Future of"Master Plan"-where will money come from?

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Concerned
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Future of"Master Plan"-where will money come from?

Post by Concerned » Wed Mar 09, 2005 7:24 pm

Thought that all Old Blues should probably see this letter at this link, as the outcome of the questions could fundamentally change the nature of Christ's Hospital:-

http://www.ridleysociety.com/

It's written by "The Ridley Society" to Michael Simpkin (Clerk of Christ's Hospital) . It poses some very searching questions regarding the Council of Almoners' floundering "Masterplan".

It raises some serious concerns about where the money will come from if/when the "Master Plan" continues.....Old Blues who have received requests of financial aid from the school may be interested in hearing answers to the points raised in the letter.

The main points include:-
1. How could the refurbishment of the first eight boarding houses have cost £16.9 million when the refurbishment of the remaining eight is forecast to cost £5 million?

2. How could the Council of Almoners’ proposed move to "Total Return" as a method of accounting for the Foundation be used to release much needed capital by disposing of parts of the Foundations’s property portfolio?

If as expected the Charities Commission turns down the application for Total Return, will the Council of Almoners then seek to raise funds by reverting to the 1990 clause they inserted into the school constitution? This will allow them, over a period of seven years, to flood the school with up to 315 day pupils, none of whom would necessarily have a ceiling on parental income – thereby irrevocably changing what Christ’s Hospital has always stood for.

Thought it worth posting, as every Old Blue should probably care about the questions raised, and look forward to hearing a response from the school and specifically the Clerk?

The Ridley Society website can be found at http://www.ridleysociety.com, which gives a good description of the purpose of the society, and a full copy of the letter & a newspaper article. You can also contact them by email from that website, or by emailed info@ridleysociety.com

-------------
A concerned Old Blue.

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Mrs C.
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Post by Mrs C. » Wed Mar 09, 2005 7:42 pm

I am fairly reliably informed that a large part of the cost incurred in the refurbishment of the first houses was the cost of movnig all the water pipes etc from the "lav-ends" to the centre of each house

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Post by Great Plum » Thu Mar 10, 2005 8:13 am

I believe originally they hoped they would get their money from their stock portfolio - which obviously hasn't materialised...

Also, the houses (espec. Grecians houses) were over budget and hideously late...

The boarding houses are now going to cost a lot less to refurbish because:
a: they have run out of money!
b: they aren't knocking them through and putting lots of pointless small rooms in them - they are imho, doing what they needed to do and give them a good paint job and rewiring!

As for further capital, well the school must have made a few bob selling off the old Farm/ Gym complex...

Also they may have hoped a few years ago for those 2000 houses past Peele Bridge which isn't happening anymore!

I am concerned about the day pupil situation - imho there should not be day pupils at CH - however if they were to open another school (say in Manchester) could that work well as a day school? (That is for another topic, I'm sure!)
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Post by eloisec » Thu Mar 10, 2005 12:07 pm

I have a relation (don't want to land them in any trouble!) who's a housing officer for Horsham District Council, and I'm reliably informed CH didn't get as much money as they hoped by selling off the gym etc, as a % of it had to be social housing, so denting CHs finances. I believe CH can be rather naive in it's planning applications too :shock:

as an offshoot, CH has a habit of trying to evict its manual and lower paid staff etc from property it owns, making them homeless (sometimes illegally). not bad for the ethos of the school ... eh? the local council has to step in and sort the mess out.
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Post by Great Plum » Thu Mar 10, 2005 12:15 pm

eloisec wrote:I have a relation (don't want to land them in any trouble!) who's a housing officer for Horsham District Council, and I'm reliably informed CH didn't get as much money as they hoped by selling off the gym etc, as a % of it had to be social housing, so denting CHs finances. I believe CH can be rather naive in it's planning applications too :shock:

as an offshoot, CH has a habit of trying to evict its manual and lower paid staff etc from property it owns, making them homeless (sometimes illegally). not bad for the ethos of the school ... eh? the local council has to step in and sort the mess out.
I have heard about that as well...


Ch are always after the short term gain...
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Post by eloisec » Thu Mar 10, 2005 12:31 pm

CH have quite a lousey (ho hum) reputation at HDC over it's various dealings. not the best advertisement of CH in the local community!
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Post by Great Plum » Thu Mar 10, 2005 12:46 pm

eloisec wrote:CH have quite a lousey (ho hum) reputation at HDC over it's various dealings. not the best advertisement of CH in the local community!
I know what you mean - they seem shocked and surprised if they don't get planning permission!
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Post by Ian Stannard » Thu Mar 10, 2005 8:53 pm

With hindsight it is true that the school would have been better off refurbishing the houses within a smaller budget. The existing structure of the house could have been maintained whilst the fabric of the building, including the wiring and plumbing completely overhauled and upgraded to meet the needs of the new legislation. Staff accommodation could also have been upgraded to remove the inequity that exists amongst House Staff. I hope that this can still be achieved in the medium term.

As for raising money, it is important to realise that the school costs millions to run and income is needed to supplement the income from the Foundation. I am not fearful of day pupils as long as they are integrated into the school carefully. After all, many of the best schools in the UK can and do admit both day and boarding pupils. If day pupils pay higher fees, so what? If it means that they subsidise the fees of needy boarders then I see no harm.

