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Independent school fees and Coronavirus

(356 Posts)
Creamegg11 Thu 19-Mar-20 08:18:39

Our prep school closed on Tuesday due to the Coronavirus situation and the school has given the children some work and also some online learning via an App to do at home.

A parent on WhatsApp mentioned whether parents will get some refund on school fees especially as we don’t know when the children will return. I suppose no one predicted this was going to happen and it’s not the school’s fault but it had me thinking.

OP’s posts: |
Zinnia Thu 19-Mar-20 08:27:11

I am not a fan of private education as a rule, but if you want your kids' teachers to still be able to pay their rent/mortgages - and you're still being paid your full salary yourself - I would continue to pay your fees. The vast majority of any education setting's outgoings are staffing costs.

Blewbell Thu 19-Mar-20 08:28:17

If you want there to still be a school to go back to then we all need to keep paying fees. They can't magic up wages without fees.

anonymouse Thu 19-Mar-20 08:30:21

Check the terms & conditions but you'd most likely have to still pay unless you enrolled into a fee refund scheme.

AnotherNewt Thu 19-Mar-20 08:31:13

If your school is providing online/email,support for learning, then of course you still pay.

You might get a small reduction, for consumables which are not actually concerned (assuming the regular orders can be suspended), but most costs (the biggest one being staff) still need to be covered.

Think if it as the site being closed, not the school.

Or is there a complete absence of online or other work being sent?

fedup21 Thu 19-Mar-20 08:34:16

The school will probably go bust if you do this.

Hopeful201 Thu 19-Mar-20 08:35:59

We are in the same boat, we will be paying our fees as we want our children to go back to the school. Otherwise you need to give your notice. The school won't exist if all the parents pull their kids out. However, it may be that they miss a whole term of education. I am hoping they give online lessons as my DC are in exam years.

HasaDigaEebowai Thu 19-Mar-20 08:37:42

Do you not want your children to be part of the remote learning?

Creamegg11 Thu 19-Mar-20 08:40:55

I personally am fine to continue paying the fees as it’s not something anyone envisaged and it’s not the schools fault; it was just a question poised by another parent.

OP’s posts: |
HasaDigaEebowai Thu 19-Mar-20 08:45:32

Those who bought those interruption policies will be pleased they did I suspect most of us didn't.

CamillaBeauchamp Thu 19-Mar-20 09:06:15

as I said on a different thread, some of these schools run on extremely tight budgets with high fixed costs (salaries). If people start to ask for money back they will go bust

Frostyskies1223 Thu 19-Mar-20 09:07:30

The business interruption insurance only covers a small % of income. Parents must pay fees or the schools will go bust, the wage bill is around 70% of fees income in most schools, the wages need to be paid from April to August so Summer term fees income is critical.

Duchessofblandings Thu 19-Mar-20 09:09:32

If you want a school to go back to you’ll need to keep up your payments.

OVienna Thu 19-Mar-20 09:14:18

Of course you have to pay.

MissFlite Thu 19-Mar-20 09:14:56

Just pondering this now as my DC is in independent. We're lucky we will (hopefully) be able to continue to pay fees but there are many families I can think of who run successful leisure businesses and shops who are facing ruin and presumably losing their school place. We all pay a small premium along with fees to insure against long-term absence if your child is unwell but I doubt it would cover this.

ilovemydogandMrObama Thu 19-Mar-20 09:19:35

DD1 is on massive bursary/scholarship, and has been home for past week, as one of the pupils was exposed to a positive case of Covid 19.

I am working from home and she is doing assignments that have been set for her.

DS1 who goes to local comp is also doing online assignments.

I look and they have both been set assignments on the same online resource.

After we get through the next few months, am going to reconsider.

Hoppinggreen Thu 19-Mar-20 10:30:46

No of course you shouldn’t get a refund ( DD is at Private school)
I would be embarrassed to even suggest it

legoninjago1 Thu 19-Mar-20 10:36:25

Absolutely parents must pay their fees. Unless they are thinking of withdrawing their child.
Our HM emailed us outlining the school's fixed costs and other outgoings. 80% is staff salaries. I want my kids' teachers to keep teaching. Virtually for now and in person as soon as possible.

Madcats Thu 19-Mar-20 10:41:19

Annoyingly our school switched to an "opt-in" rather than an "opt out" for our school fees insurance.

OP I imagine you'll just get a partial refund for school lunches.

SchrodingersUnicorn Thu 19-Mar-20 10:49:57

We are working more hours than usual to teach kids in school and online at once. Next week we'll be teaching online, marking and being available. Converting all our resources to be online suitable means we are working extra hours there as well. We will no doubt have to do a lot of admin over assessment to make up for cancelled exams = more work. So of course you need to pay the fees!

Porcupineinwaiting Thu 19-Mar-20 11:07:45

Yes if you want the school to survive then you need to pay. Problem is, not everyone maybe able to do this (if their own jobs are cut). So worst case is you pay and school goes bankrupt anyway.

AtomicRabbit Thu 19-Mar-20 11:44:10

The staffing costs are the biggest cost for a school.

If you ask for a reduction in school fees you are effectively asking for teachers to take a pay cut or potentially for some of them to lose their jobs.

It's true there won't be sport, drama, music in quite the same way - but this is temporary. It won't last. It could be just the summer term if we are lucky. Perhaps a whole year if we are unlucky.

You have to keep hope that things will get back to normal and that this is just a blip. If they get the testing of covid19 done properly then we will find out who has had it and who hasn't and those who have had it, will be able to return to work. S Korea is doing really well with this regard www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/03/south-korea-coronavirus-lessons-quick-easy-tests-monitoring-200319011438619.html

Sadly for us, we have not approached things in the same way.

Comefromaway Thu 19-Mar-20 11:50:19

Most of my daughter's fees are paid from a government Dance & Drama Award. She is still enrolled as a student and some kind of online teaching is being organised. I assume I will have to pay for next term.

WhatHaveIFound Thu 19-Mar-20 11:57:34

Following with interest as I have a DD in Y13 and all the remote teaching was towards A Level exams which now won't go ahead. We're rather left wondering what is going to happen now.

I expect we'll hear something from the school by the end of the week as they've been communicating on a daily basis.

Soma Thu 19-Mar-20 12:04:36

Most schools could argue that a full year's fees are actually due in September, but they allow parents to spread the cost over three terms. We will be paying for the summer term.

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