to not be surprised that fee paying

(36 Posts)
city1984 Mon 21-Jan-13 09:10:06

Preschool is open but school is closed. Both have fairly local staff and are affected by same weather conditions.

MrsMelons Mon 21-Jan-13 09:19:13

many schools seemed to decide to close before it had even started snowing in our area.

If the school has fairly local staff and children then there is no reason not to open. The only difference is that often children attending pre-schools are in the local area so can walk in safety but schools have children coming from further afield (sometimes) so the school does not want to risk people attempting to drive in if its not safe.

landofsoapandglory Mon 21-Jan-13 09:22:22

Our schools are closed because the buses aren't running.

DH can not physically get his car off the drive today. He managed to get mine off to get DS1 to his Exam this morning, so it wouldn't matter if he worked for the Queen, he wouldn't get there!

Flisspaps Mon 21-Jan-13 09:23:44

The headmaster from the fee paying school near me has been on the radio this morning effectively saying it is a disgrace that the state schools are shut as they have a responsibility to working parents to be open. Nothing about a responsibility to the children, or to any other parents.

We still have a lot of snow and ice on the ground here.

Cynical me thinks it's nothing to do with 'responsibility' and everything to do with being able to remain open in order to make money - I assume that fees aren't paid if school is closed as the service being paid for isn't being provided (happy to be told otherwise though!) TBH, I think it's far more responsible to look at the conditions here and choose to close, keeping the staff and children/parents off the roads and not adding heavy school-run traffic to the already dodgy conditions.

RedHelenB Mon 21-Jan-13 09:25:35

No, if a fee paying school decides to close on a day it should be open then they would have to refund fees. Plus they have more holidays lol!!!

PriscillaLydiaSellon Mon 21-Jan-13 09:26:29

Flisspaps: I am telling you otherwise, if you're asking about schools (as opposed to private nurseries/pre-schools, which I know nothing about). We pay at the start of every term. If school is closed, we do not get a refund!

Fillybuster Mon 21-Jan-13 09:32:04

Fliss...where we live it is a standing joke that the private/fee paying schools all close at the drop of a hat, whilst the state schools make an effort to remain open. I have never yet received a penny back from the school!

Having said that, it was noticeable that dc3s preschool nursery managed to open this morning....

scaevola Mon 21-Jan-13 09:32:06

Fee paying schools do not have to refund fees if there is a closure. It depends on the cause. If it is a Act of God (like snow), then they generally don't; if it is something insurable, then it might (our private nursery couldn't refund for snow, but could for an electrical failure). Parents are urged to take out insurance which refunds fees for closure, but these generally only kick in if the closure exceeds 5 school days.

DPotter Mon 21-Jan-13 09:32:09

sorry to put cold water on theories about fee paying schools having to refund fees on snow days if closed - doesn't happen ! At least in my limited experience of 2. can't answer for totally private preschools either but we didn't refund when I was a pre-school manager a few yrs back and we were partially funded thru the early years fund.

PriscillaLydiaSellon Mon 21-Jan-13 09:38:00

Slightly off topic, but... also irks me that we have to pay huge amounts for residentials/trips when we're already paying for the children to be at school on the relevant days. I know they still have to pay salaries etc, but it still bugs me.

narmada Mon 21-Jan-13 09:56:55

Fee-paying schools and all private nurseries are not required to report attendance figures. If there is snow and the school opens, some kids won't attend and this will go down as unauthorised absence. If whole school is closed this problem is avoided wink

State schools with poor attendance figures get hauled up before LA and cannot be awarded highest Ofsted grade.

FelicityWasCold Mon 21-Jan-13 10:03:04

Fee-Paying schools have attendance figures checked on by the independent schools inspectorate and where relevant work with EWOs.

Fees are not returned if school is closed by an act of God. Parents can insure against loosing out in this way and claim on their fees insurance for a refund if a child misses school due to snow/illness/other legitimate cause.

Lots of misinformation out there today.

FelicityWasCold Mon 21-Jan-13 10:05:39

Slightly off topic, but... also irks me that we have to pay huge amounts for residentials/trips when we're already paying for the children to be at school on the relevant days. I know they still have to pay salaries etc, but it still bugs me.

Your fees cover a day in school. This costs the same to run whether your child is there or not.

The fees for residentials cover, the specific costs of the residential. They are not a profit making exercise.

dixiechick1975 Mon 21-Jan-13 10:10:56

A lot will be down to staffing levels. Dd's school was open last year when all state schools in town were shut but as far as I know they put Classes together. Class sizes are 10 to 16 children max so 2 or 3 can be safely combined if some staff can't travel in. Dd's school is shut today and no we won't be entitled to a refund.

Flisspaps Mon 21-Jan-13 10:12:41

Fair enough smile

Happy to be told I am wrong!

