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Leon, Solicitor
Category: Australia Law
Satisfied Customers: 44194
Experience:  BEc Dip Ed, Dip Law (SAB) MTax (UNSW)
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My son was enrolled in a school 6 years ago. months

Customer Question

Hi. My son was enrolled in a school 6 years ago. For 12 months I was dropping him off every morning and he wasn't attending. School policy is to SMS the parent when a kid doesn't attend. They had my correct phone number. They didn't SMS me once, I had no idea he wasn't attending. When I found out he said he couldn't go there because kids were doing drugs and he was scared. We had moved down from the country and he wasn't used to this kind of environment. The school did NOT do their job. If they had told me he wasn't attending I could have done something. Now, 6 years later, they have sent me a court summons for school fees. $1200 - 3 times the fees for 1 year. I want to fight it. I should not have to pay fees when he wasn't there and they did NOTHING to help.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Australia Law
Expert:  Leon replied 1 year ago.
Good EveningMy name is ***** ***** I am a NSW Solicitor. Thank you for your question, and will do my best to assist you with your question. Please understand this is not legal advise Please understand this is not legal advice but a guide to assist you.When did you discover that they had failed to contact you? Is it a state school or a private SchoolAbout to head out but will be back in a few hours.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I found out a full year after I enrolled him that he hadn't been attending. He hadn't been there at all, he was going home after I dropped him off while I was at work. They never contacted me. It was a public school. I have told them a couple of years ago when they called that I did not think I should pay a year of school fees when they did not provide a service of any kind. The complete lack of contact with me regarding my son has been detrimental to his success ongoing. I could have helped him. How can they send me a court summons for $1200?
Expert:  Leon replied 1 year ago.
Good AfternoonHow so it has been how many years between then and the summons?If they are a public school what is the $1,200.00 for?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He was enrolled there 6 years ago. I told them approximately 2 years ago I did not believe I should have to pay their account as they didn't provide a service. I received the summons today. I do not know what the $1200 is for, the summons has no detail. One year of fees would have been around $350 I think from memory. I assume the rest is some form of jacked up costs?
Expert:  Leon replied 1 year ago.
Good Evening. So the money they are asking for is from more than 6 years ago?Has it been more than 6 years since he left?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He was enrolled there when he was 15. He's 21 this month.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He was only enrolled for a year. I did not send him back the following year when I found out what had happened. Can they force me to pay an account when they did not do what they were supposed to do? They will freely admit they text parents when the child hasn't shown up by 10am, but they didn't text me. How is it possible they can have a child enrolled and charge a fee but not once contact me to tell me he wasn't at school?
Expert:  Leon replied 1 year ago.
Good Evening. They may be out of time. They have 6 years to commence proceedings. If they have filed the application after the 6 year period then you can can seek to have it struck out with costs as they our out of time. If they are just within the 6 years then you should defend it and cross claim for any costs you have incurred to have your son educated. So if you paid for extra tuition to bring him up to speed for the education they did not provide then you claim that against them. Speak to a solicitor in SA about this and have them assist. But it is very close to the end of the limitation period. Speak to the law society of SA and they can refer you to someone close by. Also the Supreme court is not the correct court to start an action for $1200.00It should have been the magistrates Court, The law society website is as follows:https://www.lawsocietysa.asn.auI hope this makes sense and is of assistance. If there is nothing further thank you for using my services. If I have missed anything, or you have any further questions please let me know If there is anything else in the future please do not hesitate to ask. Please do not forget to leave positive feedback. RegardsLeon
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Unfortunately Leon, I did not incur any extra costs. He had not been attending school for a year, at which point it had become too late. He refused to return and at 21 he has not resumed studies and does not have a job or any skills. He has become very introvert. I blame them in part for this. If I had known, early in that year, that his attendance was an issue I would have been able to find out why, and help him before it became too late. Even when it finally came to light, and I met with the school, they flat out denied any responsibility, they put it all back on me and him, and they basically said he was lying about the drugs issue. I know for a fact there is a drug problem at that school, my partners two daughters went tgere. His 17yo is now an addict, and this went on while she attended this school. Just because the teachers don't know, or won't acknowledge it, doesn't mean it didn't happen. The guidance counselor there scoffed at my son and called him a liar, and they did not support him returning to school at all. Did you get the copy of the summons I sent you? I'm pretty sure they are just under 6 years.
Expert:  Leon replied 1 year ago.
Good Evening,The solicitor you instruct should be able to get an expert to work out what the cost to your son have been and how it can be used in any cross claim. I don't but send it by email.***@******.*** you send it through here it will be public. I will get it sometime tomorrow as they are always checked and i will get back to you as soon as I receive it.