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

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Samerberg Sue wrote:
Now go and be a nice little troll and play safely with the others in the kindergarten Wayne has so thoughtfully supplied you with.


Not sure about double posting (a Mod will remove it if it's not the done thing but) but wink

extracted from my "kindergarten"

Wayne wrote:

The real aim of the thread is to divert various and, starting to be become, numerous, thread-drifting posts away from the SE thread.

I have no interest what-so-ever in whether teachers run school trips or if they should be there in the first place, but I do notice that the opinions tend to extremely polarised.

I was in education for quite many years so I do understand the vast majority of the teaching fraternity will react with some type of religious fervour when anything they do is brought into question – students don’t questions us, so why should anyone else – don’t people realise the value we add to society – if I was in the private sector I would be earning ... - I give up my free time to... – etc, etc, etc.

Sorry I may have to break this to you, but even though education was, for many years (centuries in fact), regarded as sacrosanct and it was assumed that the teaching industry (?) staff always acted in the best interest of the kids by the establishment, in public at least (however much the general public disagreed – through personal experience), those days are long gone. Now you have to explain and justify, yourself and your, seemingly, closeted workplace, just like the rest of us. Wouldn’t go down well at an NUT meeting but, hey, tell it like it is. Ain’t that what the interweb-thingy is all about. So don’t get all defensive when someone asks you to justify yourself, can’t be that hard if you really are blameless.

As to the 2 questions poised in the OP, I have no idea of the answers.
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so what is the latest with SE, half term was two months ago now, so has anything been formally instigated, in court? with the travel industry insurers? winding up orders ? any timescales or strategy available ? has anything been done to stop SE trading ? injunctions ? any schools cancelled for next year ?
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Wayne wrote:
......Not sure about double posting (a Mod will remove it if it's not the done thing but) but wink .....


Not sure how it helps the purpose of the thread - but I don't see cause to remove.

That said, it would seem more sensible to me if comment concerning teachers were placed in the other thread, and comment concerning fund recovery for parents and schools were placed in this. For both discussions, it would make the thrust of discussion easier to follow. In the case of fund recovery, it might also help those collating facts not to wade through distracting posts.
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rayscoops wrote:
so what is the latest with SE, half term was two months ago now, so has anything been formally instigated, in court? with the travel industry insurers? winding up orders ? any timescales or strategy available ? has anything been done to stop SE trading ? injunctions ? any schools cancelled for next year ?


I've not been able to find anything on t'internet but, as I posted the other day, they have made all staff redundant. I've found out that pretty much all the office staff were fairly new as the longer serving staff all left a few months ago!
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achilles, I have deleted my 'teacher inspection trip' posts, but are we still allowed to suggest that parents should recover their funds from the school or should I delete those too ?
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clarky999, so why should I not ask a simple question as to the identity of a school that Stephen101 is associated with; he has been very vocal but his advice and opinion may not be appropriate for parents from other schools trying to get their money back in differing circumstances, Tavistack school as an example whereby parents already have their money back and did not have to wait for due legal process by the schools ?
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rayscoops, I wouldn't. And I'm trying not to be heavy handed - just making a suggestion.
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[quote="Samerberg Sue"][

Quote:
You've been talking (badly in terms of spelling, grammar, reading comprehension and logic) complete and utter bollux since you muscled your way into this thread.


Didnt think it would be long before Miss "SS" came along and slapped me down and placed me in the naughty corner, you really are better of retired and as far away from children as possible if the jack boot approach is all you have!

I thought this was an open forum, i am obviously wrong and you seem to think it is for the pure opinion of a few teachers.
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leedsunited, the main thing is that you and rayscoops had really devalued the usefulness of this thread as several people have pointed out. Rayscoops has got the message and done the right thing. Wayne provided a useful different thread to carry on your particular argument with which I happen to have sympathy. achilles, has highlighted the reason why it should be elsewhere. Most of the people pointing this out are not teachers. And I think you owe Samberg Sue an apology.
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leedsunited,
Oh dear Godwin's Law you lose!
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Stephen101 wrote:
leedsunited,
Oh dear Godwin's Law you lose!


Spot on.

Laughing
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rayscoops wrote:
clarky999, so why should I not ask a simple question as to the identity of a school that Stephen101 is associated with; he has been very vocal but his advice and opinion may not be appropriate for parents from other schools trying to get their money back in differing circumstances, Tavistack school as an example whereby parents already have their money back and did not have to wait for due legal process by the schools ?


Sorry, my post was about leedsunited asking random questions about random schools on the previous page - with me being the idiot not checking if it was still the current page, hence the delete.


