Old Blues are fast and persistent

Anything that doesn't fit anywhere else, but that's still CH related.

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Katharine
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Old Blues are fast and persistent

Post by Katharine » Tue Mar 15, 2016 2:55 pm

As you know, I've been spending some of my time on Petition 1552. This has led to my wandering down memory lane!

In my last term at Hertford, I was one of the elite living in the School Flat, just six of us there. We had our own newspaper and one Sunday morning, not too long after St Matthews Day, we were convulsed in laughter as we saw the headline over a rugby report "Old Blues are fast and persistent".

It might just apply to Professor David Taplin and his work for the petition. Without resorting to the obvious, is it true in other walks of life that Old Blues are fast and persistent?
Katharine Dobson (Hills) 6.14, 1959 - 1965
Don't worry about the world coming to an end today. It's already tomorrow in Australia!

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J.R.
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Re: Old Blues are fast and persistent

Post by J.R. » Tue Mar 15, 2016 3:21 pm

I think that, no matter whatever else, CH DEFINITELY taught us to be fast and persistent !
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

davidtaplin
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Re: Old Blues are fast and persistent

Post by davidtaplin » Tue Mar 15, 2016 3:54 pm

Dear Katharine, Campaign 1552 is certainly characterized by resolute persistency as a wide-ranging team. The whole team ought to receive an OBSRA from the Head Master on Old Blues Day 2016. All Best David

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Re: Old Blues are fast and persistent

Post by Foureyes » Mon Mar 28, 2016 3:59 pm

That would make a good motto for Petition 1552, but would need to be translated into Latin to add a degree of intellectual authenticity. So, how about:
"Celer et pertinax"? (= Fast and persistent" - I hope)
David :shock:

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Re: Old Blues are fast and persistent

Post by J.R. » Tue Mar 29, 2016 12:39 pm

davidtaplin wrote:Dear Katharine, Campaign 1552 is certainly characterized by resolute persistency as a wide-ranging team. The whole team ought to receive an OBSRA from the Head Master on Old Blues Day 2016. All Best David
Perhaps just a touch optimistic me-thinks, David !!
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

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Re: Old Blues are fast and persistent

Post by davidtaplin » Tue Mar 29, 2016 1:03 pm

I am indeed optimistic that "Petition 1552" will be viewed by Council & widely as a successful, beneficial contribution to the Housey Ethos, Governance, FFP% Reduction, clearer metrics & the enhancement of the effective voice of Old Blues - as well as better fund-raising/cost-cutting - in the term of the new Head 2017-2027. Time will tell via ongoing conversations including on this Forum.

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Petition 1552 Response to Council

Post by davidtaplin » Thu Mar 31, 2016 8:40 pm

Petition 1552 Response to Council
To: The Council of Almoners
Christ’s Hospital, West Sussex, UK
March 31 2016

Dear Council

On behalf of the more than one thousand signatories to ‘Petition 1552’ we thank Council for the timely Statement (March 21 2016) responding to the fundamental concerns raised by many Old Blues regarding the current matters of Governance and Full Fee Paying pupils before the Council of Almoners. Following the meeting (March 7) with the Delegation when we were courteously provided with the opportunity to present these concerns in person, we appreciate that these concerns were brought to the attention of Council (March 17), and that we have indeed been informed that these were considered and discussed in some detail.

We now understand that Council remains committed to its proposed unitary governance and management structures including new roles and reporting lines for the Clerk and Head to be implemented in 2017. We welcome the decision that the Foundation and School will continue to operate as two separate charities and that Council has confirmed its intention to see the level of FFPs reduced over the next five-year business planning cycle commencing September 2017.

In considering Council’s decisions we would welcome the opportunity to continue the conversation given their far-reaching consequences for Housey’s Social Ethos and its historical charitable mission of educating poor and needy children in an increasingly unequal Britain.

In that light we wish to respond to the Council’s determinations regarding the unitary governance and management structures and its commitment to reducing the current level of Full Fee payers by 2022. In particular we respectfully seek greater transparency and clarification about the details of these decisions so as to better understand and inform our signatories about their practical application and their implications for future fund-raising.

Governance and Social Ethos - Charitable Mission

We acknowledge the decisions which Council has made regarding the unitary governance model as of 2017 with the aim of safeguarding the separate legal identities of the Foundation (Endowment Fund) and the School; of ensuring that the checks and balances put in place will prevent short-termism from undermining the long term viability of the Endowment and the School; of the split reporting lines of the Clerk and Chief Operating Officer to both the Head as Chief Executive and to the Treasurer as Chairman of Council; and of the anticipated financial benefits for the School.

However without access to an organizational chart of the new unitary governance structures including clear reporting lines for both the Clerk and the Head it is difficult to understand how the intended new structures will work in practice to best preserve the independence of the Foundation and Endowment Fund. Does not the proposed Head/Clerk relationship invite a possible conflict of interest? We seek clarification on this and ask for such charts to be made available.

We acknowledge that the Clerk could well report to the Head on internal School matters but given the Clerk’s primary administrative responsibility for the Foundation, Endowment Fund and Fund Raising, we believe this position is of equivalent status to that of Head of School. Unfortunately the March 21 Statement is silent about the control of Admissions. Is it not the case that the Foundation is the guardian of Housey’s historical charitable mission of educating poor and needy children, including responsibility for admissions? Our understanding of Charity Law is that one thing the Trustees cannot delegate is the choice of beneficiaries.

It is perhaps worth noting that the Foundation could continue its educational mission without the School, but not the other way around. Should not the Clerk therefore be of clearly equal standing to the Head with a direct reporting line to the Treasurer on Admissions and Admissions policy? We have seen the advertised job description for the new Head. Would it be possible for the Clerk’s job description as of 2017 to be made available?

