Terms and Conditions
1.1 These Terms and Conditions reflect the custom and practice of guardianship companies and private educational institutions for many generations and they form the basis of a legal contract for guardianship services together with the registration form, letter of appointment, and services & fees list (the “Agreement”). These Terms and Conditions are intended to promote the education and welfare of each child.
1.2 Only the Company and the Parents are parties to the Agreement. Neither the Pupil nor any other third party is a party to it. The acts and omissions of the Parents are binding on the Pupil and vice versa as to any matter of behaviour, discipline and fees. All requests and authorities by the Parents are treated as being made on behalf of the Pupil and vice versa.
1.3 By agreeing to be bound by these Terms and Conditions, the Parents on behalf of themselves and, so far as they are able, on behalf of the Pupil authorise the Company to process personal information including financial and sensitive personal information as is deemed necessary for the legitimate purposes of the Company and in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998. The Parents confirm that all information provided by them to the Company is correct, accurate and up-to-date.
1.4 These Terms and Conditions supersede those previously in force and will be construed as a whole. Headings, unless required to make sense of the immediate context, are for ease of reading only and are not otherwise part of the Terms and Conditions. Examples given in these Terms and Conditions are by way of illustration only and are not exhaustive.
2.1 The “Company” means Era Oxford Ltd. as now or in the future constituted (and any successor), registered in England no. 11152007. Registered office at 4 Ridley road, Oxford OX42QJ , United Kingdom.
2.2 The “Parents” means any person or persons who have accepted responsibility for a child’s attendance at a school/university/another institution in the United Kingdom. Parents are legally responsible, individually and jointly, for complying with their obligations under these Terms and Conditions.
2.3 The “Pupil” means the child named on the Registration Form.
2.4 The “Services” means provision of guardianship services as selected by the Parents following recommendations from the Company. The Company provides advice directly to the Parents or through a third party, appointed by the Parents, to ensure a suitable choice is made for the Pupil. The Company will not liable for the choice of Services the Parents make.
2.5 The “Guardian” is the person or group of persons, appointed by the Company to perform the Services.
2.6 The “Host Family” means a local person or persons that agree to provide accommodation and care for the Pupil at their home.
2.7 An “Emergency” means a serious, unexpected, and dangerous situation requiring immediate action. Anything outside this definition is not considered as an Emergency.
3. Registration for guardianship services
3.1 In order to register for the Services, the Parents will sign and complete the registration form and provide a copy of the Pupil’s current passport and UK visa, if it is available at the time of the registration; if the Pupil’s UK visa is not available, the Parents will provide it as soon as it becomes available.
3.2 All information provided in the registration form by the Parents must be true and complete. The Company reserves the right to discontinue the Services immediately, if information in the registration form is thought to have been falsified or omitted with the purpose to qualify for the Services.
3.3 The Parents are responsible to update the Company immediately on any changes in their or the Pupil’s personal circumstances that can affect the Pupil’s welfare or communication with the Company and third parties, including but not limited to: change of address, change of marital status, health information, changes in contact details, passport details, visa details, or any other changes related to the Pupil that might impact provision of the Services.
4. Fees and payment
4.1 The academic year is divided into three terms: September – December; January – March; April – June. In some cases, if the Pupil is present in the UK in the June – September period for over thirty days in total, June – September is considered an additional term.
4.2 First payment and deposit (if it applicable) must be received in full no less than thirty days before the first academic term begins or before any work towards provision of the Service begins, whichever comes first.
4.3 Subsequent fees are payable termly in advance. Full payment of fees for each term subsequent to the first must be received no less than ten days after receipt of the invoice.
4.4 Any sum tendered that is less than the sum due and owing may be accepted by the Company on account only. Late payment charges will be applied to any unpaid balance of fees.
4.5 No adjustment to termly fees will be possible if the Pupil engages the Services for less than the full duration of a term, or is absent for some number of days during the term, except where services begin or end more than four weeks after the start of a term.
4.6 Boarding pupils will be charged for accommodation for stay during school holidays, exeats and any other additional stays from the deposit, if exeat and holiday accommodation is not included in the Services selected. In cases where a deposit is not available from which to deduct these fees, an additional invoice will be issued to cover accommodation fees to parents, payable immediately upon receipt.
