1.  Introduction 

These ‘Terms and Conditions’ (‘Agreement’) refer to the contract between Sutherland Education Ltd

(‘we’ or ‘us’) and the Parents or any person signing our Acceptance Letter on their behalf (‘you’) in respect of our guardianship service for your son/daughter (‘your child’).

Legal Contract

Jointly or severally you are legally responsible for adhering to this Agreement. Your child, as named on the Application Form, will be accepted into our Guardianship once all the fees have been paid in full and we have confirmed this in writing. Nothing in this contract shall confer on any third party any right to enforce any benefit of any term of this Contract (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999. This legal contract is subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of English Law.

Data Protection

In accordance with the Data Protection Act of 1998 we are registered with the Information Commission and follow its established data management and security principles.

AEGIS Accreditation

We are accredited by the Association for Education and Guardianship of International Student. We, therefore, adhere to a rigid inspection framework and promote best practice in care and communication.

Sutherland Education Literature and Website

All our promotional information gives details about our services, company history and ethos. It is believed to be correct at the time of printing but does not form part of the agreement. Any unclear issues arising from our literature and website should be clarified in writing before you enter this Agreement. This contract forms the entire legal agreement between the parties.

Reference to documents

You may request to see any documents referred to in this agreement before you accept the offer of a place but those documents do not form part of this contract.

Changes in circumstances

We constantly endeavour to improve our services and ensure that we comply with the latest childcare legislation. Therefore, we may introduce changes to the way our service is provided, described or promoted. We may also appoint new staff members or guardian families to take care of your child’s needs. Our fee structure is regularly reviewed. We will notify you of any changes in fees a term in advance in writing to the address stipulated by you on the application form or subsequently in writing. None of the changes can invalidate this Agreement.

2. Guardianship

Sutherland Education Responsibilities

2.1(1) We accept responsibility for the guardianship of your child as per the undertakings within the selected level of service on the understanding that all pertinent information about your child has been revealed and your child will comply with the requirements of our guardianship service at all times.

2.1(2) We will find an alternative homestay for a child if there are reasonable grounds for such a change. If a child is not happy with his or her homestay, the case will be carefully studied and appropriate actions taken.

2.1(3) Should we be informed about your child’s suspension or expulsion from school, we will continue providing our guardianship service subject to us holding sufficient funds to cover additional expenditure. In the case of insufficient funds, immediate payment will be required to secure the continuation of our service.

2.1(4) Any suspension of the guardianship service means that we relinquish all our legal liability, including the responsibility for any practical arrangements during any period of such suspension.

2.1(5) We cannot accept any legal liability for your child’s welfare whilst at school or for any actions other than those of an authorised guardian or persons against whom appropriate checks have been carried out.

2.1(6) We will undertake all reasonable care to protect your child’s rights and to inform you of any circumstances known to us which may adversely affect them.

Discretion

2.2(1) We will endeavour to exercise the same duty of care as responsible parents would in relation to their child.  The amount of independence allowed will depend on the age and personality of your child.  Any specific restrictions you wish to be placed on your child should be given to us in writing. There may be occasions when we require your written consent to a particular arrangement, especially if you wish our guardianship service to continue without suspension when your child has been invited to stay with a third party not appointed or approved by us.

2.2(2) We will exercise our discretion in respect of your child’s welfare in circumstances when we are unable to contact you.

2.2(3) The Letter of Consent from you authorises us to agree to any emergency medical or dental treatment such as a blood transfusion, an anaesthetic or an operation, as deemed necessary to your child’s welfare by a suitably qualified medical personnel. We will only exercise this right if we have been unable to obtain your prior consent in time.

Parents’ Responsibilities

2.3(1) You must reveal all pertinent information about your child such as any medical history, record of misconduct, legal matters, or any family circumstances which may affect your child’s welfare, happiness, security or health.

2.3(2) You are required to provide us with copies of any important correspondence between you and the school, including a completed school medical form.

2.3(3) You should notify us in writing of any changes in circumstances or any information which would assist us in caring for your child. This includes any change in your contact details. We cannot be held responsible for not being able to contact you using the numbers and the address supplied by you.

2.3(4) You should inform us in writing should you wish to withhold your consent to your child participating in any contact sports or other physical activities which may result in some form of physical injury.

2.3(5) We require you to inform us in writing should you have any objections to your child’s photographs appearing in any of our promotional material.

2.3(6) You are responsible for ensuring that appropriate insurance cover is arranged for your child, e.g. medical, travel, sickness and personal injury, either independently or through the school or through us.

2.3(7) You are responsible for ensuring that you receive a copy of an invoice so that it is fully settled in time, in accordance with this Agreement. You are legally liable for the full payment of all invoices and any other expenses incurred by your child.

2.3(8) Should you have any concerns about your child’s welfare or safety you must inform us immediately so that appropriate action can be taken.

Adherence to our guidance

2.4(1) Your child will be required to observe our ‘Student guidelines’ which are issued upon the acceptance of your child into guardianship.

2.4(2) You undertake to ensure that your child is receptive to our guidance and will abide by our instructions.

2.4(3) We will not accept responsibility for the consequences of any action by your child which contravenes guidance given.

