School Fees Heartbreak for Local Mother

Forced to withdraw son from ArtsEd after just one year

Related Links

Camilla Comes to Chiswick

Schools In Chiswick

Sign up for our free weekly newsletter

Comment on this story on the

A local mother has gone public about having to remove her son from a Chiswick fee-paying school for financial reasons.

Jacqui Deevoy told the Daily Mail how her son Danny will have to leave the Arts Educational School at the end of this term because she is unable to afford the £12,600 a year fees.

She told the paper that it was her mother's dearest wish that Danny attend the school and, after a long battle with cancer which ended two years ago, she left £5,000 in her will specifically for the payment of fees. There was initial delight when Danny won a place at the ArtsEd which has educated many well-known names in show business such as Cherie Lunghi, Leslie Crowther and Darcey Bussell. He is a talented pianist, singer and dancer and was thriving at the school.

However, Jacqui's income as a writer fell as the rates she was paid for freelancing were cut and she soon built up £8,000 arrears as she struggled to pay her mortgage. Previously, she had had the financial assistance of her partner Steve but the relationship ended a few months ago although she is still living in the six bedroom house they shared.

She told the Daily Mail 'I have a mortgage on a flat in Chiswick that I rent out to give me some extra income and security. The flat is too small for us to live there, but Steve wants me and my children to move out of the house, so I'm not sure what's going to happen next.'

According to his mother, Danny has promised to pay the fees when he is rich and famous and cries himself to sleep when his mother tells him this isn't possible.

The credit crunch has had a broader impact on the independent school sector with the Independent Schools Council describing the current environment as 'the most challenging for decades'. The number of children in private education has fell for two years in a row and last year 14 fee-paying schools closed.

Greg Beavis Head Teacher at Arts Educational Schools London said, "Over the past year, we have truly tried to be as accommodating as possible to the Deevoy family, under these difficult circumstances. Unfortunately the funds we have in our hardship bursary are not sufficient to support all those parents who need additional funding. We try to support as many parents that we can with small amounts of assistance. Arts Educational Schools specialises in vocational arts training and sadly in the current financial climate it seems to be the Arts and the private schools sector that see the first cuts in a recession. We very much hope that Ms Deevoy will find the funding that she needs to keep Danny at ArtsEd".

June 28, 2011