To expect DDs school to refund the £500 I've paid towards a trip to NY now I've removed her from the school due to badly managed bullying ?

(41 Posts)
treadingwater123 Wed 09-Jul-14 17:04:50

Sorry this is so long , trying to give full story

DD (14) has dealt with low level bullying throughout her time at School. She has employed many strategies in order to deal with numerous personal attacks and slights from her peers. As a result she has extremely low self esteem and has been to see a counsellor regularly at School. This has been a very positive experience for her and has helped her through some very difficult times.

In April the low level bullying developed into Her being harassed and attacked by a large group of girls and boys.
The following days she went to school and tried to cope until the day I received a call from Her crying saying she had been verbally attacked and needed to come home. She is a vulnerable young girl ( as her Doctor and Counsellor would attest to )I had no option but to bring her home. When I arrived at the school I was extremely concerned that no member of staff was responsible for Her leaving the building. There was no one with her that I could discuss the situation with.Worryingly I received no contact from the school and so next day I contacted Head to update him. DD was extremely upset and very low, we spent the following days talking through her experiences and discussing ways forward.
Yet more days later having had no contact from school, I called head to request that DD might be allowed to come to school to see her Counsellor. To my horror He said no, he didnt seem aware of who the counsellor was and even what DDs sur-name was? This was very worrying and I began to think the school were not at all interested in helping Her through this.The one time when this vulnerable young girl needed professional support it was denied. The head suggested an all or nothing approach ie dd would need to attend school fully if she wishes to see her counsellor. I found this extremely unsupportive and a rather brutal way of handling a very delicate situation. DD self harms and I cannot tell you how awful it was hear the her schools idea of support was , in The heads words " come back though it won't be all glitter and fairy tales".
I was contacted by the Welfare Officer. I said I was very worried that Dd was missing so much school. At no point did anyone suggest that school work could be sent home or a plan to do gradual reintegration I have since found out this should have been an option). The Officer visited at home I advised her how worried I was about the situation and was considering a move in schools - she seemed to support this idea.

we made the difficult decision to take dd out of school and put her in another High School. This was extremely difficult, but time was pressing on and with no word at all from the school I felt it imperative to get dd back to learning. Her attendance previously was exemplary and she has always achieved so much in her studies, I felt unable to wait for the school to contact me ( unbelievably I had heard nothing). She started new school eagerly ready for new start. She has settled in wonderfully into her new school has made a great circle of friends.

I had paid £500 towards a trip to New York in October - the school have refused to refund ANY of this money on the basis I was too quick to remove her from school- I cannot afford to lose this kind of money and it feels so unfair that dd is being effectively punished for being bullied out of school.

Who can I complain to? Any thoughts on if I stand a chance ?

soverylucky Wed 09-Jul-14 17:07:48

I am very sorry what has happened to your dd and hope that she settles in at her new school. It seems like the old school handled the situation very badly.

As for the deposit - I am not sure. Normally when booking a holiday deposits are non-refundable. Do you have any sort of insurance to cover this?

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Wed 09-Jul-14 17:09:39

Maybe the governors but tbh I think you'll have to kiss it good bye unless another child can take her place. That's what our school does.

Glad she's settled nowsmile

KittiesInsane Wed 09-Jul-14 17:09:47

Errm. Sadly, I think you can whistle for it.

We moved a child under similar circs and didn't see a sniff of the money we'd paid (though another child took up the place).

Worth every bloody penny to have him out of there though.

treadingwater123 Wed 09-Jul-14 17:10:04

This wasn't just deposit - I paid a £75 deposit and had paid £425 extra off towards the £900 balance x

treadingwater123 Wed 09-Jul-14 17:11:13

There is a trip to LA with new school and I'm not going to be able to let her go without at least some of that towards it hmm

Downamongtherednecks Wed 09-Jul-14 17:15:51

Threaten to take them to small claims court?

Aeroflotgirl Wed 09-Jul-14 17:17:52

Oh gosh treading water, what a god awful school, I would lodged a complaint with the LEA and Ofstead about their appealling conduct. Glad your dd is happy in her new school, that is the main thing. As for the £500, you could mention that to the LEA or governors and see if you can get some of it back at least.