Last edited by And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports. on Sun 17-04-11 23:41; edited 1 time in total
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rayscoops,

I am not aware of ever having advised parents of what their course of action should be - and I have certainly never said that they should not rule out acting against the Local Authorities who approved SE as an operator, (probably on the grounds of negligence). That said if you bother to read and look into the Package Holiday regulations you will see that the liability of agent (the school) is limited in circumstances which are beyond their control and negligence can be pretty difficult to establish in court, especially when no one as yet really understands the processes appliend by the LEAs (and we are talking about more than one) in order to approve so if you think these options are straightforward and stand a reasonable chance of success if the local authority wishes to contest them you are mistake. As for the idea of prosecuting the teachers for bribery or breaching the 1898 Act - I think I can safely say that the chances of success are likley to be pretty limited - although leedsunited, and others who have more money than sense are free to try.

My reading is that the best chance of recovering substantial amounts will be through the Insurance Bond, which is triggered if and when Reynard is declared bankrupt. The lawyer from AiTO also made the same point on You and Yours for those who listened. It is also why most schools/LEA lawyers are lodging claims for repayment from Reynard. The process for this is usually to send a lawyers letter demanding repayment and/or explanation within 28 days (you have to give some time so as not to be see taking frivolous cases to court) and then if no satisfactory repsponse is received to file the case with the courts. It can easily take 2-3 months from the initial letter being sent out before judgement is given on the debt. I would expect to start seeing these judgements comong through in the next few weeks. It is only i fthe creditor doies not meet the judgements that the creditors can force the bankruptcy. The creditor may well declare himself bankrupt before that happens - and if Reynard is receiving any advice and listening to such advice he will have probably been told that this is likley to be the less painful option. Of course, the declaration of bankruptcy and/or the issuing of judgement debts would also be the trigger for the authorities to look deeper into the creditors affairs to see if a prosecution for fraudulent trading is appropriate.
As for those who, although they have no direct interest in this matter, think that parents should engage legally with their schools and local authorities and look for prosecutions against teachers at this stage while the schools/LEAs are taking action against SE/Reynard perhaps they should reflect what might be the consequences of their actions. First of all it would hardly have a positive impact on the relationship between the parents and their schools, and secondly who would be the real beneficiary of arguments between the parents and the schools/teachers at the same time as the schools/LEAs are taking on Reynard. My guess is that Mr Reynard would feature fairly highly in that list – and the more discord he can sow among his victims the happier he will be.


What parents do is actually up to them - and my only advice would be that they take proper legal advice before pursuing any legal options. This bulletin board may give them a feeling as to which options are available and which are more likely to successful, but this is not an alternative to taking proper legal advice

And rayscoops, and leedsunited, I have no intention of engaging in debate with you on this matter - these are my views and i'm stickicking to them unless the facts change.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
The jack boots were well spotted Stephen101, It is an astonishing phenomenon, isn't it?

[I was writing this while Stephen101 posted that outstandingly informative piece above.]

I think a problem of the moment is that nothing appears to be happening, and there is an impatience to see pupils and parents reimbursed and Mr Reynard brought to task over his conduct of Skiing Europe. Much, of course, will be happening that we don't know about and can't yet know about. Some of that will I guess will make it into the public domain when matters reach court, as surely they must.. In the meantime, what is left to say about it all? Any news of other schools affected at Easter? I see the SE website is still up but presumably he can't still be trying to trade .. or can he? Is he visible or gone to ground somewhere?

There are so many questions but I guess we have to be patient. Legal matters seldom happen in a hurry and this one looks to be messy. I have experience of a TO going bust just 2 weeks before a school trip was due to start, but that was relatively straightforward. Remember Kaleidescope any of you? Hauled down by the collapse of an airline owned by its parent company, its clients were immediately picked up by other companies and trips rescued. In fact, the first I knew of the problem was when a rep from another TO phoned to tell me and to offer a rescue. I didn't even have to deal with the claim to ABTA. It was worrying at the time, but nothing compared with the can we go, where are we going, are the hotel and coach secured etc predicament schools have faced with SE.
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Stephen101 wrote:
leedsunited,
Oh dear Godwin's Law you lose!


Baaaaahahahaha Laughing Laughing
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Ermmm...... As above. Godwins Law, time to end this thread. Start new one.

Clarky999, you could pull in Leeds with that chat up line
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Stephen101, the only way any legal process will result in repayment by SE is through some form of insurance, and one massive assumption in all of this is that an Insurance Bond is in place and that the terms of its effectiveness have not been breached to invalidate it. Is there any proof or evidence that a valid insurance of any description is effectively operable?

