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Alice H
Alice H, Solicitor/Partner
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 2850
Experience:  Partner in national law firm
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We have booked a trip through the school for our son. There

Customer Question

We have booked a trip through the school for our son. There are 23 children going and we have been paying for this trip since early in the year (monthly amounts). We recently found out that the school has changed the location and the duration of the trip without consulting us. It is now 3 days instead of 7 and is not offering the same activities that were agreed. We have been offered a refund for the difference but we are extremely unhappy about the change. Have the school done anything unlawful?? I was led to believe we had entered into an agreement with the school when we signed up for the trip and started paying. The original 7 day venue is still available, but the school want to save the money on the transport and take the children over a weekend instead of for a week
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alice H replied 3 years ago.
My name is***** and I'm happy to help with your question today. I need to ask you some preliminary questions to be able to help you.
Did you sign a contract with terms and conditions about cancellations, change of venue etc?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No, we signed a form stating we were happy for our son to go on the advertised trip and we agreed to pay the monthly figures requested. There was no information given about terms and conditions or what would happen if a change of venue was arranged. We have had 3 previous children all go on this annual field trip to the original venue. We had no reason to think anything would change this year

Expert:  Alice H replied 3 years ago.
In legal terms you may well be able to establish that a contract exists and the school is in breach of f that contract. Some simple elements need to be proven: offer of a trip, acceptance by you and payment. But one further fundamental element also needs to be established which may be lacking here, namely that the school intended this to be a legally binding agreement. Unless you can prove this important element then you will not have a claim of any kind. The school will undoubtedly argue that this is a trip for children and not intended to be a legally binding agreement. Also if you were able to sue the school for breaking their agreement it may open up claims by other parents which as a matter of public policy simply will not happen. A court will also be reluctant to find against a school whose response maybe not to run this kind of trip in future if they end up being sued for changes. So, to answer your question, the school may well be at fault but I think it will be difficult to take legal action. Apart from anything else the cost of pursuing any kind of action will far outweigh the benefit. A complaint is probably the best way forward.