Parents of children at JCG and Victoria College have been left in the dark about what fees they will have to pay next year after the government and the schools have so far failed to reach agreement over increases.
The two fee-paying schools, which also receive some funding from the government, wrote to parents last week to tell them that they wouldn’t be able to provide a term’s notice regarding fees as normal.
In an email sent to parents on 10 May, JCG’s Chair of Governors Karen Rankine said that the Governing Body was “committed to ensuring the College is provided with the financial resource to maintain the high levels of education you have chosen and which your child receives” and had therefore requested a fee increase.
Pictured: JCG's Chair of the Board of Governors said they needed to increase fees to maintain standards.
However, she noted: “Despite meeting with the Education Minister in January, providing financial forecasts and having numerous meetings since with the Education and Treasury departments, the Governing Body is deeply frustrated that we have yet to receive approval from the Education Minister.”
Questioned by Express over this, a government spokesperson said last week that a review of the proposal was in its “final stages” and that the decision would be communicated “at the earliest opportunity.”
However, just three days later on Friday, JCG and Victoria College wrote to parents to say they wouldn’t be able to confirm fees until next academic year because “outstanding matters” still hadn’t been resolved.
Both schools said that their governing bodies were “continuing discussions with Children, Young People, Education and Skills and the Treasury Department."
Pictured: The letter from VCJ's Chair of the Board of Governors sent on Friday.
They said that, in the interim, Autumn Term fees would remain as normal, but that they would keep parents updated as to any changes if and when they receive approval.
Outlining the financial process in the interim, VCJ’s Chair of the Board of Governors, Brian Watt, told parents: “Pending final confirmation of the fees, the invoices we will be issuing this week for monthly payments, including those for new starters, will be at the current fee rate and for the June payment only. Adjusting invoices, to address the outstanding balance of any new fee rate, will be issued as soon as possible.
“We will use the deposit payment we already hold for new starters to offset those invoices; therefore no payment for new starters will be required on 1st June. We plan to issue single invoices in August for the full amount of the new Autumn Term fees in the usual way for those who pay fees at the beginning of each term.”
Concluding his letter, he wrote: “I sincerely regret and apologise for any inconvenience this may cause you but I am hopeful that I will be able to write to you soon to confirm the fees for the new school year.”
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