Problems with Private Schools
Expert Education Law advice courtesy of the dedicated team of nationally respected specialist lawyers at HCB.
Private schools are run as a business and that business is the delivery of education to their students, so when problems arise it can be difficult to know where to start.
Due to the nature of private schools, terms and conditions are put in place to govern attendance, meaning there are certain expectations regarding the service the school provide. Just like any other contract, it establishes what is expected of the students, the parents, and the school.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t necessarily prevent disputes, and disagreements still arise, including:
- Exam results
- Quality of care
- Quality of teaching
- Disciplinary procedures
- Quality of residential provision
If a dispute does arise, the best place to start is to study the terms and conditions of the school contract and the policies they put forward regarding the resolution of disputes. It is typical that the school will stagger the complaints procedure, giving you the opportunity to complain at different levels, including directly to the school itself in a meeting with the head teacher and governors.
Due to the element of a contract between yourself and the school, legally you can claim a breach of contract. However, you can only do this once you have already made a complaint in line with the school’s guidelines. There is also a 6 year statutory time limit for making a breach of contract claim.
You should always strive to resolve a dispute through the complaints procedure first, but you should be aware that there is a time limit should you want to claim for breach of contract. This limit won’t be extended if you follow the complaints procedure, so you will need to be sure if you begin pursuing your complaint it doesn’t prevent you making a claim further down the line.
Conflicts or disputes between families and private schools can be tricky and complicated, therefore it is always best to seek trusted, professional advice. Our education solicitors are happy to help in any problems you may be having with a private school, so get in touch as soon as possible.