4.7 Any additional expenses incurred by the Company on behalf of the Pupil or the Parents in connection with course or welfare requirements (e.g., textbooks and other study materials, extra-curricular activities, transport, etc.) will be deducted from the deposit. All significant expenses will be agreed with the Parents in advance.
4.8 The Company will provide the Parents with a statement of expenses detailing any deductions from the deposit. The Company will require replenishment of the deposit at least once every term, or more often, if it is appropriate to do so.
4.9 The Company will invoice the Parents for the cost of any loss or damage to the property of the Company or any other party engaged by the Company to provide services where there is clear indication that the Pupil is at fault for such an occurrence. The Company reserves the right to deduct any such cost from the deposit held.
4.10 An agreement by the Company to accept payment of current and/or past and/or future fees by instalments is concessionary and will be subject to separate agreement/s between the Parents and the Company. Where there are inconsistencies between these Terms and Conditions and those of any instalment agreement or invoice issued by the Company to the Parents (as applicable), the terms and conditions of the instalment agreement or the invoice shall prevail.
4.11 Any additional services requested by the Parents that the Company agrees to provide, which are not included within the initial selected services provision, will be charged at a set rate provided by the company, or at an hourly rate of £50.00 where the services provision is not continuous. Where such service provision is continuous, the fees will amount to £150.00 for half a day (up to 4 hours), and £250.00 for the whole day (over 4 hours but less than 8 hours); any service provision above 8 hours will be charged at an hourly rate of £50.00.
5. Cancellations, withdrawals, and refunds
5.1 The Agreement shall continue until the end of the academic programme, or the end of academic year during which the Pupil reaches 18 years of maturity, whichever comes last, unless terminated by either the Parents or the Company in accordance with clauses below.
5.2 It is expected that Parents, or duly authorised representative, will in every case consult personally with the Company before notice of cancellation is given by the Parents.
5.3 Notices by the Parents shall be delivered, sent in writing, to the address of the Company at its principal place of business, or any such other addresses as may have been notified.
5.4 It will not be possible for the Company to refund any cost of providing the service and expenses already incurred on behalf of the Pupil in case the Pupil does not arrive to the UK.
5.5 Where notice of cancellation is received no less than thirty days before the start of the Services, the fees for the Services will be refunded in full, with the exception of any fees as may be required to cover costs already incurred by the Company in the provision of the Services.
5.6 Where notice of cancellation is received less than thirty days before the start of the Services, service fees for the first term, or for the duration of the Services if the duration is less than a full term, are non-refundable.
5.7 No fees paid for the current term will be refunded once the term has started.
5.8 It will not be possible for the Company to refund any fees for the current term if the Pupil is being withdrawn, suspended or excluded from school, university or another institution. It may be possible for subsequent term fees to be refunded at the discretion of the Company (subject to clause 5.9).
5.9 Notice of cancellation of the Services comprising one term or more in provision must be before the start of the preceding term, otherwise fees for the ensuing term will be payable.
5.10 The Company reserves a right to suspend the Services with immediate effect for non-payment of fees and to notify any related third parties. In such cases the service fees will remain payable, subject to the usual requirements for notice of cancellation.
5.11 The Company reserves the right to terminate the Services with immediate effect in cases where the Company’s employee or contractor is abused or intimidated by the Parent or the Pupil, whether verbally or physically, whether in person, via e-mail or telephone or otherwise. In such cases the Company will not refund any fees for the term currently in progress, or for the duration of the Services, if this is shorter than a full term.
5.12 Any deposit held by the Company will always be refunded, after the deduction of any outstanding expenses, as soon as all third parties’ invoices have been paid by the Company in full and no later than within three months from the date the Service ceased.
6.1 The Guardian will represent the Company and follow directions of the Company and will have adequate resources of the Company available to the Guardian in order to perform their duties.
6.2 The Company will undertake all necessary background and safety checks required by law and local safeguarding board for the Guardian. The Company will further ensure that the Guardian is fit for the position, and has received all necessary and appropriate training prior to engagement.
6.3 The Guardian will be available during their working hours on both their mobile or office numbers, or e-mail for general communication. The Guardian will be available 24 hours in an Emergency – a serious, unexpected, and dangerous situation, requiring immediate action. The Parents will be provided with a number for an additional Emergency 24-hour contact (the “Emergency Contact”) should the Guardian ever be out of reach.
6.4 Should the appointed Guardian be unavailable for reasons of illness, holiday, travel, or any other reason, the Company will make alternative arrangements for the Services provision.
