We are writing in response to the petition presented on 7 March which was received at a meeting of the Council of Almoners on 17 March. At this meeting, the petition and the extensive representations relating to the governance proposals and proportion of full fee payers, were considered and discussed in some detail.
With regard to the proposed governance changes, Council has taken account of the representations made in the petition. Council has confirmed that in reverting to a unitary governance structure in September 2017, the Foundation and School will continue to operate as two separate charities which provides for ongoing segregation of the endowment assets. The concerns expressed about the dangers of prioritising short-term interests over long-term ones will be more than adequately addressed through a series of checks and balances that limit the potential for short-termism, including the spending rule, which limits the amount that can be drawn from the endowment each year.
A unitary management structure will be implemented, under the new Head. The role of the Clerk will be re-extended to include, as has been the case historically, responsibility for the support functions in the School as well as management of the endowment. The Clerk will report to the Head operationally and he or she will have an independent reporting line to the Treasurer on matters relating to the endowment and the spending rule.
Council fully understands the strength of feeling among Old Blues about the level of full fee payers at the School. The current level of full fee payers is consistent with the Business Plan which was set to run from 2011 to 2017 to restore the finances of Christ’s Hospital to a sustainable position. Crucially, this has enabled the number of assisted places to remain steady over the period. Council accepts and understands why this percentage was allowed to increase to its present level, but at its meeting, Council confirmed its intention to see this level reduced over the next five year business planning cycle commencing in September 2017.
In order to achieve this, new income will need to be generated, primarily in the form of fundraising. Council recognises and greatly values the contribution made by many Old Blues in honouring the Charge, and it is hoped that all Old Blues will recognise the difference they can make to our fundraising both directly and indirectly through their contacts.
At its meeting on 17 March Council reaffirmed its strong and unwavering commitment to preserving and reinforcing the historical ethos of Christ’s Hospital and will continue to reflect that in all its decisions as it seeks to create a Christ’s Hospital fit to continue its unique charitable mission for the 21st century.
Chairman of Council
Ma A, Lamb B (1977)
Vice Chairman of Council
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I second this. It sounds like a classic diplomatic statement, allowing both sides to interpret it as they wish.brian walling wrote:Please, could somebody closer to this complex subject than I am give a balanced assessment of how far/how well this formal statement responds to the concerns of the petitioners? It is tempting, on the surface, to see it as evasive and not really addressing the issues raised, but I remain open to a more expert interpretation.
If an egg falls on a stone: alas for the egg