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Tutoring contracts will govern the relationship that you as a tutor have with your clients. It is less likely to be used as an enforceable document. Indeed, it would be rare for a tutor to take their client to court because they breached their obligations under the contract. Instead, it will be used as a document to inform your client of their rights and obligations. The most crucial part of any contract is making sure it is unambiguous. This means the terms in the contract are clear and certain. It is also vital that you contain certain clauses in your tutoring contract to protect your rights. This article will outline what those clauses are and why you should include them in your tutoring contract.

Terms of the Contract

The main clause of any contract is the terms of the contract. This is usually outlined at the start of the contract and will contain all the particulars about the tutoring arrangement. The particulars include the:

  • names of the parties;
  • objective of the contract;
  • date of the contract; and
  • scope of the services.

You will usually negotiate the terms of a contract between the parties, but in the case of a tutoring contract, you will have a set contract your clients can sign. Your clients may want to change certain terms in the contract. If this happens, you should allow them as long as this does not cause detriment to your business. 

Transferring the Contract

An often-overlooked clause in contracts relates to transferring the contract. You can transfer a contract in two different ways.

Assignment

Assignment is the most common form of transferring a contract and involves transferring the rights but not the obligations to another party. Under an assignment, you will still be responsible for any obligations under the contract. For example, an assignment might need to occur if you cannot tutor your client because you are sick. In this case, you can ask another tutor to cover your session. This is an assignment of the contract. You do not need the permission of your contracting parties or a clause in your contract that relates to the assignment. However, if a clause in your contract bars assignment, you must follow this.

Novation

Another way to transfer a contract is through a novation. Novation is a way of transferring a contract that allows you to transfer both the rights and obligations under a contract. Essentially a novation allows you to be free from the contract that you entered into. Instead, you will form a new contract between the person replacing you and your client. You will use novation where you have stopped tutoring or do not want to tutor a particular client. In that case, you can find another tutor and transfer your contract to them through a deed of novation. However, you must have the permission of all the contracting parties to issue a deed of novation. 

Legal Liability

Another clause you should include in your tutoring contract is the scope of your liability. This ensures your students do not hold you accountable for a poor performance in an assessment. Even though you will want to maintain a high standard of tutoring, limiting your liability protects you from unsavoury disputes. To limit your liability, you only have to include a couple of lines that state you bear no responsibility for the poor performance of your students.

You can also include a clause limiting your liability for the actions of something that is out of your control. For example, if the syllabus changes and you are unaware of it, you cannot be held responsible if you include this clause.

Cancellation Clause

You should always include a cancellation clause in any contract you enter into. This means that you can be free from any responsibilities under the contract if you meet certain conditions. These conditions are usually if either party breaches the contract or if another opportunity arises for either party. Both parties can use this clause, and it should only be activated if the conditions have been met; otherwise, you could have repudiated the contract.

Key Takeaways

A tutoring contract is a vital instrument that can help you underpin the relationship with your client. It clearly defines each party’s rights and responsibilities, and you can enforce one in court (however rare this might be). There are certain clauses you should include in your tutoring contract to protect yourself. These are:

  • terms of the contract;
  • transfer of the contract;
  • legal liability; and
  • a cancellation clause.

For legal assistance with tutoring contracts, contact LegalVision’s contract lawyers on 0800 005 570 or fill out the form on this page.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I change the terms after I sign the contract?

You can only change the terms of the contract if you have the permission of your contracting party and it meets all the elements of a binding contract.

What is repudiation?

Repudiation is where one party refuses to uphold or cancels a contract illegally. This is a breach of contract, and your contracting party can claim compensation if you do this. 

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