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Skiing Europe/Chris Reynard - Children's ski holiday left in ruins.

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
rayscoops, I conclude you have lost the plot.
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rayscoops

The account I heard was that the school contacted the coach operator to arrange the pick up time. You are clearly living in another world if you think any responsible school/person would have sent children abroad on the basis that DG Orf has described which tallies exactly with the account given out to others - and is also consistent in many respects with that at other schools. And there were other schools that went who ended up paying in full for the coach trips as SE had failed to do so. As for no one knowing all the details - I'm sure the courts will soon enough.

Your subcontractor analysis is of little relevance - this is not how the Package Holiday regulations define the relationships I'm afraid. The customer has specified legal rights to be told of changes and offered refunds. The original hotel was already booked up with other clients and wasn't looking to be brought back on side - believe it or not hotels in ski resorts don't hold bookings open for months in February.

As to whose story is correct - who should we believe a well respected school or Reynard? Clearly we will have to agree to differ on this one.
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Stephen101, I would not believe the guy either and he sounds like he deserves a good kicking, all I am trying to do is point out alternative and mitigating circumstances rather than just join in agree what a bad egg he must be and everything is rosy in the school garden and they carry no reponsibility at all. Did anyone from Tavistock school go on an inspection trip ? had they used SE before ? if not then I would say they can feel very annoyed, if they had used the company and accepted freebies, well then ....

The examples of the two schools over the same half term period being able to take up the booking (but the schools having to pay for it themselves) suggests that the Tavistock school hotel was likewise available too, and a booking was in place, and SE could have paid for it at any time before the school had arrived, and they may have done so, who knows how it would have played out. It could be argued that at that point in time nothing had been changed, SE had not altered any terms of the trip so the school had no legal right to cancel on the basis of unsubstantiated remarks from third party suppliers which might well have been dealt with by way of making a simple payment. Morally were they right not to take the trip ? yes probably so, legally were they right ? only time will tell

I assume many SE school trips were completed over this period without a problem ? this quote is from the comments on the first link
Quote:
Poppy, North Devon commented on 26-Feb-2011 15:49
I've just returned from a school ski trip to Interlaken with Skiing Europe. All I can say is that everything went perfectly because of the efficiency of not only skiing europe but our school staff aswell. It is down to the staff responsible to make sure that accomodation is confirmed and the money is paid. Skiing Europe is a great company and after skiing two years with them I would do it again.


No responsible school/person should have sent children abroad with this dodgy character or have perpetuated his scams by taking free trips to paper over the cracks and ensure no one asked too many questions about his set-up !
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rayscoops,
Quote:

he examples of the two schools over the same half term period being able to take up the booking (but the schools having to pay for it themselves) suggests that the Tavistock school hotel was likewise available too


Not necessarily, it's entirely possible that SE failed to confirm bookings with the hotel concerned and they did indeed fill their rooms with other people, we just don't know, unless SE can provide some sort of documentation to prove that the hotel lied I have to admit I'd be more inclined to believe the hotels statement than SE's.

Being self employed I've had a couple of instances over the last (almost 20 years) when people have tried to not pay me for work done, fortunately in both cases I got paid, once because I realised something was wrong early on and threatened them with court action to get the money they owed me, in that case it was only a few hundred pounds and by paying me they could maintain the pretence that all was ok, they went bust 6 weeks later, on the other occasion I was very lucky, I was a subcontractor and the intermediary company who were supposed to be paying me went bust, fortunately the company who actually wanted the work done were willing to pay me for the work, again I was lucky, I'd not yet invoiced the company so I didn't have to go on the list as one of the people they owed money too and they hadn't invoiced the company for the work already done on the project so didn't have to have them as a debtor, it only worked because I think I frightened teh directors of teh company who were going bust, no I didn't threaten them, but I did let it be known that I wasn't happy and I'm a big fellow Laughing
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D G Orf, I agree, there is so much that is unknown and I put forward one possibility based upon an actual scenario for other trips at the same time but that may not be the case here, but that is why I am challenging the 'SE breached the Tavistock school contract' stance by some on here as that may not be the case either. the school decided not to take the trip based upon comments by third parties, had SE admitted that they did not have the hotel or that they were changing the hotel then fair cop and they are banged to rights, but they have been quite clever and denied there was an issue with the hotel. Did the school issue the necessary notices to trigger a cancellation ? were they even aware of their rights (regarding kids under 16 etc) at the time or have they since developed their legal position with hindsight. Some on here seem to think it is all a done deal and the school are legally in the right but that just might not be the case no matter how much this guy may have abused their trust etc.
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Quote:

Some on here seem to think it is all a done deal and the school are legally in the right but that just might not be the case no matter how much this guy may have abused their trust etc.

