(a) In these terms and conditions (and in the Acceptance Form to which these terms and conditions are attached) some words and phrases have particular meanings and have to be defined. Such defined terms are set out here:
“Acceptance Form” means the form provided by the School for parents to complete when accepting a place for their child at the School;
“Behaviour Policy” means the policy of the School which outlines the way in which all members of the school are expected to relate to one another;
“Child” means a child of whatever age admitted by the School to be educated.
“The Complaints Procedure” is the School’s procedure for handling complaints from parents, as amended from time to time for legal or other substantive reasons or in order to assist the proper administration of the School. It does not form part of the contract between you and the School. A copy of the procedure is available from the School at any time upon request;
“Deposit” means the sum referred to as such in the Acceptance Form (and that is separately set out in the Schedule of Fees);
“Fees” means the fees set out in the Schedule of Fees and on the website as amended from time to time;
“Head of School” means the person appointed by the Trustees of the Organisation to be responsible for the day-to-day management of the School, including anyone to whom such duties have been duly delegated;
“Schedule of Fees” means the published note of the School’s prevailing fees notified to you from time to time and a copy of which remains available on the School’s website or at any time upon request;
“Term” means a term of the School as notified to parents from time to time;
“A term’s notice” means written notice given not later than the first day of the term preceding the term to which the notice relates;
“Terms and conditions” means these terms and conditions as amended from time to time;
“We” or the “School” means the legal entity carrying on as the School as identified in Clause 1(b) below or its duly authorised representative (as the context requires); and
“You” or the “parents” means each person who has signed the Acceptance Form as a parent of the child, or a person who with the School’s express written consent replaces a person who has signed the Acceptance Form (and “your” shall be construed accordingly).
Use of the word “including” shall mean (and be construed) such that the examples that are given are not intended to be exclusive or limiting examples of the matter in question.
(b) The Acceptance Form, the Schedule of Fees, the Behaviour Policy and these terms and conditions (as in each case may be varied from time to time) form the terms of a contract (the “contract”) between you and The Maria Montessori Training Organisation, trading as the Maria Montessori Institute and the Maria Montessori School. It is not intended that the terms of the contract shall be enforceable by your child or by any other third party.
2. Acceptance and Deposit
(a) An offer of a place for your child at the School is accepted by your submitting the duly completed Acceptance Form and paying the deposit.
(b) The deposit is not refundable if your child does not take up a place at the School (except where the School fills the vacancy created by your child’s withdrawal, in which case the School shall refund the deposit to you less its costs in administering your dealings with the School or a reasonable estimate of those costs) The deposit will form part of the general funds of the School until it is refunded on your child’s leaving.
(c) If you wish to withdraw your acceptance of a place after submitting the Acceptance Form and paying the deposit but before your child starts at the School you must give written notice to that effect prior to the first day of the term immediately preceding the term in which your child was due to start. If such notice is received by the School by that time the deposit will be forfeited in accordance with Clause 2(b) above but no further fees will be payable. However, if such notice is received on or after that date (or if no notice is received at all) a term’s fees shall be payable and shall become due and owing to the School as a debt. The term’s fees shall be charged at the rate applicable for the term immediately preceding the term when your child was due to start and the School shall credit the deposit (without interest) to such payment of the term’s fees (and you hereby acknowledge and agree that the School shall be entitled to retain the deposit on account of payment of the term’s fees). Where applicable, such fees shall be reduced to take account of any scholarship or bursary awarded to you.
3. School Fees
(a) All the costs incurred in the usual course of the education by the School of your child, including the provision of any necessary educational materials and as may otherwise be outlined in the Schedule of Fees, shall be met by the fees unless otherwise notified by the School.
(b) Free Early Education Funding is available for 3 and 4 year old children for 15 hours per week. This is administered by the Local Authority.
(c) Fees are charged for hours in excess of any free entitlement and for specialist Montessori teaching.
(d) Any extra-curricular activities (such as private music lessons, trips and visits) in which you agree in advance your child may participate shall be deemed to be supplemental to items met by the fees and charged for accordingly. Additional charges incurred by the School in providing for the special educational needs of your child may also be charged as supplemental to the fees.
(e) (i) Each of you who has signed the Acceptance Form is liable for the whole of the fees due and any and all supplemental charges. And, each of you remains liable to the School for the whole of the fees and supplemental charges due UNLESS AND UNTIL the School has expressly agreed in writing with each of you to look exclusively to any other person for payment of the fees and/or any supplemental charges (or any part of them).
(ii) A person who has signed the Acceptance Form may withdraw from this contract with the School by submitting a term’s notice AND PROVIDED THAT they have obtained the prior written consent of both the School and the other person who has signed the Acceptance Form.
