It is common for teachers to offer private tuition to students. Before doing so, there are several important issues to consider, such as legal and insurance protection and health and safety issues.
You should also check with your employer before offering private tuition, particularly if it is a student in your class or school, even if there is nothing specific on this issue in your contract.
Suggested hourly rate
Currently ATL suggests an hourly tuition rate of £30.00. This is guidance only and you may wish to vary this up or down.
You may also want to add on a reasonable amount for travel expenses or agree that this should be claimed and reimbursed separately.
If you work for yourself you are normally treated as self-employed and taxed under self assessment. This is a more favourable regime than the PAYE scheme because there is more scope to deduct expenses from income.
If you are in full-time work and pay tax under the PAYE scheme, you need to declare any income from freelance work to HM Revenue & Customs (formerly Inland Revenue).
The HM Revenue & Customs Helpline can be reached on tel: 0845 9000 444.
You should have a contract with the parent or guardian of the student. A written document confirming your name and address and those of your student, together with brief details of the service offered and the hourly charge, should be enough.
You could also include a clause stipulating how much notice the student should give if he or she has to cancel the lesson. Please remember that the contract is binding so do make the terms and conditions very clear.
Health and safety
If offering private tuition from your own home, you must ensure that it represents a safe environment. You should carry out a risk assessment to evaluate and address any health and safety risks (see ATL's advice on risk assessment for details). Common health and safety risks include trailing wires and cluttered working areas.
Working alone also presents potential problems regarding accusations of assault or inappropriate conduct. If possible it would be helpful to have a third party present, eg partner or spouse, to act as a witness in the unlikely event of any accusations being made against you.
Similarly, you should be aware of your own security in the event of a student becoming aggressive towards you. So, whether working in your own home or the student's home, do ensure that you have a clear exit from the room and building.
Legal assistance and insurance from ATL
ATL provides legal advice and representation for all members in the UK (except associate and retired members) including the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands and teachers serving on sovereign bases abroad.
ATL has arranged an insurance scheme to protect members who provide private tuition, lecturing or coaching, which will not be covered by their employers' insurance.
The policy covers teaching all academic subjects plus sports coaching, music, drama, technology, cookery and practical science activities.
Need further advice?
Your first point of contact is your ATL rep in your school or college. Your local ATL branch is also available to help with queries, or you can contact ATL's member advisors on tel: 020 7930 6441 or email us. Please have your membership number to hand when telephoning and include it with any correspondence - this will help us to answer your query more quickly.