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  • FIRST POST
    • NorthernLassie
    • By NorthernLassie 10th Jun 17, 4:15 PM
    • 6Posts
    • 28Thanks
    NorthernLassie
    School has cancelled trip but said they won't refund
    • #1
    • 10th Jun 17, 4:15 PM
    School has cancelled trip but said they won't refund 10th Jun 17 at 4:15 PM
    Hi everyone, hoping some of you may be able to give me some advice

    My year 6 child was due to go on a school trip to London last week. The trip cost over £300 pounds per child but I thought this represented good value as they were going to do some really exciting things, a West End show and trips to lots of attractions.

    In light of the terrorist attacks the school decided to cancel the trip, at a hastily convened meeting with parents before the final decision to pull the trip was taken, the head and one of the school governors said that no refunds would be provided as the school no longer had the money.

    We had paid the money to the school in instalments and then it had been paid to a company who were organising the accommodation, transport and activities on the trip. There was insurance taken out when we booked the trip but there doesn't seem to be any claim that can be made on this as the government advice was that travel to London is still safe and it was solely the schools decision to cancel the trip. I don't think the company who organises the trip is liable as the trip was still available, it's just that the school decided the trip was off.

    My child has been really upset this week, they'd literally been looking forward to it all year . I didn't agree with the decision to cancel the trip as I think you can't live in fear of these things, you have to get on with life. However I do understand that it was the school's prerogative to cancel as they were the ones taking the children - I just don't think it's right that they are refusing to refund.

    So my question is can the school legally refuse to provide refunds? Also is there anything I can do if they continue to refuse (beyond following the schools procedures to make a complaint), do I have any further redress?

    Thanks for reading
Page 1
    • pinkshoes
    • By pinkshoes 10th Jun 17, 4:29 PM
    • 15,341 Posts
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    pinkshoes
    • #2
    • 10th Jun 17, 4:29 PM
    • #2
    • 10th Jun 17, 4:29 PM
    I'm a teacher and our school has just had a trip to London last week to see a West End show.
    As there was no government warning against travelling to the capital, the trip went ahead. Any parents not happy could remove their child from the trip.

    So no, the school cannot just keep your money as their decision was not made on reasonable grounds.

    As the trip was paid and everything booked, they should have just said that any parent not happy could remove their child from the trip but no refund due.

    Did you attend the meeting and made it clear you thought the trip should go ahead?

    I would write to the school insisting on a refund on the above grounds.
    Should've = Should HAVE (not 'of')
    Would've = Would HAVE (not 'of')

    No, I am not perfect, but yes I do judge people on their use of basic English language. If you didn't know the above, then learn it! (If English is your second language, then you are forgiven!)
    • NorthernLassie
    • By NorthernLassie 10th Jun 17, 4:37 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 28 Thanks
    NorthernLassie
    • #3
    • 10th Jun 17, 4:37 PM
    • #3
    • 10th Jun 17, 4:37 PM
    Thanks for the reply pink shoes,

    Yes I made it absolutely clear that I wanted the trip to go ahead and that my child still wanted to go. It was cancelled the day before they were due to go, they had their bag packed and had been doing a daily countdown on the calendar. Some of their classmates had withdrawn but there was still a good bunch of them who wanted to go.

    Do you mind me asking, as a teacher, do you think it would cause problems for my other child who will still be at the school in September if I make a complaint to the school and ask for my money back?

    Thanks
    • angryparcel
    • By angryparcel 10th Jun 17, 5:14 PM
    • 910 Posts
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    angryparcel
    • #4
    • 10th Jun 17, 5:14 PM
    • #4
    • 10th Jun 17, 5:14 PM
    i can see exactly what has happened.
    The parents have paid all their money, school booked hotel, west end show tickets, all transport and then school cancelled last minute, so they wont get refunded for hotel, show, transport and because no warning from gov. stopping trips to London they wont get anything from insurance. so school is saying no refunds as yes they dont have the money, but that is their problem and not the parents.
    You are entitled to a full refund as the school cancelled the trip
    • agrinnall
    • By agrinnall 10th Jun 17, 7:00 PM
    • 18,544 Posts
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    agrinnall
    • #5
    • 10th Jun 17, 7:00 PM
    • #5
    • 10th Jun 17, 7:00 PM
    As well as doing what pinkshoes says I would be starting to make a list of places where you can name and shame the head and the governer who made the decision (local paper, social media, etc.). And if it's an LEA school get your councillors involved. I'd also consider suing them personally for the money.
    • angryparcel
    • By angryparcel 10th Jun 17, 7:03 PM
    • 910 Posts
    • 520 Thanks
    angryparcel
    • #6
    • 10th Jun 17, 7:03 PM
    • #6
    • 10th Jun 17, 7:03 PM
    I dare say you wont be the only family this has happened too, so why dont the parents get together and approach the school as a group and if that fails speak to local media
    • LABMAN
    • By LABMAN 10th Jun 17, 7:05 PM
    • 683 Posts
    • 1,134 Thanks
    LABMAN
    • #7
    • 10th Jun 17, 7:05 PM
    • #7
    • 10th Jun 17, 7:05 PM
    Name and shame them!
    • pinkshoes
    • By pinkshoes 10th Jun 17, 7:53 PM
    • 15,341 Posts
    • 20,904 Thanks
    pinkshoes
    • #8
    • 10th Jun 17, 7:53 PM
    • #8
    • 10th Jun 17, 7:53 PM
    Thanks for the reply pink shoes,