_________________


I dont agree with this, it is all up in the air at the moment. Morally, I believe the schools are 100% in the right though.
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Just to add my story to the forum, I am a ski instructor and worked for Skiing Europe in 2008, and again this February half term this year.
On both occasions Brian Snook ( resigned from his post this February half term ) was the contact at Skiing Europe. Brian always seemed very competent, and I believe that he was the person charged with finding instructors for the busy periods such as school holidays.
I had to submit copies of my qualifications ( BASI level 2 ) and also a copy of my CRB check, every other instructor that I worked with, also had to submit these forms. I never experienced any instructors under qualified and without anyone coming forward and admitting they were employed and not qualified I am getting fed up of accusations laid at myself and my fellow instructors feet.
The one person here to blame is Chris Reynard !
All the instructors who worked at February half term did it for free, the school children myself and my colleagues taught would not have had a skiing holiday were it not for the generosity of the instructors. We found out at the start of the week that we were very unlikely to get paid, we maybe should have just deserted the school parties and 'gone skiing' and many of us discussed it ( maybe looking at some of the comments and assumptions made by some teachers and parents we should have done ). We decided that we would stay in resort and teach the children, because most of us really enjoy seeing the children make great progress with their skiing techniques over the course of a weeks teaching. Yes we do get paid for something we like doing but most of us only do this as a break from our everyday jobs in the UK. I am a sales manager, I take unpaid leave from work to get paid less for something I really enjoy doing. I am still fully qualified !!! and some might even say that only working a few weeks per season means you put more effort into making it the best weeks teaching ever for the children !!
I paid for train from Manchester £58.00, then got asked to transfer from Switzerland to Austria - £104.00, didn't get a weeks wages from work £300.00, didn't get paid by Skiing Europe - £250.00 . So I haven't lost as much money as some people but we did our best in resort and we also lost out.
Please stop having a go at the instructors - we are all victims of the crook, Chris Reynard.
Has anyone published Chris Reynards mobile and landline numbers on here ?
Would I get in trouble for publishing them ?
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I know this is not Tavistock school, but it was posted earlier and provides an interesting insight and update to it all http://readingschoolskitrip.blogspot.com/2011/02/reading-school-cancelled-skip-trip-2011.html , especially AiTO suggesting that (Reading) the school cancelled the trip, and that Somerset CC approved list only required SE to fill in a form, and that the parents paid the school, and that the school had changed from their previous/regular school ski company.
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robuk100, great post. Thank you for doing what you did for those school children. I will cherish my school ski trip memories forever.
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robuk100, I'd suspect most casual instructors would be in your shoes and I would applaud you for ensuring the kids continued to have an enjoyable holiday. Did you have concerns about the nature of your insurance cover or back up if something did happen to kids in your charge?
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robuk100 wrote:
......Has anyone published Chris Reynards mobile and landline numbers on here ?
Would I get in trouble for publishing them ?


If you are referring to personal numbers, unless they are freely available in the pubic domain, I think you should not. If you disagree please PM me or anyone on the Piste Patrol.
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Shimmy Alcott wrote:
robuk100, great post. Thank you for doing what you did for those school children. I will cherish my school ski trip memories forever.


agreed, great post. Most, if not all, instructors I know would have done just the same in the same situatiion. For the most part, SE instructors are part time, doing it for the love of it and certainly not for the money - it is just such a shame that people (maybe using the plural is excessive as we are realy only talking about one ass hole) such as Mr Chris Reynard are abusing instructors in this way, let alone their paying customers
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robuk100, Thanks for adding this to what has already been said by various other instructors. It is unfortunate to see how a thread that is at best about the evident collapse of Skiing Europe, the consequences for the children and - we might hope - the consequences for Mr Reynard has too often been an excuse to slag off teachers and cast doubts on instructors. As you say, Brian Snook seemed to run his side of the business well enough.
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robuk100 wrote:
then got asked to transfer from Switzerland to Austria - £104.00


robuk100 - I think we were on the same coach!!!!!!
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Poppy from N Devon...

