Parents of private school pupils could be ‘hounded’ for unpaid fees by a debt collection agency as institutions face ‘major challenge’ to survive
- Struggling parents have been warned debt collectors will hound them for fees
- Independent schools are concerned about their ongoing funding due to Covid
- Frontline Collections are a ‘gold preferred supplier’ for independent schools
- Lord Storey described the use of debt collectors as ‘very insensitive’
Parents of private school pupils could be ‘hounded’ for unpaid fees by a debt collection agency, it was claimed yesterday.
It comes after the Independent Schools Association (ISA) announced that Frontline Collections has become a ‘gold preferred supplier’ to its 535 members.
The firm will ‘assist independent schools across the UK in recouping unpaid school fees’.
Parents of private school pupils could be ‘hounded’ for unpaid fees by a debt collection agency, it was claimed yesterday
It already works with a number of ISA members but the official endorsement means it is likely to be used more widely by schools.
The ISA said the sustainability of private schools was a ‘major challenge many are currently facing’.
But Lord Storey, Liberal Democrat education spokesman in the House of Lords, said the use of debt collectors to recoup money from struggling families during the pandemic was ‘just not acceptable and very insensitive’.
The firm will ‘assist independent schools across the UK in recouping unpaid school fees’
He told Schools Week: ‘Imagine the national outcry there would be if state schools employed debt collectors to collect dinner money or after-school club [fees]. Parents need support, not being hounded by a debt agency.’
ISA chief executive Rudolf Eliott Lockhart said a ‘significant number’ of private schools had cut fees and scrapped rises, and some had used hardship funds to help families.
But he added that ‘like many businesses’, private schools sometimes use debt collectors as a ‘last resort’.