6.5 The Guardian will be the first point of contact for the Parents and the Pupil on behalf of the Company and for communication with any other related or non-related third parties selected by the Company or requested by the Parents to provide the Services for the Pupil.
6.6 The Guardian will act ‘in loco parentis’ and have a duty of care towards the Pupil under his/her supervision, as well as promote the safety and welfare of the Pupil as a reasonable parent would do and in accordance with the Company’s Child Protection Policy. In exceptional circumstances, the Guardian may make decisions in place of the Parents, signing documents on their behalf and performing other actions as ‘in loco parentis’ status requires. The Parents will be notified immediately if this is the case.
6.7 The Guardian will abide by all applicable school rules and regulations, local laws, and guidelines issued by accrediting bodies. The Company will ensure that the Parents are informed of any such requirements or regulations. The Company will notify the Parents of any changes to the Services as a result of such requirements.
6.8 The Guardian will provide advice to the Parents in all circumstances by using common sense, available information personal experience and Company expertise, always bearing in mind the Pupil’s best interests, and acting with the best intentions. If a question is posed outside of the Guardian’s area of expertise, the Guardian will refer the Parents to a third-party specialist.
6.9 The Parents will follow and respect all Company, third party, school/university/other institution rules and regulations, local laws, and guidelines issued by accrediting bodies in each situation as advised by the Guardian, based on information obtained from relevant sources by the Guardian.
6.10 The Parents will, in a timely manner or as requested, provide information to the Guardian, and be available to discuss issues related to the Pupil on a regular basis. It is anticipated that the Parents or their representative(s) are able to respond to the Guardian with the relevant information within three working days from the request, or sooner, in urgent cases. Consistent lack of communication may lead the Company to terminate the Services.
6.11 The Guardian will perform the Services in accordance with the Services package selected by the Parents.
6.12 The Company reserves the right to keep communication with third parties private, and may choose not to disclose the full details of all such communications to the Parents or the Pupil.
6.13 The Company will in all cases, and as far as is possible, endeavour to respond to the Parents as quickly as possible. Urgent communications will be addressed within 24 hours, and in all other cases the Company will endeavour to respond within 72 hours or three working days, whichever is sooner.
6.14 In an Emergency, the Parents must contact the Guardian in the first instance, the Emergency Contact in the second instance. In all other cases it is recommended that the Parents wait for a response from the Guardian.
7. Host family appointment
7.1 The Company will undertake all necessary background and safety checks required by English law, accreditation bodies and local safeguarding board for the Host Family. The Company will ensure the Host Family is fit for the position, and has received all appropriate training prior to engagement.
7.2 The Company requires at least seven days’ notice to arrange accommodation for the Pupil with an Oxford-based Host Family. In cases where less notice is given, the Company will do their utmost to place the Pupil with a Host Family, however this cannot be guaranteed, and other solutions may be sought.
7.3 The Company will place the Pupil with the same Host Family each visit if the Parents can provide confirmation of dates at least one term in advance. Where the Pupil is placed in a Host Family in an Emergency or with short notice, the Company cannot guarantee a consistent choice of Host Family.
7.4 A minimum of two months’ notice is required to find a Host Family in another location, providing enough time for finding and vetting; any related expenses are to be borne by the Parent. The Company cannot guarantee making such an arrangement on a shorter notice.
7.5 Once confirmation of stay has been issued to the Host Family following receipt of instructions from the Parent, any changes to dates require a minimum of two weeks’ notice, otherwise fees may still be payable.
7.6 The Host Family will provide full-board, half-board or self-catering accommodation, as required by the Pupil’s circumstances during their stay and act as ‘in loco parentis’ in addition to the Guardian for the duration of the Pupil’s stay and undertake all necessary steps in relation to the Pupil’s safeguarding and welfare.
7.7 The Parents will not enter into direct contact with the Host Family, discuss the Services, fees, or any other significant information concerning the Company or the Services. The Parent will not make separate arrangements with the Host Family while the Company provides the Services or within a period of two years after the Services ceased.
8. Third Parties
8.1 Where the Company selects a third party on behalf of the Parents to provide professional services, cancellation terms of such services will be provided to the Parents on request. The Parents will be charged for any cancellation fees, irrespective of reasons for cancellation based on terms and conditions provided by the third party.