[(iii)] [If your child has been awarded financial assistance your liability will be for the amount of fees due after taking account of that award. An award may be withdrawn in accordance with (or by reference to) the terms upon which such award is made and/or if, in the opinion of the Head of School, your child’s attendance or behaviour no longer merits the continuation of the award, but any such withdrawal of an award will not operate so as to increase the fees due in respect of a term which has already commenced.
(f) Each term’s fees accrue separately and the fees payable in respect of each term fall due on the first day of that term and will be included in an invoice sent to those persons who signed the Acceptance Form (or such other person(s) the School may have agreed separately shall pay the fees under Clause 3(c)(i) above). The fees must be paid in full by cheque, by online payment via the website or by direct bank transfer on or before the first day of the term to which the invoice relates.
(g) Any and all supplemental charges for extra-curricular activities for each term (and for other charges that were agreed during the previous term) will be invoiced separately and such invoice shall be sent to you before the start of the next term. All such supplemental charges must be paid in full either by cheque or direct bank transfer on or before the first day of the then forthcoming term.
(h) Any agreement by the School to accept payment of current and/or past Fees by instalments is concessionary and will cease automatically in the event of any default for thirty days or more. On ceasing, the full amount of Fees then due shall be immediately payable and interest will start to accrue at the rate for late payment (see below).
(i) A Sibling discount will apply for Children attending the school at the same time as an older sibling.
(j) The Parent must promptly pay to the School the amount of any government subsidy deducted by the School from the termly fee invoice, to the extent that the Local authority does not promptly pay the same to the School.
(k) Payment by Childcare vouchers will not vary the School’s normal terms and conditions for payment and arrangements should be made to ensure that the pupil’s account is cleared by the start of the term (irrespective of any subsequent childcare voucher credits to come through that term) to avoid any interest charge on outstanding amounts.
(l) (i) We reserve the right to refuse to allow your child to attend the School or to withhold any references while fees and/or supplemental charges remain unpaid or there is a persistent default in relation to the payment of fees and/or supplemental charges.
(ii) We may make an interest charge of 3 per cent per annum above the base rate for the time being of the School’s bank on any late payments. Unless otherwise notified to you in writing, this interest shall accrue on a daily basis from the due date until the date of actual payment of the overdue amount, whether before or after judgment. You must pay the School the interest together with the overdue amount.
(iii) Unless we expressly agree otherwise in writing with you, if we reasonably and properly incur any costs (including reasonable legal costs, and in any event being such costs that would be allowable by the courts if judgment was made in the School’s favour) in recovering or attempting to recover fees or any supplemental charges from you (or either of you) that have not been paid in accordance with the terms of this contract, then you shall be responsible for paying such costs in addition to the fees and/or supplemental charges (as the case may be) and any interest applied to such amount(s).
(iv) You consent to our informing any other school or educational establishment to which you propose to send your child of any outstanding fees or supplemental charges.
(m) The fees will be reviewed from time to time (usually annually) and may be increased by such amount as the School considers reasonable. Notice of an increase in the fees will be sent to you prior to the end of the penultimate term before the increase is to take effect.
(n) Fees and any prepaid supplemental charges will not normally be reduced as a result of absence due to illness or otherwise.
4. Notice Requirements
(a) If you wish to withdraw your child from the School (other than at the normal leaving date), you shall either give a term’s notice to that effect or shall pay to the School a term’s fees in lieu of notice, at such rate as would have been charged for the final term of provision if a term’s notice had been given.
(b) Under (a) above, the appropriate sum in lieu of notice will become due and owing to the School as a debt on the first day of the term which would have been the final term of provision if a term’s notice had been given.
(d) If you wish to withdraw your child from an activity charged for as supplemental, you shall either give a half-term’s notice to that effect or shall pay to the School as a debt a half-term’s charges for the activity in which your child has ceased to participate.
(e) The School’s affairs are organised on a termly basis and it is not possible for you to reduce the amount of fees or supplemental charges due or to obtain a refund of fees or supplemental charges by withdrawing your child part-way through a term.
5. Behaviour Policy
(a) It is a condition of remaining at the School that your child complies with the Behaviour Policy. In addition, you undertake to ensure that your child attends School punctually.
6. Suspension and Required Removal
(a) The Head of School may in his or her discretion suspend or, in serious or persistent cases, remove your child from the School if the Head of School reasonably considers that your child’s conduct or behaviour is unsatisfactory and the suspension or removal is in the School’s best interests or those of your child or other children.
