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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 2
    • angryparcel
    • By angryparcel 13th Jun 17, 1:19 PM
    • 910 Posts
    • 520 Thanks
    angryparcel
    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.
    Originally posted by steampowered
    The cancelled without reason and parents wanted the trip to go ahead, so yes the school should refund parents and if it comes out of school funds then that is the schools fault.
    • m0bov
    • By m0bov 13th Jun 17, 2:59 PM
    • 1,132 Posts
    • 755 Thanks
    m0bov
    Was the money paid directly to a company or was it the school? If it was the school, then a letter before action is the first step as they have broken the contract and failed to provide the trip. They should be given 7 days. Keep the letter short and to the point, don't let it get emotional, just set out what you want and why you think you are entitled to it.
    • NorthernLassie
    • By NorthernLassie 13th Jun 17, 4:04 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 28 Thanks
    NorthernLassie
    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.
    Originally posted by steampowered
    I think that is the argument the school will use, but whilst some parents had withdrawn their children prior to the cancelation there were still a substantial group who wanted to go. Whilst nobody is suggesting the ones who didn't want to go should have been pressured to do so, I think the school needed to either let the trip go ahead for the ones who wanted to go or accept that they are liable for refunding them.

    It is a horrible situation to be in and I don't want there to be any acrimony between the school and myself but the trip was well over £300, that's a lot of money to write off when I didn't want the trip to be cancelled - my child had been desperate to go.

    I think it would be very unfair of the school to try and pressure parents not to seek a refund (if we are legally entitled to do so) by using arguments about school finances or that it would jeopardise future trips.

    As I said it's a difficult situation to be in but not one of our making.

    The money had all been paid directly to the school rather than a third party provider.
    • daytona0
    • By daytona0 13th Jun 17, 9:33 PM
    • 2,237 Posts
    • 2,666 Thanks
    daytona0
    How many similar attacks have taken place in schools?

    1? or 2? or more?

    Silly irrational thinking. As long as the safeguarding is in place, the school have nothing to worry about. If the kids end up in a terrorist attack through no fault of the school/kids then there is no legitimate backlash!
    • CardinalWolsey
    • By CardinalWolsey 14th Jun 17, 9:33 AM
    • 108 Posts
    • 94 Thanks
    CardinalWolsey
    As a former chair of governors of a primary school, my advice would be to go straight in with an LBA. Don't follow the complaints procedure - you are not complaining, you are requesting that the school refund monies that you are rightly due. Address this to the head teacher, but copy in the chair of governors and the clerk to the governors. Keep it concise and factual. You are not asking if it would be possible to receive a refund, you are requiring it due to the school's cancellation.

    In a situation such as this, I cannot believe the head teacher would not have spoken with the chair of governors to reach a mutual decision, but in any event the buck stops with the governing body. It could potentially be argued that the governors are personally liable in this scenario (although they should have insurance in place to cover their liability).

    See https://www.brownejacobson.com/education/training-and-resources/guides/2012/09/risks-and-responsibilities-of-a-governor
    • cattie
    • By cattie 14th Jun 17, 1:16 PM
    • 7,739 Posts
    • 5,272 Thanks
    cattie
    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.
    Originally posted by steampowered

    £300 is more than a weeks earnings/income in many parents case & probably would have made sacrifices to gather the money together for the trip. They likely wouldn't be interested in signing up for future trips anyway having suffered the cancellation of this trip with no real need. They are entitled to try to recoup the money they have paid.
    The bigger the bargain, the better I feel.

    I should mention that there's only one of me, don't confuse me with others of the same name.
    • CardinalWolsey
    • By CardinalWolsey 25th Jun 17, 9:05 AM
    • 108 Posts
    • 94 Thanks
    CardinalWolsey
    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?
    Originally posted by NorthernLassie
    @NorthernLassie - please do keep the forum updated with progress, particularly if you get movement before the end of the school year.
    • NorthernLassie
    • By NorthernLassie 25th Jun 17, 10:00 AM
    • 6 Posts
    • 28 Thanks
    NorthernLassie
    Hi everyone,
    Well, as advised a group of us did get together and sent a letter asking for a refund and on Friday we had a letter home saying that having sought legal advice the school had been informed that they were obliged to provide everyone with refunds (even those who'd withdrawn their kids prior to cancellation which I was really pleased with as ultimately this proved irrelevant as the school cancelled the trip anyway). The tone of the letter was rather grudging and suggested that we may want to donate our refund cheques to the school but overall I pleased with the outcome as all the parents now have the option of taking the refund or not as they choose. In lots of ways the school is brilliant and I'm very grateful to the teachers for the work they do with the kids, I think this situation has been mishandled but hopefully things can move forwards now. Thanks for all the advice and good luck to everyone in a similar situation.
    • maisie cat
    • By maisie cat 25th Jun 17, 10:13 AM
    • 266 Posts
    • 300 Thanks
    maisie cat
    Hi everyone,
    Well, as advised a group of us did get together and sent a letter asking for a refund and on Friday we had a letter home saying that having sought legal advice the school had been informed that they were obliged to provide everyone with refunds (even those who'd withdrawn their kids prior to cancellation which I was really pleased with as ultimately this proved irrelevant as the school cancelled the trip anyway). The tone of the letter was rather grudging and suggested that we may want to donate our refund cheques to the school but overall I pleased with the outcome as all the parents now have the option of taking the refund or not as they choose. In lots of ways the school is brilliant and I'm very grateful to the teachers for the work they do with the kids, I think this situation has been mishandled but hopefully things can move forwards now. Thanks for all the advice and good luck to everyone in a similar situation.
    Originally posted by NorthernLassie
    Well done, but expect the school to reduce or simply stop school trips because they simply cannot afford the risk
    • hollydays
    • By hollydays 25th Jun 17, 10:36 AM
    • 15,532 Posts
    • 11,316 Thanks
    hollydays
    If the school goes against the advice of the government they have upped the risk of losing money themselves
    • Cherryscone
    • By Cherryscone 25th Jun 17, 10:48 AM
    • 1,296 Posts
    • 996 Thanks
    Cherryscone
    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.
    Originally posted by steampowered
    A lot of Parents scrimp and save to send their Child on School Trips £300 is a Lot of Money to some Myself Included .
    ~We are all going to hell and guess whos driving the bus~


