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

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

Post by davidtaplin » Wed Jan 27, 2016 8:40 am

A number of Old Blues are of the view that 26% Full-Fee Paying Children from wealthy families is too high and that over the next decade a strategy should be formulated to reduce this to 10% by 2027. This is in accord with the ethos to educate poor and needy children. Clearly this means a major fund-raising to increase the Endowment substantially. David Taplin Tenor Drummer Lamb B 1950-1957

(Edit by Admin JTaylor:- I've added a copy of the petition, along with a link to contact David to sign if you wish, here:- CLICK HERE)

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

Post by brian walling » Wed Jan 27, 2016 11:39 am

I agree whole-heartedly with David -- both his observation and his suggested general solution.

I have myself for some time been uneasy about the School's apparent increasing movement away from its original ethos. I overlapped for about four years with David at CH and I imagine that he and I share many of the same feelings about what a wonderful job the School was doing, in those somewhat difficult years after the 2WW, in providing an outstanding opportunity for less privileged children to realise their full potential -- totally in line with the School's declared and well-established mission. I certainly benefited from this myself.

To reverse direction now, away from the easy and financially attractive option of edging 'up-market', will not be easy, but I believe that this is an issue which definitely needs to be examined in a wide strategic sense by the Christ's Hospital community.

Brian Walling, Maine A 1953-60
Ma A 53-60

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

Post by J.R. » Wed Jan 27, 2016 1:32 pm

Many people already know my views on this subject from previous posts on this site.

I like many others, feel that the ethos is slowly and deliberately being eroded.

I wholeheartedly agree with the above two posts.
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

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

Post by davidtaplin » Wed Jan 27, 2016 3:05 pm

Many thanks for these contributions. We have issued the letter below for consideration also with the Amicables.
David Taplin
--------------------
To: Old Blue Associations
From: Executive, British Columbia Old Blues
Date: 21 January, 2016

Dear Old Blues,

Sui Generis: Preserving the Housey Ethos

We write to you with a sense of urgency inviting Old Blue Branches/Sections in the UK and world wide to engage in debate with the senior Christ’s Hospital administration regarding proposed and imminent changes to the School’s Governance Structure; changes already being introduced to the School’s Mission and Charitable Ethos; and the growth in the admission of Full Fee Paying (FFP) children.

We are aware that CHOBA as currently constituted has only a limited role within the structure of Christ's Hospital. However we believe that the voices of all Old Blues should be heard, particularly in regard to their ability to provide future funding to the School. Disillusioned Old Blues will hardly be an asset to fund-raising.

A number of Old Blues in Canada and the UK are currently discussing the future direction of our alma mater and its charitable mission. Housey, as we all know, is a School sui generis, grounded in its foundational and indeed charitable ethos of ‘educating poor and needy children’. It is a commitment which despite many challenges has stood the test of time for more than four and a half centuries.

A School Like No Other?

However in the light of pending changes to the School’s governance structure; concerns regarding the School’s current Mission Statement; and the increasing use of the admission of FFP children as a means to ensure the financial stability, we now fear that the ground on which Housey stands is in danger of shifting radically, to the long term detriment of Christ’s Hospital’s enduring mission through the education of poor and needy children, the erosion of income poverty and need, as the basic principles informing Housey admission policies.

We claim to be a ‘School Like No Other’. We are asking if that is still the case? Or will Christ’s Hospital in the not too distant future become much like other independent schools? Given the still high degree of income poverty and educational inequality in the UK is this a path we wish to follow?

Governance Structure

Are you aware that restructuring plans now before the Council of Almoners and the Board of School Governors are designed to create a Unitary Council by merging both the Council of Almoners and the Board of School Governors, with the Head reporting directly to the Treasurer (the Chair of the proposed Council)? It is not clear whether the Clerk of the Foundation would then report directly to the Head rather than the Treasurer.

Three distinguished former Treasurers of the School have significant reservations about this newly proposed ‘unitary’ governance model including the belief that the existing separation of powers ensures that Christ’s Hospital’s charitable ethos, fundraising and the Endowment should remain the separate responsibility of the Foundation.

