Frequently asked questions
1. What policies do the schools have in place should we not re-open for the Summer term?
Answer: The schools will continue with the remote learning now in place using the latest software platforms. The framework for this educational programme can be accessed here: www.habsmonmouth.org/online
2. Will the parents receive a rebate of some sort on the boarding and/or tuition fees if remote learning is in place?
Answer: Yes – we are charging 60% of our day tuition fees – we believe this is the biggest discount of any school in the UK. Key workers’ children who need to return to board will pay 60% of the Summer term’s boarding fees.
3. Will the schools offer greater flexibility if parents of September 2020 starters choose to cancel the school contract because of all the uncertainty?
Answer: Yes, we understand how difficult it is to make such an important decision during these uncertain times.
a. When do they have to make this decision?
Answer: We expect there to be greater clarity by June/July and hope parents will be able to confirm their places by the 31st July 2020.
b. Will deposits be refunded?
Answer: Yes, under these difficult circumstances.
c. Is there an insurance (e.g. fees refund insurance) available to parents?
Answer: We are not aware of any policy which would cover the current situation. Some policies pre-dating 20th March may cover this pandemic.
4. What happens if children are not allowed to enter the UK in September?
Answer: They will be offered the opportunity to participate in the remote learning programme which offers the flexibility to work across different time-zones with recorded material and a library of online resources.
For those starting in Year 10 or Year 12, it is more difficult because these are the start of examination years. We are happy to accommodate a deferred entry until the October half term with remote learning in place but no later.
For all entry points, we are happy to accept notice of withdrawal with a full refund of deposit as late as 31st July when we will hopefully be starting to see international flights resume and parents are in a better position to make a more informed decision and be fully reassured about what we have put in place.
5. Can a short term pupil (short term defined as up to one year) defer their Summer term placement to the Michaelmas term 2020?
Answer: Yes, we would positively recommend this.
6. Permanent pupils – should parents choose for their child not to participate in the remote learning (pupils unlikely to be able to return to the UK for the Summer term) and cancel their permanent place, what would the refund situation look like?
Answer: We would expect all permanent pupils to participate in the remote educational programme. It is vitally important to retain the educational momentum and to keep some semblance of normality during these times. We have built in assessment and feedback into our online programme and are ensuring that pastoral care and a sense of school community are retained as much as possible.
a. Will current policies still apply e.g. one term’s notice in writing?
Answer: Yes, we would ask for notice at the beginning of the Summer term.
b. Will deposits be returned (minus any outstanding items)?
Answer: Yes, if notice is given.
7. Will parents be held liable to the terms and conditions if the UK border is closed or likewise if other borders are closed and not allowing students to leave their country?
Answer: We will be as flexible as we can and judge the situation on a case-by-case basis.
8. If a child joins us in September 2020 and there is a resurgence of Coronavirus and the school needed to close again would there be a refund of the deposit and the fee?
Answer: If the child was sent home because we had closed, then the remote fee would be charged. The deposit would be repaid on the final bill, minus any outstanding items, as usual.
Or, if the child was sent home because we had closed and did not want to benefit from the remote learning, but was able to defer their attendance to the following term when they were not due to be with us, the fees would be refunded for the rest of the term that the school was closed.
Or, in the case of a pupil joining us for a full year from September 2020 and the school needed to close during the Michaelmas term, the fees would be refunded for the rest of the Michaelmas term, if the parents did not wish their child to benefit from the remote teaching, but the pupil would be expected to return in January 2021. If the pupil did not return in January 2021 (providing the school had re-opened) then the remote fee would be charged for the period the school was closed during the Michaelmas term 2020 and full fees would be payable for the Lent term 2021 in lieu of notice.
9. What additional measures will the schools put in place when they reopen?
Answer: We have always been proud of the cleanliness of our schools but, in response to Covid-19 we will be issuing new guidelines on health and safety and detailing the practical work that has been done to ensure that our schools are as safe as any domestic environment. These will include:
- Positive encouragement to wear face masks
- Additional locations of hand sanitisers
- Increase in deep cleaning
- Isolation facilities with medical centres
- Checking of temperatures and medical declarations for visitors
10. How will the schools handle any ‘bullying’ against Chinese students?
Answer: The Heads are producing guidelines for staff and pupils regarding xenophobic behaviour and comments. This will not be tolerated in our schools or by our government and we will be reemphasising that message through written communications, inset to staff and school and house assemblies. We see behaviour like this as a disciplinary issue and it will be dealt with as such.
11. How will the schools cope with the financial impact of Covid-19?
Answer: The Haberdashers’ Monmouth Schools are fortunate to have a 400 year old history with the financial backing of a large endowment which will enable us to weather the financial effects of Covid-19. We realise we are in a significantly better position than most. This crisis has demonstrated that we have the scale needed for our academic and pastoral teams to adapt when needed. We were able to repatriate 119 boarders to 17 different countries quickly and efficiently and set up online learning within a matter of days.
12. Have there been many cases of Covid-19 in Monmouthshire?
Answer: The Monmouth area has had significantly fewer cases of Covid-19 than the rest of the UK and our local health services have coped well under the current crisis.