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Course costs - will I have to pay?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by YorkshireT, Dec 28, 2015.

  1. YorkshireT

    YorkshireT New commenter

    I'm just finishing the National SENCO qualification but I'm desperate to move jobs.

    The course is a legal requirement and therefore not something I asked the school to finance. I want to leave in the summer, so I'll have a six month gap between completing the course and leaving. Does anyone know if I'd have to pay for the course? It was around £1800.

  2. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    I think it is unlikely, but it will depend on whatever contract you have agreed with the school.
  3. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    But you will understand if the school feels a little peeved at having shelled out all that money, only for the benefit to go to another school . . .

    I have allowed staff to go on very expensive courses - some Microsoft training for technicians can cost a lot more than your £1,800. I have had a sliding scale of how much to re-pay, based on how long they stayed. But I have also, in another post, wished to do that, only to be told by the school's legal advisor that it was contrary to some nineteenth-century anti-slavery law, as I was effectively making someone pay to leave my employment.

    So, if your contractor the Staff handbook or CPD Policy states that course costs, or a portion thereof, is payable on leaving, or if you received and signed an agreement to that effect when starting the course, then Yes.

    Otherwise, No.

    Best wishes for 2016

    P.S. Do I have to tell my Head I am applying elsewhere?

    JohnJCazorla likes this.
  4. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Whatever some, including your head may think or even say, they can't make you pay for a course they required you to attend.
  5. foxtail3

    foxtail3 Star commenter

    The SENCo qualification is different, in that it is a requirement for any teacher in any school, taking up a new SENCo role, to complete that course within two years of being in post.

    So it's not the school requiring attendance, which puts a different perspective on it.
  6. YorkshireT

    YorkshireT New commenter

    Thanks - I won't be applying for a role that requires it to be honest. It has been such an awful experience! I agree it seems unfair to leave, but I have to do it all in my own time, despite being promise time in school when I took the role. If I was feeling supported it would be different, but it taking its toll on my wellbeing.
  7. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    If the school said 'pay back the money or you can't leave' that would, l suspect amount to slavery!
  8. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    No school or employer is going to say something that daft (and unenforceable), surely? They would deduct the cost from your final salary if they believe they are entitled to recover the money. I doubt they are entitled to though, unless they signed a specific agreement with you that you would repay it if you left.
  9. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

  10. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    In which case could the OP take them to the small claims Court?

    [NB by threatening to withhold pay to someone if they leave l still wonder whether they could be accused of coercion?]
  11. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    I don't think the school would be entitled to recover the course costs unless it had been expressly agreed as part of the contract of employment at time of appointment. If not, and the school deducted it from final salary anyway, then OP should be able to recover it, although an Employment Tribunal claim for unlawful deduction from pay would more likely be the route to do it. I don't see how 'coercion' would come into it.
  12. monicabilongame

    monicabilongame Star commenter

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