If she'd really just returned from Interlaken over half term, given that most trips departed on Friday and returned on Saturday 26th, I find it curious that she went straight onto this forum by 3 in the afternoon (all the way from Dover?) to sing the praises of Skiing Europe when most of us in resort that week would say quite the opposite.

Of course, if she's genuine, then I apologise profusely...
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skigirl35, let us say that she does seem very keen to sing his praises, strange things do happen, for instance on snowHeads a certain thread was particularly nasty about one company and it's accommodation in a certain resort, a few days later someone posted that they'd been in the same location with the same company around the same time and had found it wonderful, however as a moderator I smelt a small rat and sure enough on checking the location of the posters web host, whadya know same country! Given that the poster claimed a UK location it seems strange they were using an overseas Internet provider.

Because Poppy didn't post to snowHeads I can't tell you if there is a scent of rotting fish about her post but as you say seems very quick, I've driven from near Southampton to Lauterbunnen in one go and without breaking the speed limit it takes a long time, something like 13.5 hours and Devon must be at least another 90 mins on top of that, plus busses can't go as fast as cars so I'd guess 15 hours minimum. Assuming bus left after breakfast at say 8.30 am I'd have thought Poppy would have a hard time getting back before 23.30, but maybe just maybe she flew
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Stephen101 wrote:
Leedsunited

Given that so many school holiday companies offer inspection trips I very much doubt that it is against LEA policies. I still think you are wrong to call these trips "bribes" as that indicates something that has connotations of illegality or that is beyond our normal cultural norms (and yes these do vary over time and from country to country). As for what are now the cultural norms in the UK - I'm not sure that the cost of Wembley tickest is that different from a ski trip for some games - and then if you want to look at the cost of a box you might be suprised. It doesn't claim to be the corporate hospitality industry for nothing. Given that I (and you) do not wish to bash teachers and see them respected for the difficult job that they do - I'm afraid I don't see see the inspection trip as an undue level of perk in this day and age - especially since the teacher is usually then required to voluntarily give up their holiday to accompany the trip - and I'm not aware that they receive many other perks.

As for who pays for the inspection trips - it is the parent as I'm sure the TO inflates their prices to cover the cost - and perhaps we don't begrudge the perk to the teacher.

The risks with watching Leeds United are all too well known I'm afraid to warrant a risk assessment.


As for the taxman there are guidelines - but from what I've seen they are more honoured in the breach in the corporate world.


I will say it again in my opinion it is a bribe, dress it up as much as you like, no such thing as a free lunch.

I will again ask the question, how many schools have carried out "risk assesment" trips at their own expense?

I will ask again, why is it that my friends school, whom he is a teacher taking 30 + children to South Africa for a cricket tour does not deem it neccesary to carry out a "risk assesment" trip.

Lots of people are talking on here about the need for these so called "risk assesment" trips which in my opinion seem to be only related to skiing but nobody has yet to answer the 2 fundamental questions above.

With regards to free tickets for watching Leeds United, on reflection i think a risk assesment should be carried out!!

Also just decided to take 3 families which include 7 children to Breckenridge next year, spoke to Ski Safari and asked if it would be possible to visit the resort to carry out a "risk assesment" before we booked, when i asked if they would foot the bill for the wife and i to go just to ensure their where no aliens around i got to told "Fox Trot Oscar", suprised i was speechless, pointed them to this thread as apparnetly this is the standard for a ski trip where children are involved!!!
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seventh place on a Google search of Chris Reynards now Very Happy
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Stephen101 wrote:
The account I heard was that the school contacted the coach operator to arrange the pick up time


Stephen101 wrote:
- I have it on good authority that the school were approached by the Coach company demanding extra payment


so who initiated all of this ? you seem to be contradicting yourself Puzzled
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rayscoops, no it is normal close to the time of departure to make direct contact with the coach company to coordinate the pick up. Having got a personal contact, the coach company may then have contacted the school with their concerns about payments. My school had a difficult entry for large vehicles and the suitable entrance for big coaches was not easy to find, so we used to organise for the drivers to have a plan or failing that make the pick up in a large public car park not far from our school. This required discussions with the coach company, not the tour operator.

