PETITION: Is 26% Full-Fee Paying Pupils Too High?

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Re: Is 26% Full-Fee Paying Pupils Too High?

Post by DavidRawlins » Thu Jan 28, 2016 3:43 pm

The Court of Governors is also unhappy about the percentage of full feeing pupils.
The answer is massive and successful fund raising. I am told if the fund raising efforts could raise £300 million, we would not need ffps. Cambridge recently raised 1/2 billion pounds.
UnfortunatelyBlues have tended to come from poor families, and have little family wealth. However, fund raising is now beiing targetted at companies and institutions. We must pray that it is successful, and do all that we can to help it. If one has contacts, one should encourage them, and their firms etc, to contribute.
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Re: Is 26% Full-Fee Paying Pupils Too High?

Post by J.R. » Thu Jan 28, 2016 6:17 pm

Thanks yet again David,

I was never academically brilliant. but I did learn discipline if nothing else at CH and as a 'deprived' child left school with a fantastic grounding for life. Two daughters, four grand-children later, AND a Sapphire wedding anniversary this weekend, AND, God willing a GREAT grand-child this coming June, I feel that CH did something good for me.

Keep the School as a place for children coming from deprived back-grounds.

If their parents can pay, let them send them to Eton or Harrow !

Just a thought, and as dear old Rumpole would say, "I rest my case !!"

(There goes my OBE and Knighthood, but who cares ?)
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

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Re: Is 26% Full-Fee Paying Pupils Too High?

Post by davidtaplin » Thu Jan 28, 2016 7:35 pm

Many thanks. We are moving forward on the Petition. More feedback on this would be welcome in the context of defining the terms of reference of the new Head and the CH Policy 2017-2027 especially on Admissions. Should all children admitted be in need in some form? Is a maximum of 10% FFP children appropriate? Is 3% overseas children appropriate? Is 1% Year 12 entry appropriate? Is 95% Year 7 entry appropriate? All this defines CH for the next 50 years and beyond in ethos and structure.

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Re: Is 26% Full-Fee Paying Pupils Too High?

Post by sejintenej » Fri Jan 29, 2016 3:09 pm

davidtaplin wrote:Many thanks. We are moving forward on the Petition. More feedback on this would be welcome in the context of defining the terms of reference of the new Head and the CH Policy 2017-2027 especially on Admissions. Should all children admitted be in need in some form? Is a maximum of 10% FFP children appropriate? Is 3% overseas children appropriate? Is 1% Year 12 entry appropriate? Is 95% Year 7 entry appropriate? All this defines CH for the next 50 years and beyond in ethos and structure.
Surely the original aim of the school was towards children in need? "Need" is not necessarily a function of poverty; we have seen in these annals a report of a dysfunctional background being the basis for admittance. Violence in the home I would class as need, parental drug taking and/or alcoholism is a cause of "need" even though the parents might be well off monetarily.

I'll throw a spanner in the works here. In my penultimate year we had (yet another) exchange American for a year who had quite a good influence on a lot of boys. Living and working abroad has shown me the width of different cultures which are hidden from the usual UK schoolchild but which are at least useful in understanding in the modern world. For this reason I would like to see more than your three percent foreign pupils - but why not pupils from families who are poor in their own countries? Such pupils would then be able to explain their own cultures and absorb some of ours.

Age / "year" of entry? Sorry but.... The school knows in advance who will stay on to year 12 or whatever and no doubt has an "ideal" size of class in each specialisation (sciences, languages, classics etc). If the school doesn't have "enough" pupils coming up to match its ideal class size then and only then bring in pupils; I would have thought that by that age the pupils would be so inured to their home conditions that the school would not have time to straighten them up. As a caveat to that, give a preference towards foreign pupils - see above. Getting pupils young is far better.

Of course there is the overriding problem of the school's running costs versus parents' complaints about how much the school expects them to pay.
One thing that annoys me is seeing families where everyone has the latest phones, iPads, video games, 42" flat screen TVs, £120 trainers, lots of booze and demands foreign holidays and on top of that they then complain that they are in poverty; can they be "poor" in the way the school was set up to help? If the parents can afford such luxuries then they can afford education for their offspring.
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Re: Is 26% Full-Fee Paying Pupils Too High?

Post by postwarblue » Fri Jan 29, 2016 4:03 pm

I fear this is a case of hope being trumped by experience. David, your '2007' needs to recognise that by bringing the girls to Horsham in the 1980s CH cut its numbers dramatically (by about 35%?) and also that the gambit of realising the Hertford estate was a windfall that could not be repeated.

Meanwhile costs can only increase as more and more things need to be included in what is seen as a complete education. Interest rates continue to be very, very low - CH cannot survive by inroads on capital.
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Re: Is 26% Full-Fee Paying Pupils Too High?

