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    • willburr
    • By willburr 7th Dec 17, 6:02 PM
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    willburr
    Private school extras fee dilemma
    • #1
    • 7th Dec 17, 6:02 PM
    Private school extras fee dilemma 7th Dec 17 at 6:02 PM
    Hoping someone can help and advise...

    My daughter goes to a private school which a relative of my ex pays for, I signed agreement which is a joint and several contract originally thinking joint meant both myself and ex would have to pay. It doesn't mean that, it means the school can chase one or both parents and that is the problem.

    Originally I was told by me ex Id only have to pay school dinners, but now she is adding loads of extra curricular activites and the bill keeps going up. She pays nothing despite saying she would and will. But she never does.

    The relative still pays the actual fees but I am always being chased and end up paying for clubs, extra tuition etc.

    I was naiave and didn't fully understand the implications of the contract which more or less means my ex can book my child into anything without me agreeing or even being asked and I end up paying.

    How do I avoid this or limit it?

    I have asked ex what she thinks a reasonable amount per term/year for me to pay on extras is?

    Would mediation be the answer? Or a court order

    Many many thanks
Page 1
    • IAmWales
    • By IAmWales 7th Dec 17, 6:54 PM
    • 1,864 Posts
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    IAmWales
    • #2
    • 7th Dec 17, 6:54 PM
    • #2
    • 7th Dec 17, 6:54 PM
    Lots of focus on money, but you neglect to tell us what your daughter wants. Is she enjoying and benefiting from these activities?

    Can you not afford the extras, or do you just not want to pay towards your daughter's education? Do you pay a fair amount of maintenance?

    Whilst your ex might not be paying towards these extras herself, her side of the family is paying the bulk of the cost.
    • Fireflyaway
    • By Fireflyaway 7th Dec 17, 7:30 PM
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    Fireflyaway
    • #3
    • 7th Dec 17, 7:30 PM
    • #3
    • 7th Dec 17, 7:30 PM
    I am also thinking along the lines of IAmWales. Is your ex just trying to annoy you? Do you have enough money to cover the extras etc? Do you agree your child needs the extras?
    Our extras invoice comes by email to both me and my husband. Do you have the same so you can see the breakdown of costs? Then you and your ex pay half direct to school. You are both responsible for her education after all. Or....could you both make a lump sum payment to the school account each term / year? Then the school take what the need from it and carry over anything not used? That way its fair.
    Why does your ex not pay by the way?
    If you can't come to an agreement maybe get a solicitor to draw something up?
    • TBagpuss
    • By TBagpuss 7th Dec 17, 8:21 PM
    • 6,084 Posts
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    TBagpuss
    • #4
    • 7th Dec 17, 8:21 PM
    • #4
    • 7th Dec 17, 8:21 PM
    Who did you sign the agreement with? Is it an agreement with the school, or with your ex?
    If it is with the school, what are the terms (e.g. notice for terminating it?)

    It may be possible for you to speak to the school to limit the maximum amount per term / year covered by the agreement.

    Alternatively, it may be possible for you to give notice to end the agreement, with a view to then negotiating with your ex to agree a new arrangement.

    As others have said, think about what you can afford, and what your daughter enjoys and would like to do.
    • barbarawright
    • By barbarawright 7th Dec 17, 9:19 PM
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    barbarawright
    • #5
    • 7th Dec 17, 9:19 PM
    • #5
    • 7th Dec 17, 9:19 PM
    In effect your ex is paying the fees (presumably at least £10,000 pa) and you are paying the extras which can't be anywhere near that. What do you think you should contribute to your daughter's education. Presumably even if she was at the local comp, there would still be after school clubs and subs
    • onomatopoeia99
    • By onomatopoeia99 7th Dec 17, 9:37 PM
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    onomatopoeia99
    • #6
    • 7th Dec 17, 9:37 PM
    • #6
    • 7th Dec 17, 9:37 PM
    Presumably even if she was at the local comp, there would still be after school clubs and subs
    Originally posted by barbarawright
    There was none of that when I was at (state) school, got on the (free) bus after the last lesson and walked home from the stop. No after school clubs, no subs, nothing. I mean, they may have existed, but I depended on the school bus to get home, so I didn't go to any.
    INTP, nerd, libertarian and scifi geek.
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    • silvercar
    • By silvercar 7th Dec 17, 10:46 PM
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    silvercar
    • #7
    • 7th Dec 17, 10:46 PM
    • #7
    • 7th Dec 17, 10:46 PM
    In effect your ex is paying the fees (presumably at least £10,000 pa) and you are paying the extras which can't be anywhere near that. What do you think you should contribute to your daughter's education. Presumably even if she was at the local comp, there would still be after school clubs and subs
    Originally posted by barbarawright
    Possibly a big difference between after school netball/ football and pony/ trombone lessons.
    • willburr
    • By willburr 7th Dec 17, 11:59 PM
    • 4 Posts
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    willburr
    • #8
    • 7th Dec 17, 11:59 PM
    • #8
    • 7th Dec 17, 11:59 PM
    Thank you for the replies. There was a lot about money. If I could easily afford it then my daughter could do and have as much as she wanted but we all have to have limits. I earn circa 13000 per year. The current extras bill will be around 3700 for one year of 3 terms.