Also does a bond help a school that has already cancelled its trip prior to a bankruptcy, which is every school todate? I am not sure it does and this is very important question imv and maybe that is why Tavistock school (Mount Grace too ? and maybe they have to finance that themselves as they are an acadamy/private or whatever ?) have reimbursed the parents.

Any bankruptcy of SE that is not supported by some form of an insurance payout will mean that the parents will not receive repayment, unless the schools then decide to pay them directly. Ultimately it is the schools who are liable and will have to pay the parents irrespective of whether the money comes from a Bond. Some Councils, LEAs etc may step in but as the trips have been provided outside of the main curriculum deliverables and the school has acted as a de-facto 'travel agent' outside of its normal activities I would question the obligations of the LEAs, LAs or Councils etc, and such bodies may not have an obligation for failed private trips organised by a school or any other department under its jurisdiction, and especially for schools that have opted out and are private/acadamy/independent etc.

With respect to SE being on an LA approved list, as above I am not sure whether they have any obligation to a school acting as a travel agent and providing a private holiday for children and adults outside of term time ?
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Who spoilt it all by invoking Godwin's Law? The thread can't be ended because somebody had to make an unfair allusion to Nazism! I've said it before, but crikey! Keep your eyes on the prize, guys!
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rayscoops, I think most of the schools cancelled because there was no evidence that SE had actually booked accommodation, note I say evidence rather than just being informed everything would be fine and that alternative arrangement had been made, without being told what those arrangements were, in fact the moment alternative arrangements were even being considered SE was in breach of regulations by not informing their customers and giving them the option of having a full refund.

As for the insurers / bond carriers repaying the money now that SE appears to have gone out of business, that's another matter entirely, I believe the bond was intended to cover bringing people back from their trips should a tour op go bust whilst the customer is on holiday, I'm not sure what the insurance will cover, I suspect that in the end it will have to be proved that SE was not actually trading as a company and that in fact it was Chris Reynard acting as a sole trader, if this can be proved or if it can be proved that Mr. Reynard was acting unlawfully then it may be possible to recover the money from Chris Reynard himself, especially if he has used money generated by SE to finance his other businesses, but it will take a long time for the accountants to prove that
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rayscoops,

You are being incredibly naive if you don't believe that the insurance position wasn't checked very early on by the school/LEA lawyers. You should also listen closely to what the AiTO lawyer actually said on You and Yours. The rest is pure speculation or worse on your part - and as I said the only person likely to profit at this stage from legal disputes between parents and schools/LEAs will be Reynard.
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D G Orf,

It has already been confiremed that the bond covers Reynard's bankruptcy (i.e CR trading as SE) and the bond covers all creditors in such cases not just those who are abroad at the time. This is a legal requirement as well as being an AiTO requirement (SE was an AitO member at the time the bookings were made). Given that AiTO promise complete financial protection and peace of mind when booking with one of their members - I wouldn't expect anything else. Again worth listening to what the AiTO lawyer said on You and Yours. The insurance company may wish to argue - but that is waht they do - and that is probably why lawyers should make the arguments on behalf of the parents/schools. As for getting money back directly from Reynard - past form suggests that this will be a very long shot - I don't thing the creditors of his previous company got anything despite his disqualification as a director. The important thing with Reynard is to stop him doing the same thing again.
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Stephen101, given his age I doubt that it will be a problem stopping him doing this sort of thing again, but you never know, in his statements he seems to think he is completely innocent and nothing that has ever gone wrong with any of his businesses was anything to do with him, even when answering the press about his ban he claims he was found innocent on appeal rather than what actually occurred which is that the court decided his 10 year ban was too long and that 6.5 years was more appropriate.

I'd like to think he'd get punished properly this time but personally because of his age and because this time no one was injured or died I think he will get away with it Sad
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D G Orf,

You may be right - but there is also the question of discouraging others.
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Stephen101, I have listedn to You and Yours and I think a crucial point is the very end statement when the AiTo rep says that any schools that are still booked with SE should make sure they recieve a notification in writing that their trip details have or have not changed, if they have changed and they are informed this in writing by SE then they probably have the right to cancel.

This is very different to a school cancelling because a thid party (a hotel or coach company) has informed them of difficulties, or Reynard may have said something but it was not in writing. Unless all the dominos are correctly lined up it does not matter a jot if SE have Aito bonding or not.