Notably, the management of the historic Endowment has been the responsibility of the Clerk, plus the oversight of the achievement of the charitable objects of the Foundation. This is a significant job, requiring a different set of skills and experience and this needs to be undertaken with the long-term CH charitable objectives in mind. The Clerk’s title is "Clerk and Chief Executive of the Foundation", reporting directly to the Treasurer, Council of Almoners and to the Court of Governors. The Head and the Clerk have fundamentally different roles and there is sometimes an element of conflict. The Head does not necessarily think long-term, but rather is focused on more immediate educational success. It is the job of the Treasurer, supported by the Council to manage these inevitable tussles between Head and Clerk.

Mission and Charitable Ethos

Again, are you aware that the Christ’s Hospital Mission and charitable ethos no longer asserts priority to the children of poor and needy families? Rather it now proclaims that Housey ‘will have regard especially to children of families in social, financial or other need, in the choice of pupils, that choice to remain the prerogative of the Foundation’ (CH website): ‘..regard especially..’, is no longer an absolute commitment to the poor and needy. This is a wrongful erosion of the charitable ethos, a watering down of Housey’s historical educational mission, particularly so when ranked fourth out of Christ’s Hospital’s five Mission Statement commitments:

http://www.christs-hospital.org.uk/foun ... statement/

Of pressing concern is that the prerogative for safeguarding Christ’s Hospital’s charitable ethos appears no longer to be the prerogative of the Foundation as the School now has ‘full autonomy over all its operations including admissions….(p. 11, Annual Report, 2015). This breaks the historical role of the Clerk and the Foundation in the selection of children in need which is fundamental to our charitable mission.

Full Fee Paying Admissions

Now that the School’s admission door is increasingly open to wealthy parents are you aware that between 22-26% of current children are FFP, with 30% being considered? If this trend continues what is to stop it going higher? What is the long term impact on Christ’s Hospital’s charitable ethos? In any event the greater the number of FFP children, the more difficult it surely becomes to attract donations.

Other related questions about admissions are the distribution of FFP children according to year of entry: Year 7; Year 9 and Year 12. What is the entry level of the academic standards now required? What is the intent of the 2 year entry program? What is the planned distribution between overseas and UK students?

The next meeting of the Council of Almoners at which the proposed governance changes may well be decided is in early March 2016. As well the CHOBA Board meets on February 3 2016 and it has been confirmed that correspondence with CHOBA home and overseas sections will be noted and logged. Accordingly we seek your action expeditiously.

If these questions are of concern to you we encourage you to please raise them directly with Greg Andrews, Clerk to the Foundation:
gea@christs-hospital.org.uk

and Margaret Wadman, CHOBA Administrator:
mw@christs-hospital.ord.uk

and with ourselves.

Thank you for your consideration.
Sincerely,

On the unanimous behalf of the Executive, British Columbia Old Blues

David Taplin, Lamb B 1950–1957 BCOB President
Christopher Johnson, Lamb B 1952-1959 BCOB Secretary
John Stanger, Coleridge A 1939-1945 Senior BCOB
Terence Bate, Coleridge A 1945-51 Donation Governor
Anthony Sessions, Thornton A 1950-1955
Graham Riches, Thornton B/Maine B 1952-60
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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

Post by davidtaplin » Wed Jan 27, 2016 3:11 pm

Many of the developments of the Franklin Era are to be applauded but the decision of the Treasurer in 2008 to allow 20% FFP and open the floodgates to a radical change of ethos needs reversing at the Council of Almoners meeting in March. Society in the UK has maybe 2% of families who can afford the full fees and so the FFP proportion should be anyway under 10% by the very principles of FFP espoused by the Head and Council.

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

Post by J.R. » Wed Jan 27, 2016 3:13 pm

Very well put, David.

I trust you will keep this forum up-dated.
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

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

Post by davidtaplin » Wed Jan 27, 2016 8:44 pm

There are many good things about Housey today as the latest Blue demonstrates. Franklin has undertaken worthwhile educational experiments and improved the infrastructure as well as fulfilling the tertiary ambitions of virtually all leavers in a diverse manner. His legacy will be important to value. As we move forward with a new Head and a new strategy. My focus in this particular thread is the Admissions Policy.

Firstly the FFP % should in my opinion be reduced to under 10% - by 2027 or sooner. To be "reflective of society" this proportion should be perhaps 2% but being pragmatic a target of under 10% by 2027 seems to me to be achievable via some cost-cutting and some enhanced fund-raising via a committed new Head.

