Fees in Advance Scheme

Whitgift School Boys

Background

Our Foundation Schools, Trinity School and Whitgift School, offer a Fees in Advance Scheme which enables parents to pay school fees up front by making a lump sum payment in advance, in return for which the parents receive a discount on the cost of their child’s education.

This may appeal to parents who have just earned a large bonus and who would like to put it towards their child’s education, or any parents who would like to have the peace of mind of having their child’s school fees paid up for a number of years in future; this could also be of interest to members of the family who would like to make a substantial financial contribution towards their nephew’s or niece’s, their godson’s or goddaughter’s or their grandchild’s education for example.

Specifics

Our scheme will require parents to pay a minimum of 4 terms and a maximum of 22 terms.

When parents pay the lump sum, an agreed portion will be applied against each term’s fees for an agreed number of terms. The total value of the amount applied each term will be commuted at an agreed rate, in order to calculate the total lump sum to be paid by the parents to the Foundation, with such calculation carried out prior to the parents joining the Scheme. Parents can join the Scheme after the offer of a place for the child at the School has been accepted.

In order to join the Scheme, there are terms and conditions which must be signed by the parents (who are already signatories of the main parent contract) and by the individual paying the lump sum payment, if different (e.g. grandparents or any other relative). These T&Cs are in line with the terms set out in the parent’s contract.

As you may expect, these clarify the points regarding your status as an unsecured creditor, our compliance with anti-money laundering laws, any additional top-up payments which may apply, the number of terms which will apply as per your request (a minimum of 4  and a maximum of 22), the straight discount which you will benefit from, the date by which you will need to make the lumpsum payment by, how you can claim a refund for any unused terms, and how the scheme is currently in line with the Foundation’s charitable status and the tax regulations which apply at the time of the agreement.

Discount

The Foundation currently offers a 3.5% discount rate and the realised savings are illustrated in the tables below:

TRINITY SCHOOL – DAY PUPILS – FIA SCHEME ILLUSTRATIVE TABLE

TRINITY SCHOOL – DAY PUPILS – FIA SCHEME ILLUSTRATIVE TABLE

WHITGIFT SCHOOL – DAY PUPILS– FIA SCHEME ILLUSTRATIVE TABLE

WHITGIFT SCHOOL – WEEKLY BOARDERS – FIA SCHEME ILLUSTRATIVE TABLE

WHITGIFT SCHOOL – FULL BOARDERS – FIA SCHEME ILLUSTRATIVE TABLE

Fees In Advance – Frequently Asked Questions

1. I would like to pre-pay 15 terms in advance. I have checked the illustrative table but my child has a 15% scholarship, how will this work?

We will be applying the same logic and be attaching to your FIA agreement a table reflecting 85% of the fees throughout the 15 terms.

2. My child is currently in year 8 and I would like to pre-pay for his fees till the end of his year 13; however, I am worried about what will happen with my payment if my child does not do his 6th form at the school as planned?

Changes of plan happen, and this is quite normal. If you had been paying for the fees on a termly basis and decided at some point for your child to transfer to another school due to family relocation, personal change in the family life etc.., you would need to give one term’s notice of your child’s withdrawal to the school, as per the terms in the parent contract. The same rule applies for parents who have prepaid for fees under the Fees in Advance scheme. Once the notice has expired, any prepaid and unused terms will be refunded back to you.

3. I understand that the fees department of your school will invoice me for my child’s school fees as well as some optional charges such as personal accident insurance or the school’s alumnae participation, and some ancillary charges such as a laptop leasing fee, school meals, exam fees, music lessons etc …

The Fees in Advance Scheme only covers the school fees. Ancillary charges, whether these are optional or mandatory, will be invoiced to you separately and due for payment according to the school’s payment terms. Most of the billing of these charges are managed by the fees department.

4. I can see that you have factored in a 5% yearly fees increase in your calculation. Can I ask why you have applied a 5% yearly fees increase rate?

We have considered the historical fees increases of our schools in the last 10 years, alongside the common understanding that the inflationary context of the next few years, as well as the costs to cover for our schools to be financially viable; and we believe a 5% yearly increase is sensible.

5. My husband and I are separated and we share 50/50 the payment of our daughter’s fees. She is due to complete her 6th form over the next 2 years, can I benefit from the FIA scheme whilst my husband pays for his share on a termly basis by the start of each term?

This is not something that we can accommodate, I am afraid. If you can both agree to opt for a FIA scheme, we will be re-arranging your daughter’s billing under one account, and you could then consider benefiting from the FIA scheme. Both parents will need to send their prepayment by the required due date.

6. I have one child currently at the school and another one due to start in September, can I benefit from the scheme for each of my children?

Yes, you can. The scheme allows any parent to prepay – for a minimum of 4 terms and a maximum of 22 terms – the fees for one specific pupil, whether the pupil is currently at the school or due to join the school from September 2024. If you have two children for whom you would like to prepay at least 4 terms’ worth of fees, you will be entering into a Fees in Advance agreement for each of your children, as each scheme is nominative.

7. I have just returned the signed agreement and checked the proforma invoice. Can I pay the balance by card?

Unfortunately, we only accept lumpsum payments by bank transfer via the scheme and the actual payment date will need to be processed well in advance of a new full term or a new full academic year, so that our billing department knows how to invoice you (ancillary charges will be invoiced separately for instance).

This is also in compliance with anti-money laundering laws. An international wire transfer will also need to be completed in a timely manner as we will not be able to keep the agreement open if we fail to receive the lumpsum payment by the agreed due date.

