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Education Law

Expert Education Law advice courtesy of the dedicated team of nationally respected specialist lawyers at HCB.

  • Comprehensive advice on all aspects of education law
  • Proven expertise in special educational needs and higher education law

Problems with Private Schools

Private schools are businesses. Their business is the provision of education to their pupils.

When a child joins a private school, their attendance will be governed by a set of terms and conditions. These terms and conditions work in the same way as any other contract. It sets out what the parents, and the pupil, may expect from the school and what the school will expect from the pupil, and their parents, in return.

Unfortunately, as with all schools, disputes between pupils, parents and the school do arise. This can be for a number of reasons, including:

  • Disciplinary proceedings
  • Exclusion
  • Exam results
  • Quality of education
  • Quality of residential provision
  • Quality of care

The starting point with any dispute with a private school will be to consider the terms of the contract, along with the policies the school has for resolving disputes. Typically, the school will have a staggered complaints policy which will give you the opportunity to complain to the school itself. This will normally involve complaint meetings with the headteacher, governing body and chair of the governors.

As the relationship you have with the school is governed by a Contract, the remedy you ultimately have is a claim for breach of contract. However, before you are able to make such a claim, you would be expected to make a complaint in accordance with the school’s policies.

It is important to be aware that there is a time limit to making a claim for a breach of contract. Whilst you should always endeavour to resolve the dispute with the school through the complaints procedure, the time limit for a claim will not normally be extended by doing so. As such, you need to make sure that pursuing your complaint des not prevent you from making a claim.

Complaints against private schools, and claims for breach of contract, can be extremely difficult. It is advisable to seek advice from specialist education law solicitors.

 

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