(b) The Head of School may in his or her discretion require you to remove your child from the School if the Head of School reasonably considers that:
(i) your behaviour or conduct (or the behaviour or conduct of one of you): is unreasonable; and/or adversely affects (or is likely to adversely affect) your child’s or other children’s progress at the School, or the well-being of School staff; and/or brings (or is likely to bring) the School into disrepute; and/or is not in accordance with your obligations under this contract; or
(ii) your child’s attendance is unsatisfactory and, in the reasonable opinion of the Head of School, the removal is in the School’s best interests and/or those of your child or other children.
(c) Should the Head of School exercise his or her right under either Clause 6(a) or Clause 6(b)(i) above you will not be entitled to any refund or remission of fees or supplemental charges due (whether paid or payable) and, in such instances pursuant to those Clauses where your child is expelled or you are required to remove your child from the School, the deposit will be forfeited. If your child is required to be removed from the School then School fees in lieu of notice will not be payable and any prepaid fees and/or supplemental charges for the period after the expulsion will be refunded.
(d) You acknowledge that any review of [serious] disciplinary matters or decisions taken by the School and/or Head of School under this Clause 6 shall be governed by the Complaints Procedure.
7. The School’s Obligations
(a) The School undertakes to offer a Montessori education which adheres to AMI standards for schools.
(b) The School accepts no responsibility if a Child is unable through lack of competence to complete schooling or for any effect on the future development or ultimate career of a Child if they are not able to achieve a particular level of educational attainment.
(c) Subject to these terms and conditions, the School undertakes to accept your child as a pupil of the School from the time of joining the School until the end of his or her Elementary schooling.
(d) While your child remains a pupil of the School, we undertake to exercise reasonable skill and care in respect of his or her education and welfare. This obligation will apply during school hours and at other times when your child is permitted to be on School premises or is participating in activities organised by the School.
(e) In accordance with the law, we will not subject your child to corporal punishment. We will not subject your child to physical contact except where such contact may be deemed appropriate, including in order to avert an immediate danger of personal injury to, or an immediate danger to the property of, a person (including your child). Unless you notify us to the contrary, you consent to your child participating, under proper supervision, in contact sports and in other normal sports and activities which may entail some risk of physical injury.
(f) If your child requires urgent medical attention while under the School’s care, we will if practicable attempt to obtain your prior consent. However, should we be unable to contact you we shall be authorised to make the decision on your behalf should consent be required for urgent treatment recommended by a doctor (including anaesthetic or operation, or blood transfusion (unless you have previously notified us you object to blood transfusions)).
(g) We shall monitor your child’s progress at the School and produce regular written reports in accordance with our policies, depending upon the age of your child. We shall advise you if we have any concern about your child’s progress but we do not undertake to diagnose dyslexia or other specific conditions. A formal assessment can be arranged either by you or by the School at your expense. You may be asked to withdraw your child without being charged fees in lieu of notice if in the opinion of the Head the School cannot provide adequately for your child’s special educational needs.
( h) In order to fulfil our obligations, we, the Head of School and School staff need your co-operation, including in particular by you fulfilling your own obligations under this contract.
8. The Parents’ Obligations
(a) In addition to your other obligations included elsewhere in these terms and conditions (including in the remainder of this Clause 8), you undertake to co-operate with the School and School staff in good faith, and including in particular by:
(i) maintaining a constructive relationship with School staff (including in instances where the School is exercising its rights and performing its obligations under this contract);
(ii) encouraging your child and giving appropriate support at home;
(iii) keeping the School up-to-date and informed of matters which affect (or may affect) your child (including circumstances which arise at any time that affect (or may affect) your ability to pay the fees and supplemental charges for your child) and ensure that all details or other information notified or otherwise disclosed to the School about you and/or your child are accurate, truthful and not misleading and that relevant details and information (or changes to it) are not withheld;
(iv) providing cooperation and assistance to the School so that your child can participate and benefit from the School’s provision of education; and
(v) attending meetings and otherwise keeping in touch with the School where your child’s interests so require.
(b) It is a condition of your child’s joining the School that you complete and submit to the School a Health Form in respect of your child. You undertake to inform the School of any health or medical condition, disability or allergy that your child has or subsequently develops, whether long-term or short-term, including any infections. If the School so requires due to a health risk either presented by your child to others or presented to your child by others or by reason of a virus, pandemic, epidemic or other health risk, you undertake to keep your child at home and not permit him/her to return to the School until such time as the health risk has been averted.
