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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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My daughters school St Hildas has closed down just as we broke

Customer Question

My daughters school St Hildas has closed down just as we broke up for the summer holidays. We weren't given any prior notice so we are now looking desperately for spaces for our children. I received a letter 2 days after we were told stating that the school closed because of 'low birth rate and recession' along with other excuses and on top of that they still expect me to pay the installment for last term which I dont think I should pay. Considering my daughter who is going to start year 2 in september has been very upset this has caused a lot of emotional distress especially since her previous school closed down Casterton which was 200 years old the Bronte sisters went there. Also it is going to cost me £300 for a new uniform plus registration fees and deposit for a new school. The only decent state school has no places available I checked with the council. Also two weeks prior to the school closing isabella was offered a bursary place in writing for September at the school. If you could advise on what I should do next please. I was thinking not to ignore the letter but to respond and bullet point the reasons why I shouldnt have to pay, where I stand legally and what this has cost us. I look forward to hearing from you. Kind regards. Katherine
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return You do not need to wait here as you will get an email when I reply.
Was the school that closed down a state school please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Alex good to hear from you. No it was a private school.

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Did you have a contract year on year please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Alex

I had a contract to give a terms notice in writing. If you can let me know exactly what I should do it would be much appreciated.

Many thanks

Katherine

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Yes, final question. What does the contract say about termination please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Alex, I am trying to find the original contract I will have a search today have just moved house. I can only find the bursary confirmation letter that was sent on the 25th June. But I remember it was a terms notice and be charged for the full term. I have paid £7,000 up to date but still have an outstanding amount of £1,500 but as the school went into liquidation without paying the teachers redundancy as well as not giving us notice to find a new school including emotional distress I wondered if there was a way of covering myself legally so they don't start chasing me for the money. I dont think the contract mentioned anything about what happens if the school closes down.

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Ok - so the school has gone into administration rather than just stopped?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes that is correct it is no longer running as a school the directors have taken over and are turning the property into apartments

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Its bad news I am afraid. Because this is not a statement school then the same rules do not apply. You are governed by the law of contract.
If the school went into Administration then they have no money - they are bankrupt. As such a company that is bankrupt can not have any contracts and they automatically come to an end.
Even if you did have a claim against them it would make no difference as they are in administration - they do not have any money, so even if you sued them and won then you would not get anything as they have gone bankrupt.
So whilst morally you have a claim, in law you do not.
I am sorry if this is not the answer you want and certainly not the one I want to give you, but I have a duty to be honest.
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Alex
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Does this mean I still have to pay them the outstanding money? Should I send them a letter and negotiate something possibly? Many thanks will leave feedback

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Well if they have completed their contract in theory yes.
But if they are in Administration I would wait until you are contacted by those people taking over the affairs and come to an arrangement with them.
Does that help?
Alex
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

The directors who have taken over the school have sent me a letter with a closing account. Do you think I should send them a letter with an arrangement? Is there anything you can suggest that could lower the amount due to transferring school etc? many thanks again

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Its nothing to do with the Directors. It is down to the Administrator and nothing else. Sadly I dont think you have a claim against moving school and even if you did the school has no money otherwise they would not have close the school.
I am sorry, but I have a duty to be honest.
Alex
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Alex,

ok so that means if they have sent me a letter including a closing account that means I have to pay the full amount shown is that correct? Do you think best I pay and send a letter to get rid of it as I don't need the hassle of anyone chasing me for the money or any nasty letters etc.

Many thanks

Katherine

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Well you don't have to pay the school. You can come to an agreement with the administrator and only the administrator.
Does that help?
Alex
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
Ash and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes that does help thank you very much

Katherine

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
All the best.

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