Mount Grace have done the right thing and paid, or is trying to pay, the parents back because no doubt they worry about the technicality of how they cancelled their trip with repsect to the specific legal form that is required.

I still stand by my view that parents should be lobbying schools for their money back in the first instance because that is their point of legal and moral contact.
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rayscoops,
Quote:

I have listedn to You and Yours and I think a crucial point is the very end statement when the AiTo rep says that any schools that are still booked with SE should make sure they recieve a notification in writing that their trip details have or have not changed, if they have changed and they are informed this in writing by SE then they probably have the right to cancel.


This is not what the AiTO lawyer said - check here http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0100j8y @18.40 - she specifically says that the schools should contract the brokers if Reynard does not confirm the arrangements. You also made a statement @c17:30 which clearly contradicts your views about the validity of the insurance arrangements to the schools who had already cancelled. You really owe the board an apology for your mistatements of what the AiTO rep actually said and how you used it to try and shore up your arguments. If you want to do something useful why not just transcribe the words of the AITO rep so that others can decide for themselves what she actually said - consider it a penance like doing lines at school if you wish. Or don't they even teach the basics like getting your quotes accurate before twisting them at troll school nowadays! Evil or Very Mad

You appear to have the view that certain schools just cancelled the ski trips because they were told that the arrangements had been changed by the 3rd party, and they did not do any of the further checking suggested by the AiTO rep, despite having being continually informed that this was not the case. Who would want to put forward this argument – Reynard for one.

You continually try and solicit information about what individual schools did in the run up to the cancellation of the holidays. Who would be interested in such information – certainly Mr Reynard for one.

You continually encourage parents to make claims against the schools and teachers, rather than just discuss what is being done to recover the funds and maintain diplomatic relations with the schools which their children happen to attend. Who would be interested in having disputes between the parents and schools diverting attention from his own disputes with the schools – yes you've guessed it Mr Reynard.

You clearly have something of a long standing bee in your bonnet regarding school ski trips (just search this forum) and lets just say you are not a great fan of the teaching profession.

You say that you have no direct interest in these matters – but you certainly have a peculiar manner of showing it.

My problem is that I cannot work out if you are just wrongheaded or something worse. Evil or Very Mad
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He's 'something worse'.
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Stephen101, having met rayscoops and had a really good laugh with him, I suspect it is sheer devilment on his part as well as the love of (from his side) a good ol' barney! For a border he's not THAT bad wink and he certainly is not a Reynard-plant/clone (I've met both and any resemblence would only be a result of mind-adjusting chemicals Laughing )
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Stephen101, to be fair rayscoops, does I believe have one thing right, the parents of the children concerned should be getting their money back from their individual schools, after all I would imagine that's who they gave their money to and who arranged the trip with SE, the schools in turn have a few options, firstly they should attempt to recover their money from SE, or from those insuring SE, then possibly from those insuring the trip and finally they may have an option to recover the money from the LEA, this last option is only if the LEA insist on schools using LEA approved suppliers for such arrangements and assumes SE was on their list, perhaps this might go some way to actually ensuring that in the future it is not simply a case of the supplier paying enough money to get on an LEA list and they will not only do background checks but also keep monitoring those companies
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You know it makes sense.
Stephen101 wrote:
leedsunited,
Oh dear Godwin's Law you lose!


Erm why?
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It's just something imbeciles say to try to wriggle out of arguments on the internet.
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leedsunited,

DYOR as they say
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Stephen101,

The fact that rayscoops happily admitted that he found teachers unable to admit that they are wrong, seems to equally apply to himself. It would appear some deep anti teacher zealousness is stirred everytime a thread about them appears, possibly due the deficiencies of his own schooling, which is wholely apparent in his comprehension skills..... Toofy Grin
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D G Orf wrote:
Stephen101, to be fair rayscoops, does I believe have one thing right, the parents of the children concerned should be getting their money back from their individual schools, after all I would imagine that's who they gave their money to and who arranged the trip with SE, the schools in turn have a few options, firstly they should attempt to recover their money from SE, or from those insuring SE, then possibly from those insuring the trip and finally they may have an option to recover the money from the LEA, this last option is only if the LEA insist on schools using LEA approved suppliers for such arrangements and assumes SE was on their list, perhaps this might go some way to actually ensuring that in the future it is not simply a case of the supplier paying enough money to get on an LEA list and they will not only do background checks but also keep monitoring those companies


Surely there is a contract in place? Between the parent(s) and who?
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lightningdan

There is in effect a tripartite contract/agreement in place between the parent (consumer), the school (the agent) and CR trading as SE (the tour operator) in order to meet the requirements of the package hioliday regulations. There can also be other contractual arrangements in place - but the legal requirements take precedence as contracts cannot override the law. Just paying money to someone does not necessarily create a contractual relationship - if that person is clearly understood to be acting as an agent.
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Stephen101, I listened to You and Yours before I posted above and that is basically (more or less) what the AiTo lady said iirc, right at the end, but I will go back an listen to it again and quote her word for word.

