The Consumer Protection Act and School Enrolment Contracts
On 6 November 2018, the National Consumer Tribunal delivered its decision in the matter of National Consumer Commission v Heronbridge College NPC.
The National Consumer Commission’s application related to a HeronBridge College parent’s request that he be given a full refund of the deposits he had paid for his children, despite him not giving a term’s notice, as stipulated in the enrolment contract.
The Commission’s application relied on section 14 of the CPA. Section 14(2)(b)(i)(bb) of the CPA provides that, if a consumer agreement is for a fixed-term, then the consumer is only obliged to give 20 business days’ notice to terminate a consumer agreement.
This matter has important implications for enrolment contracts at independent schools, and the ISASA Policy Unit has prepared a summary of the Tribunal’s findings.