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  • FIRST POST
    • NorthernLassie
    • By NorthernLassie 10th Jun 17, 4:15 PM
    • 5Posts
    • 7Thanks
    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
    • 753 Posts
    • 405 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
    • 958 Posts
    • 660 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
    • 5 Posts
    • 7 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
    • 2,225 Posts
    • 2,632 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!
    ent.
    • CardinalWolsey
    • By CardinalWolsey 14th Jun 17, 9:33 AM
    • 49 Posts
    • 50 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
    • 7,703 Posts
    • 5,218 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.
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