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WA Private School Early Exit Fee - Fair?

Discussion in 'Other/General Law Forum' started by Rae, 17 May 2015.

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  1. Rae

    Rae Member

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    Hi, I am pulling my son out of a private school he is attending. I wanted to make sure he was able to get into the public school we are sending him to. This took 2 weeks to sort out. So once I found out he was accepted into the public school, I gave the private school 8 weeks notice that my son would be leaving as of the beginning on the next school term.
    Now, we pay $325 a fortnight for him to go to the private school. And I know you had to give 10 weeks notice for a child leaving, so I had no problem paying the extra $325 to make up for the couple of weeks notice (as we gave them 8 weeks). But I received a letter from the principle saying that the "early withdrawal fee" will be charged. Here I was thinking it was going to be the extra $325. But it was nearly $1400!! For two weeks!!
    I have been onto their website and this is what they say about the matter....

    "Notice of Withdrawal of Enrolment Notice of the withdrawal of a student must be given in writing to the Principal. This is the only acceptable method of notifying the School of the withdrawal of a student. Ten school week’s notice (this excludes school holidays) must be given on or before the first day of the term prior to the intended date of withdrawal. One term’s tuition fees will be charged in lieu of such notice should a student be withdrawn without sufficient notice being provided.
    Verbal notification is not considered due notice.
    The School makes important decisions in advance on staffing and the provision of resources based on student numbers and is often not in a position to replace a withdrawing student immediately. This is the reason the late withdrawal penalty is strictly applied."

    Now I know it says that a terms tuition fee will be charged. But it also says it will be charged should a student be withdrawn without sufficient notice. In my opinion 8 weeks is sufficient notice.

    Just wondering if we have a legal leg to stand on?
     
  2. AnnaLJ

    AnnaLJ Well-Known Member

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    Hi Rae

    $1400 does sound like a lot of money!

    Did you sign a contract or agreement with the school at the time you enrolled your son? The first place to check in working out whether this fee can be imposed would be in this agreement. So if you could locate this agreement and respond with what it says about early withdrawals that would be helpful. While the information contained on the website is helpful as a guide, the relevant terms and conditions of your son's enrolment would be those that were shown to you prior to or at the time of signing him up for the school. This is why the original agreement needs to be referred to.

    Even if the agreement does set out the early withdrawal fees, this does not necessarily mean they can be legally imposed by the school as they could be invalidated on a number of grounds.

    Any further info you could provide would be great.

    Thanks

    Anna
     
    Katecanberra likes this.

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