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Problem with Headmaster at school

(89 Posts)
MrsBlessed1 Wed 26-Feb-14 14:45:24

Hello everyone.

I left my partner after suffering 3 years of abuse. I have two daughters (one by him). During the time we were togther, I invested my life savings in his business to the tune of £25,000. After the break up, I picked myself up, dusted myself down and got on with it. I used to run his business and when I finished the relationship (after another incident of violence towards me), he made a malicious call to DWP and HMRC and informed them I was making a fraudulent claim as i had no children and did not work.

(When I started working for him I naturally declared this to HMRC as I was working part time but he never paid me -part of his control. Result? You guessed it, they stopped ALL of my money. I spent a dire Christmas after using my meagre savings I had to pay of my eldest daughters school fees as it even stopped the cheque for that).

I notified the school as to what had happened. I had to get myself into gear asap, as I had to get a job and fast. I started my own company but after carrying out work and having to wait longer than usual to get paid, I managed to acquire alternative employment.

My Landlords were brilliant. They put my rent account on hold and even assisted me with trying to see what other benefits (if any) I could be entitled to. They referred to a Domestic Violence Support Service.

My problem is this. My partner agreed to pay the school fees (I pointed out I didn't need that, just needed my pay so I could do my own thing).
I signed the Parent agreement and paid the deposit. I explained to the school at length as to what had happened and provided them with letters from the Police (confirming I was at risk of further harm or even death), Social Services, the DV agency Supporting me and my Landlords who have referred me for alternative housing.

I am two months behind on fees. They have now interrupted my daughters schooling as of this week. The Headmaster calls me yesterday after I sent him another letter explaining my mitigating circs and explaining that I am now in work PAYE and no longer self employed. I was very emotional and upset as he appeared not to understand what myself and the children has suffered. I explained to him that whilst it did not absolve one from paying the fees (I didn't ask for that), I simply could not lay my hands on any money to pay off the arrears but going forward, would pay my fees weekly so that the current month would be in credit.

He started shouting that I had received "free education" and "what went on in my house was of no concern of his". I dropped the phone in shock and horror and burst into tears. Think the shock of what I have been going through is only now, hitting me.

So phone rings again and Bursar is ringing to "see what can be done as they have to think of the interest of the child". Well, according to the HM you don't care about my child.

A friend was in a similar situation a while back and suggested as my daughter will be there until 11, offer payment arrangement on the o/s fees of £50.00 a month plus current fees.

Feeling sick and wretched. Ex claims he is not in a position to pay back money I loaned to him-daughter at school-I know I should report HM but cannot until I can sort some sort of payment. Any advice please?

Nerfmother Wed 26-Feb-14 14:48:32

Send her to state school? I know that's drastic but if you have a precarious income and no savings it seems madness to try to keep up school fees as well.

Lottiedoubtie Wed 26-Feb-14 14:52:29

Ok, what the headmaster said to you and his manner was outrageous. You need to put in a complaint to the chair of governors ASAP.

In the meantime make an appointment with the bursar and see if you can work out an affordable payment plan/enquire about busarys for the future.

Don't be arsey with the Bursar- I know you are understandably shaken up, but it is the bursar who can help you now, and he at least, seems more reasonable than the head.

Pumpkinpositive Wed 26-Feb-14 14:52:31

I'm sorry the head teacher spoke to you like that. thanks. Have you had contact with him in the past? Is he usually so unpleasant?

You haven't said how much the fees are. Given the change in your circumstances, is it going to financially practical to continue with private education going forward?

GuybrushThreepwoodMP Wed 26-Feb-14 14:53:38

Is sending to state school really a drastic choice?

MrsBlessed1 Wed 26-Feb-14 14:55:01

Hmm seems simple but last time I attempted that, after 12 months in the state school, she left not being able to read or write properly despite being top of the class when she first started. Every time I went to speak to them about my fears, they felt I was "telling them how to do their jobs".....

My income now is stable as its paid employment as opposed to self employment.

EdithWeston Wed 26-Feb-14 14:55:32

Sorry, I'm a bit confused with the time lines on this.

Was DD in this school when you split and had he (or the two of you jointly) been paying the fees until then? Or was the paying deposit you refer to actually her entrance to the school and it's always been you alone responsible for the fees?

Is payment normally termly or monthly?

Littlefish Wed 26-Feb-14 14:56:36

I agree. She needs to move to a non fee-paying school unless the school are able to offer you a hefty bursary.

