As parents, we all have contracts with Abbots Bromley School which have termination clauses. The announcements regarding the closure of the school, whilst devasting, have no direct bearing on our contracts, and indeed the closure of the school of itself would not preclude them from fulfilling these contracts for our children.
At this point, I would ask that parents write to Woodard and the school and express our concerns regarding the school closure and also remind the school that as of today we have not been provided with any formal notice of termination of the contract.
This would mean the term’s notice within our contracts have not been served
I have rechecked the closure notices this morning and I would have expected the announcement in the FAQs to refer to individual contracts and say that the notice is to be taken as formal notice to terminate these arrangements so that parents can consider what to do next.
I have no other communication from the school and they should probably have done this individually in writing quoting specific termination rights. A court will hold them to a very high standard of care in how they do this.
Why is this important?
The impact of this could be huge for Woodard the owners of Abbots Bromley School, As it will require compensation for early termination or for the school to keep going for a term.
Without formal notice being served this potentially opens up Woodard to very significant legal costs and compensatory awards such as:
- Claims for significant sums for children needing to repeat a years education at GCSE or A level.
- Claims for school fee increases at alternative educational providers.
- Claims for new school uniforms
- Claims for transport costs for travelling to new schools.
The above are basic claim ideas but potentially there are many more costs that could be recovered from Woodard.
It’s very important you check your own terms and conditions to ensure you have the same terms and conditions which ive enclosed below as this is crucial to the letter
Download a PDF FILE of the letter you can send over to Woodard and the school below, this will be a significant letter which will cause Woodard great concern.
The letter is also below so that you can copy and paste
The Directors of Abbots Bromley School Ltd
Abbots Bromley School High Street
Abbots Bromley Staffordshire
(By Hand and by email)
Closure of Abbots Bromley School (AB) and our contract for the provision of Educational Services In the light of the sad announcement on 21st June 2019 about the closure of the school, I am writing to inquire as to your intentions regarding our Contract for the provision of educational services for [ ] (terms and conditions attached and referred to in bold for information – the “Contract”).
As you are aware unless otherwise formally terminated by either party this contract covers the education of [ ] until the end of her schooling. This is clearly set out in Term 8 The School’s Obligations sub clause (a) …”the school will accept your child as a pupil of the School from the time of joining the School until the end of his or her schooling”.
This is further made clear in Term 14 Ending this Contract (c) where it states that “this contract shall end on… the end of your child’s schooling”. Whilst we have been concerned by the developments conveyed to us in general email announcements by AB, so far we have received no formal notice from you regarding the matter of our Contract or its termination, nor the grounds upon which you intend to do this. As such we wish to make it clear that our position is that this Contract remains in force. For the avoidance of doubt, we do not consider that the closure of the school of itself grounds for you to terminate our Contract or an event out of your control under Clause 15.
In addition, we do not accept that the nature or form of the general announcements constitute a termination notice or even set out valid grounds for termination of our individual Contract under its terms. Term 14 Ending this Contract sets out the various termination clauses available to both parties which the contract prescribes in a very strict form with a reminder in the preamble to both parties to “PLEASE READ THIS SECTION CAREFULLY”, these terms do not include a unilateral decision on your part to close the School. In fact we think it is abundantly clear that if we are not in breach of the general provisions the School has no general right to terminate the contract until the end of [ ]’s schooling under Term 14 (c).
We suspect you are fully aware of your contractual obligations as this explains why you have not so far referred to terminating individual pupil’s contracts nor have we so far received any notices from you claiming to terminate our Contract as you currently have no rights to do so.
So far this has not concerned us as the school has continued throughout this term as if the school is going to continue with its current enrolment in place in pursuit of the sale of the school as a going concern (which no doubt would have benefitted from the fact that the individual contracts regarding the current students remained in place and which we would fully support) and we have in good faith carried on meeting our obligations under this Contract during this term and intended to do so until it is terminated as intended at the end of year 13 under Term 14(c).
We are very concerned that your announcement on Friday that AB will close at the end of term now seems to imply an attempt to terminate our Contract with you in 2 weeks without cause and in breach of its terms and so far without any specific valid notice.
Although we are making preparations for, and evaluating the feasibility of, [ ] continuing education elsewhere, as you are no doubt aware matching exam boards and syllabuses is not straightforward and will involve very significant costs and distress to us and [ ].
We will ultimately be in this position only as a result of you now going on to breach our Contract by terminating it without proper notice or cause or “frustrating” it by closing the School.
We would hope you and the Woodard Corporation will consider the consequences of this very carefully before you do so.
Hopefully, the school’s situation will be resolved in a fashion that will allow both parties to complete our Contract as it was sold to us for a complete course of study and as intended by both parties when agreed.
If in the meantime you do in fact intend to terminate our existing Contract please make it very clear “in writing” with reference to our Contract (with specific reference to Term 14 – which as the preamble suggests “PLEASE READ THIS NEXT SECTION CAREFULLY”) on what grounds you intend to do this, including any grounds you think appropriate for the notice period for doing so and any offers you have to facilitate any transition arrangements. Failing this we expect you to explain, in the light of the School’s announced closure, how you will continue to meet your contractual obligations to us regarding the remainder of [ ]’s schooling.
The closure of AB does not preclude you or your parent organisation from completing the Contract and Term 18 gives you a mechanism to make any other arrangements to do this to continue to provide the “proper delivery of education at the School” on the provision of appropriate notice which we are yet to receive and can not now be effective until the end of the autumn term under the notice provisions of Term 18.
As such, we would consider the actual closure of the school at the end of term a clear breach of our Contract. Given the proximity of the end of term and the distress, you have caused by what appears to a current course of action intent on breaching our Contract we would expect a swift reply. Yours Faithfully