Levels of guardianship support

2.5(1) We work closely with schools and colleges, and the selection of our Light level of guardianship must be approved by us and the school or college as suitable for your child.

2.5(2) Should we discover in the course of guardianship that the level of guardianship selected is not suitable to cover a student’s needs, we will ask you to reconsider your choice.  If, after reasonable consideration we cannot reach an agreement about the appropriate level, it may be necessary to terminate the guardianship agreement.

Disclosure of Information

By signing this Agreement you agree, as far as your parental rights allow, to us:

(a) obtaining confidential information on any matters regarding your child such as but not exclusively, medical details or outstanding fees to an educational institution, be it a school or another guardianship organisation

(b) communicating confidential information to any third party on a ‘need-to-know’ basis should it be required to safeguard and promote the welfare of your child or protect another person from any harm inflicted by your child.

3.  Finance

You, or any person or organisation appointed by you in writing, are jointly and severally responsible for payment of ‘Fees’. ‘Fees’ include our Guardianship Fee, Registration Fee, Credit Fund and Deposit. Fees are reviewed from time to time. Circumstances permitting, we shall provide you with a term’s notice of the proposed Fee increase.

Registration fee

This fee covers the processing of a student’s application form. The Registration fee is a one-off fee which is not refundable and must be sent to us together with an application form. It also includes a legal record check fee which covers the cost of the checks we conduct on our families, such as the DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) search, personal family visits, taking up references and carrying out spot checks. These checks aim to ensure the highest level of security and happiness for your child. This fee is subject to the UK tax (‘VAT’).

Credit Fund

The credit fund is an amount paid at the beginning of every term to cover your child’s expenses not included in school or guardianship fees such as UK travel, accommodation outside the school, pocket money, mobile phones, airplane tickets, etc.  It is monitored regularly and maintained at the level proportionate to the expenditure incurred by each student during the previous term. By payment into this fund you authorise us to make any payment in respect of expenses incurred by your child. Such expenses may be regulated according to your wishes.

Deposit

The deposit is held on behalf of every student. It can only be used in case of an emergency, suspension or expulsion from school. The deposit cannot be used as a part-payment of any outstanding invoices. The deposit can only be refunded once the guardianship arrangement has been terminated in accordance with Sutherland Education terms and conditions.

Guardianship Fee

This fee constitutes the remuneration for our guardianship service only as specified in our ‘Fee Structure’, and does not cover any additional expenses not included in school fees such as UK travel, accommodation outside the school, pocket money, mobile phones, airplane tickets, etc. This fee is subject to the UK tax (‘VAT’).

Payment policy

2.11(1) All the invoices must be settled in full before the start of every term in order to avoid late payment charges. A late payment charge of £150 may be applied if an invoice is not paid in the stipulated time.

2.11(2) If the funds are not received in the stipulated time, the guardianship will automatically lapse. This means that the guardianship responsibilities will be suspended until full payment has been received and the funds have cleared. Any part payment will only be accepted on account and will neither maintain nor reinstate the guardianship service.

2.11(3) The school will be notified of any suspension or termination of this Agreement.

2.11(4) The guardianship fee does not include any extra expenses beyond the school fees, or any costs incurred by us through the inevitable execution of responsibilities beyond those listed under “Categories of Guardianship”. Please refer to our ‘Fee Structure’ for details or contact us to clarify any misunderstanding.

Refund Policy

3.6(1) At the end of the guardianship term any unspent funds as well as a deposit are fully refundable on a written request from you. You are asked to specify in writing the preferred payment method (i.e. by cheque or by a bank transfer by giving bank details). £25 (twenty five pounds + VAT) will be deducted from the amount to be transferred to cover the transfer cost. If the deposit or any balance is not claimed within 12 months from the date of completing the guardianship term with the Company, the ownership of the deposit or any balance shall be transferred to the Company.

3.6(2) Once you have accepted our terms and paid our invoices, we are unable to refund any part of the Guardianship Fee, whether or not the service is taken up. 

3.6(3) Should your child not use our services for some period, be it for personal or medical reasons, any refund will be at our absolute discretion.

3.6(4) Any sums paid in advance to the company, including any deposits, if not refunded through lack of bank details and communication from you within 12 months of a student leaving the guardianship, shall become the property of the company

4.  Termination of the Guardianship Contract

4.1 We reserve the right to relinquish the guardianship responsibilities without due notice if circumstances arise which are of material nature, or if important information about your child’s history has been withheld. Whilst we are not bound to any set notice period in this respect, notification of any such decision made will be given in writing prior to the termination taking place.

4.2  To secure the continuity of the service provision all payments must be made in the time stipulated on an invoice.

4.3 To withdraw a student from our guardianship, six weeks’ notice is required in writing in order for the deposit to be refunded. Six weeks’ notice means notice given to us six weeks before the last day of any term, as defined by your child’s school diary. (Six weeks is the time chosen to represent half a term).

4.4  If insufficient notice has been given a term’s Fees in lieu of notice will be payable.

4.5 We reserve the right to terminate this Agreement should any other educational establishment or guardianship organisation inform us of any outstanding Fee.

Please ensure that all the terms and conditions have been understood.