You and a couple of others are really detracting from the main point of this whole discussion with all your petty nit-picking- Chris Reynard has been operating fraudulently and has stolen money from families for his own use. End of.

You just seem to revel in spuriously playing devil's advocate in a variety of arguments. You and your "mates" had a nice cheap jolly, so what! Many teachers organising trips for their schools take their role far more seriously, but also are entitled to have a good time as well. I've seen plenty of idiots on ski trips and have reported them to their schools on a couple of occasions. No-one has said that all teachers are always perfect. But these arguments have nothing whatsoever to do with point in hand, Reynard has conned money out of people under false pretences.
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rayscoops, As would be helpful in much of this thread, read more carefully. There is nothing necessarily contradictory there. Just think - one day school phones coach company about pick-up time. Next day coach company phones school asking for extra payment.

Generally some of what you say is based on what you think people have said rather than what they have actually said; some is based on what hasn't been said at all. I can't be arsed responding.
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Samerberg Sue wrote
Quote:


You and a couple of others are really detracting from the main point of this whole discussion with all your petty nit-picking- Chris Reynard has been operating fraudulently and has stolen money from families for his own use



exactly.

A kid has just posted on the fb thread that he had his trip cancelled yesterday Sad
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rayscoops

A and then B

And what I find interesting is that the accounts for both Tonbridge and Tavistock are very similar. Reynard on the other hand appears to change his excuses all the time - so far we have seen him blame the hotels, the schools not paying, industrial and commercial sabotage, but strangely enough he doesn't seem to want to shoulder any of the blame for himselves. And is he prepared to face his customers or even have the common courtesy to reply to their emails or telephone calls - no, he gets his unpaid staff and friends to do his dirty work for him. This is not the normal behaviour of a man whose company is facing genuine commercial difficulties. I know what I think he is - but I am ever conscious of the libel laws.


Last edited by After all it is free Go on u know u want to! on Sun 17-04-11 15:21; edited 1 time in total
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leedsunited

as I said before just google school skiiing holidays and you will soon find that school inspection trips are very common. As to who pays it is again clear - it is the parents as it is built into the quoted prices. If you also do a bit more googling you will see that many local authorities either require or encourage inspection visits.

Yes you may think it is bribery - but that is your definition. I somehow doubt that you will be able to persuade the Met to issue mass warrants for all those in the coporate boxes at Wembley, Twickenham, Wimbledon etc. I think we all know that there is a far clearer candidate for an arrest warrant.
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Samerberg Sue, I think you are missing the point, parents need to get their money back and some on here seem to be pushing the idea that the only option is to chase SE or whatever for it. What I am pointing out is that this may not be the best course of action because of all sorts of mitigating factors – both legal (contract arrangements) and moral (schools failing in their duty and due diligence), unfortunately those like you and others (who have been or are involved or have a personal interest with school activities) seem to be circling the wagons and trying to protect the schools, or the teachers who organised this, from any criticism or potential liability.
I have just gone through Stephen101's posts and the course of action that he seems to be putting forward is very biased and one dimensional in the pursuit of SE or Reynard and largely ignores the liability of the schools, is based on third hand information and stated as if it is a fact - the coach issue above highlights this.

Basically Reynard seems to be unable to fulfil his obligations to schools but that does not necessarily mean the parents should litigate against SE or Reynard, parents may well be best served starting a joint action against each school in question.

Based upon the posts on here,

1 Reynard may have been acting illegally/fraudulently in his role with SE, in which case he will have to answer to the law
2 Tavistock school did go on an 'inspection trip' jolly (I assume it was before booking but still booked the trip), it would be interesting to see what formal report was submitted following this and what questions checks etc were made
3 The parents paid the school, not SE or the Local Authority
4 LA checks on TOs etc were at times no more than a form filling exercise
4 The school cancelled the trip due to their concerns (and rightly so imv)
5 SE did not specifically change any terms although they may not have actually delivered the holiday as sold had the school not cancelled
6 This media exposure has resulted in cash flow problems for SE that has further hindered their ability to fulfill their obligations
7 The hotels in Interlaken seem to have acted in unison in cancelling or threatening to cancel the bookings by SE
8 Under the 'Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992' it is clear that in this case the school is ‘the retailer’
“contract” means the agreement linking the consumer to the organiser or to the retailer, or to both, as the case may be
“retailer” means the person who sells or offers for sale the package put together by the organiser.
“the other party to the contract” means the party, other than the consumer, to the contract, that is, the organiser or the retailer, or both, as the case may be;
“organiser” means the person who, otherwise than occasionally, organises packages and sells or offers them for sale, whether directly or through a retailer;
8 Some schools have be reimbursing the parents directly



