The back and forth between parents and the Brookhouse International School over school fees discounts took a new twist on Saturday after a section of parents reaffirmed their plans to distance themselves from the Brookhouse Parents Association (BPA) which secured an injunction ordering the school to lower fees by half pending the hearing and determination of the matter.
Brookhouse was also ordered to suspend learning for Early Years to Year 4.
In a press statement which came hot in the heels over revelations that the school had refused to lower school fees demands, the institution expressed regret at how details of a meeting meant to iron out the kinks between the institution and BPA had been leaked on social media dealing a blow to any hopes of the two parties reaching an amicable agreement.
Brookhouse maintains that the leak compromised the integrity of the negotiations saying that the issue was blown out of proportion as the school “had not developed a hardline stance” as was couched in the leaked minutes.
In the virtual meeting between the school and BPA lawyers as reported by Business Today, Nadim Nsouli, the Chairperson of the Imperial Education Group, the consortium that owns Brookhouse told the parents that the school was not going to lower its demands after the parents had protested the stance.
Consequently, this has led to the formation of two camps of parents. One is the one protesting the school’s management’s conduct and is represented by BPA while the other group has distanced itself from BPA and is angry that learning for Early Years to Year 4 has been suspended putting the education of 313 pupils on hold.
The second group has applied to join the suit in support of the school with the view of presenting an alternative opinion on the level of school fees levied by the institution. This group of parents wants learning to resume at the earliest opportunity and the school to have enough resources to make it happen.
Then there is the school which maintains that the High Court injunction that offset school fees by 50% has made it impossible to maintain infrastructure and pay staff their full salaries as previously envisaged.
“Given the nature of the litigation, it will unfortunately have to review its plans to cut costs accordingly,” said the school in a statement issued on Friday.
In the statement, Brookhouse maintained that it had undertaken a raft of measures since the parents secured the injunction.
Brookhouse maintains that it is not charging parents for transport or meals and will deduct these two sets of costs from its invoices.
The school further says that it has revised discounts for Year 8 upwards from 10% to 20% while discounts for Pre-1 to Year 4 remain at 30% supplemented by free summer lessons tailored to ensure pupils unable to gain from e-learning recover lost ground while discounts for Year 5-7 remain at 20%.
Brookhouse also says the injunction issued on April 30 had denied the institution the opportunity to defend itself saying that it will fight the suit when court resumes on May 13.
“The BPA petition raises a number of constitutional issues, including the right to a fair hearing, equality before the law, the right to education, interference in contractual relations and in the management of private schools. These issues deserve an opportunity to be raised and an opportunity afforded to all affected parties to be heard,” the school said in the statement.
“In the meantime it is hoped that a solution may still be found that allows children to resume learning and community relations to be repaired,” it added.