PARENTS CAN APPLY FOR REFUND OVER EXTRA READING TUITION – CROYDON
PARENTS should NOT have been charged for extra reading tuition, Croydon council have admitted.
News From Crystal Palace contacted Croydon council after an item headed ”Can’t pay can’t read’ appeared on the ‘Rotten Boroughs’ page of the current issue of Private Eye magazine.
The article said Croydon council had been imposing charges for lessons which should have been free under section 451 of the Education act 1996 for almost a decade. It also stated that pre-2012 records had been lost.
News From Crystal Palace put the following questions to Croydon council:
Why did Croydon council take so long to decide the charges referred to were not lawful after all?
Is the council considering making any repayments to those parents who have receipts / bank account statements from the council for pre-2012. (Is this January 1st 2012 or a later date in the year?). If not, why not? (And what about those who don’t?)
Have any of the pre-2012 records been found since the Private Eye article appeared?
Did this apply just to Croydon literacy centre (Purley) or schools across the borough? Do pupils at the literacy centre come from across the borough?
In response a council spokesman told News From Crystal Palace: “We apologise to all affected pupils and their parents. “We took our original decision in good faith, but recent legal advice has shown it was incorrect.
“We have asked all schools to contact every parent who paid for the service in school hours and inform them how to apply for a refund.
“Schools either provide in-school reading tuition or pay for additional tuition via the Croydon Literacy Centre for any Croydon pupils deemed as needing reading tuition as part of their schooling.
“However, we’ve identified 32 pupils who had made sufficient progress to be ineligible for school funding, but whose parents opted to pay for continued extra support at the Croydon Literacy Centre.
“It is this additional provision that should not have been charged for because it operated during the school day.”
Further reading: Croydon council apologises to parents of 32 pupils unlawfully charged £50,000 for reading lessons by Gareth Davies (Croydon Advertiser website posted: May 06, 2015).