Stephen101 wrote:
in my case the teachers were perfectly honest that they had been on an inspection visit, and given what I now know about Reynard I am glad they did

Stephen101 wrote:
I suspect SE's cashflow difficulties may be because those who booked holidays for 2012 and beyond have stopped making their payments in advance given what they have heard - and as a result SE does not have the moiney to pay for the 2011 holidays,

Stephen101 wrote:
Under the Package Holiday Regulations - SE have to offer a full refund if they substantially change the holiday (i.e change of country and means of travel as reported and it is decided not to accept the alternative.

Stephen101 wrote:
Schools should also remember that if they are mad enough to go on a holiday with SE that they have a legal obligation to provide parents of under 16s with a forwarding address before they leave.

Stephen101 wrote:
I suspect that schools are paying back on advice from lawyers paid for by the local authorities, who are not disinterested parties given that they probably approved SE initially. The schools could argue that they were acting as agents rather than principal (and this would still be the case even if the cheques were paid to the school and the funds were then paid on pretty quickly to SE as is normal practice for travel agents). I very much doubt that the schools making the repayments are acting beyond theie powers but arfe doing so based on legal advice received.

Stephen101 wrote:
There are three issues here:
- getting back the money of those who paid for holidays that were not delivered by SE (or more correctly Reynard trading as SE), or have had to cough up extra for holdiays that were only delivered in part
- getting back the money of those who have paid for holidays with SE at Easter.
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Rayscoops

Twist and distort all that you want. I have never said that parents should liigate against SE or Reynard, since I doubt that they will get any money back by that route. The best route for recovering money is for the schools to pursue their debts against Reynard - which would probably then lead to Reynard's bankruptcy and then trigger the insurance bond. I would like to see Trading Standards look into Reynard's affairs with regard to fraudulent trading and breach of the Package Holiday regulations and other laws - but since these are criminal offences it is for the CPS to undertake such litigation not the parents.

The issues re Local Authority checks on schools (on which I have not been silent) and whether teachers should be offerred inspection trips - really are second order issues, and should probably only be explored after the main channel for recovery has been pursued. They are legitimate public interest issues - but the way to pursue those is through your elected representatives.

As for wanting to see Reynard brought to justice and recovering the parent's money - guilty as charged. Perhaps others should be as honest in declaring their interests.


Last edited by And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports. on Fri 15-04-11 9:03; edited 1 time in total
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rayscoops wrote:

6 This media exposure has resulted in cash flow problems for SE that has further hindered their ability to fulfill their obligations


This is wholly untrue, if Reynard had cash flow problems that is his fault.
As I said before, the schools had paid their money, that money should have been used to pay for their trip, not the trip of someone who went last year.


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Stephen101 wrote:
as I said before just google school skiiing holidays and you will soon find that school inspection trips are very common.


just because it is common does not make it right. SE has used these trips to induce school ski trip organisers to book with them and perpetuated the environment that has allowed Reynard to operate in the way he has. Had the inspection trips not been such a jolly (read an earlier post regarding the arrangments) and a proper inspection trip whereby the teachers on it talked to staff, hotel owners etc as to the reliability of SE/Reynards then maybe, just maybe, the school would or should not have booked with SE.
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Stephen101 wrote:
I have never said that parents should liigate against SE or Reynard, since I doubt that it is very unlikely that they will get any money back by that route. The best route for recovering money is for the schools to pursue their debts against Reynard -


the best way for parents to get their money back is for the school to give it back. The best way for the school to get its money back is to pursue their debts against Reynard.
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I would prefer that school funds were not used to pay parents before the money is recovered from the insurance company - school funds are public funds and not intended for this purpose and i don't see why childrens education should suffer as a result of Reynard's behaviour.
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Stephen101, some LAs have said that the schools will be reimbursed no matter what, some schools are already paying back parents (as your earleir post). Why should parents wait for lengthy legal proceedings before they get their money back ?
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rayscoops, out of curiosity what do you think of the comments that the reason some hotels had refused to take bookings from SE was that SE had failed to pay them for last seasons trips, I think even the most pro Reynard supported might have a hard time dealing with a delay in payment in excess of 9 months (bear in mind that this report occurred in February this year), We can't really blame the hotels for not accepting bookings from SE, indeed it would be interesting to discover how many of SE's trips that did take place had their accommodation switched by SE as this might give an indication of just how bad things were.