Post by Jonathan Wheatley » Mon Feb 01, 2016 10:55 am

Hysteria is always dangerous and even more so when in excess! Let us try and introduce a sense of reality to this “thread”.

CH is in a dilemma. Inequality of educational opportunity is likely to increase particularly for poorer children from broken families living in urban areas of high unemployment. On that assumption the need for an establishment such as CH, as a haven in which such children of unrealised talent may attain considerable success in future life, will undoubtedly continue as it has throughout its history!

In recent years however costs have exceeded the annual grant from the Foundation resulting in the unsustainable practice of drawing down on the capital account of the Endowment. Not all financial decisions taken in this century would stand up to close scrutiny! In 2011 the business plan for CH – and the school is a business and has to be managed as such – had two key elements designed to increase income and thus ensure long term financial stability.

It needs to be recognised that the ability of the Foundation to continue to meet the future requirements of the school depends to an unusually large extent upon the long-term investment returns achievable from the Endowment. The need to attract significant donations into the Endowment has been long recognised but plans for a major fundraising campaign have, for far too long, been far, far too slow in their realisation. Despite receiving a good or even an excellent education many Old Blues will not be able or may even be unwilling to make a meaningful contribution, although the percentage of alumni who have contributed remains well above the average for the independent school sector. Where will we find the several hundred million which will be needed to balance the books and allow free education for all pupils? Can we seriously expect the Old Blue community, probably 6,000 strong in number, to kick-start this process by each writing a cheque for £10,000?

Increased parental contributions are an integral element in this plan. To achieve this today’s pupil profile now includes an agreed number of pupils from both the UK and overseas who pay full fees. This cadre of c. 25% of the school population effectively supplements the grant from the Foundation and enables the number of heavily subsidised pupils, those paying zero to 10% fees, to have been maintained at a similar absolute level over the past ten years.

In living memory there have always been full fee paying pupils at CH. Parental contributions in 2014/15 of c. £8 million have made a huge contribution to allow the school to maintain its charitable mission for three-quarters of its population. This valuable income will continue unless or until the Endowment can be brought back to a level which enables the annual grant to meet far more of the school’s financial needs. Catch 22!!

CH today is a vastly improved boarding school from the time when today’s Old Blue pensioners were at either Horsham or Hertford. There is an emphasis on pastoral care which few of us would ever have experienced. As the balance between domestic and foreign students has changed the character of the school may also change possibly making it a far more representative environment in which to receive a better balanced education. I consider that the ability of the CH “brand” to appeal to families who can spend more on school fees than many other parents earn in a year represents great credit to the current reputation of the school. These parents buy into the “ethos” just as much as all the others. Wild talk about the impending destruction of the “ethos” is misrepresentation of the commitments of the Council of Almoners and the various senior members of the CH management team.

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Re: Is 26% Full-Fee Paying Pupils Too High?

Post by davidtaplin » Mon Feb 01, 2016 5:06 pm

Many thanks. A next step planned is to submit in February a Petition which is in the final stages of preparation. Then to address in March the details of implementation in the next Five-Year Business Plan 2017/2018-2022/2023 and the strategy for the new Head. There is no semblance of hysteria in this work but sober temperateness on the practical fulfillment of the Housey Ethos.
“Returning Christ’s Hospital to its Centuries old Mission” Formal Petition to The Council of Almoners of Christ’s Hospital
Following extensive discussion of the BCOB Executive’s “Sui Generis” Letter, a significant group of Old Blues, deeply committed to the continued success of Christ’s Hospital and its original charitable mission of educating poor and needy children, and mindful of the extraordinary challenges in today’s world of protecting and building the Endowment Fund which secures Housey’s financial base and the funding of the School, formally petition the Council of Christ’s Hospital to:
(i) Set aside the current Governance proposal to merge the CH Foundation with the School and to make the Head of School the Chief Executive, which we believe is a recipe for disaster.
• The uniqueness of CH, as opposed to other independent schools, is the fact that the Foundation, headed by the Clerk, has maintained the ethos of educating children in need for 460 years by its control of the Endowment and allocating only to those in need. The Head is unqualified to manage a £300 million endowment just as the Clerk would be unqualified to run a school.
• It is vital for the School and Foundation to remain separate entities, with the Clerk continuing to report, as always, directly to the Council as trustees of the charity. It is the Clerk’s responsibility to manage and grow the over £300 million endowment, directing the team of specialist advisers, and to protect and deliver the charitable funds necessary to implement the mission. The Clerk has a very long term responsibility (whereas the Head has a horizon of a decade or two) to ensure that CH can continue its work of the past 460 years. The separation of the business side of CH from the academic was a wise move and has worked well.
We petition that the separation of powers between the Foundation and the School be maintained.
(ii) Set in place a plan to reduce the percentage of FFP students attending CH from the current 2016 level of 26% to 10% by 2020.
• We recognise that the steeper the FFP reduction, the greater the need to engage a significant and urgent fund raising drive with the maximum support of the Old Blue community. At the same time greater economies and cost cutting in relation to expenses is an additional necessary outcome of reducing the FFP count.
• Of grave concern expressed by many Old Blues is the certainty that increasing use of FFP students financed by wealthy parents can only erode Christ’s Hospital’s mission and charitable ethos, and undermine our claim of Sui Generis – A School Like No Other.
We petition this at a time when income inequality and educational deprivation in the UK remain profound and disturbing problems.

