There are lots of things to think about when making rules for your school.
In this blog, I’ll cover 5 things that every English school should think about
when making rules for class reservations. Specifically I’ll touch on what you
need to think about when making rules for when and how often students can
cancel their lesson. Also, what types of lessons they can take if they’re allowed
to take makeup lessons.
The answers to these questions really depend on the type of classes that you
Remember, if you are too lenient, it will negatively affect your bottomline. If
you are too strict, you may scare students away.
A lot of what you choose to do also depends on how you market it. I’ve given a
few examples below and will touch on more on this in future blogs.
Here are 5 things to get you started!
How’s your schedule look?
1. Consider your schedule
If you’re offering more options to take makeup lessons, will you be able to
Will you be opening up and offering new lessons or will they be joining lessons
that already exist?
If they’re able to join other classes, it might not affect anything. If you’re
creating a new class, how much will it cost you to open the new class? Is it
Can you monetize it?
What extra value does this add for students? What is that added value worth?
For example, creating a super flexible membership level should come at a
How you advertise and market it is also key.
Premium: For the super busy businessman/woman, Mom or Dad whose
schedule often changes at the last minute due to responsibilities.
Basic: For those who have control over their schedule and come whenever
The way that you advertise and market the different membership types you
have will help your customers decide which tier they fall under. Worded
properly it will also help persuade them into buying one membership over the
other. People want to be looked at in certain ways.
How much time do you need to prepare for lessons?
2. Consider what goes into planning a lesson
How much time is spend tailoring lessons depending on who’s in your class?
This is especially important when determining the “How far in advance” rule.
This doesn’t affect some teachers, schools and systems.
How will the quality of lessons will be affected?
Will this reflect in my lessons?
How will this potentially be looked at by students? By this last question, if
you’re selling a premium lesson at a premium price and you’re allowing Jane
Doe to sign in for a lesson one minute before it starts … that isn’t going to look
like much of a premium lesson.
On the other hand if you’re offering a free conversation lesson, it won’t matter
How many students should I allow to take my class at the
3. Consider occupancy rates
Occupancy: What are the maximum number of seats in each class? How many
seats do you have to fill in order to break even?
If the maximum number of students per class is 4, how much profit will you
“My two cents” tip: Do not try to pack in 10 or 12 students per class. Of course
this depends on the type of class that you’re offering.
Yes, there are methods and techniques to maximize student talking time in big
classes. On the other hand, the amount of quality feedback that you (or other
teachers) will be able to give them will be very limited. This does of course
depend on the type of lesson. Conversation based lessons demand more
immediate input and feedback from the teacher than a writing class (which
you can give written feedback after the class) Choose accordingly, but choose
This is another example of how you might market lessons.
For example, “We only allow a maximum of 4 students per class in order to
maximize student talking time. We want to ensure there’s ample time to give
students immediate quality feedback.”
How many levels should my school have?
4. Consider your curriculum and level structure
How many levels does your school have? If you’re just starting out and offer
group classes, go lean.
This is an important thing to consider because if you offer makeup lessons,
you need to think about whether they’ll be too challenging.
If your school doesn’t have many levels, there will be more challenging going
from one level to next.
Generally speaking the more levels you offer, the easier the transition from
one level to the next.
However, keep in mind that the more levels you offer, the less likely you may
be to fill the seats until your student numbers increase.
The number of classes that you offer should reflect your student
demographics. In other words, how many students are false beginner,
beginner, low intermediate, etc.?
If you’re just opening your English school it’s wise to start with 2 or 3 levels
and tell students that you plan to add another level in “x” number of months.
There are many more things to consider, but these are 4 things that will get
you started when deciding whether or not students can cancel lessons.