Given the Government’s recommendation for schools to close for an unspecified period from today, many independent schools are closing in advance of their planned Easter holiday.
Those schools closing are, in these unprecedented times, concerned about any responsibility to refund fees for the current term and the ability to invoice for fees for next term, particularly in circumstances where they will continue to pay staff.
In order to limit any additional challenges during this period, independent schools should consider the following:
Whilst the above deals with the potential financial consequences of closing, guidance from the government in respect of how GCSEs and A Levels will be dealt with, which children will be permitted to continue to attend school, and which schools will be required to supply this is expected shortly. This will, no doubt, lead to further additional considerations for schools and their leadership teams.
In addition, independent schools will face additional challenges if they are called upon by the government to provide support in relation to children whose parents’ role meet the criteria in the list issued by the Department for Education. Whilst the support required may be vague currently, we expect additional guidance to be issued on this as soon as possible.