    The relative is not a blood relation to my ex, it is by marriage (not to my ex) so whether that is still looked upon as her effectively paying the fees or not I don't know. The relation is a multi millionaire if that makes a difference or not I don't know but it is the only way my daughter
    could have gone to a private school.

    My ex pays very little because, like me, she can't really afford it. The difference is I pay to avoid interest being added. And because I don't like being thought of as a bad payer. That doesn't seem to bother her.

    I asked my ex based on my wages what she thought a reasonable sum per year should be for me to pay for the extras. I got no definitive answer. But she did stop one extra club. But she,s now started it again saying repeatedly her parents would pay. They didn't and eventually when I had a school bill and a 1500 repair bill at the same time i asked if they could for that one club the next time I saw them as I thought she really had asked them, it was clear they had never been asked and said my daughter didn't need all those extras and they said they would speak to their daughter about it. If they did it didn't have much effect other than my ex booking booking daughter in for more extras.

    Yes she could be doing it to annoy me.

    When my daughter gave up that one club, we asked her if she would give it up first and she said ok.

    I have already said that if the term extras could be kept to 500 600 it is doable. About 1800 per year.

    They are double that currently.

    The contract is with the school, joint and several liability. I have asked about capping extras fees they said no. They also said they only need one parent to authorise a club, activity. If the parents dispute what clubs and how many it's then a domestic dispute.

    The bills do go to both of us although my ex will say sometimes she hasn't received one. The school have chased her for payment at times and although she tells the school she will pay, doesn't

    Do I want the best for my daughter, yes we all do for our children but it has to be within our means doesn't it?

    The converse of that is what happens when I can no longer pay have no money for extras?

    Sorry for the length of the reply but i hope that answers most of the questions and gives a bit more background.

    Any other advice or comments would be appreciated.

    Is it still the case I'm being mean and stingey or is my ex just taking advantage?

    If so is there anything I can do to make it more affordable?
    • willburr
    • By willburr 8th Dec 17, 12:03 AM
    • 4 Posts
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    willburr
    • #9
    • 8th Dec 17, 12:03 AM
    • #9
    • 8th Dec 17, 12:03 AM
    Ps, my ex doesn't ask or tell me about any club, activity signings.
    • elsien
    • By elsien 8th Dec 17, 12:18 AM
    • 15,442 Posts
    • 38,780 Thanks
    elsien
    If the contract is a joint one with the school, could you not terminate it and set up a new one which needs both of you to agree before any further extras are added?
    You can't be the only separated/divorced parents at the school, it must have cropped up before. I don't think they're being particularly helpful saying only one parent has to agree - that's fine if you're together but problematic if you're not.
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
    • willburr
    • By willburr 8th Dec 17, 12:42 AM
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    willburr
    I agree i don't think it is helpful or fair of the school actually. And it would be sensible if the school didn't have to keep chasing for money id have thought. My increasing impression is it's all about money, money, money. If you Google private schools bankruptcies etc there are a number of articles with headlines such as some parents are finding it harder getting their kids out rather than in. Also a number of stories about parents being made bankrupt for fees owing of 2k.

    Btw, We were never married nor did we live together. But I don't think that makes much difference. My ex gf also said due to a medical condition pregnancy was "impossible" although this was retrospectively changed to "not very likely".
    • unholyangel
    • By unholyangel 8th Dec 17, 2:35 AM
    • 11,603 Posts
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    unholyangel
    I agree i don't think it is helpful or fair of the school actually. And it would be sensible if the school didn't have to keep chasing for money id have thought. My increasing impression is it's all about money, money, money. If you Google private schools bankruptcies etc there are a number of articles with headlines such as some parents are finding it harder getting their kids out rather than in. Also a number of stories about parents being made bankrupt for fees owing of 2k.

