Academic achievement plays an increasingly important role in determining whether students are eligible to attend their preferred schools and pursue the degrees they desire. To improve grades, more and more students opt for private tutoring.
As tutoring grows, tutor management tools must help tutors manage their business and its administrative tasks. Tutors who wish to operate smoothly must also take care of the trade’s legal aspect. They must have a written contract between them and the students (or parents).
Download a free tutoring agreement form from this article for use as a PDF or Word document.
Tutoring contracts serve as a means of clarifying the scope of services between tutors and their clients. If both parties sign this document, it can help them set reasonable expectations and reduce conflicts.
You should ensure that the details of any commitments you make to those you are working with are in writing, regardless of whether you are providing one-on-one instruction or tutoring a group of students. Having a contract will ensure:
Not having a contract can lead to incorrect assumptions, incomplete payments, and unclear due dates.
To sign a student up for your tutoring business or agency, you must have them sign a tutoring contract to keep on file. If your student is a child, the parent or legal guardian is responsible for filling out and signing the legal documents. Here are five clauses that you should include in your tutoring contract.
You should carefully specify the tutoring services you offer in your tutoring contract. This will outline expectations for you and your students and avoid misunderstandings and disagreements.
Clearly stating the services you provide is important, but it is equally important to specify the services you don’t provide. In some cases, you might require students to purchase certain textbooks or materials or pay extra fees to attend exams or access software. Be clear about this so that students won’t be surprised.
Clearly state in your tutoring contract how you charge for tutoring services. Doing so ensures accurate and timely payments.
You may charge:
Your payment terms should make clear when payment is due.
Furthermore, you should provide a plan for what happens if a student misses a class or must withdraw altogether. Outline refunds, partial refunds, and cancellation fees, if any.
Some parents may consider a non-refund or an unreasonable cancellation fee unfair, so it is best to consult a lawyer about the best way to draft payment and refund clauses.
You will have some responsibility for the tutoring services you provide, but you can limit your liability as much as possible in your tutoring contract.
Your students will expect you to take responsibility for the quality of your services, even if you want to limit your liability. You can achieve a suitable balance between these competing considerations with a lawyer’s help.
So, your contract must clearly define how you intend to limit your liability.
It is possible to explain to students that your agency does its best to prepare them academically, but it is not responsible for how they perform in exams. Students can’t hold your agency accountable if they don’t achieve the results they were hoping for.
Limit your liability for things outside your control, like the actions of students or any third parties, or services or materials you don’t provide.
A tutoring agency, like many businesses, needs to follow additional laws and regulations due to the nature of the industry. Whenever you work with minors, you need to consider your obligations as well as how to protect yourself and them.
A tutoring contract should outline how you will protect minors while they are in your care. Some suggestions include:
Your agency also needs suitable employment procedures. Every employee must undergo several screenings, including Social Security verifications (to verify identity), verification of education and work history, criminal history checks, and sex offender background checks.
As a tutoring agency, you should also explain in your tutoring contract how you plan to fulfill your ethical responsibilities. A reputable tutoring agency or individual abides by a code of conduct that requires these behaviors:
You must strike a balance between what you promise students about your services and whether they get the results they expect, while also limiting your liability.
Include that you or your student can terminate your tutoring contract at any time.
Consider the following, for example:
Furthermore, both this clause and your clause on payments should make clear whether the student will be eligible for a refund if they have already paid for lessons in advance.
You can use this free printable tutoring contract for your tutoring business:
Company Name/Tutor’s name
Address and phone number
Tutor Initials ____ Student (Parent) Initials ____
THIS AGREEMENT IS BETWEEN:
Client Name (Parent name, in the case of an underage student)
Student Name (If student is under age 18)
(Hereinafter referred to as the “Student”)
Whereas the Tutor will provide tutoring to the Student on the following subject(s): __________________________ at the following
The starting rate for tutoring shall be $ _______ per hour. The tutor will not charge additional fees for travel or preparation time. Fees may be adjusted from time to time and will take effect after seven business days have passed.