I suppose where I am coming from is that most of my friends who have put their kids through a ski trip have modest incomes, maybe £10K, £15K, £20 K a year and it is a once in a lifetime trip for them and they simply can not hang around for £1000 in the hope some legal process may or may not turn the right way. They are not doctors, lawyers, teachers, pharmacists, company directors, retired teachers who now instruct skiing, senior civil servants, dentists etc., (as is the profile of many posters on snowHead) who perhaps have a different view to the effective value of £1,000 and would simply rather not annoy or hassle the school that teaches their kids to get the money back. If the situation was a cast iron case I may have a different view but I have been involved with many legal cases that have turned on the definition of one word or the lack of the issuance of a correctly formed notice or such like.

colbolt, for the record I have adminstered contracts within the construction industry all my life right through to claims, expert witness reports and arbitations, which is basically having a good old banter and arguement, and I can confirjm I will argue that black is white if I think I have a 10 percent chance.
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rayscoops wrote:
doctors, lawyers, teachers, pharmacists, company directors, retired teachers who now instruct skiing, senior civil servants, dentists etc., (as is the profile of many posters on snowHead)


Skiing is for toffs Smile
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Stephen101 wrote:
leedsunited,

DYOR as they say
Erm what does that mean?
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paulio wrote:
rayscoops wrote:
doctors, lawyers, teachers, pharmacists, company directors, retired teachers who now instruct skiing, senior civil servants, dentists etc., (as is the profile of many posters on snowHead)


Skiing is for toffs Smile


Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing
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Stephen101, do you honestly believe that either the school or the parents had the slightest idea that they were 'retailer' (agent Puzzled ) and 'consumer' for the purposes of the package holiday act thingy ? and that either knew their obligations/rights at the time the parents handed over their cheques ?
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rayscoops wrote:
Stephen101, do you honestly believe that either the school or the parents had the slightest idea that they were 'retailer' (agent Puzzled ) and 'consumer' for the purposes of the package holiday act thingy ? and that either knew their obligations/rights at the time the parents handed over their cheques ?


I think that this is one of the main reasons why parents deserve to be refunded now. I find it inconceivable that those at the school who were responsible for booking the holidays will have informed the parents of the school's role in the booking. If they have not done this, I see them as 100% liable to the parents, irrespective of their own ability to recover the funds from Reynard (too late there, it will be spirited away by now), the insurance company or the LEA. On the point of the LEA, it is they, not the school, who have the legal obligation to educate the children. Talk of schools being unable to function if they pay out parents is ridiculous.

The schools will also have Employers Liability insurance policies which will cover vicarious liability (loses incurred by the public as a result of the actions of the school's employees). These policies can be used to settle the bill, should the LA refuse to reimburse the school (although I doubt the LA can refuse). The actions of a teacher taking a freebie 'inspection' holiday, collecting cheques made out to the school without informing the parents that their contract was with SE, booking the holiday with a company that has a history of breach of contract and with a company that can be found to be totally unsuitable with nothing more than 5 minutes on Google, then paying over a school cheque for many tens of thousands of pounds would indeed be considered vicarious in any business environment.

Talk of 'spending 2 months getting legal arguments together' is bullsh*t. We can have a dispute in court in days, with the detail of the argument developed between service and the hearing date. Spending time developing the argument, whilst the defendant goes bust, is further demonstration why teachers are teachers and not solicitors or accountants. There is enough evidence of SE's breaches that summary judgement could have been obtained the week after the trips collapsed.

With regard to the bond, I would be amazed if SE had not breached the conditions for maintaining its protection, in one way or another. Most likely by not declaring the business they were writing, as this would have triggered expensive premium payments.

It does look like Reynard will have some criminal charges to answer but unless a formal complaint has been made to the police, no charges will be brought. Claiming to be bonded but not paying the premiums would be clear fraud and could lead to prison and seizure of assets. But someone has to complain.

I see no justification at all for the schools to not to pay the money out.

Win, lose or otherwise, the only totally innocent people in this are the probably the parents and definitely the children. By the schools not readily refunding parents, it is the children that are being made to suffer and that just makes this mess even worse.
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