We should have checked the fine print!

We’d thought that as we were only required to give a term’s notice to withdraw our kids from school here, that we could just pay for that subsequent term and everything would be sweet. Kids could finish at the end of Term 3 and say goodbye to their buddies.

What we should have done was read the fine print of the contract where it stated that we were expected to pay an entire semester’s fees. This information came as quite a shock as we have no company support when it comes to school fees. To pay an entire semester’s fees for only eight weeks of schooling simply didn’t make sense.

After a couple of meetings we were told that our case could be brought before the review board for consideration so we nervously awaited their decision. What if they maintained the “no” answer?  We still hadn’t told the kids about the move, so naturally they were expecting to be in school the following term. Time was ticking and a week before the end of Term 2, we were still hadn’t heard any news.

We started talking about the what if’s. What if they said no? Do we try and head back to Australia earlier? Stay here? But how do we explain to the kids why everyone else is at school and they aren’t? If they had to finish up with only a few days to say goodbye to their friends, how would that affect them long term?

My daughter had started to sense that something was up and she was making statements along the lines of “I want to stay here until the end of the year, at least…” Would she be an emotional wreck if we just up and left without a chance to say goodbye?

In the end, we got the good news that we could keep the kids in school for the eight weeks of school, without paying a penalty.

So my message today is – make sure you go through all your contracts with a fine-tooth comb and fully understand the penalties of breaking a contract. The impact of missing something can be quite dire – both financially and emotionally!


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