About the case

A parent enrolled their young child into a Primary School with the hopes of coming into New Zealand at the start of the 2020 school year. Unfortunately, due to the border closures, the student and parent could not enter the country.  

The parent requested a refund of the tuition fee which the school granted minus a deduction of administrative fees. The parent disputed the deduction due to the unprecedented circumstances in which they had to withdraw. Unable to reach a resolution directly, the parents bought their dispute to iStudent Complaints.

How we helped

The facilitator spoke to both the parent and the school to help both sides identify what they needed in order to resolve the dispute. This also gave both parties an opportunity to contemplate the impact it has had on them. This information was then shared with each other so both sides could gain a mutual understanding of what the problem was.  


From this conversation, the parent understood the terms of the refund policy and how that supported the school's deduction of administrative fee. Meanwhile, the school also considered the additional time and energy involved in a more formal dispute process. The school decided as a gesture of goodwill and to acknowledge the hardship that COVID-19 has bought to everyone, they would also refund the administrative fee. An early resolution was reached for both parties.