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re. this deposit?

(33 Posts)
popmimiboo Wed 01-Jun-16 11:54:21

I am, technically, BU to post on here as I am abroad so can't act on your viewpoints anyway, but, just from a theoretical position:

DD2 is in her last year of primary. In September, we enrolled her into the private secondary that her siblings already attend.
(Disclaimer -private schools here are nowhere near as expensive as in the UK and are means tested so affordable to most people.)

Anyway, in January, her place was confirmed and we were asked for a deposit of €100.

Fast forward to now. DD has been offered a place on an accelerated sports programme which involves an adapted time-table. She has to go to a different (also private) school. She is ecstatic about this opportunity. We visited the new school and had to pay another deposit there to secure her place.

I went to the first school first thing this morning to inform them that we no longer needed the place and explained why. The secretary replied huffily, "fine but you won't get your deposit back!"

So €100 is not going to break the bank and I'll have to suck it up, but I think they have a cheek. They have a huge waiting list so the place will be filled and they will get another €100 cheque from the replacement child's family.
Are the school BU or would you say this is normal practice?

BoGrainger Wed 01-Jun-16 11:57:34

I think you are lucky to get away with not having to pay for the first term seeing as how you are not giving a full term's notice. The deposit is small change!

Mellowautumn Wed 01-Jun-16 11:59:23

YABU - change in your plans no change in the schools side.

FeliciaJollygoodfellow Wed 01-Jun-16 12:01:11

YABU. It's a deposit. You lose it if you don't take up the place. It's the exact nature of it.

SanityClause Wed 01-Jun-16 12:01:16

If the deposit was refundable if you just changed your mind, then there would be no point in them charging a deposit in the first place.

MardyGrave Wed 01-Jun-16 12:01:41

It's what a deposit is. If everyone paid it expecting to be able to pull out, then the waiting list would be meaningless.

TrickyD Wed 01-Jun-16 12:01:51

What would be the point of deposits if anyone could have them returned if they changed their mind?

TrickyD Wed 01-Jun-16 12:02:35

Mega X posts here!

popmimiboo Wed 01-Jun-16 12:05:43

Oh, ok then blush

araiba Wed 01-Jun-16 12:09:16

what did you think a deposit is for?

popmimiboo Wed 01-Jun-16 12:09:20

Also, I suppose it's not a question of just changing our minds really. DD is going to be part of a regional programme that demands she be enrolled in another school. It's not an unjustified decision and is not causing any hardship, given the huge waiting list of kids happy to take up the place.

Anyway, no problem. My other 2 DC are happy at the school and DD2 will be going there for 6th form.

popmimiboo Wed 01-Jun-16 12:10:46

Araiba -the amount of the deposit is deducted from the first term's fees. I don't think that, I know that as my othee DC go there smile

branofthemist Wed 01-Jun-16 12:15:16

I don't think that's what Araiba was saying.

Motheroffourdragons Wed 01-Jun-16 12:18:01

You probably agreed to a non refundable deposit when you agreed to take the place in the first place.

scampimom Wed 01-Jun-16 12:18:43

Isn't that....what a deposit....is.....?

blueskyinmarch Wed 01-Jun-16 12:19:58

That is the whole point of a deposit.

scampimom Wed 01-Jun-16 12:20:15

It'll be worded as something like "deducted from the first term's fees ^provided you take up the space^". That doesn't mean it's NOT an unrefundable deposit.

scampimom Wed 01-Jun-16 12:21:31

Ooh that was a grammatical pretzel, wasn't it. It doesn't mean it's a refundable deposit.

AugustaFinkNottle Wed 01-Jun-16 12:21:47

If she's absolutely, definitely going to be there in the 6th form, can you ask them to put it against the deposit that will be needed at that stage?

willconcern Wed 01-Jun-16 12:23:33

A deposit is a deposit, whether you change your mind because you just feel like it, or because DD has been offered a better opportunity. Your deposit held the place for DD and was non-refundable if you chose not to take the place up. You get it back off the first term's fees if and when you take the place up.

Simple.

YABU.

LagunaBubbles Wed 01-Jun-16 12:26:48

Also, I suppose it's not a question of just changing our minds really

But as far as the school is concerned you have changed your mind - your DD doesnt need a place.

Chewbecca Wed 01-Jun-16 12:27:59

That's the nature of a deposit.

They have incurred admin costs involved in your case. Imagine the admin costs if deposits were refundable and everyone put a deposit down everywhere, safe in the knowledge it would cost nothing.

cookielove Wed 01-Jun-16 12:29:54

Yes this is standard practice

fatowl Wed 01-Jun-16 12:37:08

I'm a governor at a private school (also not in the UK), and we would not return the deposit on that basis, even though we have a waiting list.

Returning deposits for a simple mind change would make the deposit system meaningless, it would be abused by any parent with a slight idea about going to the school, and would ultimately risk the financial stability of the school.
I sit on the deposit returns appeal panel and being selected for a sports/specialist school is an extremely common reason given. It is still a choice though and we turn them all down (despite pleas of "she HAS to do it, it's for the regional team)
The only deposit we returned last term was a CP case when the mother was leaving her marriage and returning to the UK due to domestic violence (Deposit returned to the mother much to the howls of protest by the father - her name was on the original payment so no appeals from him accepted) The committee required copies of the police reports though.

€100 is an absolute bargain - our deposit is a terms fees.

popmimiboo Wed 01-Jun-16 12:43:29

Ok, it's really not a problem! I had forgotten about the deposit until the secretary barked at me that it wouldn't be refunded as if she was expecting me to contest it that got me thinking!
A term fees is about €250 btw smile

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