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Re: Is 26% Full-Fee Paying Pupils Too High?

Post by johnbrougham » Mon Feb 01, 2016 6:32 pm

David,

You have clearly not read or,perhaps, misunderstood Jonathan`s comments. The misrepresentation of the reality of today`s World that you and a small number of retired Treasurers and their followers, who during their time of influence, all failed to address the major problem facing CH, is unfortunate. You do not seem to comprehend that a school is a business and must remain solvent. To my personal knowledge by 2003 CH was heading for insolvency. The decisions made by the present Head Master and the Chairman of the Board of School Governors saved CH from becoming a failing institution.

The School we all respect and cherish is safe in the hands of the present management. It is now their duty to pass this great institution on to the next generation in a World far removed from anything we as young men leaving Housey could comprehend. Please do not make the mistake, to which we are all prone, of believing that with hindsight we are better judges of the future.

Regards

John

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Re: Is 26% Full-Fee Paying Pupils Too High?

Post by davidtaplin » Mon Feb 01, 2016 7:39 pm

Dear John

Many thanks. We are doing our best to get up to full speed in understanding all the complexities. Certainly all this has been a steep learning experience about the management of CH in 2016. This is now a team of about 25 Old Blue Boys and Girls including some very distinguished OBs (a couple of Senior Grecians involved) - several of whom are very successful in the world of business (as well as schools & academia at various levels). We all agree that this is indeed the 21stC and all do agree with Jonathan and yourself that financial solvency is essential for survival. We also all agree that the goal should be financial solvency with an FFP of under 10% and a commitment to the ancient ethos of the Foundation. We also realize that this is a complex and challenging problem requiring an innovative Business Plan for 2017 onwards with major cost-cutting and enhanced fund-raising - and a new Head appointed to achieve this goal who embraces and espouses the CH Mission of educating the poor and needy - albeit with a few wealthy needy children included each year in the admissions. The task is hard but by no means as hard as that addressed by our Founders and Benefactors in 1552. We hope that you and Jonathan will reconsider and indeed will agree to become co-signatories of the Petition and bring to bear your expertises to square this circle. The key is amiable and respectful discourse even though with strong feelings we can all become a bit intemperate - even the most temperate Old Blues are capable of that even myself. However we have moved on to realistic debate and the contribution of Jonathan and yourslef has been a great help in us keeping our feet grounded.

Fraternally
David

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Re: Is 26% Full-Fee Paying Pupils Too High?

Post by davidtaplin » Sun Feb 21, 2016 10:39 pm

The meeting of the Council of Almoners at which Petition 1552 will be discussed is on March 17 2016. I would like to garner support from younger Old Blues if possible.
---------------------------------------
Petition 1552: Returning Christ’s Hospital to its Centuries-old Mission

Formal Petition to the Council of Almoners of Christ’s Hospital

Date: February 9 2016

Following extensive discussion of the British Columbia Old Blues (BCOB) Executive’s “Sui Generis” Letter, a significant group of Old Blues, deeply committed to the continued success of Christ’s Hospital and its original charitable mission of educating poor and needy children, and mindful of the extraordinary challenges in today’s world of protecting and building the Endowment Fund which secures Housey’s financial base and the funding of the School, formally petition the Council of Christ’s Hospital to:

(1) Set aside the current Governance proposal to merge the CH Foundation with the School and to make the Head of School the Chief Executive, which we believe will have serious and unfortunate consequences for the School.

• The uniqueness of CH, as opposed to other independent schools, is the fact that the Foundation, headed by the Clerk, has maintained the ethos of educating children in need for 460 years by its control of the Endowment and allocating only to those in need. The Head is unqualified to manage a £300 million endowment just as the Clerk would be unqualified to run a school.

