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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 48193
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Jones, I spoke to you on 22nd March regarding my

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For Ben Jones, I spoke to you on 22nd March regarding my daughter accepting a place at Kings High. I've received a response today saying that I'm under misconception about the legal basis of the claim and as we entered a contract we are still liable for the fees. Would you be willing to look at the email and provide a response for me to send? Thanks Kosh
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello Kosh, yes please send the email over, there is likely to be an additional charge to get a whole response composed but I will advise of that once I have managed to take a look. Thank you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Dear Mr Chumber
Warwick Independent Schools Foundation t/ King's High School ("the School")
We write further to your email of 23 March.
Your request for information appears to be based on a misconception about the legal basis of the claim, and the figures you have requested go beyond what is proportionate and reasonable at a pre action stage in any event.
The Contract you and Mrs Chumber agreed to on 28 February 2014 is a long term contract for educational services which imparts significant obligations on both sides. Therefore without a facility to end the contract early, as you have decided to do in this case, withdrawing a pupil early would be a breach of contract, rendering you liable for the School's losses. Those losses could run to many terms or even years of fees.
In recognition of this uncertainty, independent schools developed a practice which allows the withdrawal from the Contract on a term's notice. The payment of a term's fee in lieu of this notice, simply reflects that notice is a mandatory requirement which must either be served or paid. Both requirements are a primary contractual obligation, reflected in Section H of the Contract.
Therefore by withdrawing your daughter from the School without a term's notice, you have instead elected to pay a term's fee in lieu of notice. Subject to the qualification set out in Clause 76, the fees are due as a debt, not a claim in damages and therefore it is not subject to a review of financial impact to the School, as suggested in your email.
There is a condition in Clause 76, "unless the place is filled immediately and without loss to the School", but this is a matter of fact. It does not impart any obligation on our client to mitigate their loss. It suffices to say that in Anisha's year group, the capacity was 125, 117 students were accepted and only 111 started. With spare capacity in the year group, any incoming entrant would be filling a place which would have been available irrespective of Anisha's withdrawal, therefore her place was not filled and the condition in Clause 76 is met.
We would also like to bring to your attention that the 14 day window provided in our initial Letter of Claim, for you to provide us with payment or a specific proposals for repayment has now passed. Interest continues to accrue on your outstanding balance and so it is in your interests to address this issue promptly.
Unless the outstanding balance as set out in our letter of 22 March 2016 (£3,994.70) is paid in full by 22 April 2016, we anticipate that we will be instructed to issue Court proceedings against you without further recourse. Should proceedings be issued, the School will claim the outstanding fees together with interest accrued on those fees, as well as the legal costs incurred.
Yours faithfully
Veale Wasbrough Vizards LLP
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok Thanks Ben
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Thanks, ***** ***** with me please it will be later n today I have a chance to look at it properly
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
ok - sorry ignore the phone call
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hi, if I recall when we spoke you said that it was most likely that your daughter's space would have been filled but in their letter they state that the class was under subscribed, do you now if that was the case?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I don't know for sure whether the the year was under subscribed, but going on the reply from the other party it seems it may have been. I think this may be the reason they are still pursuing.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
ok that would be quite important because if they had spaces which they could not fill after your decision not to enrol, then they can argue that they have suffered losses as a result of your breach by not having given the required notice to terminate. When we spoke I think you said it was very likely that they would have had a waiting list which meant that they should have been able to fill her place but it transpires that this may not have been the case. So at this stage I would suggest you ask them for documentary proof of the capacity of the year and the number of enrolments before you go any further. As to trying your luck in court, that is still an option, remember that they are incorrect by stating they will pursue you for legal costs incurred. Some information on what costs they can claim: http://www.compactlaw.co.uk/free-legal-information/small-claims-court/claiming-costs.html So if it comes to it you can try your luck, knowing that the worst case is that you would be liable for a sum which is not too dissimilar to what they are pursuing you for now but at least you also have the chance of getting away with a lesser sum (or even with no liability if they end up ruling completely in your favour).
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks Ben for your response. I'm not really sure what to do here. I do know the head mistress left on the year Anisha was due to start after being at the school for many years, perhaps that could have been a factor in the number of students starting that year. I have no alternative but to let the case be decided in court as I can't afford to pay the money in a lump sum. So should I lose the case and the court decides I have to pay in full plus interest, what would be my options to pay in instalments and would the judge enforce this? Also would I need a legal representative in court?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
You are able to let them take this to court (they may still not do so, you never know) and then when a court claim is made you can admit the debt but make an offer to pay them in instalments. If your creditor is happy with the offer you've made, they can ask the court to make the order without a court hearing or the involvement of a judge. The court will enter a County Court Judgment in the Register of Judgments. If your creditor doesn't accept your payment offer, a court official or a judge will decide what's fair. If you don't make any repayment offer at all on the admission form, your creditor will decide how much and when you should pay. Or they may decide to act as if you never returned the admission form and ask for an order that you pay the whole amount immediately. So these are the possible options in the circumstances. I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks again Ben - Do you have a barrister you recommend should this go to court? Ideally someone not too expensive. I'll leave feedback shortly, your advice has been exemplarily, thank you, Kosh
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Not for this type of claim I'm afraid. Also a barrister will be expensive in any event and for this level of claim it is pro baby best not to use one - the small claim court is designed for unrepresented parties so you can do this yourself, but if needed you may wish to get a cheap local solicitor if you really wanted to get some legal help
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