8.2 Where a third party provides services directly to the Parents, or a separate agreement has been made without the Company’s written consent between the third party and the Parents, the Company will not take part in the appointment, booking, or reimbursement of such services or purchases, and will not be held responsible over the quality of provision of such services.
8.3 Considerations for the Pupil’s adequate and lawful Services provision will always supersede cost considerations when arranging third party services or products; however, the Company will endeavour to find the best available deals where possible.
8.4 As a normal part of the Service provision, the Pupil will be driven in coaches or cars to and from airports and to other destinations as requested by the Parents or as necessary in the course of the Services provision. The Parents consent to the Pupil travelling by any form of public transport and/or in a motor vehicle driven by a responsible adult who is duly licensed, vetted and insured to drive a vehicle of that type.
9. Pastoral Care
9.1 The Company will do all that is reasonable to safeguard and promote the Pupil’s welfare and to provide pastoral care to at least the standard required by law in particular circumstances, and often to a much higher standard. The Company will respect the Pupil’s human rights and freedoms which must, however, be balanced with the lawful needs and rules of communities and the rights and freedoms of others.
9.2 Any question, concern or complaint about the Services, pastoral care or safety of the Pupil must be notified to the Company as soon as possible. The Company’s Complaints Procedure can be supplied on request.
9.3 The Pupil, if they are of sufficient maturity and understanding, has certain legal rights which the Company must observe. These include the right to give or withhold consent in a variety of circumstances and certain rights of confidentiality and, usually, the right to have contact with both natural and adoptive parents. If a conflict of interests arises between the Parents and the Pupil, the rights of, and duties owed to, the Pupil will in most cases take precedence over the rights of, and duties owed to, the Parents.
9.4 The Parents authorise the Company to take and/or authorise in good faith all decisions which the Company considers on proper grounds will safeguard and promote the Pupil’s welfare.
9.5 The Company and its staff will act fairly in relation to the Pupil and the Parents and will expect the same of the Pupil and the Parents in relation to the Company. Bullying, harassment, victimisation and discrimination will not be tolerated.
9.6 The Parents give their consent to such physical contact as may accord with good practice and be appropriate and proper for instruction and for providing comfort to a child in distress or to maintain safety and good order, or in connection with the Pupil’s health and welfare. The Parents also consent to the Pupil participating in contact and non-contact sports and other activities as part of the extra-curricular programme and acknowledge that while the Company will ensure appropriate supervision the risk of injury cannot be eliminated.
9.7 The Parents must, as soon as possible, disclose to the Company in confidence any known medical condition, health problem or allergy affecting the Pupil, any history of a learning, emotional or behavioural difficulty on the part of the Pupil or any member of his/her immediate family, or any family circumstances or court order which might affect the Pupil’s welfare or happiness, or any concerns about the Pupil’s safety.
9.8 The Parents authorise the Company to override their own and (so far as they are entitled to do so) the Pupil’s rights of confidentiality, and to impart confidential information on a “need-to-know” basis where necessary to safeguard or promote the Pupil’s welfare or to avert a perceived risk of serious harm to the Pupil or to another person.
9.9 Any communication with the Company from one Parent shall be deemed sent on behalf of both.
9.10 Unless negligent or guilty of some other wrongdoing causing injury, loss or damage, the Company does not accept responsibility for accidental injury or other loss caused to the Pupils or the Parents or for loss of damage to property.
10. Force Majeure
10.1 An event beyond the reasonable control of the parties to the Agreement is referred to below as a “Force Majeure Event” and shall include such events as an act of God, fire, flood, storm, war, riot, civil unrest, act of terrorism, strikes, industrial disputes, outbreak of epidemic or pandemic of disease, failure of utility service or transportation.
10.2 If either party to the Agreement is prevented from or delayed in carrying out its obligations under the Agreement by a Force Majeure Event, that party shall immediately notify the other in writing and shall be excused from performing those obligations while the Force Majeure Event continues.
10.3 None of the Parties to the Agreement shall be in breach of the Agreement if there is a failure or delay in performance of, or non-performance of the provisions of the Agreement due to acts, events, omissions or accidents beyond its reasonable control, such as but not limited to an act of God, an act of government or regulatory bodies, default or interference caused by others, war or national emergency.
11.1 The validity, construction, and performance of the Agreement shall be governed by English & Welsh law and shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the English & Welsh courts to which the Parties submit.