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Question on fees

(14 Posts)
Coco40 Sun 29-Jan-17 12:18:47

We just got a reception place at a prep school but are waiting for results on an outstanding state school. I have to pay the deposit this week, which I know we will lose if we give up the place but am I then liable for the first term's fees? The contract is unclear as it says we need to give one term's notice. I don't want to ask the school as I don't want to give them the indication we might give up the place.


LIZS Sun 29-Jan-17 12:21:30

If you don't give a full term's notice by the deadline, usually before start of summer term but check as it could be defined as early as end of spring term, then you would be liable for a term's fees in lieu. The Reception offer dates often don't coincide.

MaggieRhee Sun 29-Jan-17 12:26:35

We are in the same position but the summer term doesn't start until after the state results are out (by a few days) so we will be fine and only lose deposit. You can find the term dates on their website. At least I am hoping this is the case!

Middleoftheroad Sun 29-Jan-17 12:31:04

Could you wait and then if results not as hoped contact the prep again? i know some will happily take paying customers at any point. of course others are so popular this isn't the case.

How much is a term's fees? 3-4k? thats a lot to lose.

Coco40 Sun 29-Jan-17 13:13:08

It's 5.2k plus the 1k deposit. It's a fortune!

AnotherNewt Sun 29-Jan-17 13:27:52

Yes, you would stand to lose a term's fees if you do not give notice that you are not taking up the place by the day before the start of the summer term.

But you can console yourself with the thought of how much you will be saving by not going there, which would be way more costly. Just see it as the price of hedging.

Or if you don't think that hedging is worth the cost, decline the place now.

Coco40 Sun 29-Jan-17 14:39:12

Thanks all! Will be making some quick decisions on national offer day then, as the following day is the first day of summer term.

holepunchkid Sun 29-Jan-17 15:27:09

Yes, you would stand to lose a term's fees if you do not give notice that you are not taking up the place by the day before the start of the summer term.

anothernewt unless you know the school, this may not be accurate.

OP, you need to ask them what their definition of "a term's notice" is. If the last day of the end of the term before then you are a bit stuffed (and they may define it this way to prevent people doing what you are doing i.e. using them as a backup). If first day of summer term then you're ok. Every school varies.

AndNowItsSeven Sun 29-Jan-17 15:30:16

I don't think it's unclear we have been in the same position. The term notice is the start of the summer term. The state results are April 15th that's before the start of the summer term.

holepunchkid Sun 29-Jan-17 15:31:09

The term notice is the start of the summer term.

I know several private schools where it is the last day of the term before. So unless you know which school the OP is posting about, and I can't see that she has named it, you may be giving false reassurance.

AnotherNewt Sun 29-Jan-17 15:39:33

It's quite unusual for a term to include the holiday before it, but you are right that OP needs to check.

National reception offers day is 18 April (day after Easter Monday) which is safely before the start of the term.

Caroian Sun 29-Jan-17 17:11:01

Our independent school were very clear last year that everyone needed to let them know by the day after national offer day, otherwise they would forfeit a term's fees. I think that is probably a fairly standard arrangement in many schools.

However you could simply ask the school which date you need to advise them by if you change your mind in order to not lose fees. Some schools will be snotty with you about such a request (perhaps believing you to be uncommitted) but if the school are that snotty about it, you may want to re-evaluate whether you wish your child to be educated there.

The other side to this, however, is what will you do if the school need to know before national offer day? If you are really holding out for the state school, you might have to accept the fee loss anyway. As someone above said, it's hedging your bets. But 6.2k paid now is just a tiny drop in the ocean of 7 years worth of school fees plus all of the extras. If you'd pull out of the school before results are out in order to save the money, then you have the answer about what you should!

Coco40 Sun 29-Jan-17 19:07:23

Yes I checked the contract and it says the 1st day of the term prior.

AndNowItsSeven Sun 29-Jan-17 19:19:15

Sorry yes 18th not 15th.

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