The client must pay for a tutoring session as soon as possible after completion. Advance payments are also possible. Fees are payable by: (person responsible for fees) _______________ .
SCHEDULE OF LESSONS
Tutoring charged at the rate of $ _____ per hour shall start on __/__/_____ (month/day/year) and thereafter according to mutual agreement between Tutor and Student.
CANCELLATION AND REFUND
If the student must cancel a prepaid session for reasons of family emergencies or illness, he or she has the option of receiving a refund or applying the prepayment toward a future session. Students who do not attend lessons without giving 48 hours advance notice to the tutor will be charged at full rate for the missed lesson. Tutors agree to refund or apply any prepayment to a future session that the tutor and student agree is appropriate if the tutor cancels a session for any reason or at any time before the session begins.
LATE ARRIVAL AND CHANGE OF SCHEDULE
Tutor and student agree on a schedule for fees. Students who arrive late or who terminate their sessions early will not have their fees adjusted. By extending a lesson by mutual agreement and by the amount of lost time, any time lost due to the tutor’s late arrival will be compensated for. After fifteen (15) minutes from the scheduled time of the session, the Tutor agrees to consider the session canceled without sufficient notice and will therefore be subject to the cancellation and refund policy.
OBLIGATIONS OF THE TUTOR
The tutor will keep the student’s information confidential, and the Tutor will only contact other parties involved in the student’s education with the Student’s written consent.
This tutoring contract forbids the Tutor from transferring responsibility to another tutor without the Student/Parent’s consent in writing.
At no time shall the Tutor be required or obliged to do the Student’s homework or assignments.
OBLIGATIONS OF THE STUDENT
Students will prepare for each lesson in advance, and lessons will be structured in such a way as to maximize time to the student’s benefit.
Tutors are to help students identify problem areas where they need specific tutoring.
To participate in tutoring, the Student must supply the materials needed (paper, pencil, etc.).
It is understood that the Student will complete assignments, exercises, and homework on a timely basis as part of tutoring.
Any tutoring the Tutor provides does not guarantee a Student’s performance.
STATUS OF THE TUTOR
Tutors are independent contractors and not employees of the Student. The tutor is responsible for his/her insurance and income tax declarations.
Either party may terminate this tutoring contract by giving the other seven (7) business days prior written notice.
RELAXATION OF TERMS
If any of the parties relax, indulge, waive, or release any of their rights in terms of this agreement on one occasion, it does not prevent the subsequent enforcement of those rights or constitute a waiver of any subsequent breach.
It constitutes the entire understanding between the parties regarding the subject matter, and the parties waive any rights to rely on implied or express terms not included in it. Both parties must sign any changes to this agreement in writing.
Students who are minors must have their Parent/Guardian enter into this tutoring contract on their behalf and accept and agree to all the terms and conditions that are set out in this document.
Tutor Signature Date
Student Signature Date
(Parent name, in the case of an underage student)
Can an attorney draft a tutoring agreement template for a reasonable fee?
It can cost a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars to find and work with a conventional lawyer.
Download our private tutoring contract template, fill it out, and sign.
Get in touch with an attorney today if you have any doubts or questions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Tutoring costs can range from $15 per hour to $100 or more per hour, depending on the type of tutoring you select. In most cases, tutoring rates are based on the tutor's experience, the type of tutoring you ask for, and the amount of time your student spends with the tutor.
Achieving the perfect balance is a process. Optimal tutoring sessions can last anywhere from 30 to 120 minutes (or even longer), depending on whom you talk to. As a practical matter, handling materials and establishing focus will take up a substantial amount of time if the session is too short.
When tutors are truly successful, they can make learning meaningful, relevant, and rigorous. Tutors of this kind have a deep understanding of the subject’s concepts, ideas, and problems. Making learning relevant to students’ interests can result in more motivated students.