(c) You undertake to inform the School of any situations where special arrangements may be needed in relation to your child. You also undertake to inform the School if, at any time prior to or during your child’s time at the School, a court order is put in place or you or your child are involved or have been involved with social services, or an undertaking is given to a court in respect of (or that somehow relates to) your child’s attendance at the School (including its premises) and/or the School’s provision of education to your child, including any which may deal with or impact upon in any way: (i) your child’s living and/or contact arrangements; (ii) your child’s education, welfare and/or upbringing; and/or (iii) the payment of fees and/or supplemental charges. In any such circumstances you shall (whether upon request or otherwise) promptly provide the School with copies of the relevant court order(s) or undertaking(s) (or the relevant parts thereof).
(d) You (and each of you as the holders of parental responsibility for your child) acknowledge and agree that, prior to and during your child’s time at the School, the School is entitled to assume that you have consulted with each other so far as decisions regarding your child are concerned. Accordingly you (and each of you) accept that the School is entitled to treat:
(i) any instruction, authority, request or prohibition received from one of you as having been given on behalf of both of you; and
(ii) any communication from the School to one of you as having been given to both of you.
(e) The Head of School must be informed in writing of any reason for your child’s absence from School. Wherever possible the School’s prior consent should be sought for absence from the School.
(f) We cannot accept any responsibility for the welfare of your child while off the School premises unless he or she is taking part in a school activity or otherwise under the supervision of a member of the School staff.
(g) If you have cause for concern as to a matter of safety, care, discipline or progress of your child you must inform the School without delay. Complaints should be made in accordance with the School’s Complaints Procedure.
You must make your own insurance arrangements if you require cover for your child’s person or property while at School or for the payment of fees due to absence of your child or closure of the School premises.
10. References, Confidentiality and Data Protection
(a) You consent to our supplying information and a reference in respect of your child to any educational institution which you propose your child may attend. Any reference supplied by us shall be confidential. We will take care to ensure that all information that is supplied relating to your child is accurate and any opinion given on his/her ability, aptitude for certain courses and character is fair. However, we cannot be liable for any loss you are or your child is alleged to have suffered resulting from opinions reasonably given, or correct statements of fact contained, in any reference or report given by us.
(b) You consent to us making use of information relating to your child (including photographs and video recordings), and (where appropriate) relating to you, whilst your child is at the School and after he or she has left for the purposes of: (i) managing relationships between the School and current pupils/parents; (ii) promoting the School to prospective pupils/parents; (iii) publicising the School’s activities; and (iv) communicating with the school community and the body of former pupils. In respect of (ii), (iii) and (iv), this includes use of such information by the School in/on the School’s prospectus (in whatever format or medium), the School’s website and (where appropriate) the School’s social media channels.
(c) You undertake to: (i) confirm (or update, if necessary), when requested, such information (and/or documentary materials) about (or relating to) you and/or your child that is held by the School; and (ii) in any event, inform the School of any change to you or your child’s circumstances (including, where applicable, in connection with your child’s entitlement to enter, reside and/or study in the United Kingdom), or to information about (or relating to) you or your child that has previously been notified to the School, including relevant contact details.
(d) You acknowledge and agree that those persons who have parental responsibility for your child are entitled to receive relevant information about the child from the School (including school reports, correspondence and other materials relating to his or her progress, development and/or education generally). The School shall therefore disclose such information as a matter of routine to such persons UNLESS the School is restricted from doing so by a court order (or similar direction) or by any other legal requirement or obligation (for example, under the Data Protection Act 1998).
(e) The School will process personal data about you and your child in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998. You consent to us processing such personal data: (i) as set out in this clause 10, as may be amended from time to time]; (ii) in order to comply with any court order or legal, regulatory or good practice requirement; and (iii) to perform our obligations under this contract, and where otherwise reasonably necessary for the school’s purposes.
11. Intellectual Property Rights
We shall recognise any intellectual property rights vested in your child.
12. Changes in Ownership etc
For the purposes of constitutional changes to the School or amalgamation we reserve the right to transfer the undertaking of the School to any other natural or legal person, and to assign the benefit of this contract in connection with any such transfer, and/or to amalgamate the School with any other educational institution.
(a) The School shall be entitled to cancel this contract by notice in writing without prejudice to its other remedies and without any obligation to return any deposit or fees paid to you if you are in material breach of any of your obligations under this contract or any similar agreement with the School (including for the avoidance of doubt persistent late or non-payment of fees and/or supplemental charges) and have not (in the case of a breach which is capable of remedy) remedied the same within fourteen (14) days of a notice from the School requiring it to be remedied.
