School turning down a secondary school place on my behalf(14 Posts)
So my DD1 is in Y6 at a local private school which goes through to 18 years old.
This year was a turbulent year for our family, my husband lost his job back in May last year and was not able to find anything for nearly a year and has only just started back in a new company, on a temporary/probation 6 months. Things have been scary and tight. Also, my husband's father died and at the same time I was threatened with redundancy and there are still issues with my job, which is not at all secure.
The current private school is not aware as we see this as our personal business.
We applied for a local secondary state school place in good faith as we are still not sure, due to the uncertainty of the situation, whether we can afford to continue at the school. We are planning to send my daughter to the induction meetings at the local secondary but we have not given notice to the school she is in as we want to keep the option open and also do not want to upset her too much yet.
The head of her current school rang me up as the local secondary had phoned her with regards to sending some info through about my daughter. I told her we had applied but were hoping to still keep our daughter at the school.
A few minutes later, the state school sent me an email saying that the current head has turned down the place in our name, is this really what we want? Incredulous, I phone the head and she confirmed that "out of courtesy" she had phoned the school and turned the place down on our behalf.
This is a total mess and I feel that after the awful year we've had, this is really unhelpful and now putting us in a very difficult position. WWYD?
Well firstly I'd be asking her what the hell she was thinking of, and what right she has to do that. Then informing her that she is to put right what she did immediately.
I would tell the head of the secondary that the head of the private school was not authorised to make such kind of choices and to disregard anything they said on the matter and to proceed as normal.
I would tell the head of the private school that you were exploring all your options with an open mind and would appreciate their cooperation in sending files requested by the secondary school.
I wouldn't care if I annoyed the head, because it's not my job to be their pal.
Has the school offered a significant bursery? I would leave that private school as soon as possible. They have over stepped the mark. I can understand the private head being surprised, but she should have asked you what is happening. It's the parents' decision where their child attends school.
That is shocking behaviour. The private school needs to understand that if your finanical situation is precarious then it's better to transfer to state at the start of year 7.
Tell the state school that you are accepting the place. It's better to start the new state school in year 7 when everyone needs to make friends. Seven years worth is a lot of school fees to find. It's not just the fees, but the associated costs. It's no fun bring the poor kid at a private school.
Out of courtesy, she needs to phone them back and explain that she was speaking out of turn and had no right to turn the place down for you.
I don't think that you can turn down (or even accept) a school place on someone else's behalf. But there is a point where you and your OH do need to sit down and make a definite decision about the way forward - you can't really keep your options open for too long.
At what point would you need to give notice to the current school without being charged next term's fees? You don't need to give full reasons for leaving BTW just talking about a change in circumstances would probably be enough.
I'd be furious but probably best to be pragmatic. I'd contact the state school and confirm that no, the private school has no business to act on your behalf.
I'd also contact the private school and through gritted teeth politely request that they fully cooperate with the state school and provide the requested info and that if they have any questions about your daughter's future education they address them to you and you alone and you do not give them permission to act on your behalf.
Someone can't turn down a place on your behalf, nor can the school applied to accept that notification on your behalf. And both should know that full well!
I'm sure that state school do know, hence the phone call.
thank you for the replies, I feel a little calmer today. You are right, I feel she had no right to say that, and when we did speak yesterday I did say I was gobsmacked as really it was none of her business how/when we turned down the state school place if at all and her retort was that "it wasn't fair on other families, holding up a place" - still doesn't justify her action, but she thinks she has the moral high ground.
We don't receive a bursary at all, nor did we apply for one...you are all right that we need to decide very soon, or we will be liable for fees, but also I feel it will be fairer on everyone. The plan was to wait that my husband had done a few more weeks at his new job, to see what he thinks/what is the likely scenario going forward.
Frankly the way I feel now would be to move her anyway, if it wasn't that she is very settled there - never an easy decision! Thank you again for all the advice, ps. I did reply to the state schools stating that I was no withdrawing the place and that I had not given the school any authority to turn it down on my behalf. They replied saying it was fine. Clearly they know and maybe they've experienced this before...
I'd be changing school in Sept after that little performance. What other decisions does she feel 'morally' able to take on behalf of parents?
Won't you be liable for next term's fees already? Head has behaved outrageously especially as not offering you any incentive to stay. Given the uncertainty do you really want to commit to another 5 years?
Agree with LIZS, under most school contracts, by not giving a term's notice you are now liable for the fees until Christmas. The Head should not have withdrawn the place on your behalf, but equally I suspect that contractually you have taken up a school place at your current school.
One term's fees is still a lot less than seven years worth of fees.
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