Dear all parents,
As the academic year draws to a close, and I complete my professional placement, I am delighted to share some updates on what I am now able to offer and changes that may impact you.
Updated terms and conditions
Over the past three years, I have significantly developed my digital offering and safeguarding policies. As such, I require updated consent and have updated my terms and conditions. Notable changes are a revised cancellation policy, an updated mobile phones policy, a prohibitive clause for controlled substances, and a ‘no-show’ policy. All parents will be sent this over the coming months, and will be required to sign this. You are welcome to refuse this document – however, this will be processed as a termination of services.
Enforcement of late cancellation policy
Over the past three years, I have been extremely lenient with late cancellations and rarely enforce a late cancellation fee. However, I am unfortunately finding that this leniency is being taken advantage of. Please be reminded that, for cancellations with less than five days notice, a cancellation fee of up to 50% will be applied, while cancellations with less than 20 minutes notice will be fully payable.
Slots for September will be made available closer to the time – slots are based on my University timetable, and I am afraid this is not shared with me until early September. Evening slots will be allocated in age ascending order to ensure my youngest students are given equal opportunities as my older students. If you are looking to book more weekly sessions than you currently have, please let me know before September so I can consider this while allocating slots.
Upcoming price increase
As my practice evolves and continues, the cost of running my services is increasing – this year alone my email fees have been raised by 40%, while my work mobile bill has increased by 22%. In my market research, I have found that I am between 40% and 55% cheaper than tutors with a similar offering. To ensure I am able to offer a continued service for years to come, and to reflect my developing expertise as I conclude my second year of teacher training, I will be raising my rates in September. I aim to keep this increase to a minimum to ensure I am still able to offer a child and family centred approach to education while ensuring my costs are covered.
KS4 curriculum updated offering
In supporting GCSE interventions, at the beginning of the year I have undertaken professional development courses and organised my [previously disorganised!] GCSE English resources. As such, I am now able to offer comprehensive tuition services for GCSE English Literature, including key Shakespeare texts, An Inspector Calls, and the AQA Power and Conflict poetry works. Please get in touch if you are interested in this support!
Student laptop offering
I am regularly asked for advice on student laptops – while I am happy to answer, I am also equally happy to announce that I am now providing pre-loaded student laptops as a paid offering. These include anti-virus software, note taking software, lifetime access to Microsoft Office, tuition apps and services, and are accompanied by an inclusive technical support agreement. I have priced these at what I believe to be a fair outright price, ranging from £250-£320. Particularly for students either at the beginning of their GCSE journey or amid the journey, they are ready to go with everything your child may need. Please reach out to me if you are interested, or visit the Web Store on my website.
Group session offerings
I have been asked for a number of years whether I would consider doing group sessions for pupils working towards the same goal. In years past, I have said no due to concerns with how well this would work and IT limitations. However, over the past two years of teacher training, and three years of remote tuition, I have found this to work relatively successfully in trials. Therefore, I am happy to say I am rolling out larger trials of this. To ensure smooth running, I ask that parents form the groups to ensure that children are learning in groups they are comfortable with. If you would like further information, including pricing, please let me know.
Student WhatsApp update
In years prior, I have adamantly refused to communicate with children via any method except session or email, citing safeguarding concerns. However, this has been prohibitive in practice, meaning pupils are unable to effectively keep me updated on their academic journey. Recent research and updates have allowed me to create a procedure to allow students to use WhatsApp to communicate with me, while protecting my own integrity and keeping parents in the loop. Please get in touch if you would like to look at implementing this procedure within your child’s tuition.
As usual, I am offering summer tuition and intervention sessions to support learner progress. These sessions are typically afternoon/evening based, and usually offered online. If you are interested, please register interest via the link in your emails to allow me to prepare slots.
Over the last few months, I have worked on improving my self-service abilities, and have incorporated TutorBird into my offerings. The roll-out procedure is now complete, and as such you are now able to view all of your current + future bookings, billing account, attendance and lesson notes from your portal. By default, all registered parents will receive email reminders 24 hours in advance of lessons and an SMS 1 hour before. You can log in to the portal to amend your SMS preferences, book open slots, cancel sessions among other features. You can also enable your child to receive reminders. Please can I ask all parents to remain aware of this service and use this as a first port of call to confirm administrative details.
End of year reports
As we approach the end of the academic year, I will shortly be producing my end of year reports. In line with parental feedback, these are available on an opt-in basis. These are available to all learners except those who exclusively access ‘Homework Helper’ sessions. If you would like to receive an end of year tuition report, please can you let me know by the 19th July. These will be available no later than the end of August.
The future of my tuition offering
I have had many parents asking me about the future of my services, particularly as I approach the third and final year of my teaching degree in September, and as I implement services such as TutorBird. While the picture is still rather unclear, I currently have no plans to stop tutoring post-graduation. I believe, however, I may gradually move to a system of predominantly weekend bookings. With regards to the implementation of TutorBird, I would also like to reassure parents that I am still functioning as an independent tutor, and have absolutely no plans to move to an agency at any point in the foreseeable future.
Google Classroom security
As I regularly evaluate and update my IT services, I often need to sign in to childrens Google Classroom on different devices. Please be aware that sign in alerts from Winchester/Hampshire are most likely to be me – typically these will be from ChromeOS, Apple Mac, ZTE, Samsung or Google Pixel devices. If you are unsure whether a sign-in was me, please message me and I will let you know ASAP. On a similar note, if your child changes their Google Classroom password and you would still like me to support their school learning with regards to this, please ensure any updated passwords are shared with me.
Thank you to all parents and children for your ongoing support – I once heard that no two days as a teacher are the same, and while the content I cover varies massively from session to session, they all share a commonality in reminding me why I love educating and why I want to go into the field full time 🙂 I wish everybody an early summer and I look forward to seeing my returning students in the new academic year!