School fees for next term

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plaits
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School fees for next term

Postby plaits » Mon Mar 23, 2020 3:36 pm

Given the terrible situation we are all in does anyone have a steer on whether Independent Schools will be reducing their fees for next term? Absolutely appreciate that teachers need to be paid and buildings maintained but given the situation and the very reduced 'service' so to speak I would hope that they would?
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Bondi
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Re: School fees for next term

Postby Bondi » Mon Mar 23, 2020 5:52 pm

I guess there are two things. One is a reduction because they are giving less of a service and the second there will be plenty of people who will be in dire financial straits. 
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sunsout
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Re: School fees for next term

Postby sunsout » Mon Mar 23, 2020 5:55 pm

I agree, we may have to withhold fees until our own financial picture is clearer.
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coldatchristmas
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Re: School fees for next term

Postby coldatchristmas » Mon Mar 23, 2020 6:10 pm

Happened upon this piece a few moments ago. Not sure if it has been reported anywhere else?

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/articl ... funds.html
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daddydaycarerocks
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Re: School fees for next term

Postby daddydaycarerocks » Mon Mar 23, 2020 9:45 pm

We will be withholding fees for our private school, home schooling does not what works for children and we have lost an income for the family.

After todays home schooling, it just won't work and I would rather get a private tutor in (if that works with corona rules)
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rubyonrails
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Re: School fees for next term

Postby rubyonrails » Tue Mar 24, 2020 10:48 am

My Whats App has a few alleged stories of a couple of schools reducing fees? Wouldn't want to fuel any not true rumours by naming them as I think that all schools have enough to deal with at the moment.
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daisydaisy
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Re: School fees for next term

Postby daisydaisy » Tue Mar 24, 2020 8:16 pm

Please do not think that because school buildings are not open that there is a reduction in service- teachers are working double-time to ensure lesson provisions are ready for parents, training for online platforms and receiving, marking and sending work back to ensure that children’s education can continue. Many are also in school looking after key worker children whilst teaching the rest of the class online.
If you are at a fee paying school, unless you have given a term’s notice in January, you are contractually obliged to pay next term’s fees regardless
Please understand that teachers are broken right now and are still planning and sending lessons as they care deeply for your children.
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daddydaycarerocks
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Re: School fees for next term

Postby daddydaycarerocks » Wed Mar 25, 2020 1:13 am

Some good points daisy daisy

However, when parents sign up for a ‘product’, they expect that product - this terrible situation changes that product significantly.

Many parents are taking significant pay cuts (especially for us self employed) or losing their jobs. I can’t see anything from the private schools to cut back on their spending. They are arguably operating in their own bubble and the world has now changed.
Last edited by daddydaycarerocks on Wed Mar 25, 2020 5:49 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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chorister
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Re: School fees for next term

Postby chorister » Wed Mar 25, 2020 8:50 am

daddydaycarerocks - we don't have children, but I am still staggered by your attitude - do you understand the concept of force majeure?  Many parents may face hard choices because of pay cuts - your attitude to 'the product' might be easier to understand and sympathise with if you told us whether you were one of them.

The fact is that private schools have an overwhelmingly fixed cost base - facilities and teaching staff - what do you recommend that they cut back? 
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daddydaycarerocks
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Re: School fees for next term

Postby daddydaycarerocks » Wed Mar 25, 2020 9:35 am

Yes good question Chorister ( However language like ‘staggered’ is quite aggressive and I won’t be intimidate by that sort of posting.)

Like others I am sure, our wages have now been cut substantially 

To take away this sort of % of your income, when many parents make big sacrifices to afford the (already) high fees of these schools (that just keep rising every year by way more than inflation, blaming government policies for staff costs), is not right.

Yes, all businesses have fixed costs, but my point is why should some businesses cut back/staff take a big hit, whilst it appears others such as private schools, just continue with what appears as ‘business as usual’.

Private schools need to look a their costs and use this situation to make some hard choices as well with staff costs/numbers and other expenditure. Business is about cash flow.

We are all in this together and with each private school child’s fees creeping towards £20k/annum, home school does not warrant that cost.

In my view, home schooling fees should be half the normal fees, max.
Last edited by daddydaycarerocks on Wed Mar 25, 2020 5:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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chorister
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Re: School fees for next term

Postby chorister » Wed Mar 25, 2020 4:57 pm

OK that explains it much better and seems fair enough - but the risk of course is that when this is all over there won't be a school that you would be willing to pay fees to left, because the staff will have dispersed.

