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Bogus 'Disney' school told to refund parents

MAGIC English Wonderland, an English-language school sued for fraud by the parents of eight children, was ordered by a Jiading District court yesterday to pay a total of 60,000 yuan (US$8,771) to its victims.

Shanghai Dingwen Education Information Consultation Corporation, which ran the English school, formerly known as the Disney Miracle English Garden, used the name of the United States-based company Disney without permission and has no license for English education training, the court said.

Attracted by the big name, many parents stumped up tuition fees of 100 yuan per hour, but found the quality of classes was far below the claims made by the school.

Parents found expat teachers were changed frequently and classes were suspended without explanation on and off since last February.

As early as last March, the school ran into problems when it was reported for using the Disney name without permission. The school then changed its name to Magic English Wonderland.

Last April, the school issued notices saying it closed temporarily because of an outbreak of hand, foot and mouth disease. Classes never resumed and parents demanded a refund.

The court ruled all the parents should be refunded and some receive additional compensation equal to the amount they had spent on classes.


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