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Are we liable for these fees?

(19 Posts)
staranise Fri 18-Jul-08 15:56:50

Bit of a long story but...

DC didn't get into any of her state school choices in April. After a few weeks of panicking and getting nowhere with the LEA, we reluctantly registered her private, paying a deposit of £1000+. A couple of weeks later, the council acknowledged they'd calculated our route wrong etc and we got a place in our first choice state school. I emailed the private school saying that DC would not be going there, though we had paid the deposit, they migth as well keep the place open for her (they are not full, indeed are undersubscribed so we were not taking up anyone else's place), though we didn't need home visit/induction/uniform details etc.

Now have jsut received an invoice for first term fees. According to them, we had to give a term's notice in writing - though we only registered her half-way through the summer term anyway, and thn told them she wasn't going two weeks later.

Are we at all liable for these fees? We've already lost the deposit, which is fair enough, but it never occurred to me they might pursue us for fees as well. Are they likely to seriously expect us to pay them?!

littlerach Fri 18-Jul-08 15:57:53

Guess it depends what it says in their policy.
Seem s abit tight though.

roisin Fri 18-Jul-08 16:02:21

Did you sign a contract, terms/conditions, that sort of thing?

If you did then technically you are liable. Whether they will pursue it or not, depends on the school.

If you didn't receive/sign this sort of information then you're not liable.

SoupDragon Fri 18-Jul-08 16:04:02

You told them to hold the place open for her. I think this was your mistake.

SoupDragon Fri 18-Jul-08 16:04:58

(with the stress on "this", not "your" IYSWIM!)

Hulababy Fri 18-Jul-08 16:05:48

Giving a term's notice for fees is very normal, regardless of when you sign her up. You asked them to keep the place open for her?

When you paid the deposit was you made away of the term's notice thing or cancelation policy? Had you had documents? Did you sign anything when sending in the deposit?

If you did sign something (or agree verbaly to the conditions) then yes, you are liable.

staranise Fri 18-Jul-08 16:07:04

we signed re. giving a term's notice but we only registered half-way through the summer term and then withdrew two weeks later. I had an acknowledgement from them that they were sorry that DD would not be attending etc and really, have not thought about it any further!

Swedes Fri 18-Jul-08 16:08:09

I think you are liable for the fees, sorry. You asked them to keep a place open for her. It doesn't matter whether they are undersubscribed or have no pupils at all.

However, I think if you write an apologetic letter they might be lenient.

staranise Fri 18-Jul-08 16:08:38

oh, and nobody at ANY point, said that you're still liable fo rthe fees even thoguh your DD is not attending. But then, I guess they would keep quiet about it, wouldn't they?

SoupDragon Fri 18-Jul-08 16:10:46

It could be a automated mistake on their part then. Write/phone and ask. point out that you didn't have the time to give that amount of notice.

Hulababy Fri 18-Jul-08 16:12:11

I thik you need to speak with them. The fees will not be due in until a couple of week's after the start date anyway most likely, so I would wait and ask first.

willali Wed 23-Jul-08 09:14:41

You can be sure that in an undersubscribed school they will pursue you to the letter of the terms and conditions - the margins for some private schools are perilous - the difference between profit and loss could be as little as fees for 3 pupils(I am a Governor at a small prvate prep and the figures a a real eye opener!)The school has fixed costs (wages, insurances etc) and so all income is precious. You are in an unfortuneate position - would it be possible to defer your state school place and use your term at the privatre school if you are going to have to pay anyway??

needaholiday Wed 23-Jul-08 15:54:08

that's what I would do. Money's money and if you have paid or have to pay then use it.

fembear Wed 23-Jul-08 19:04:37

I really don't understand the logic of going to the independent school for only one term and then going to the state:
that's an extra lot of uniform etc to buy
it will unsettle DD
when she gets to state school, everyone else will be settled in their friendship groups
more importantly - will the state school hold the place!!?

Check your terms and conditions. If I was the school, I don't think that I would be lenient - what have they got to lose, it's not as if you were an on-going parent that they want to keep sweet.
However, don't you get the deposit back (or, at least, deducted from the fees owing)?

Loshad Tue 29-Jul-08 23:21:21

i think you'll have to pay - sorry and all that but a) you asked them to hold her place and b) almost certainly when you first accepted a place you agreed to their T+C which will include a terms fees in lieu of notice, and usually that notice must be given at the start of the preceeding term.

ELR Wed 30-Jul-08 09:40:20

you may be liable but i would fight it especially as your dd has never even been there.
Its not your fault its summer holidays

justaboutagrownup Wed 30-Jul-08 09:42:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

GrapefruitMoon Wed 30-Jul-08 09:47:01

Why did you ask them to hold a place for her even though you said she would not be going there? {confused emoticon]

fembear Wed 30-Jul-08 09:53:54

Erm, the school isn't being unreasonable.
1) A term's notice is standard terms & conditions
2) It's not the school that changed their mind, it was the OP. It could possibly be that the OP's child tipped the staffing ratio and they engaged an extra member of staff because they thought her DD was coming. You can't run a business as complicated as a school with people changing their minds at short notice.

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