    Btw, We were never married nor did we live together. But I don't think that makes much difference. My ex gf also said due to a medical condition pregnancy was "impossible" although this was retrospectively changed to "not very likely".
    Originally posted by willburr
    PCOS by any chance? If so I know a friend of mine was diagnosed with it and led to believe she would never conceive. Several years later discovered she could when she had a miscarriage. Professionals do sometimes get it wrong.

    Perhaps try get a free half hour with a solicitor, take along a copy of the contract and ask their thoughts on whether your ex can bind you to a new/increased liability or whether the school should be seeking consent of all parties.
    Money doesn't solve poverty.....it creates it.
    • Cheeseface
    • By Cheeseface 8th Dec 17, 6:58 AM
    • 136 Posts
    • 384 Thanks
    Cheeseface
    Had you thought about refusing to pay from this point forward, give a term’s notice though?

    If you pay your ex maintenance then all school fees should come out of that.

    Contact the school, arrange to pay your arrears and say that you are not in a position to fund any further so do not authorise it.
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 8th Dec 17, 10:00 AM
    • 28,649 Posts
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    Mojisola
    I earn circa 13000 per year. The current extras bill will be around 3700 for one year of 3 terms.
    Originally posted by willburr
    That's totally unsustainable.
    • ska lover
    • By ska lover 8th Dec 17, 11:37 AM
    • 2,552 Posts
    • 6,225 Thanks
    ska lover
    Had you thought about refusing to pay from this point forward, give a termís notice though?

    If you pay your ex maintenance then all school fees should come out of that.

    Contact the school, arrange to pay your arrears and say that you are not in a position to fund any further so do not authorise it.
    Originally posted by Cheeseface
    This, put it in writing and see what happens.


    I feel sorry for you OP I mean in no other way would we just be expected to suck up fees - I mean if I dropped my car off at the garage and they did work to it without my consent I would be furious - and the current agreement could cause you to be in serious financial straits for years!
    Blah blah blah.
    • IAmWales
    • By IAmWales 8th Dec 17, 11:55 AM
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    IAmWales
    Do you not work full time, and is there a reason why you don't? £13,000 is less than minimum wage for full time hours.
    • silvercar
    • By silvercar 8th Dec 17, 12:12 PM
    • 36,208 Posts
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    silvercar
    The fact is that extras at a fee paying school are likely to be far higher than they would be at a state school. Mainly because the demand is there to supply higher value options.

    To send a child to a fee paying school you have to expect that there will be extra costs that come with that. Even to the extent that the pupils have personal budgets for socialising/ shopping etc that are on average higher than from a state school.

    Really it is something that you should have realised when you made the decision to accept the generous relatives offer of paying for a private education for your child. If the parents are seeing the benefit of their child having a private education and all they have to pay for is the extras they are getting value for money.
    • fred246
    • By fred246 8th Dec 17, 6:36 PM
    • 917 Posts
    • 499 Thanks
    fred246
    How can you see the benefits of a private education? All you can do is send your child to a certain school and then make a guess about whether it has turned out better or worse than sending them to a different school. Just paying for something that is available for free doesn't make it any better, just more expensive. If a multi millionaire is paying the fees why not ask them to pay for the extras?
    • elsien
    • By elsien 8th Dec 17, 6:39 PM
    • 15,442 Posts
    • 38,780 Thanks
    elsien
    Really it is something that you should have realised when you made the decision to accept the generous relatives offer of paying for a private education for your child. If the parents are seeing the benefit of their child having a private education and all they have to pay for is the extras they are getting value for money.
    Originally posted by silvercar
    OP did realise and can/will pay, up to a point. That doesn't make it ok for his ex to load all sorts of extras on without his consent then leave it for him to keep forking out.
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
    • z1a
    • By z1a 8th Dec 17, 7:23 PM
    • 818 Posts
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    z1a
    Does she actually benefit from it being a private school?
    One of my (rich) neighbours sent both of their kids to a private school, pure vanity on parents behalf, both kids (now adults) were, and still are thick as swine-poo. failed miserably at exams. I guess parents spent well over £100k for schooling.
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