For the purposes of illustration only (and without limitation), the following circumstances would typify what the School is likely to regard as a material breach entitling it to terminate this contract: (i) failure to pay any fees or supplemental charges on time on more than one occasion; (ii) you (as opposed to your child) acting in such a way as to give the Head cause to require you to remove your child from the School under Clause 6(b)(i) of this contract; (iii) any other circumstance where your child is expelled from the School in accordance with the terms of this contract (including pursuant to the School Rules); (iv) a serious misrepresentation of facts or circumstances or withholding of information about you and/or your child or that is relevant to the provision of education by the School to your child (such as misrepresenting at any point in time (and whether by act, omission or withholding of information on your part) that you and/or your child is legally entitled to enter, reside and/or study in the United Kingdom when in fact you/they are not); and (v) failure or refusal to complete and submit to the School a medical questionnaire in respect of your child.
(b) (i) The School may at any time cancel this contract forthwith by notice in writing (without prejudice to any of its other remedies) if you (or either of you): are unable, following our reasonable request, to demonstrate that you will be able to pay the fees and supplemental charges as they fall due under this contract; are otherwise unable to pay your debts as they fall due; are the subject of a bankruptcy petition or order; or enter into an individual voluntary arrangement.
(ii) You may at any time cancel this contract forthwith by notice in writing (without prejudice to any of your other remedies) if the School becomes insolvent or goes into liquidation or receivership or administrative receivership or is wound-up for any reason.
(c) For the avoidance of doubt, this contract shall end at the end of your child’s schooling at our School.
14. Force Majeure (ie, circumstances beyond our control)
(a) In this contract “force majeure” shall mean any cause beyond a party’s reasonable control (including, by way of example and for the avoidance of doubt, acts of God, war, riot, civil commotion, compliance with any law or governmental order, rule, regulation or direction (including that of a local authority), accident, fire, flood, storm, pandemic or epidemic of any disease, terrorist attack, chemical or biological contamination).
(b) In the event of a force majeure arising which prevents or delays the School’s performance of any of its obligations under this contract, the School shall forthwith give you notice in writing specifying the nature and extent of the circumstances giving rise to the force majeure. Provided that the School has acted reasonably and prudently to prevent and/or minimise the effect of the force majeure the School will have no liability in respect of the non-performance of such of its obligations as are prevented or delayed during the continuance of the force majeure. To the extent reasonably practicable in the circumstances the School shall endeavour during the continuance of the force majeure to provide educational services (including by providing appropriate educational services remotely).
(a) All notices required to be given under these terms and conditions must be given in writing.
(b) Communications (including notices) will be sent by the School to you at the address(es) shown in our records, or using your other contact details included in our records. You undertake to notify the School of any change of address(es) or other contact details.
(c) Notices that you are required to give under these terms and conditions must be in writing addressed to the Head of School and either: (i) delivered by hand to the Head Office; (ii) sent to the Head Office by recorded or other form of registered post requiring a signature upon receipt as proof of delivery; or (iii) otherwise sent to the Head Office address by first or second class post.
16. Claims against the School
(a) Any liability arising from a claim by the Child or any other person against the School for failure to provide the education to be expected will be limited to the amount of the School’s insurance for such a claim at that time.
(b) This Agreement does not confer any rights on any person not a party to this Agreement. No person who is not a party to this Agreement is entitled to bring a claim against the School. The Contracts (Right of Third Parties) Act 1999 does not apply.
17. School Policies
• The School’s policies are listed in the Parent handbook and may be viewed on request at any time.
• Without prejudice to the entitlement of the School to suspend or require the removal of a Child under these Terms and Conditions, no policy as amended from time to time shall form part of these Terms and Conditions.
Headings in these terms and conditions are for ease of understanding only and do not form part of these terms and conditions.
19. Jurisdiction and Governing Law
The contract between you and the School is governed by English Law. You agree with us to submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts.
(a) The offer and acceptance of a place are made on the basis that any successful school needs to develop and that the School may make reasonable changes to these Terms and Conditions on giving at least one Term’s notice in writing.
(b) No person apart from the Director of Training and Schools, The Head of School, the Head of Finance and Resources or a Trustee of the Maria Montessori Training Organisation is authorised to make any statement or representation on behalf of the School or to waive or amend these Terms and Conditions and no such statement representation waiver or amendment shall be effective unless in writing signed by the Director or a Trustee.
(c) The School only provides education and services to pupils in accordance with these Terms and Conditions, which are hereby expressly incorporated into any and all contracts entered into by the School with any Parent or Payer, to the exclusion of any other terms.
(d) In signing the Acceptance Form each Parent and Payer acknowledges that there is no other warranty representation or other term or condition applicable to the School’s provision of education and other services other than the Acceptance Form and these Terms and Conditions. No statement or other stipulation appearing in any brochure or website forms part of this agreement.