    *Norn Iron club Member 294*
    • pinkshoes
    • By pinkshoes 25th Jun 17, 12:34 PM
    • 15,336 Posts
    • 20,898 Thanks
    pinkshoes
    Well done, but expect the school to reduce or simply stop school trips because they simply cannot afford the risk
    Originally posted by maisie cat
    This wasn't about a risk though.

    The trip had been paid for, there was no government warning about travelling to London, and the company running it were still running it.

    Someone at the school made the IDIOTIC decision to cancel, and that person has now cost the school a lot of money.

    Indeed the money will have to come out of their budget somehow... It was a lose lose situation though as the kids would suffer one way or another.

    I wonder how many of those families who were refusing to let their child go will now insist on a refund...?
    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!)
    • unholyangel
    • By unholyangel 25th Jun 17, 1:47 PM
    • 11,547 Posts
    • 8,671 Thanks
    unholyangel
    Well done, but expect the school to reduce or simply stop school trips because they simply cannot afford the risk
    Originally posted by maisie cat
    The risk of what? Having incompetent people in decision making positions?

    Someone who's competent would have checked the legal position before cancelling. They wouldn't have just went full steam ahead thinking it was okay because it wasn't their money at risk.
    Money doesn't solve poverty.....it creates it.
    • harrys dad
    • By harrys dad 25th Jun 17, 1:58 PM
    • 1,834 Posts
    • 2,060 Thanks
    harrys dad
    When I first read this thread I could not believe any school would act in this way, a complete knee jerk reaction. Before retirement I had 35 years as a teacher, head teacher, governor, etc etc and have never come across something quite as stupid and financially reckless before.

    It would be interesting to know who took the original decision to cancel the trip and why. Did they get any advice at all before making such a poor decision, and if so who from? Did the person cancelling the trip have the authority to do so? Have the governing body given approval for the consequent expenditure from the ever diminishing school budget to pay for refunds?

    It is also totally wrong to try and guilt trip parents into not accepting the refunds. The school should have taken legal advice before they cancelled the trip not after they got asked for refunds.
    • Gavin83
    • By Gavin83 25th Jun 17, 2:09 PM
    • 4,678 Posts
    • 7,452 Thanks
    Gavin83
    Hi everyone,
    Well, as advised a group of us did get together and sent a letter asking for a refund and on Friday we had a letter home saying that having sought legal advice the school had been informed that they were obliged to provide everyone with refunds (even those who'd withdrawn their kids prior to cancellation which I was really pleased with as ultimately this proved irrelevant as the school cancelled the trip anyway). The tone of the letter was rather grudging and suggested that we may want to donate our refund cheques to the school but overall I pleased with the outcome as all the parents now have the option of taking the refund or not as they choose. In lots of ways the school is brilliant and I'm very grateful to the teachers for the work they do with the kids, I think this situation has been mishandled but hopefully things can move forwards now. Thanks for all the advice and good luck to everyone in a similar situation.
    Originally posted by NorthernLassie
    This school is run by idiots. Firstly for unnecessarily cancelling the trip in the first place and then actually having to seek legal advice for this, surely it's common sense. The tone of the letter would anger me too.

    Along with receiving a refund I'd be raising a complaint in regards to the terrible way this whole thing was handled, from start to finish. Someone really needs to consider their decisions.
    • Gravedigger
    • By Gravedigger 26th Jun 17, 3:34 AM
    • 65 Posts
    • 38 Thanks
    Gravedigger
    In any event I would be asking for copies of receipts of all monies paid and to who. Then I would ask all those who had been paid money if any refunds had been made. It's a lot of money in total that someone has been at least negligent with.
    • DCFC79
    • By DCFC79 26th Jun 17, 9:12 AM
    • 30,283 Posts
    • 19,157 Thanks
    DCFC79
    The school should have spoken/wrote to the parents and asked them if they were still happy for the trip to go ahead.
    Can people stop loaning money/being a guarator to family/friends, it rarely ends well and you lose out as your money is gone or you get shafted with being a guarantor.
    • vacheron
    • By vacheron 26th Jun 17, 9:18 AM
    • 721 Posts
    • 645 Thanks
    vacheron
    ......................
    It is also totally wrong to try and guilt trip parents into not accepting the refunds. The school should have taken legal advice before they cancelled the trip not after they got asked for refunds.
    Originally posted by harrys dad
    On the other hand, what a useful fundraising scheme that could turn out to be.

    Maybe next year they can arrange a 6 month world tour at £10,000 per pupil, then cancel it without any good reason or consultation and send the kids back to class while suggesting the parents simply donate the money otherwise they are damaging the school by their greedy actions!
    • The rich buy assets.
    • The poor only have expenses.
    • The middle class buy liabilities they think are assets.
    Robert T. Kiyosaki
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