help- school fess

(18 Posts)
kikig7 Mon 16-Jun-14 17:06:47

Hi,
I would really appreciate any help with the following query. My son attends a school which has a nursery attached to it. We were five days late as my son was ill to hand in terms notice. School want to charge us a term notice, they are being really inflexible. Contract is all about school and not nursery also assumption that he was going into kindergarten without asking us. Any advice on how to pursue would be great as school head being really difficult, would not even see as' had to go to 'emergency dr appointment' sent bursar to deal with it. Any advice would be great.
thanks a lot

kikig7 Mon 16-Jun-14 17:07:46

soory- forgot to mention that my son is at nursery not mainstream school attached to it.Terms and conditions of contract about school not nursery.

Lottiedoubtie Mon 16-Jun-14 17:08:04

Generally you haven't got any wiggle room here. If you missed the notice period you have to stay or pay up. IME they will sue for it (and win).

If the contract says a term's notice, that's what you have to give. If you don't pay, they will probably pursue it through the courts. Illness isn't really an excuse - sorry.

Lonecatwithkitten Mon 16-Jun-14 17:09:32

As Lottie says it is in the contract they are very clear about it. There is no flexibility and they will pursue the fees.

JimBobplusasprog Mon 16-Jun-14 18:43:19

How ill was ds? If it was serious injury or critical illness you may be able to contest it. If it was a cold or routine childhood illness you don't have much of an excuse.

meditrina Mon 16-Jun-14 19:00:56

The terms would have been clear when you signed up.

Unless you can show that it was a critical illness (andt herefore there are overwhelming compassionate grounds) I doubt you have a (legal) leg to stand on

Were you both admitted to hospital? I hope he's better (or at least on the mend) now.

LIZS Mon 16-Jun-14 19:07:00

Had there really been no discussion about whether he would move up -or not -prior to this . Usually the contract assumes this by default whether you are in nursery or further up the main school. You had no access to email or post for 5 days? It is entirely appropriate for the bursar to handle financial affairs and they may well pursue you legally. Your bets argument would be if they had a waiting list and suffer no loss by your action but proving this could be tricky. Is there a deposit you would have returned on departure ?

Soggysandpit Mon 16-Jun-14 19:46:34

If you can prove that they have suffered no financial hardship you might be entitled to have the notice waived (IANAL etc) but proving it may be difficult. If it were me I would ask to meet, explain the circumstances, apologise, explain any financial difficulties. (Maybe cry a bit.....) and ask if you could come to an agreement.you catch more flies with honey than vinegar.....

HouseofEliot Mon 16-Jun-14 20:29:33

I doubt you will get anywhere. You had the whole of the previous term to let them know surely.

listsandbudgets Mon 16-Jun-14 21:41:55

Agree with the others I'm afraid. I know of one case where someone got away with late notice. She's a single mum and she was admitted to critical care 2 days before the new term started and her life was hanging in balance for over a week. On this occassion the school waived the notice but it was exceptional.

I'm afraid you'll probably to pay the extra term. Sorry.

Littlefish Mon 16-Jun-14 22:20:39

I agree that you will have to pay for the term as you did not give notice in time. I can't see any reason why you shouldn't pay.

DowntonTrout Mon 16-Jun-14 22:24:59

You could still have given notice in writing before the start of the term. That is what you should have done. Schools are usually, and rightly, inflexible on this. Though it is a pain if it's beyond your control. It happened to us and we had to pay.

kikig7 Tue 17-Jun-14 11:06:23

Hi, thanks so much for all your replies, really helpful. One question though, if he attends nursery are we still liable if the contract is all about the school not nursery?Is it an assumption that nursery is part of the school?Should we not have a separate contract as legally he does not have to move up into the next year>?
We did have a meeting but bursur unsypathetic, wroye back to us saying that we were on a trip abroad when we actually had to fly to hospital abroad- i wrote back saying i was diappointed with response and for them to clarify what they considered extenuating circumastances.

I feel tired of fighting just saddened that school is so inflexible as we were not hugely late.

kikig7 Tue 17-Jun-14 11:09:38

soogysandpit- love the saying catch more flies with honey than vinegar!!!! x

Lottiedoubtie Tue 17-Jun-14 11:24:18

Yes it is a perfectly valid assumption that the nursery is part of the school. If it has the same leadership and management (head/bursar) it definitely is. 'School' is a generic term that applies equally to nursery school and pre-prep school.

The school are protecting their financial interests, and seeing as they have lost you as a parent whether they pursue it or not, it seems nonsensical (to them) not to pursue you for the fees.

Moid1 Tue 17-Jun-14 15:54:38

I had a misunderstanding with boys per-school. Can't remember the details, not hugel late but they wanted payment for a missed notice period. Again they made an assumption about DS1 moving to reception from pre-school. I wrote a long detailed letter explaining the situation including a cheque for what I was fair and the words 'please accept the enclosed payment as full and final settlement of my account'.

Just because a contract says something does not mean it is fair and legally enforceable, what damage has the school incurred, does it has the opportunity to mitigate its loss by another child taking that place? Remember to instruct solicitors costs money they would much prefer to settle with you without incurring extra costs. It is easy to send a letter demanding payment on schools headed notepaper based on a contract you signed. You will have to pay something but not necessarily all they ask for.

LIZS Tue 17-Jun-14 17:15:09

I'm slightly confused as to why you decided to give notice , even if 5 days late , if you hadn't realised you needed to in order to formally withdraw and not be liable for fees.

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