Do you know why the school is closing? Is it a limited company that runs the school?
When you moved, did you impress upon the school that the move was conditional on finding a good school.
Why did the family relocate in the first place?
How much does the school uniforms cost?
How much you actually paid of the fee and how much is the fee they are asking for in respect of what period?
Are they asking for the full fee up to the end of the six-week period?
Can you please confirm that the fee they are asking for is the fee in respect of the period the children have been at the school and no more or less?
I’m not certain of the make up of the management. Are you saying that it is run and owned by private individuals?
You potentially have a claim for breach of contract. The difficulty is that the school will argue that the contract runs from year to year and there is no provision for it to be renewed. You know, as well as I do, that there would need to be some kind of stability with regard to the education process but it would depend whether the court would agree that that was contractually enforceable.
Unless you specifically brought to the school’s attention, that you were getting a house close to the school purely for the purposes of the children and that you would do that if the school was not going to continue, it’s unlikely that you would have any claim in that respect.
Even if you could prove that there was a contract that would continue year on year until the children’s education had finished, the court cannot enforce impossibility and if the school is closing, and the court did find breach, the only remedy would be compensation. The school have the potential defence in what is known as Frustration of Contract where a contract can be rescinded if the subject matter is no longer there.
For example, if I am contracted to paint a building and the customer tells me they no longer want it done because the building has burnt to the ground, I have no claim for breach of contract because the contract is frustrated by destruction of the subject matter. If the school is no longer operating as a school, they could potentially rely on defence. It’s not a good defence, but they could try.
Even if there is a breach of contract, you would have to convince the court of the quantum of your loss and also that the loss was a reasonable foreseeable consequence of any breach (if there was a breach).
In my opinion, you do have a claim but it is not one which you would want to argue in court although it would be Small Claims Court because of the amount involved. There is the potential, because of the evidential issues here with regard to your claim, but it would be transferred into the fast track which means that the loser would pay the winners costs. That could be risky.
What you might want to do is explain exactly what happened to the school sympathise with the closure and exactly why you chose the school and why you moved where you did and that you’re now going to have to make other arrangements and of course, the school uniform is useless. I would therefore send them an amount of money in full and final settlement and having deducted amount of money in respect of the uniforms which you think is reasonable taking into account the wear the uniforms have had and in respect of any costs that you will incur either in relocating or finding another school. Rather than just make an offer, you will have a better chance that they will accept the money if you send a cheque telling them that by cashing it, they accepted in full and final settlement and that if they do not accept it, they should send it back. If they do if you legal proceedings, you are going to have to defend them.
My suggestion would be to send £4000 but make sure that you account for why you have deducted £2000 in the way you have. The amount of money is up to you but to avoid going to court, you want to make it attractive enough that they accept it.
Can I assist you any further with this?
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