CH pupils seem quite capable of seeinf beyond income and looking at the person not their parents bank balance. It is also somewhat unfair to assume that pupils whose parents can afford to pay a fee of £6-9K a year should necessarily undermine the ethos of the school. A number of pupils at CH were once at Prep School with such pupils and I assume that they did not see themselves at CH as 'corrupting the ethos of CH'. I think that CH will always look to take pupils on a needs blind basis, but we should not be afraid of change. After all, when the school was in London, we admitted day pupils!

These are, of course, my thoughts and I accept that others may disagree.

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Post by Great Plum » Fri Mar 11, 2005 9:30 am

I think that making the school part day/ boarding WOULD go against the ethos of the school as a lot of its charms/ quirks/ eccentricites stem from the fact that it is all boarding...

It's not as though the school needs the extra pupils - weren't there about 500 children for 120 places for the squits' entry?

The school is meant to support children from 'difficult' backgrounds whether that's financial or otherwise - I don't see that happening with day pupils at the CH site in Horsham.

If, however, the school wanted a day school ,they should start one in an inner city locatiion where they could best help...
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Post by Hendrik » Fri Mar 11, 2005 1:33 pm

perhaps a more knowledgable person, staff etc, could enlighten us on few issues (bound to be much more in touch with things as they stand than i).

:arrow: remind me, how much was it that the school spent on gravelling the quad, quarter-mile, mile and back ash? and how much did it cost them to hoover it all up again?

:arrow: how much did the grecians houses cost? will it have been such a worthwhile investment when they've fallen down in a few years time? (see grecians houses thread)

:arrow: stock portfolio, yes. IIRC, the school was worst hit when the oil market went tits-up. now, i know that most things took a beating at this time, but had the school invested ethically (only seems logical given the much revered 'ch ethos') they would not have lost as much money (ethical investments seem to grow more slowly, but don't seem to crash as heinously).

:arrow: when CH was plunged into its little microchosmic recession, why were departmental budgets hit so bad? the upper echelons of the 'CH community' still seemed just as 'advantaged' yet the pupils now have to buy their own paper (at CH, yes. hard to believe, i know). perhaps this 'CH ethos' should be examined with a fine toothed comb.

but these were just my thoughts at the time when i was a meagre pupil, and we were prone to being mushroomed [kept in the dark and fed crap] when it came to the schools finances. presumably as our tiny minds wouldn't have been able to comprehend it all anyway. afterall, it's not like there was anything to hide...

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Post by eloisec » Fri Mar 11, 2005 2:14 pm

totally support Great Plum and Hendrik, I am saddened that a current member of staff can so easily brush aside the 'ethos' of CH. the proposals being suggested are very worrying. I suggest better investment and expenditure, rather than gradually undermining important principals that CH has stood for.

it's all in the charitable objectives set out on the school website:
Christ’s Hospital is a Christian institution dedicated to providing a stable background and boarding education of high standard to boys and girls, having regard especially to children of those families in social, financial or other particular need. The assets and endowments of Christ’s Hospital are managed to ensure that this prime purpose is maintained for the benefit of both present and future generations.
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Post by matthew » Fri Mar 11, 2005 2:25 pm

the pupils now have to buy their own paper
I'd say something, but I'm still in shock.

Please tell me there's a subtle joke in there that I've missed.

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Post by eloisec » Fri Mar 11, 2005 2:28 pm

I know, but it's really NOT funny, and apparently definitely not a joke. Times have seriously changed since we were there Matthew.

I don't understand how the school can suddenly be so strapped for cash. It is not a poor school. Can someone enlighten me?!
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Post by Great Plum » Fri Mar 11, 2005 2:32 pm

eloisec wrote:I know, but it's really NOT funny, and apparently definitely not a joke. Times have seriously changed since we were there Matthew.

I don't understand how the school can suddenly be so strapped for cash. It is not a poor school. Can someone enlighten me?!
I'd say gross financial mismanagement but to be fair I have no idea - I remember the school having a lot of money from about 1996-99 but since then the finances seem to have dried up...
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Post by eloisec » Fri Mar 11, 2005 2:37 pm

Ian Stannard wrote:As for raising money, it is important to realise that the school costs millions to run and income is needed to supplement the income from the Foundation. I am not fearful of day pupils as long as they are integrated into the school carefully. After all, many of the best schools in the UK can and do admit both day and boarding pupils. If day pupils pay higher fees, so what? If it means that they subsidise the fees of needy boarders then I see no harm.

CH pupils seem quite capable of seeinf beyond income and looking at the person not their parents bank balance. It is also somewhat unfair to assume that pupils whose parents can afford to pay a fee of £6-9K a year should necessarily undermine the ethos of the school. A number of pupils at CH were once at Prep School with such pupils and I assume that they did not see themselves at CH as 'corrupting the ethos of CH'. I think that CH will always look to take pupils on a needs blind basis, but we should not be afraid of change. After all, when the school was in London, we admitted day pupils!

These are, of course, my thoughts and I accept that others may disagree.
I think this disagrees with most of the points made:
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/p ... 7we159.htm
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