Terms and conditions for Specialist Online Tuition
Fees payable to the tutor for one-to-one online tuition:
Parent/Guardian shall enter into this tutoring contract on behalf of the Student and shall accept and agree to all the terms and conditions contained herein on behalf of the Student.
The fees are based on a standard rate of £45/£55 per 1 hour.
No further charges will be made for the tutor’s preparation time or resources, which are included in the standard rate.
All payment should be by bank transfer. You will be given my bank details and will be able to set me up on your banking app as a regular payee. Payment can be weekly or in blocks of your choosing, some parents prefer to pay for the months’ worth of lessons when they get paid. Any unused lessons would be refunded. Ideally payment should be sent the day before the lesson, so that I can see it has come in before I prepare for the lesson. Unless payment has been received, no further lessons will take place.
Tutoring will begin on ……………….. and each lesson will last for 1 hour
Frequency/duration of lessons:
1 lesson every …………….at ……………….. during usual school term dates. The day or time of the lessons can be changed with prior agreement between the Tutor and the Parents.
The standard lesson time is 60 minutes. Of this time, 55 minutes is teaching time and 5 minutes to settle and discuss issues with parents. For younger children lessons can be shorter such as 30 minutes’, some children have two 30-minute lessons a week.
You will be sent a link for the Zoom call and usually, that link stays the same for your child every week. Please keep this link safely so you can find it each week. All Zoom calls can only be entered through a waiting room, this means that no one else can Zoom-bomb the call. Your child will have a series of BitPapers that are just for them. They each have a unique URL that opens it. BitPaper is a virtual interactive whiteboard that allows us both to write and draw on it at the same time. It is designed especially for online tutoring. This system enables us to have very engaging and fully interactive not passive teaching and learning.
We will work on one BitPaper until it is full and then I will create a new one or them and we will continue with that one instead. To save time please set a bookmark for the BitPaper so that it can be easily opened before the start of the lesson. BitPapers can be converted into pdfs to print if required.
Most lessons will end up being in a fixed timeslot the same every week. It is the parent’s responsibility to make sure they have set reminders and the child is ready for the lesson at the set time. After 5 minutes of a no show, I will often send an email or text to check that there isn’t a technical issue such as a lost Zoom link. I will send another message via the other method after another 5 minutes. I will remain on the Zoom call for up to a further 5 minutes (15 minutes in total) after which I will leave the meeting room and the lesson is generally forfeited.
If you have forgotten the lesson, which does occasionally happen, please reply to my messages and I will stay on the call and start the lesson as soon as you are then able to join the call. The lesson will then be for the remainder of the timeslot. I will not be able to still give you the whole 60 minutes as I will have another pupil straight after.
During the lesson:
Especially for younger children, I would expect a parent to set up the video call and stay within earshot in case of technical issues so they can step in if needed and help their child. I usually use Zoom and BitPaper which are pretty robust, and we have few technical issues, but it does still happen sometimes. More common are things like they have closed the window by mistake and don’t know how to get it back.
Children tend to respond better to the lessons if they are left to engage with me without parental help. But the first time we meet it will be a session where both you and your child are on the Zoom call with me and we all talk and get to know each other. I will introduce teaching and informal assessing for me to gauge the best level for me to come in with for the first proper lesson.
We will play some maths games, and this enables me to see how they cope but also, they are learning to click, drag and drop and draw and write on the screen with me. This may need parental support this first time especially if they are younger. Generally, my advice after this introductory lesson is for you to be in the same room or within earshot, but not sat next to them.
For safeguarding reasons for children under 18 it is expected that an adult will remain in the house with them for the duration of their online lesson. They shouldn’t be left alone with me on the other end of the call. Also, all pupils should be fully dressed when on a video call.
I am not responsible for the quality of the broadband connection. I have super-fast broadband and various extra technical setups my end to prevent any internet difficulty originating from me. I use a high spec gaming PC, super-fast broadband, and an Ethernet cable not a Wi-Fi connection. I have an external podcasting microphone, speakers, dual monitors, and a graphics tablet so that I can write on the screen with a pen not a mouse. This is the best set of kit that I can have.
If the bandwidth on the call isn’t good, the first thing I ask the pupil to do is to switch off their camera, this often fixes the issue, and we continue with just sound for the lesson. If all else fails, we can keep the BitPaper open and make a low-tech phone call for our audio. If a laptop can be connected directly to the router rather than by Wi-Fi this will help too.
The best kit that pupils can have is to use a PC or laptop. An external microphone, not the laptop inbuilt one (which tend to be terrible quality) will really help both me and your child be able to hear and understand each other clearly. Most pupils use a headset so they can hear me and speak to me easily. Others have the sound coming out of the laptop so that the parents can also hear the conversation but use headphones for the microphone.
There are some functionality issues with Chromebooks, so if possible, I would ask you not to use it for lessons. I am unable to hand over control to the child in Zoom, so they end up being more passive which isn’t ideal. The least ideal device is an iPad. Using an iPad means I have to do lots of things in a different and not very good way as they are much less able to interact with the lesson.
I really recommend the use of a real laptop (not Chromebook) or PC for lessons, it just means that the lessons work more smoothly and we aren’t fighting technical issues all the way through and I can get on and do what I do best – teach!
For some children depending on what has been pre-agreed, parents will need to print off and then scan and send back to me work that has been set for the week. This can be sent back by email or WhatsApp, both systems work well for me. For safeguarding reasons this needs to be between myself and a parent, not with the child. This work needs to be sent back to me at the latest by 6 pm on the night before the lesson for me to act upon it for my planning and preparation for their lesson.
Cancellation of lessons:
By the Student: The Student (through their Parent/Guardian) can cancel a lesson, giving at least 24 hours’ notice, in which case no fee will be charged for that lesson. If sufficient notice is not given – fees may still be charged. Rescheduled lessons should be requested with as much notice as possible. Only 1 lesson can be cancelled per term, any more will result in full payment for the missed lesson, whatever the reason or notice period for cancellation. Additional lessons can also be arranged during school holidays at mutually suitable times and days.
Illness: If either the Student or the Tutor has an illness as much notice as is possible in the circumstances should be given.
By the Tutor: In exceptional circumstances, a lesson may have to be rescheduled, in which case the Tutor will give as much notice to the Student/Parent as is possible. Where a lesson was pre-paid, the Tutor shall reschedule the appointment at a time agreeable to both parties, failing which, the Student shall be refunded with such a missed lesson fee.
The Tutor undertakes to do all preparation prior to lessons and to structure lessons in such a way as to optimise time to the benefit of the Student. The Tutor shall keep confidential all information of the Student and shall contact other parties involved in the education of the Student only if given written permission by the Parent to do so.
The Student undertakes to assist the Tutor in identifying problem areas in which the Student needs specific tutoring.
The Tutor makes no promises or warranties with regards to a Student’s performance as a result of any tutoring provided. This tutoring contract may be terminated by either party at any time by notifying the other party.