doctoryes Occasional commenter

    If it's something speciific and they are able to give a date for their return e.g. going into hospital for an operation and they will be back on a specific date then that's usually OK.
    allison1972 likes this.
  8. alsoamum

    alsoamum Occasional commenter

    Yes, I had one who had half a term off school but came to me during the day so I was happy to keep her after school slot empty.

    I had 3 separate parents ask me last week if they could take a break without payment 'until the coronavirus hype calmed down'. In that case, I had to say I wouldn't hold their place.
  9. catbefriender

    catbefriender Lead commenter

    I think it is inevitable that all who are self employed or who rely on their self employment earnings will suffer a huge financial hit because of the virus.:(

    Can't wait for it all to be over and everything returning to normal.
    briancant likes this.
  10. CloudsTES

    CloudsTES New commenter

    It’s not the end of the world… but am I right to be a little niggled? One of my students cancelled this morning due to a member of the household having come down with a fever. OK, absolutely, fair enough – thank you for being responsible for everyone’s sake etc. Just now, though, I’ve had another parent asking for sessions to change being from face to face to online, whilst the coronavirus situation is ongoing (I’m not sure for how long this change would be envisaged – until the summer?!). In many ways, changing to online would not be a problem at all, albeit for the fact that I never use Skype (professionally or personally) and I’ve just tried for an hour – to no avail – to get it to recognise my camera. Of course there are ways round this – find another programme, take my laptop to a repair shop – and perhaps this would be a sensible idea in the current climate. I personally think, though, that if a student is still going to school (which I assume to be the case), it would make little difference if an extra person (me) was added to the equation. I’m thinking that I’d probably be more likely to catch coronavirus from the student (who is around lots of people day in, day out) than they would be to catch it from me. Saying all this, I’m obviously no expert, and I totally appreciate that this can be a very scary situation for many people. I’m beginning to get a bit scared myself, especially at the prospect of my income dwindling… :-(
  11. CloudsTES

    CloudsTES New commenter

    And... there goes the third one of the day!

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