At Match Solicitors, we have extensive experience of mediating in disputes with independent schools and achieving excellent results on behalf of parents. Our co-director Anita Chopra is recognised as one of the country's very few legal experts specialising in this area and along with her dedicated team of education lawyers, she is committed to obtaining the best possible outcome for parents without - where possible - the need for lengthy and costly litigation.
One of the most common dispute areas in which we intervene on behalf of parents occurs when, for whatever reason, parents feel that they have been left with no choice other than to remove their child from their independent school. What then happens is that the school, deciding that the parent has broken the existing contract between them, demands the continued payment of school fees.
Although this is a very common cause for disputes between parents and the officials of independent schools, we are also frequently requested to act when disputes occur because of the following problems:
- A child is being bullied or discriminated against
- Problems have arisen because of or during complaint hearings
- There is a dispute over a child being suspended or expelled from school
- There is an issue over negligence or breach of contract
Very often, it is not uncommon for the child to be taken out of the school because of issues related to one of the above problem areas however if parents withdraw their children from school without giving the appropriate terms’ notice, the school will, more often than not, pursue the parents for outstanding fees.
It is important to remember that as a parent of a child at an independent school, you have every right to fight the decisions and actions of the school. Many parents feel that the actions of the school are sacrosanct and that no matter how unfair they seem, they must be followed. This is not the case; independent schools are not above the law, or the rules of fairness.
The legal relationship between an independent school and the parents is a contractual one. Parents agree to pay the school a considerable sum of money for a high standard of education to be delivered to their child. If that standard is not being upheld by the school, you as parents, and as consumers, are well within your rights not only to complain but to seek legal advice.
We ensure that we work with the parents to achieve the best possible outcome whilst avoiding litigation.
If you're being chased for school fees that you do not feel are appropriate or fair, you should give us a call at Match Solicitors and speak to one of our dedicated education specialists about the details of your case, and from there we will advise how best to proceed.