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Change in Private School Fee conditions????

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question about whether there have been changes to conditions of private school fee payment


We are again about to go through a change of assessment request by my husbands ex as she tries to finance her decision to keep the children (17 & 12) in a private school. Kids were in private school at the time of separation, my husband does not believe this is the best place for them to be educated and has had this documented for at least 5 years but apparently his 50% decision making rights in regards to the children's education are worth nothing when it comes to who pays school fees for a school that only the mother wants to continue to send them to.

Upon doing a bit of research, we have found something we did not notice 2 years ago when we went through this

If the parents had an expectation that the child should attend a particular type of primary school, CSA will not presume that the same expectation automatically applies to a similar type of secondary school.

Can someone please confirm whether this is new???

Thank you
Can I ask why were the kids in private schooling prior to separation if he did not want them there. I thought that this would be the precedent set by the courts and by CSA?

"When we long for life without difficulties, remind us that oaks grow strong in contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure"
Unfortunately the kids were enrolled in the school just prior to separation (that was one of the arguments they were having prior to separation).  My hubby signed the enrolment forms which seems to be the bottom line, or it was 3 years ago…. (even though they had agreement after separation that she would be responsible for fees and she had paid them for 3 years after divorce).  But, I have just found that the comment I made up there about this decision to educate them in private school for Primary  CSA should not automatically assume that parents were going to educate them in this way for secondary.  Just found it changed in November 11 :)  Bring on the next CSA argument i say!!!
That is the case Sippit, the CSA acknowledged that just because a child attends a particular type of primary school that this does not create an expectation that they will attend a certain type of secondary school.  Our BM lost badly on this point when she tried it on in a COA, as DH did not sign the enrolment forms, and was actually out of the country during the enrolment process.

Unfortunately, given that your DH signed the enrolment forms, I would say that he is pretty much sunk, therefore, he will be up for half of the core fee only.

Sorry to burst your bubble!
Thanks Smurfergirl :)  my hubby did sign the enrolment forms, way back when the children started kindy.  Most schools do not continue right through to high school and kids generally start a different school at a different location at the end of year 6.  This school does not give parents the opportunity to sign new enrolment forms at the end of year 6 therefore my husband has not been able to withdraw his permission and exercise his 50% parenting rights.  I am hoping that the new CSA inclusion of "not assuming same secondary school" may apply??  My hubby has clearly communicated to CSA and the BM over the last 5 years the reasons he does not want them to attend, it is not about money it is about what he thinks is best for the kids.  Mediation failed as the BM is unfit to proceed because of a "mental illness" "personality disorder".  Therefore, communicating with her and trying to use logic is impossible.  
There are a number of key step points recognised by the CSA. These are Kindy, Primary, Junior and Secondary school.

In the recent Change of Assessment review we have argued firstly that the CSA should not be involved at all in determining where children are educated and there have been extensive posts about this issue on the site here. Governments cannot keep managing every facet of family life without incurring a massive tax payer funded impost. This is one area we believe the States have adequate educational institutes known as "Public Schools" that can be a fall back when parents cannot afford to or do not wish to send their children to private education.

A second fall back argument we agreed to was that where parents had commenced a private education then the exit points would be at one of the four points listed above. This meant that in the best interest of the child they would be able to see out the full educational program for that section.

A third fall-back position for us was we would agree to terminate the private school education at the end of the school year.

We did not support the removing of children from private education part way through a term or part way through a syllabus in a programme. The issue to deal with is that many years have a program that covers two Calender years or more.

Where one parent has withdrawn support for private education then there needs to be a determination as to why and if there is no financial reason then the education should continue, at least to a break point as detailed above. This is the area you have eluded to in the CSA texts "If the parents had an expectation that the child should attend a particular type of primary school, CSA will not presume that the same expectation automatically applies to a similar type of secondary school." Many parents find after separation that costs escalate and their standard of living significantly changes and some costs simply cannot be maintained as ongoing commitments.  I think the statement you have found might be more liberally and widely applied to the four key educational break points we have alluded to here.

Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
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thank you SPCA for your detailed reply.  It has certainly given me something positive as we go through the next change of assessment request by the BM to force the kid's father to continue payment of half of the school fees for a school he no longer wants them to attend.  There seems to have been some more logical changes made to the Guide and hopefully common sense may prevail this time?  Thank you for taking the time to respond to my question

Moderator Note
Common Courtesy and site rules require (Sippit = Member for 20 months) that you do not use abbreviations that are not in the site glossaries.

BM, Bowel Movement, Bachelor of Medicine, Band Master…………? Google lists over 40 uses of BM
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