Jul 16 2012, 08:41 AM
My son attends the local school and I teach him, and another girl there, after school at my house. I have a massive waiting list and the younger sister of the other girl wants lessons in September and I have no room whatsoever.
It occurred to me that if I could teach at the school instead then it would help the girl and her sister, it would help me free up an after school to spend with my own children, and hopefully the school would see it as a benefit to show they offer piano lessons. It may even result in a few new students.
What do people think? Has anyone had any joy approaching a school in this way? How do you sort out attracting students and invoicing? The only other school I'm in at the moment pays me directly and then they sort out the students timetables and the invoicing.
Jul 16 2012, 08:56 AM
I approached my children's school a couple of years ago. I was also running the choir there. They were quite happy with the idea, and suggested different ways of paying/billing. I settled for them billing the students and paying me, they way they did with other peris. I am employed by the county council for work at the other school I teach in, so it was easy enough to add me onto their existing payroll system.
I have never broached the subject of teaching my own children at their school though. My kids were really keen, but I told them the school would never go for it...
Jul 16 2012, 09:50 AM
From the school's point of view, the simplest setup is going to be you invoicing parents directly, which makes it unambiguously a case of self-employment, and the school don't have to deal with your finances in any way. If they start invoicing parents, it can become more complicated...
In this setup, the role of the school would simply be permitting you to use the facilities to carry out your work. You'd be wise to put a written agreement in place that you are able to use a particular room on an agreed day and time, and that the school need to notify you in advance if this will not be available. Having an agreement directly with parents regarding cancellations will hopefully avoid the 'Oh, year 6 are out on a trip today' surprises on arrival.
They'll certainly want a CRB check, possibly at your expense, so perhaps it would help to make a good impression if you offer to pay for it. Being clued-up about child protection issues would also help, so if you're not familiar with jargon such as 'disclosure' and 'named person', read up on them.
Jul 16 2012, 10:08 AM
They are doing a CRB check on me as we speak so I can help out in the school as a volunteer. Plus I used to be a school teacher so I have experience.
What do you think of draft one of my letter
Dear Mr Smith,
I would like to offer my services to the school as a peripatetic piano teacher. I teach piano and singing to children from a number of schools both at my house and at Blah School. Plus as you know I run the community choirs at Blink Community Centre and Blob School of Music.
At home I have a substantial waiting list and regularly get requests to take on new students, in September there will be another rush. Unfortunately I do not have any availability so am unable to take them on. It is so disappointing for the children. Especially since some of them are siblings of my existing students.
One such sibling will be starting at Blink School in September and I was thinking how helpful it would be if I was able to come into school to give her and her sister their lessons.
Should I put some stuff in about the value of music and the benefit to the school, or assume they know that?
Do I suggest payment structures now or leave it until later.
At the moment I really only need to be in for an hour to do the two sisters. And could increase later if necessary.
Jul 16 2012, 10:14 AM
I presume that you're hoping that the school will agree to you giving your lessons during school hours?
When I moved here, I approached two local schools who were very happy to let me teach there, but only as an after school activity. This was okay for me, as I wanted to build up a teaching practice in a new area, but as you already have as many pupils as you can take, this obviously wouldn't be what you're looking for. I know that private schools offer music lessons in school hours, but I'm not sure if state schools would agree to this.
Jul 16 2012, 10:27 AM
QUOTE(jenny @ Jul 16 2012, 11:14 AM)
I know that private schools offer music lessons in school hours, but I'm not sure if state schools would agree to this.
Most state schools don't have a problem with it, although you often need to take a flexible and collaborative approach, especially at SATs time. If they do object, then it's a sign that the school doesn't see the value of music, and is a reason to steer clear of them!
Jul 16 2012, 12:21 PM
Ok, scratch that!
Just asked the mum and she doesn't want the girls missing any lessons at school so if I do approach the school it won't be with any particular children in mind. Perhaps I'll leave it for now. When my youngest goes to school I'll do it then.
Thanks for your help though. I've drafted quite a nice letter so I'll save it for now and pull it up again next year.
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