8. My son is currently a day pupil at Whitgift School. What if I pay for 10 terms upfront and he becomes a weekly boarder after 6 terms for instance?

Only Whitgift School has a boarding house so this is a scenario which may happen whilst your son is taught at Whitgift. The Fees in advance agreement that you would sign would specify the pupil status of your son: i.e. whether he is a day pupil, a weekly boarder or a full boarder. If your son changes of pupil status during the time of the Fees in Advance agreement, the portion relating to the weekly or full boarding will be invoiced separately and treated like any other ancillary charges. Basically, the extra charge, due to the change of status, will sit outside of the terms of the Fees in Advance agreement.

9. How will the 5% yearly fixed fees increase impact me if the fees increase by more than 5% or by less than 5% after 2024-25?

If in the future years to come, the fees increase by 6.5% for instance in any given year, you will be invoiced for the 1.5% difference. That 1.5% portion will be subject to the same billing rules as for fees accounts on termly paying terms. If, however, the fees were to increase by 3.5% on any given year after 2024-25, which you happen to have pre-paid, the 1.5% difference would create an extra saving – or credit balance- on your child’s fees account, and, at the end of the whole FIA agreement period, this credit would be owed back to you.

10. I am finding the discount quite low, can you review your terms and increase it?

The Fees in Advance scheme is a discretionary scheme which has been prepared by our Foundation’s governors. They have reviewed and agreed to the current scheme and have deemed the offered discount appropriate.

11. If I am prepaying 15 terms for my child, are you able to tell me how any tax regulation changes may impact my prepayment?

As you can see from the agreement, we are offering this scheme under the current tax regulations. If you are seeking any tax or financial advice, please contact a financial advisor.

12. I feel uneasy about the ‘unsecured creditor’ aspect of the agreement. Can I see the school’s latest accounts?

The Foundation is the legal entity, and the schools are two of its operating units. Therefore, by signing an FIA agreement, you would effectively sign an agreement with the John Whitgift Foundation, a registered charity. You can consult our published accounts on that link:

Accounts and annual returns, THE WHITGIFT FOUNDATION – 312612, Register of Charities – The Charity Commission

13. I am a teacher at Whitgift and my child is currently benefiting from the Staff Discount Scheme. Can I also benefit from the Fees in Advance scheme?

The staff discount scheme offers a staff member a discount of up to 66.67% discount on fees; the discount is calculated according to your salary level via the 50% cap rule (subject to review every year), your employment status (which may change if you choose to leave the school), and the fact that you may have additional children joining the scheme. Considering this, I am afraid we are not able to offer both schemes conjointly to the same parent. This is the same for parents of pupils who are recipients of the John Whitgift Bursary scheme. You may want to review which scheme is more beneficial to you as a result.

14. I have just processed the payment as per the proforma invoice that I have received. Do I need to do anything else at this stage?

If you have already processed the payment to us, please ensure that you fill in, sign and return the FIA agreement to the fees department by email, not by post.

15 – My daughter is due to join Trinity School for her 6th form. I have entered a 6-term FIA scheme but am worried in case her GCSEs grades are not high enough and Trinity rejects her entry after the results are published.

As per the FIA agreement, you will have been asked to make your prepayment by the 31st of July for the autumn term. If it then turns out that your daughter cannot join Trinity due to a decision by the school, you will be sent a full refund as the one term’s withdrawal rule does not apply in that case.

16 – As the FIA agreement requires me to prepay, what is the logic of the prepayment due dates?

The payment due date will always be circa 6 weeks before the start of a new term, i.e. 4 weeks before the billing of a new term; the billing takes place 2 weeks before the actual start of the term.

17- If I am preparing my lumpsum payment but get some last-minute issues with it which means that I miss the cut-off dates as set out above, will I need to re-enter into a new FIA agreement as the period 1 will change?

Yes, if you miss the payment due date deadline, the agreement made between you and the Foundation will no longer hold and you will need to request a new quote with period 1 as the next term. It is therefore advisable that you ensure that your lumpsum payment is prepared well in advance to avoid any disappointment.

18- Can I enter into the FIA scheme for a date in future which is not period 1?

No, the scheme only allows you to enter the scheme from period 1 as set out in our illustrative tables posted on our website. The only exception to this rule is if you are already on one of our 2020 or 2021 FIA schemes and if your prepayment is still on-going and covering some terms in future and that you are after a rolling-over FIA agreement for the consecutive period. As you cannot be on two FIA schemes at the same time, the second FIA scheme will need to cover the next term after the final term pre-paid in the previous FIA scheme.

19- If I enter into an FIA agreement for each of my twins, will I get a twin discount?

No, the John Whitgift Foundation’s schools do not offer any sibling discounts. The FIA scheme is a nominative scheme and the discount given is the one set out on the website.

20- I would like to prepay from period 1 till period 4 and period 1 is an autumn term which means that I will be prepaying only one term of the following academic year, can I do that?

Theoretically you can but It would be odd to prepay only one term of a given year; whilst we would be accommodating this for you, this would mean that you have to start paying on a termly basis at some point, mid-year.

20- I would like to prepay from period 1 till period 4 and period 1 is an autumn term which means that I will be prepaying only one term of the following academic year, can I do that?

Theoretically you can but It would be odd to prepay only one term of a given year; whilst we would be accommodating this for you, this would mean that you have to start paying on a termly basis at some point, mid-year.

Enquiries

If you are interested in finding out more or have some specific questions, please email our fees department at fees@johnwhitgiftfoundation.org.

Our fees team will be able to provide you with a copy of the Fees in Advance Agreement for your perusal.