Can a school blacklist you for not paying school fees?

The short answer

A school can blacklist you with a credit bureau if you have not applied for fee exemption and have not paid outstanding fees.

The whole question

Can a public school report a parent to a credit bureau for not paying school fees?

Can the school deprive a child of an award due to to her? My daughter was doing very well last year, achieving level 7 on all subjects but she never received an award.

The long answer

Parents have to pay fees at public schools unless they are “non-fee schools”, but if a parent cannot afford to pay, she can apply for fee exemption. The parent must back up her application by submitting a pay slip, or if she is unemployed or self-employed, she must submit a sworn affidavit about her income. It used to be that an application had to be based on the joint income of both parents, but now the court has ruled that a single parent’s application for exemption can be assessed on her income alone.

If the parent does not pay the fees, the school must find out if she qualifies for fee exemption and exempt her if she does. The school is supposed to notify parents of their right to apply for fee exemption, and it must have written proof that the parent was advised of her right to apply for a fee exemption, but didn’t apply, before taking any action against her.

The school can check with a credit bureau that the information given by the parent is accurate, but has to ask the parent’s permission to do a credit check first.

The school can blacklist you with a credit bureau if you have not applied for fee exemption and have not paid outstanding fees. The school may not withhold reports or awards because of non-payment of fees.

Answered on Jan. 22, 2019, 11:56 a.m.

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