When I moved to Dartmoor a year ago I introduced contracts for the first time in 22 years of teaching, as I felt that having a fresh start meant that I could lay down the rules instead of allowing parents to walk all over me.
I`ll never forget one mum, a few years ago booking a dental appointment on purpose to clash with the piano lesson - I suppose so that I would in effect have to pay for the check up, if you see what I mean!
Anyway, one of the conditions I put in the new contract was that I would carry on teaching throughout the school holidays, except over Xmas and the New Year, and of course if I or the family concerned were going away on holiday.
Unfortunately one girl did not have a lesson in 7 weeks of the recent sumer holidays because the family were in financial difficulties. I let it pass, because of their difficult circumstances. However it made me think -is a contract legally binding, and could you actually take a parent to the small claims court over missed lessons?