25 Aug 2020

Frustrated parents seek funds for abandoned school trips

From Nine To Noon, 9:05 am on 25 August 2020

A group of parents, exasperated by a lack of repayment for school trips that can't proceed, has complained to the Ministry of Education seeking an independent inquiry into the endorsement and use of a non-bonded travel agent.

They want support from the Ministry to bring a Commerce Commission complaint into the way school-travel specialist Student Horizons has gone about returning money for trips that can't be undertaken.

The situation differs from one Nine to Noon highlighted four weeks ago, the collapse of Antipodeans Abroad. In that case, the company's insurer eventually agreed to honour claims and repay parents the cost of the trip. Here, parents feel the fact Student Horizons holds the contract with the school, not them, is stymying their ability to seek refunds.

Kathryn talks to two parents, Kim Matheson and Guy Quartermain, about the situation they're in, and Brett Calkin, who is chair of the Board of Trustees at Palmerston North Girls' High School, about what the Board and school is doing to get parents' money back. Also joining Kathryn is Student Horizon's founder and owner Jamie Wansey.

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Photo: 123RF