    Yes I made it absolutely clear that I wanted the trip to go ahead and that my child still wanted to go. It was cancelled the day before they were due to go, they had their bag packed and had been doing a daily countdown on the calendar. Some of their classmates had withdrawn but there was still a good bunch of them who wanted to go.

    Do you mind me asking, as a teacher, do you think it would cause problems for my other child who will still be at the school in September if I make a complaint to the school and ask for my money back?

    Thanks
    Originally posted by NorthernLassie
    I would start by writing a polite letter stating that as there was no government advisory about travelling to London and many (most?) parents were happy for it to go ahead, then you are very disappointed that they chose to cancel the trip. I would then go on to say that on this basis, you are therefore due a full refund of £300, and you would appreciate it if they paid this money back to you as soon as possible.

    The school are going to have a HUGE problem on their hands and I very much doubt you will be the only parent asking for a refund.

    Whoever made the decision to cancel is an IDIOT, as they (the school) will now need to refund ALL people who paid, even the ones who demanded the trip didn't go ahead.

    The school cannot claim this money back from the organiser or insurance as there are no grounds to complain.

    Where they will get this money from I have no idea, as school budgets are tight. Someone's head will be on the line...! (Not your problem though)

    If they had let it go ahead, it would not have cost them a penny!!

    Try and keep it polite to begin with, but it might be worth getting together with other parents who wanted the trip to continue and writing a much more strongly worded letter if they are not forthcoming with a refund.

    Good luck!
    Should've = Should HAVE (not 'of')
    Would've = Would HAVE (not 'of')

    No, I am not perfect, but yes I do judge people on their use of basic English language. If you didn't know the above, then learn it! (If English is your second language, then you are forgiven!)
    • arcon5
    • By arcon5 10th Jun 17, 8:46 PM
    • 13,125 Posts
    • 8,321 Thanks
    arcon5
    • #9
    • 10th Jun 17, 8:46 PM
    • #9
    • 10th Jun 17, 8:46 PM
    It might result in a court case if they persist, you are entitled to a full refund
    • daveyjp
    • By daveyjp 10th Jun 17, 9:13 PM
    • 7,155 Posts
    • 5,558 Thanks
    daveyjp
    I would start by writing a polite letter stating that as there was no government advisory about travelling to London and many (most?) parents were happy for it to go ahead, then you are very disappointed that they chose to cancel the trip. I would then go on to say that on this basis, you are therefore due a full refund of £300, and you would appreciate it if they paid this money back to you as soon as possible.

    The school are going to have a HUGE problem on their hands and I very much doubt you will be the only parent asking for a refund.

    Whoever made the decision to cancel is an IDIOT, as they (the school) will now need to refund ALL people who paid, even the ones who demanded the trip didn't go ahead.

    The school cannot claim this money back from the organiser or insurance as there are no grounds to complain.

    Where they will get this money from I have no idea, as school budgets are tight. Someone's head will be on the line...! (Not your problem though)

    If they had let it go ahead, it would not have cost them a penny!!

    Try and keep it polite to begin with, but it might be worth getting together with other parents who wanted the trip to continue and writing a much more strongly worded letter if they are not forthcoming with a refund.

    Good luck!
    Originally posted by pinkshoes
    This, but rather than being too polite - don't use 'appreciate' - tell them as this is a unilateral decision by the school they must refund you and you are giving them 7 days to return the money.

