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  • Flakey Students… (All Teachers)

    Posted by Kate Matthews on May 2, 2022 at 4:52 pm

    Hi all! 🙂

    I’m looking for some advice. I have a singing student that on paper, when she started with me, was perfect. Parents were really supportive, block payments up front, we’ve worked hard towards submitting her first vocal RSL exam etc.etc. I see her twice a week.

    However this student has now missed five lessons on the trot.

    The first was a text 3/4 hours before I was due to see her as ‘it’s now school holidays so we’re going away and won’t be able to come for the next two weeks’ which, as a secondary teacher myself, I totally understood. Shame for the last minute cancellation but fine with the break.

    Second was a check-in text sent 15 minutes into her lesson time and a response of ‘oh I’m in Barcelona, her dad must have forgotten to bring her’.

    Third was ‘she’s fallen at school and we’re at A&E getting stitches!’ A totally reasonable excuse for 3 hours notice.

    Fourth was ‘she’s fallen at school and is limping so we’ll start again properly on Monday?’


    Well. Today is Monday and I’m typing this as she SHOULD be here right now.

    As they prepay in half-term blocks, I’ve opted to charge for no-shows from the block payment but not the A&E or injury which obviously can’t be pre-empted. Today’s lesson would have seen them leaving with a bill for another 5 weeks of block booking.


    Have you had students like this? Have you opted to stop lessons with students because of flakey-ness and if so, how did you go about doing it?

    This is 2 slots of my week that I’ve now not had proper lessons or income from for just over a month!!

    Veronica Wakeling replied 1 year, 4 months ago 4 Members · 3 Replies
  • 3 Replies
  • Robert Pawlus

    May 2, 2022 at 5:06 pm

    Hi Kate,

    Sounds like a major red flag to me. I just drop this kind of a student when I feel it’s going nowhere, as much as we might like teaching it is also our job and we have to take our time seriously.
    Just tell them that you have currently fully booked schedule and you can’t continue lessons anymore, I wouldn’t give it a second thought and just move on and keep looking for new students. Good luck!

  • Richard Mackman

    May 2, 2022 at 6:19 pm

    Hi Kate

    this kind of behaviour makes me livid. Ever since 1994 I’ve used a M.U. teaching agreement that the student or guardian has to sign. It requires 48 hours’ notice for moving or cancelling a lesson. I might let them off first time IF I can move them into a slot that is free that same week somewhere. After that, and if they refuse to pay me the full lesson price, they are out on their ear. The must realise that this is your livelihood and not merely their new failed hobby.

  • Veronica Wakeling

    May 2, 2022 at 9:43 pm

    Unfortunately,things may have gone wrong within the family unit,or some other reason.Maybe it would be best to stall the tuition until they themselves come back to you.Just a polite note to ask for fees due to date,and to let them know you would be happy to continue when the time is right?