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Giving one term's notice to independent schools

(12 Posts)
TinseltownLondoner Wed 28-Jan-15 12:48:56

We have a place secured at an independent primary school for DS, who starts school in September. Since we enrolled him for this school, our local state school situation has improved greatly and we'd rather he went to one particular local state school. The independent school is now our fall back option.

However, we obviously won't know if DS has got a place at the local state school until 16th April. Its our nearest school and based on the admissions criteria, I'd be really surprised if he doesn't get it. Though nothing is a given in terms of school applications.

As is standard, we need to give one term's notice to the independent school to avoid being liable for a full term's fees. Obviously, we don't want to pay a term's fees for a school place we aren't going to use. We've paid a deposit, which we accept is money we'll loose, we're looking at the deposit in terms of it having bought us some choice.

My questions is, what point counts as a full term's notice? The independent school is still on Easter holidays on the 16th of April. To give a full term's notice, would we have to give notice on the last day before the Easter holidays or can we provide notice while the school is on holiday?

NancyJones Wed 28-Jan-15 12:54:47

Hi, my kids are at independent school and have moved 3 times. It's been the same rule at each. We gave notice on last day of previous term each time but I'm sure the rule was by last day of holidays at the latest.

NancyJones Wed 28-Jan-15 13:00:11

So yes I'd say by the end of the Easter hols will be your last chance. You should know if you have a place at the state school by then though so it should be fine.
Independent schools know they're used as a backup sometimes so expect this and now that April 16th is the standard date they won't be surprised to have one or two drop outs then.
On the flip side I do know someone who didn't give the terms notice and was threatened with court action over non payment. In the end they agreed to pay half the terms fees.

AuntieStella Wed 28-Jan-15 13:00:19

Check the contract.

But yes, expect to be liable to pay fees in lieu.

The school wants to know that it will have full classes, and if over-subscribed, will have turned away pupils it would otherwise have made offers to (many of whom will have accepted places at other schools rather than risk a waiting list), so it sets conditions to deter late drop-outs and to tide over for at least a term.

NancyJones Wed 28-Jan-15 13:02:02

One more thing. Emailing the admissions office over the hols is fine. Email counts as 'in writing' and as it's dated, there's no argument. You could always write as a follow up if you want.

HereIAm20 Wed 28-Jan-15 15:35:19

Check with the school. Ours has issued a notice stating that the last day of the Lent term is the cut off date for a term's notice to withdraw at the end of Summer.

LIZS Wed 28-Jan-15 17:41:15

Yes you need to check , ours was day before term started.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 28-Jan-15 17:48:09

Can I just ask, what would happen if a child was half way through term and wanted to leave, was deeply unhappy etc.
Do they have to finish the term, parents give notice and then attend another term?

LIZS Wed 28-Jan-15 18:16:09

Parents could pay for a term in lieu of notice rather than child continue to attend. Fees are paid in advance so current term would be covered already. Normally notice needs to be a full term so it is only effective from the start of the following term, not midway through. If there are issues sometimes schools will negotiate especially if another child can take the place immediately so there is no financial loss. Also tricky if parents suddenly get offered a state place after starting at independent as LA won't wait until notice has expired.

roguedad Wed 28-Jan-15 20:05:45

Read the small print but the last day of the Easter hols should be OK. Make sure you tell the right person specified by the contract as you don't want to get that bit wrong!

Inthedarkaboutfashion Thu 29-Jan-15 07:33:18

morethan in that situation the parents would have the choice to give the required notice and keep their child there for the rest of the current term and the following term which is the notice period or they could withdraw their child immediately and pay the notice terms fees in Leui.
I do know of several parents who have withdrawn their children immediately (usually during year 5 to send them to an independent which has a senior dept as they don't want to risk waiting until the next year which will mean sitting a formal exam which might not be passed) and they have tried to not pay the fees in Leui and have had legal notices issued against them as a debtor. The parents try to come up with all sorts of reasons to blame the school for their need to withdraw their children without notice (bullying, poor teaching etc), but the reality is often that they don't have any faith in their children to pass the entrance exams for a year 7 start.

morethanpotatoprints Fri 30-Jan-15 16:53:02


That is terrible, I would never have thought about people doing this. I suppose all sorts of things go on.

I was asking in terms to those with full assisted places who aren't paying fees themselves. If the parents withdraw dc they have to pay a full terms fees which could be about £7k.
If they were fully assisted this doesn't cover withdrawal, so the fees apply.
I suppose parents have to have a full terms fees in savings just in case.

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