MrsSquirrel Wed 09-Jul-14 17:21:50

Do you still have the paperwork they gave you about the trip? Does it say anything about refunds?

It's always worth making a formal complaint. How she came to leave the school is neither here nor there IMO. The point is that she will not be going on the trip.

TwoAndTwoEqualsChaos Wed 09-Jul-14 17:22:27

sovery why did you not get it back if another child took the place?

ajandjjmum Wed 09-Jul-14 17:23:24

When we withdrew DD from school without the required notice, they insisted that we had to pay for the next terms music and dance lessons (as well as the fees!) I said that would be fine, when would the lessons be scheduled and I will bring her in for them. They suddenly found it possible cancel the invoice. Would that tactic work, ie. "DD will obviously want to go on the trip if I'm paying for it. When is the next meeting, to make sure it's in my diary to attend?"

MrsSquirrel Wed 09-Jul-14 17:24:37

Good point Aeroflot, if you don't get anywhere complaining to the governors, you could escalate to the LEA.

I had paid £500 towards a trip to New York in October - the school have refused to refund ANY of this money on the basis I was too quick to remove her from school

I agree you need to check what it actually says about refunds in the paperwork, because this reason ^^ isn't acceptable. I'd also threaten small claims court.

Aeroflotgirl Wed 09-Jul-14 17:29:18

I would request a meeting with the HT and ask for a copy of their anti bullying policy, go to the LEA Ofstead with it. The way your dd and you gave been treated by them is disgusting!

Aeroflotgirl Wed 09-Jul-14 17:30:20

Ask the head how tgey have followed the policy with regards to your dd. This could affect another child at the school if left.

DoYouThinkSheSawUs Wed 09-Jul-14 18:11:16

I know it probably won't help with the money but I would be seeing the police about the gang attack. The school have not dealt with it so someone needs to.

treadingwater123 Wed 09-Jul-14 19:00:53

We have also heard that DDs place has been taken but no budge

Have bad sun a lot going on (DDs self harm, Dh lost job, dad's cancer spread, grandpa died) all within a month so I haven't had the energy to tackle it but it doesn't sit right to just let it go

UncleT Wed 09-Jul-14 19:15:51

Aeroflot has the right idea - you need to show them that you're not simply prepared to be brushed off with this. Hopefully a bit of show is all it will take for them to get the message and reconsider, so even if you don't feel up to the long-haul (see what I did there, Aeroflot?) you should act as though you are.

missymayhemsmum Wed 09-Jul-14 19:43:12

Write to the chair of governors, copy to the director of education.

MushroomSoup Wed 09-Jul-14 19:58:19

You might lose the deposit but the rest is refundable. That's the whole point of a deposit!

petalunicorn Wed 09-Jul-14 20:04:07

I would take the school to the small claims court (after warning them this is what I would do). I think they'd award you the money.

Sisyphus85 Wed 09-Jul-14 20:12:28

Sounds like you acted in a very responsible way for your daughter OP, I hope she settles really well at her new school.
Write a clear and formal letter to the head, copying the chair of governors and LEA.
Explain that you expect the deposit to be returned as you feel that you feel that they have failed in their duty of care, and as such there is no way your daughter can utilise the deposit and take the trip to New York. You understand that had you decided against the trip, or if you had taken her out of school by choice, then you would lose the deposit. But as you had to take her out for wellbeing issues caused by the school's actions then it is their responsibility and therefore they need to refund you the deposit.
If they say no, take it to the small claims court (don't be scared by it, they are very friendly towards the individual). You stand a reasonable chance of winning. If not, then join the legions pissed off at the outrageous costs of school trips.

Aeroflotgirl Wed 09-Jul-14 20:24:42

UncleT smile

maddy68 Wed 09-Jul-14 21:03:32

The deposit won't be to the school it'll be with the travel company. I think you can kiss that goodbye tbh

treadingwater123 Wed 09-Jul-14 21:04:29

I know this is very needy of me, could anyone help me draft a letter and structure it.

I feel brain dead with stress, im packing to go and visit my very poorly dad and really cant think straight but want to take some of my frustrations out by acting on this and getting a letter in the post.

The school complaints procedure says that I have to collect a form from their office - will it be ok to just post a letter in and copy it in to governors?

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