Secondly there should be an element of need for all children admitted including the 2-10% FFP children. Housey is not a school for wealthy children absent of real need.

Thirdly the international recruitment strategy needs to be fully debated and reviewed. But the main matter is to encourage debate about the ten year recruitment strategy 2017-2027 with the appointment of a new Head in 2017. Involving the whole of the UK not mainly the South East in a new way as well as a much modified and clear international recruitment policy of say 5% of admissions.

Fourthly the standard route for children should be the 7-13 year full seven year programme with very few year 9 and even fewer year 12 admissions. Blues need the full Housey experience.

However for all that the main issue is the FFP %.

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

Post by Katharine » Wed Jan 27, 2016 9:17 pm

Well done David, I'm right behind you.

This week, sadly, I'm deep into arranging my Mother's funeral so can't follow anything up - she was the widow of an OB, the mother of two OBs and the grandmother of one - and loved the school. We're having a Sidney Carter hymn at the funeral partly because of the CH connection, my father knew him at school!
Katharine Dobson (Hills) 6.14, 1959 - 1965
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Re: Is 26% Full-Fee Paying Pupils Too High?

Post by davidtaplin » Wed Jan 27, 2016 9:36 pm

My sincere condolences for the passing of an Honorary Old Blue and great supporter of Housey. Would you be a signatory on the Petition to Council next month please?

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

Post by Katharine » Wed Jan 27, 2016 10:11 pm

Thank you, David. I forgot, she was also the sister-in-law of another! My aunt went to the school as well as my father.

I'll happily sign your petition

I think you can email me through this forum, or send me a private message, if necessary.
Katharine Dobson (Hills) 6.14, 1959 - 1965
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Re: Is 26% Full-Fee Paying Pupils Too High?

Post by davidtaplin » Wed Jan 27, 2016 10:21 pm

Many thanks. I will need to email you privately... David

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

Post by postwarblue » Thu Jan 28, 2016 12:08 pm

In my view the sentiments on this thread are laudable, but the bottom line is that the books have to balance, in spite of the closure and sale of Hertford bringing a major reduction in the overall number of students.

I do rather doubt whether there are enough OBs with deep enough pockets to make a real difference. How much capital is needed nowadays to fund a single totally-free place? I suspect the sum is considerable. Possibly an answer is to seek out corporate donors but whether shareholders would see endowing places at CH as a good idea is another matter. It must be difficult for local authorities to justify paying fees for one of their children that exceed their normal capitation.

I suspect that the actual future is the gradual erosion of CH's 463 year old role. Tragic but inevitable.
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Re: Is 26% Full-Fee Paying Pupils Too High?

Post by LongGone » Thu Jan 28, 2016 2:39 pm

I fear that most of what Postwarblue says is true. Costs are rising and the budget must eventually be balanced. However, I would love to know how the allocation of funds has changed over the last 50-60 years. What percent then and now was on teaching (salaries, equipment, building and upkeep), administrative costs, housing and feeding etc. For comparison, increased tuition at the university where I work has been driven up almost entirely by increased administrative bloat and improved living and entertainment conditions for the students.
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Re: Is 26% Full-Fee Paying Pupils Too High?

Post by davidtaplin » Thu Jan 28, 2016 2:48 pm

It was only in 1891 or so that any fees were paid by the families of Blues - for some 350 years the full cost of the education of Blues was covered by the Endowment. Until 2007 and the Franklin Era the commitment to the ethos of essentially just educating the poor and needy was followed pretty well. Johnson as Treasurer opened the door to 20% FFP which increased to 26% and we now simply need to limit the FFP admissions by careful management to a maximum of 10%. Its nor rocket engineering to accomplish this and maintain the ethos. CH needs to appoint a new Head 2017-2027 who is committed to this task. Probably an Old Blue; possibly the first woman as Head at Horsham. This means a frugal approach to management as LongGone indicates.

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

Post by davidtaplin » Thu Jan 28, 2016 3:12 pm

BCOB Executive is assembling a Petition to Council for submission next month based on the four main points of the "Sui Generis" letter. Please advise if you would like to be a co-signatory on this submission please, as already have some Old Blues.

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