There is no excuse for the Headteacher shouting at you. However, the school is a business. A business to whom you owe money. I think telling him that you do not have any money to pay your outstanding debts, but are prepared to pay weekly going forward is not acceptable. What are you planning to do to replay the outstanding 2 months fees? Round here, fees are between £800 and £1400 per term, depending on the age of the child, which means you presumably owe the school between £1600 and 2800 for the previous 2 months.

MrsBlessed1 Wed 26-Feb-14 14:57:27

Fees are a thousand a month which I am now paying weekly.

Lottiedoubtie Wed 26-Feb-14 14:59:51

Are you paid weekly?

Have you got a meeting with the bursar lined up about clearing the arrears?

Is your DD not allowed to attend school this week? What is the plan for reintegration?

MrsBlessed1 Wed 26-Feb-14 15:01:09

Hi Lottiedoubtie. No, he is not usually so unpleasant, but even when I went to inform him of what had taken place, he insisted I speak to him (I did say that I wanted to speak to the other Head who is a female).

I know they are a business at the end of the day, but the impression I was given is my circumstances did not matter....

NeonMuffin Wed 26-Feb-14 15:01:21

If you can't afford to send your child to a private school then you'll have to send them to state school like about 90% of the parents in this country do. I'm sorry if that sounds harsh, but the school is a business and not a benevolent institution. It's really not their problem if your having financial problems, yes he could have worded it better but he probably thinks your taking the piss.

Lottiedoubtie Wed 26-Feb-14 15:03:46

confused it wasn't me that asked that.

MrsBlessed1 Wed 26-Feb-14 15:03:54


Yes, she was already in school when we parted. Partner said he would pay the fees but cancelled the cheques when we split up, so I had to take over the payments..

Littlefish Wed 26-Feb-14 15:04:17

What happens when you have unexpected expenses? I don't believe that paying weekly is sustainable. The school are presumably concerned that you may have problems meeting the fees in the future if your finances are so finely balanced that you need to pay weekly.

Your dd had a bad experience at one school. What other options are there in the area?

Sending a child to private school is a massive luxury in my opinion. It doesn't sound like it's a luxury you can afford at the moment.

TheJumped Wed 26-Feb-14 15:06:12

If you have to take your ex to court to get your money back, it will be a long process. Can you realistically afford to pay private school fees on your own salary? I hate to say it but you do sound a little entitled.

squeakytoy Wed 26-Feb-14 15:07:21

You can't afford to send her to the school so she shouldn't be going there.

Whereisegg Wed 26-Feb-14 15:08:02

Start researching schools local to you, when you are saving 1k a month you can easily afford a tutor once or twice a week if you feel it necessary.

You will also quickly establish significant savings, so you will no longer be reliant on your ex upholding his end of any agreements regarding maintenance.

This independence will set you free op.
Good luck.

BrianTheMole Wed 26-Feb-14 15:08:10

Have you asked about the £50 payment plan?

HavantGuard Wed 26-Feb-14 15:08:16

I think you need to move her to a state school ASAP. You cannot afford to keep her there and you don't need a debt that keeps growing.

EdithWeston Wed 26-Feb-14 15:08:51

So proper payment has been made for some time pre-split, then hiatus during (with timely explanation given to the school) and a future payment plan is is place?

Yes, HT is being dreadful - non-payment is a vexing problem (and heads sometimes have to deal with the most appalling try-ons) but this is simply not how to treat someone who is trying to do the right thing and who has done their bit to keep communication open.

In you shoes, I would now be seeking a different school, but probably from September, by which time you stand a good chance of having cleared all arrears and can go forward to a place with a much better calibre head.

pigsinmud Wed 26-Feb-14 15:09:06

Move to state. How old is your dd?

WorraLiberty Wed 26-Feb-14 15:09:30

Hmm seems simple but last time I attempted that, after 12 months in the state school, she left not being able to read or write properly despite being top of the class when she first started.

Send her to a decent state school?

Martorana Wed 26-Feb-14 15:10:10

"Send her to state school? I know that's drastic "

No it isn't. It's what 93% of the population do.

OP - it sounds as if you're not going to gt anywhere with t ahead, who sounds as if he is at the end of his patience. And he sounds like an arse.Send your dd to state school, then you can catch your breath and have space to consider your situation. Then think about what you want to do for the next academic year.

MrsBlessed1 Wed 26-Feb-14 15:10:27

Like I have said, I appreciate the school are a business and I am aware that I am not the only Parent that is suffering after a drastic change in circumstances but regardless, his attitude was unacceptable.

I will contact the Bursar to arrange a meeting. All good if ex pays me back my money, but I cant see that happening.......

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