    If they fail you can go legal with a formal letter before action giving them another 7 days.
    • NorthernLassie
    • By NorthernLassie 10th Jun 17, 11:07 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 28 Thanks
    NorthernLassie
    Thanks so much everyone who has replied, I'm new to the forum so I don't know how to use the thank you function but you've given me some really helpful advice and I feel more confident about asking the school for a refund.
    • LABMAN
    • By LABMAN 11th Jun 17, 12:32 AM
    • 683 Posts
    • 1,134 Thanks
    LABMAN
    Thanks so much everyone who has replied, I'm new to the forum so I don't know how to use the thank you function but you've given me some really helpful advice and I feel more confident about asking the school for a refund.
    Originally posted by NorthernLassie
    You press a button that says 'Thanks'?....?
    • mije1983
    • By mije1983 11th Jun 17, 12:34 AM
    • 2,582 Posts
    • 18,381 Thanks
    mije1983
    so I don't know how to use the thank you function
    Originally posted by NorthernLassie

    The 'thanks' button below the relevant post

    Edit: Beaten to it!

    • NorthernLassie
    • By NorthernLassie 11th Jun 17, 12:41 AM
    • 6 Posts
    • 28 Thanks
    NorthernLassie
    Got it thanks
    • Wayhay2010
    • By Wayhay2010 12th Jun 17, 8:55 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    Wayhay2010
    I'm in exactly the same boat. My child should have travelled to London last Wednesday but the trip got cancelled on Monday. I am also wanting to persue purely for the fact the decision was taken out of our hands and that the children where made to do lessons instead of having a bit of fun time on the days they should have been enjoying London. I believe that because our school did not issue any t&cs saying that the school has the right to cancel any trips without full refund I have a good case. The only thing is do I have to address this claim to the school or the council?
    • pinkshoes
    • By pinkshoes 12th Jun 17, 9:25 PM
    • 15,341 Posts
    • 20,904 Thanks
    pinkshoes
    I'm in exactly the same boat. My child should have travelled to London last Wednesday but the trip got cancelled on Monday. I am also wanting to persue purely for the fact the decision was taken out of our hands and that the children where made to do lessons instead of having a bit of fun time on the days they should have been enjoying London. I believe that because our school did not issue any t&cs saying that the school has the right to cancel any trips without full refund I have a good case. The only thing is do I have to address this claim to the school or the council?
    Originally posted by Wayhay2010
    Who organised the trip?

    Who did you pay your 'voluntary contribution' to?

    Who made the decision to cancel and on what grounds?
    Should've = Should HAVE (not 'of')
    Would've = Would HAVE (not 'of')

    No, I am not perfect, but yes I do judge people on their use of basic English language. If you didn't know the above, then learn it! (If English is your second language, then you are forgiven!)
    • Johno100
    • By Johno100 12th Jun 17, 9:32 PM
    • 3,170 Posts
    • 3,427 Thanks
    Johno100
    I'm in exactly the same boat. My child should have travelled to London last Wednesday but the trip got cancelled on Monday. I am also wanting to persue purely for the fact the decision was taken out of our hands and that the children where made to do lessons instead of having a bit of fun time on the days they should have been enjoying London. I believe that because our school did not issue any t&cs saying that the school has the right to cancel any trips without full refund I have a good case. The only thing is do I have to address this claim to the school or the council?
    Originally posted by Wayhay2010
    Is the school still under the councils remit or like many now part of an academy chain? If it is still council then I'd complain to the school, your local councillor(s), the Local Education Authority and cabinet member/chair of the education committee.
    • Le_Kirk
    • By Le_Kirk 13th Jun 17, 10:01 AM
    • 2,198 Posts
    • 1,117 Thanks
    Le_Kirk
    The complaints procedure at schools should be three stage. If, following your complaint you are not satisfied with the response, you are offered a meeting with a senior member of staff (possibly head teacher). If no satisfactory outcome you should be offered a hearing in front of a Governor panel at which you can put your case. Governors can call upon "witnesses" i.e those that made the decision to cancel. Governors should be fair, equitable, use the process of natural justice as their guide lines and not just take the school's side.
    • steampowered
    • By steampowered 13th Jun 17, 1:01 PM
    • 1,906 Posts
    • 1,784 Thanks
    steampowered
    Personally, I would let this one go.

    I think it is a bit silly that the school cancelled the trip. But it is also understandable, especially if parents expressed concern.

    Any money you claim won't be reimbursed by the government. It will be coming directly out of that school's budgets.

    If you and other parents push hard for refunds in cases like this, the school will be less likely to organise school trips in future. The school simply won't approve school trips if they result in money coming out of the school's budget.
    • AndyPix
    • By AndyPix 13th Jun 17, 1:16 PM
    • 2,908 Posts
    • 1,987 Thanks
    AndyPix
    The school simply won't approve school trips if they result in money coming out of the school's budget.
    Originally posted by steampowered

    Or they will think twice about cancelling them , basically waving bye-bye to parents hard earned money


    Some parents are on tight budgets too you know !!
    Last edited by AndyPix; 13-06-2017 at 1:18 PM.
    Running with scissors since 1978
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