I assume schools qualify for the furlough scheme, and so the government will pick up 80% of the wage bill, which could be passed on.  But that of course will all have to be paid for one day, so brace yourself for higher taxes and / or serious inflation.

All of us are going to come out of this impoverished to a greater or lesser degree, because you can't just shut down a modern economy in this way without very real long term damage.
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SW11er
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Re: School fees for next term

Postby SW11er » Wed Mar 25, 2020 6:59 pm

I think you have to let market forces play out. If you can’t afford it (or think it’s too expensive) you have to be prepared to walk away. At that point the school has to decide if it wants to cut it price to keep you or keep the price the same and assume it will lose your child and replace them with someone who is willing to pay the fees they quote.

At the end of the day there are state schools out there so there is no-one forcing you to send your children to private school. I know we get very concerned about unsettling our children but they are very resilient.

Everyone is going through a tough situation at the moment - to varying degrees - but I do just see private schools as another expense we need to consider if our situations change. I know it’s one thing we are a bit more emotive about but maybe we have to change that.

I would still ask for a reduction if I was you and see where it gets you.
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daisydaisy
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Re: School fees for next term

Postby daisydaisy » Wed Mar 25, 2020 8:56 pm

Just to address your suggestion about staff cuts and costs: teachers are currently working on overdrive to provide a remote education for children. I know it’s hard for parents to deliver this but there is no other option right now. Teachers have never been tested so much and have never worked so hard to ensure your children’s education continues in the best possible way.
If you are struggling financially then please contact the school. Many are already writing to parents to say they will help if finances are an issue in the current climate.
I say all of this with love for teachers and not to be controversial
Xx
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mummo
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Re: School fees for next term

Postby mummo » Thu Mar 26, 2020 7:06 am

In more than one place I have read that people are continuing to pay their cleaners, who will not be providing a service at all in any capacity. Don’t get me wrong, I am heartened by this compassionate take.

Meanwhile I read that people wish to default on fees for a service they continue to receive (albeit in an adjusted form, because there is no alternative), delivered by a staff who are working absolutely flat out in incredibly challenging circumstances. This staff has already provided twice the provision (home learning plus educating those still in school) at a time when most others had been advised to work from home, putting theirs and their family’s health at risk. Some continue to do so voluntarily going into work to provide an education for the children of key workers (no, this isn’t the preserve of the state system alone). They will spend much of their holidays up-skilling themselves to teach in an entirely different way so that next term they can continue to deliver the best possible education that they can. This will be delivered through every means possible - often involving the power of technology - this alone a steep learning curve using technology not usually called for in the classroom. Many companies are offering their services for free during this crisis, but not all, therefore there are associated costs borne by the school. In many cases what the private system has been able to provide already is more sophisticated because some systems, such as virtual learning platforms, were already well integrated and used. This is not the kind of thing that can be installed overnight or at low cost.

Reports of high levels of stress amongst teachers reflect what an incredibly difficult time this is for them, teachers in the Far East who have shared their experience from the last few months report that it is more challenging, more time consuming, more stressful than when working physically in the building.

Meanwhile, the physical building still stands. The insurance needs paying, the planned for essential maintenance will still need doing, albeit at a later date. The administrative staff will still be doing their same roles, just remotely. There will be a few incidental costs cuts which could be made in the short term - food springs to mind - but these are minimal.

A school must be ready to reopen as soon as the government gives the green light. Laying off staff would mean once reopened they would be understaffed and not able to provide the same level of education as they could before the crisis.

If families are struggling to pay, they should approach the school and have a conversation. Defaulting on fees for a service that you continue to receive (albeit in a different form) is breaking an agreed contract and helping no one.

After this is over, assuming you have the means to continue to pay for it, if you want to the option of a private schooling for your children you must continue to pay for the service you are receiving now or there will be simply no choice as that private school you one chose as standing out above all others will quite simply not exist any more.
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SW11er
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Re: School fees for next term

Postby SW11er » Thu Mar 26, 2020 1:03 pm

Mummo- just referring to your comments about the private sectors being well positioned because of their already integrated virtual learning platforms - I just wanted to say that Bolingbroke Academy have done an amazing job at continuing with the curriculum. It has been almost seemless and the kids are still at school this week and next. Would almost preferred they carried on through Easter!

We are pretty luck around here with the options for both Private and State.
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