• It is vital for the School and Foundation to remain separate entities, with the Clerk continuing to report, as always, directly to the Council as trustees of the charity. It is the Clerk’s responsibility to manage and grow the over £300 million endowment, directing the team of specialist advisers, and to protect and deliver the charitable funds necessary to implement the mission. The Clerk has a very long term responsibility (whereas the Head has a horizon of a decade or two) to ensure that CH can continue its work of the past 460 years. The separation of the business side of CH from the academic was a wise move and has worked well.

We petition that the separation of powers between the Foundation and the School be maintained.

(2) Set in place a plan to reduce the percentage of FFP students attending CH from the current 2016 level of 26% to 10% by 2020.

• We recognise that the steeper the FFP reduction, the greater the need to engage a significant and urgent fund raising drive with the maximum support of the Old Blue community. At the same time greater economies and cost cutting in relation to expenses is an additional necessary outcome of reducing the FFP count.

• Of grave concern expressed by many Old Blues is the certainty that increasing use of FFP students financed by wealthy parents can only erode Christ’s Hospital’s mission and charitable ethos, and undermine our claim of Sui Generis – A School Like No Other.

We petition this at a time when income inequality and educational deprivation in the UK remain profound and disturbing problems.

David Taplin, BCOB President
Vancouver, Canada

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Re: Is 26% Full-Fee Paying Pupils Too High?

Post by davidtaplin » Sun Feb 21, 2016 11:13 pm

Clarence Seaman introduced excellent reforms when he arrived from Bedford School in 1955. Henry Flecker stayed too long (25yrs) having let things slip badly. Various Masters left - under a dark cloud. Dr Matthews brought liberal sex education at all levels -- as a very amusing, prominent psychiatrist. Food became more varied, and more plentiful. The mores became more relaxed. Child-abuse by both teachers and older boys diminished. No more public beatings in Big School. Fotching banned. Swobbing soon banned. Swimming trunks introduced and provided. Seemed like paradise. Spartan and frugal - and all within Budget - and maybe 2-3% FFP children - with a sense of worldly purpose, gratitude and above all social equality. Masses of sport and we all left healthy, independent-minded and psychologically prepared - ready for the whole world and all its challenges. A different schooling indeed and like no other - and very much better than my alternative county scholarship choice - which was albeit good - of Repton in Derbyshire. But 26% FFP is much too high today and this should be <10% FFP by the time the new Head completes his likely term of office 2017-2027 so as to preserve/restore the unique ethos of Housey.

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Re: Is 26% Full-Fee Paying Pupils Too High?

Post by davidtaplin » Mon Feb 22, 2016 4:10 pm

The appointment of the new Head for September 2017 is progressing - thereby leading Housey into a new era. The voice of Old Blues is being heard on the nature of the ethos of this new era including the level of FFP. The conclusion seems to be that 26% is indeed too high in terms of the ethos and the social mores of Housey.

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Re: Is 26% Full-Fee Paying Pupils Too High?

Post by davidtaplin » Tue Feb 23, 2016 7:14 pm

Can this thread return to the FFP issue please?
[Admin: Off-topic posts have now been split out. Julian]
Decisions of great historical importance will be made by the thirteen Council of Almoners (including six Old Blues) on March 17 2016. "Petition 1552" seeks for there to be a new policy of reducing FFP to <10% in the term of the new Head 2017-2027 in order to fully preserve the charitable ethos of CH - to educate the poor and needy. This is being presented to a special meeting with the Treasurer and Clerk plus a representative Almoner by a team of five very distinguished Old Blues on March 7 2016 at Middle Temple. We need the support of all generations of Old Blues to ensure that the voices of Old Blues are heard and understood. This is an Existential Debate of great significance for the future of Housey in the 21stC.

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Re: Is 26% Full-Fee Paying Pupils Too High?

Post by davidtaplin » Tue Feb 23, 2016 11:12 pm

Many thanks. Keith will now lead the MT team on March 7. I am detained by the excellence of the BC Healthcare System to have some rather unexpected surgery. Meanwhile the Great Existential Debate burgeons on around the world.

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Re: Is 26% Full-Fee Paying Pupils Too High?

Post by davidtaplin » Tue Feb 23, 2016 11:21 pm

Goodness knows how this thread led to discussions of public executions in Newgate Prison in the 19thC when the issue is the future of CH in the 21stC. Diversions are interesting and can be very creative but there is a Great Existential Debate in progress and this Forum could participate in imaginative ways to this Debate, please. Is a cap of 10% FFP appropriate when many Old Blues would like to see a return to ~0% FFP in say ten years - led by an enlightened new Old Blue Head Mistress? Applications are being received right now by the Head-Hunters I believe. Adelante!

(From JTaylor, Admin:- I have split out the off-topic comments in this thread, to avoid diversions. 25/2/16)

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