So far we have heard of staff not being paid
Instructors not being paid
Hotels not being paid
Coach companies not being paid

All despite SE having received what must amount to millions of pounds in total well prior to the holidays due start date.
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rayscoops - I didn't say they should wait - only what I prefer which is that Insurance company pay up on the bankruptcy of Reynard, and AiTO who promise complet financial protection and peace of mind should be doing all they can to assist that process.
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Not wishing to derail rayscoops epic troll here but to my mind separate issues, based on publicly available information:

0
Are the full facts available to anyone except SE and are we ever likely to hear them unvarnished? No

1
Were schools morally right and acting in good practice to cancel? Yes

2
Did they maxmise their legal chances in doing so? Maybe not, but we haven't seen a full trail of documentation/correspondence

3
Is there a big question over where all cash paid upfront by schools has gone? Yes

4
Was it premeditated fraud or incompetent business or commercial sabotage? You decide

5
Were instructors/staff also victims? Yes

6
Is there a significant question as to whether schools/teachers/LEAs have contributed their own problems through vendor selection practices? Quite possibly

7
Should the wider industry play a more active role in identifying rotten apples rather than tolerating them as "open secrets"? Possibly

8
Is the matter of inspection trips a separate question relevant only really to 6 or 7 above? yes

9
Should anyone expect this thread to ever die? It'll be a long time
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
D G Orf, the hotels were cancelling their bookings I presume because either they had not been paid for previous bookings or they were concerned that they would not be paid for the current bookings. I have no sympathy for Reynards, I have loads of sympathy for those that have lost out, staff/instructors not paid for the work they have done etc., but I have the greatest sympathy for parents who handed over £900 in good faith to a school to deliver a holiday, the school failed and should give the money back to the parents and the school with the support of its LA in turn should pursue SE as best it can.

Why should the parents suffer ? they are the ones who come to this with clean hands ! as it stands the school have not made a finacial loss and the parents are cashflowing it all !!
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
rayscoops, have the schools (as opposed to teachers who may have enjoyed a "free" jolly) actually profited from this?
unless parents are so peed off with the whole thing that they are going to take their kids out and send them to a different school, it seems entirely sensible to give the school a chance to recover the money from SE, insurance or anyone else and only THEN consider pursuing the school. suing someone is generally the last thing you want to do if you have a long standing relationship with them which would would like to continue
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
rayscoops, agree parents should not suffer because of school/LA failure to select a decent company

Not sure with the hotels, why I'd love to know how many schools were switched to alternate hotels by SE, it's possible that rather like his website the hotels he advertised (or at least some of them) were unwilling to accept his bookings despite them being in his brochure, if the reports at teh start of this thread are to be believed no Italien resort was willing to accept SE bookings

I suspect the coach companies are slightly different, it may well be that some of them had taken parties already this season and had not been paid which is why they refused to do any further trips.

After this season I suspect that there may well be cases against SE in multiple countries as well as the UK
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Arno, no the schools have not profited by this, but due process could take ages so why should the parents/kids, the only real innocents in this, wait and suffer ? I am sure the kids would love an easter trip from the £900 that they gave the school !

Stephen101 wrote:
rayscoops - I didn't say they should wait - only what I prefer which is that Insurance company pay up on the bankruptcy of Reynard, and AiTO who promise complet financial protection and peace of mind should be doing all they can to assist that process.


The future bankruptcy of SE/Reynard may not result in any payment, through insurance or otherwise, to schools that had previously and unilaterally (although morally right but perhaps without the necessary legal form, maybe there was an implied breach by SE that repudiated the contract - who knows) cancelled their contract and trip.

Parents should get their money back from those that they gave it to - the school - and leave all the rest to sort out their own sorry mess !
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