We believe that greater transparency and clarification regarding the matter of Governance is essential so as to encourage Old Blues potential contributions to future fund raising.

Five-Year Plan: Needy Children, Full Fee Payers and Charitable Mission

We warmly applaud the Council’s intention to reduce the level of Full Fee payers over the next five-year business planning cycle commencing in September 2017. We appreciate this as a significant commitment, especially in the light of one signatory’s response to your March 21 Statement and which we believe reflects widely held views:

‘…..I, for one, commend unreservedly the enormous improvements that have taken place at CH in the 60 years since I left - most especially the equal mix of boys and girls, but also the injection of cultural and ethnic diversity. That said, I condemn - equally unreservedly - the notion that to introduce and maintain a very substantial proportion of children from affluent backgrounds is consistent with the ethos of the School.’

This is echoed by the view that creating a School that is a reflection of society as a whole undermines CH’s historic Social Ethos. Housey’s unique charitable mission is more necessary than ever in a UK that is growing more unequal and with unaccompanied refugee children knocking on the door. We think it is ironic that CH of all institutions should be on course to reflect unequal Britain.

We therefore commend the Council for its commitment to reducing the percentage of FFP intake to a level at which this no longer changes the fundamental nature of the School community; and that this commitment will be reflected in the next five-year plan.

Five Year FFP Reduction Plan

The implementation of the FFP Reduction Plan (2017-2022) is critical to the restoration of Housey’s social ethos and charitable mission. The measurable indicators of these are the numbers of ‘Full Fee Payers’ compared to ‘Poor and Needy’ (pay not more than 10% of fees) pupils or ‘Assisted Places’ (other than FFP). The changed distribution of wealthy FFP students in favour of ‘Poor and Needy’ pupils will, we suggest, be the measure of success. We encourage the use of clear and consistent metrics in this regard.

In this respect, and to avoid confusion, it is essential that the definition of these categories is jointly clarified and understood by members of Council, the Court of Governors and Old Blues alike. We believe the shared use by all stakeholders of the key ‘Visualization Data’ provided by ‘Petition 1552’ will assist in this process. This clarification is important, as the March 21 Statement claims that the number of ‘Assisted Places’ has remained steady for the period of the current Business Plan (2011-2017).

However, using the same and most recent data (2011/12 – 2014/2015), ‘Petition 1552’ indicates that while this was almost the case for ‘Poor and Needy’ Pupils, a drop of 14 places, or 4% (328 to 314), the total number of ‘Assisted Places’ in fact fell by 9% (745 to 679). In the same period FFP intake increased by 159% (74 to 192).

Indeed, over a ten-year period, using 2005 as a benchmark, the intake of ‘Poor and Needy’ pupils has dropped by 23% (410 to 314) and Assisted Places by 15% (804 to 679).

Ten years is a very short time in the history of Christ’s Hospital. Fees were only formally introduced at the end of the 19th century and for the whole of the 20th century the percentage of FFP pupils was effectively not more than five percent.

We also recommend that the Five Year FFP Reduction Plan sets a target of 10% or less by 2022; provides consistent time series data; and includes annual projections for the FFP reductions to be achieved as well as commensurate increases in ‘Poor and Needy’ pupils and ‘Assisted Places’. We believe such data regarding Admission enrolments would be of benefit particularly as we are sure the Reduction Plan will come under constant scrutiny. Such transparency will be of enormous benefit for fund raising which we will be able to commend to the over one thousand signatories as long as we can point to a clear plan.

Fundraising and Social Ethos

It is important to recognize that many Old Blues will be hesitant to contribute unless there is first the commitment and later the clear evidence that the balance between the FFP admissions and needy pupils is showing a steady and sure return to the School’s Social Ethos. However, given such commitment and evidence we believe that the response will be extremely positive.

‘Petition 1552’ has presented some of the key data to help Old Blues understand the fee profile of Christ's Hospital's pupils over the recent years, and we would be keen to help share this type of information in the future with CH's stakeholders, with the goal of helping Old Blues and other donors see the financial need of the school, and the consequences of not meeting fund-raising goals. There is a direct relationship between FFPs required to balance the books, and the number of ‘Needy’ or ‘Assisted’ places the Foundation is therefore able to provide.

We would indeed anticipate that the new five-year plan would include significantly enhanced contributions by Old Blues to the Endowment, significant cost cutting, strict expenditure control and avoidance of expensive prestige projects appealing to international markets. Importantly we recognize the five-year plan as a living document which will be modified each year according to Old Blue and external donations and cost cutting that is actually achieved.

Our overall belief is this: our aim must be to turn this problem of Governance and FFP pupils into an opportunity for a significant fundraising campaign for the good of Christ's Hospital that satisfies our world-wide community of signatories. For this we need further clarification of the position of Clerk and Head with respect to the role of the Foundation and School regarding admissions and similarly clarification of the plan for reducing the number of full fee-payers.

‘Petition 1552’ welcomes co-operation and constructive discussion as the positive way forward, and this newly created opportunity to continue an important and historic conversation, based on our shared commitments as fellow Old Blues and Friends of CH, partnering with all CH stakeholders to secure Housey’s Social Ethos as a ‘School Like No Other’.

Yours sincerely
On behalf of over One Thousand Old Blues World-Wide

Professor D M R Taplin DPhil DSc
BCOB President/Petition 1552 Chair

Professor D K Bowen DPhil FREng FRS
Middle Temple Delegation Chair
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