Private schools may offer parents partial refunds and freeze fees for next year after being forced to close over coronavirus
- Private schools are considering returning a portion of fees for the summer term
- Neil Roskilly, chief executive of the Independent Schools Association, said some ‘will also freeze fees for next year’
- Some parents not withholding fees as schools using technology for teaching
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Private schools will be offering parents a partial refund, a sector chief has said.
Neil Roskilly, chief executive of the Independent Schools Association, said schools were considering returning a portion of fees for the summer term.
He added: ‘I think schools, if they can afford it, will also freeze fees for next year because they know things are tough for parents.
Private schools will be offering parents a partial refund, a sector chief has said (stock image)
‘I suspect a good deal of schools would be thinking along those lines.’
But Mr Roskilly said that many parents are not withholding fees as they understand that schools are trying their best to maintain a ‘continuity of education’ using technology.
And Barnaby Lenon, chairman of the Independent Schools Council, urged parents to not withdraw fees as private schools will face the risk of closure if they lose money.
He told The Sunday Telegraph that independent schools are ‘small businesses’ and are ‘in the same boat as everyone else’, adding: ‘Schools that can provide activities on a regular basis will have to staff them and those staff will need to be paid.
‘In the end, a bit will depend on the ability of schools being able to demonstrate that they are doing the best that they can.
‘A bit will depend on the patience and generosity of parents, but schools intend to keep going as far as they reasonably can.’
Mr Lenon also voiced fears that the temporary system of awarding GCSE and A Level marks could adversely impact pupils whose children ‘mark down’ in practise exams.
Many parents are not withholding fees as they understand that schools are trying their best to maintain a ‘continuity of education’ using technology (stock image)
He said: ‘As far as the year 11 and year 13 are concerned, with public exams cancelled, a lot depends on whether the schools feel they need to collect evidence of academic progress from those students over the next two months particularly.
‘The details have not yet been announced by Ofqual, but we can be sure that statements like ‘you can use mock exam results’ are bound to be inadequate because some mock exams happened months ago and some teachers quite deliberately mark down for mocks.
‘Many people may have made good progress since the mocks so it could be felt that schools will want to carry on setting a marking work and delivering online lessons for the next two or three months, in which case the teachers will need to be employed, the teachers will need to be paid, and that’s a justification for a fee.’