CH, Assisted Boarders and the TES
https://www.tes.com/news/school-news/br ... -inclusive
Don’t read the article for nostalgic reasons only, but to learn that CH is a pioneer in this important field. The articulate, young Blue ‘Alice,’ much quoted, is someone of whom we can be proud. Assisted Boarders (ABs) are related to the question of how many full paying pupils (FFPs) CH has and should have. (It has been mentioned in the forum. Search above for “FFPs” to learn more.)
This article deals with ABs at boarding schools. These are children in socio/economic need, for whom a boarding school is considered desirable. Reasons for being an AB are being in need (eg poverty, suffering abuse, or being full time carers for parents). ABs may be already in Local Authority (LA) care, in need of it, or being fostered. Some remain in families with close supervision. Research has shown ABs benefit under certain circumstances, but so far no single research project has been large and long enough to provide convincing overall proof. Such projects are planned. Clear advantages of being an AB include the cost being less than in care.
Before the 1980s there were 10 000 ABs as a result of LA placements. Today there are 60. In passing it is worth noting the vast benefits CH enjoyed (not financial benefits) from the many LCC supported CH pupils who went on to be a great credit to the school. Not all were at CH because of severe socio/economic reasons, but all were (relatively) poor and many were ABs.
CH has ABs today. The HM mentions that CH has more ABs than other comparable schools. Excellent. It also has FFPs. Many think there are far too many FFPs (eg signatories of the “Petition 1552” – do search above for it too) and that the number should be greatly reduced. Indeed there are indications this is happening, albeit very slowly.
Objections to ABs’ experience at school include the cultural, economic and other differences between home and school. My own experience may be useful. I was in effect an AB. That dichotomy was overcome simply by having two separate and very different lives. My family understood this and we all coped.
All this raises questions. Perhaps others can add to them, answer and comment.
- Should CH accept more ABs? Almost certainly, “Yes,” after appropriate investigation of each candidate. (The HM mentioned that there are 1 or 2 pupils who have to leave each year and gave the main causes. Does anyone know if they are predominantly ABs? I suspect so.)
- There are currently 14% of Housey children who pay no fees and 26% (19% boarders and 7% day pupils) who pay full fees. In which of these two categories are the ABs? Incidentally how many day pupils are there now? In my days only about 1½.
- How many ABs are currently at CH?
- The final question is how many ABs should CH receive? Too many and the school’s character will be totally changed for the worse. Too few and we are not fulfilling our Founder’s wish. Perhaps that question can only be answered after much more experience has been acquired.