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Question about deposit for private school - do they ever repay it if you don't take the place?

(16 Posts)
TheBlonde Wed 01-Oct-08 20:26:18

Deposit for private school - do they ever repay it if you don't take the place?

I am reading the small print but it isn't clear

It says you need to give a full term's notice otherwise you are liable for a term's fees less any deposits

Cammelia Wed 01-Oct-08 20:29:25

That sounds like they do pay it back if you're already there and then give notice. If you don't take the place initially, I guess it can vary on the school. They would pay it back if they don't offer you a place I believe.

TheBlonde Wed 01-Oct-08 20:30:13

This is the deposit when you accept the place

AMumInScotland Wed 01-Oct-08 20:30:35

The ones I've had prospectuses from all made clear it was a non-refundable deposit, so if you don't take up a place (or don't even get offered one) then you lose the money.

That's separate from the term's notice - that only starts once you have accepted an offer of a place.

pattymc Wed 01-Oct-08 20:30:52

I doubt you would get it back as that's the point of a deposit surely?

AMumInScotland Wed 01-Oct-08 20:33:17

So, this is a deposit you would pay when you accept a place? Sorry I was thinking of a registration fee. If you have to give a term's notice then you will still be laible for that if your child doesn't attend after you accept the place. So, you wouldn't get the deposit back and you would still owe them the rest of the term's fees.

TheBlonde Wed 01-Oct-08 20:33:58

The point is to protect them against you leaving and owing them lots of fees

The term's notice applies even if your child doesn't start school eg you tell them a week before hand then you owe them a term's fees iyswim

sunnydelight Thu 02-Oct-08 01:29:33

It varies, so you do need to try and work out the contract. We pay a "refundable bond" on top of the application and registration fees (which are not refundable). It's $1,200 and you get it back when your child leaves the school as long as they have been there for two years, and there aren't any fees outstanding.

For Y7 applications parents have to pay a term's fees upfront as a deposit and don't get it back if they don't show. If they do it is used as the first term's fees. This was introduced to stop people reserving spaces at different high schools then choosing at the last minute. There is huge competition for Y7 places as it's very common around here to do public primary/private high school.

SqueakyPop Thu 02-Oct-08 05:29:07

They take a deposit that is refunded when the child leaves school - minus any charges that didn't make it to the last term's bill (trips, unreturned books etc.). We have never got anything back because the charges were about the cost of the deposit.

The registration/assessment fee is not refundable.

TheBlonde Thu 02-Oct-08 08:17:04

Thanks, I'm hoping the paperwork with the offer letter will be more clear on the matter

LIZS Thu 02-Oct-08 08:23:16

It should say whether it is refundable or not. Registration fees aren't usually. Often The Deposit is offset against the last term's fees, so if you don't take up the place at all probably not refundable. Once you have accpeted a place and paid the deposit you have to allow at least a full term's notice (ie Easter for September start) to cancel without any addtional penalty of a term's fees.

LadyMuck Thu 02-Oct-08 08:50:08

IME the deposit is not refundable if you do not take up the place. So if you pay a deposit now for a place next September then you would lose the deposit if you pulled out before Easter. If you pulled out between Easter and September the the deposit should be credited against the term's fees that you would pay in lieu of notice.

There may be a few schools with fully refundable deposits, but the norm is that they are not. Which is rather frustrating when your offers come in over several mosnths and you have to fork out to keep options available.

TheBlonde Thu 02-Oct-08 13:42:39


Anchovy Thu 02-Oct-08 13:47:04

I think one interesting line of argument is what happens if the place is filled so the school effectively benefits to the tune of the deposit.

As a lawyer I can think of several arguments (not necessarily watertight ones if the contract is clear about forfeiting it) that could be run.

I think the DCs school let's you off the "pay a term's fees if less than one term's notice" if they fill the place immediately and so there is no loss to them.

silverfrog Thu 02-Oct-08 13:50:46

we had dd1 down for local school - deposit paid, place accepted.

she ended up not going, by mutual agreement (she is autistic, and would not have fitted in), and we got our deposit beck, but the small print did say that it would only be refunded (other than term's notice etc) if the shool were unable to provide a suitable education

MollieO Fri 03-Oct-08 10:35:13

We paid a £75 non0-refundable deposit when we registered our interest. We then paid a £500 deposit when we accepted a place (in March for starting in Sept) part of which went to first term's fees and part to be repaid with the leaver's statement. No refund if we didn't take up the place and no refund if we leave prior to the end of Year 6.

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