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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69362
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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A few weeks before the end of the previous academic

Customer Question

Hi,
A few weeks before the end of the previous academic year (2014-2015) my son was (in my opinion) bullied by one of the teachers at his school (private school). As a result, my wife told the school manager and headteacher, straight away, that we will move our son to another school because of that.
My wife spoke within a few days after the incident to the teacher involved, to the class teacher, to the manager and to the headteacher. The last two agreed that what happened should have not happened, but they didn't follow it through with us (basically this was never mentioned again).
Contract says one term's notice. We gave the school written notice just after the end of the academic year saying that our son will go to another school from Sep this year. He did start at a different school in Sep.
We have decided to move our son out of the school because of the risk of this happening again.
We are being asked to pay a term's fee based on the contract.
I believe that we HAD to change school and that we have not produced a loss to the school by not paying the fee for the first trimester of 2015-2016.
Bullying: my son (6 years) with another two children has been blamed for something that they didn't do and made to apologise in front of the whole school.
This is not in line with the school ethos (based on an international learning franchise that they no longer had but claimed to still keep the ethos of that method).
I have not communicated with the school after giving them notice.
Should I go to court?
What other options should I consider?
How can I delay being taken to court as they've sent me a Letter before action?
Are we at risk of having to pay school's solicitor and other fees?
Amount is just under 2000 pounds; court and hearing fees would total to just under 300 pounds if we lose the case and have to pay that as well.
Invoice that we have been sent states the wrong school year.
Letter before action is dated 2014 instead of 2015 and the postman has signed for receiving and used my name (based on Royal Mail tracking website).
Hope I gave you full details; if more needed, please feel free to ask.
Many thanks.
Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 12 months ago.
I'm really sorry but you are liable. Come what may, you didn't give notice.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 12 months ago.
If they were able to replace him immediately then there is no loss to the so no claim beyond admin losses which will be minimal.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 12 months ago.
However, you would lose at court if not. I don't know how much they are claiming? If it is under £10k then that is a small claims sum and so the solicitor costs would be fixed at £50 unless they could show you had acted unreasonably which is rare.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 12 months ago.
If it is just under £2k then £300 in costs is probably about right and you would be liable for that but it isn't going to be thousands.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 12 months ago.
The only way to delay is to persuade them not to issue. Schools do generally she to discourage other non payers. If you make an offer of a lesser sum in full and final settlement they might accept that.

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