PriscillaLydiaSellon Mon 21-Jan-13 10:25:15

Felicity, to judge by the price of some of these 'extras', someone is definitely making a profit, even if it's not the school. State schools are charged far less for exactly the same trips, curiously. Do the organisers assume they can just charge private school parents double? confused

Seeline Mon 21-Jan-13 10:35:32

DS at fee paying school is in today
DD at state primary shut confused
I think one of the issues may be if staff have shildren who are at schools which are shut, it makes it hard for them to get into school/nursery etc. One big vicious circle.

everlong Mon 21-Jan-13 10:52:23

Two ds's at different private schools. One open and one shut.

The ds who had to go took a bit of bribing!

gordyslovesheep Mon 21-Jan-13 10:54:50

I couldn;t give a shit - I have a lovely snow day at home with my kids - it's worth having a days unpaid leave for

MrsMelons Mon 21-Jan-13 11:10:19

DS2s fee paying school subsidise lots of the extra trips and parts of others so it could just be your school! Ours definitely do not make a profit.

Salaries/rent etc are still the same so it is completely irrelevant and also not all children go to the trips so they still have to be at school that day.

Our community (charity) pre-school do not refund fees as we still incur all the costs but we usually remain open anyway and would offer parents the hours at another session if possible.

FelicityWasCold Mon 21-Jan-13 11:43:39

Felicity, to judge by the price of some of these 'extras', someone is definitely making a profit, even if it's not the school. State schools are charged far less for exactly the same trips, curiously. Do the organisers assume they can just charge private school parents double?

Without a specific example it's difficult to argue against this. I can only say it isn't my experience. Independent schools are (mostly) charities, and aren't allowed to show a profit as such, although I suppose it is possible that they don't always search for the cheapest options.

wordfactory Mon 21-Jan-13 13:25:53

Independent schools have no vested interest in keeping open.

Fees are not refundable.
Attendence figures do matter.
They are just as responsible for their staff as a state school.
They are subject to all the same rules and legalities vis a vis health and safety.

FelicityWasCold Mon 21-Jan-13 13:28:54

Independent schools have no vested interest in keeping open

Anyone who thinks this is clearly a loon mistaken. There are public exams all this week and the pressure for independent schools to ensure every child does outstandingly well is immense.

SocietyClowns Mon 21-Jan-13 13:33:08

Hahaha, getting fees back... Yeah, right (in my dreams).

wordfactory Mon 21-Jan-13 13:33:32

felicity those exams do not apply to the many many prep schools, or secondary schools whose pupils do not sit modular exams.

Pagwatch Mon 21-Jan-13 13:33:32

DDs private/independent school is open
Ds2s state school is shut.

I think most of the assumptions about why schools are open or shut are personal prejudice and/or bollocks.

wordfactory Mon 21-Jan-13 13:39:00

I must admit that I simply do not understand why the state schools are all shut locally.

It didn't snow overnight and the roads are clear. Obviously some may have boiler problems etc but I don't think all.

A lot of those parents are, I think justifiably, pissed off.

the indie school where DH teaches is open when many of the state schools are closed. But it is part boarding so has to open for the boarders regardless of the weather.

Dawndonna Mon 21-Jan-13 13:42:12

Independent school here is closed.

NoThankYouToSideSalad Mon 21-Jan-13 13:42:32

Local state primary schools: open.
Local state secondary schools (on the same road as two of the aforesaid primary schools): shut.
Private primary school: shut
Private secondary: open

Roads are clear; public transport is running. Depending on the school, there are a lot of unhappy children or pissed off parents.

ReallyTired Mon 21-Jan-13 13:49:47

I feel that closing a school because of a bit of snow is teaching the children a poor work ethic.

Thankfully my children's school is open.

eatyourveg Mon 21-Jan-13 13:51:11

one ds at a private secondary which is open, one ds at a state secondary which is shut. All the other state secondaries around here are open except his! No logic at all.

LittleChimneyDroppings Mon 21-Jan-13 13:55:28

Private schools round here are open. Many state ones shut. For children who cant get into the private school, it is marked down as an authorised absence.

wordfactory Mon 21-Jan-13 13:58:47

eatyourveg I think the lack of logic is what people find exasperating.

Obviously schools have individual circumstances that may affect them, but then the parents should be informed.

I was listening to a local radio station earlier and parents were furious. There really is no reason for them to shut or if there is these parents should be told. A one liner on the website would do it....' Apologies for any inconvenience but our boiler is broken' ...hardly beyond the wit of man.

wordfactory Mon 21-Jan-13 14:00:34

I also think that any schools that are open should make it clear that parents will have the ultimate say on what is safe for their own DC.

So calling the school to say the journey is too risky should not be greeted by rude receptionists as per another thread!

city1984 Mon 21-Jan-13 14:25:57

Just found out all the other state schools are open too. So probably just a poor decision by head.

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