Thinking about being a hopeful new parent

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ailurophile
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Re: Thinking about being a hopeful new parent

Post by ailurophile » Wed Feb 25, 2009 4:11 pm

Onewestguncopse wrote
think the following may be useful to you - I speak as someone who works for CH now I might add!

1. As far as I am aware, with the exception of asking for a Governor presentation, the income level of the parent is ignored. If it is above a certain level you will pay full fees. I might add however, that being a boarding school, full fees are high and many parents will be put off by this. Most parents pay on a sliding scale, with perhaps more money per head found in the Sixth Form, where new entrants are more likely to be be full fee paying. We will lose children in this recession as fees are often a luxury that falls by the wayside when a 'free' education is to be had at the local school! Private education is, after all, a life choice that people can opt out of. I appreciate that some schools in London are poor, and it this is the case then parents are more willing to pay fees than if they live near a decent secondary or one of the remaining grammars.
Speaking as a current parent, I find some of the above confusing. I have always understood the income level of the parent to be a major consideration when defining 'need'; it is certainly the factor most often quoted by the school, see for example the Autumn 2008 issue of 'Housey!' where John Franklin stated that "85% of our pupils come from homes where the joint family income is less than £25,000 per annum and 14% pay no fees at all". When deciding admissions, the school sets self-imposed targets for pupils with high needs scores, and can admit a maximum 6% of pupils whose parents can afford to pay full fees. None of this would indicate that the income level of the parent is ignored!

It would also indicate that few prospective parents are likely to be 'put off' by the high fees associated with boarding, since very few anticipate that they will be asked to pay this. Christ's Hospital sells itself to parents as uniquely charitable, offering the opportunity of an independent education to those who would otherwise be unable to consider such an option. For many CH families, private education is not a 'life choice' that would be open to them without the continued support of the Foundation - school fees are not a luxury but an impossibility!

The school's literature says "We strive to make education affordable for parents". There is a link elsewhere on the Forum to an article from the Times Online of 26 October last, where Paul Tuckwell (towards the end of his brief tenure as chief executive) said "The credit crunch and stock market turbulence are expected to have an impact on the school's ability to raise funds and on parents' ability to pay a proportion of fees, which means that the foundation will have to make up more of the total". Yet Onewestguncopse, who works in the school, states 'We will lose children in this recession', and posts elsewhere show that this is actually happening, not just to prospective but to current pupils. As a parent, I am worried by the seeming lack of a cohesive agenda; the school appears to be identifying children with a 'need' for an education which is then denied them when their parents can no longer afford this 'luxury'. CH is indeed a great school, but at this time of change it does seem to be sending out wildly conflicting messages.

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Re: Thinking about being a hopeful new parent

Post by onewestguncopse » Mon Mar 02, 2009 10:30 pm

Let me clarify my comments. We are essentially a needs blind institution like Harvard or Yale. This means that when we assess a student the income of the parent is essentially ignored. You only find out if they are the son of a milkman or merchant banker AFTER you accept them. Having sat on an entrance day looking at the students who applied, the income was rarely if ever mentioned. What is key is the academic performance. This is bar far and away the key factor, regardless of the PR spin you here!

This is not true of NEW FOUNDATIONERS who are full fee paying because they earn too much but essentially, there is not an income bar for applicants. The reason we receive fewer full paying applicants is due to marketing, lack of interest in full boarding, the cost and frankly the competition. For these places we compete with Eton, Charterhouse, Harrow etc. It is also a snobbery amongst the wealthy - they do not want their children to mix with certain types of child.

That is what I meant by income being ignored.

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Re: Thinking about being a hopeful new parent

Post by onewestguncopse » Mon Mar 02, 2009 10:36 pm

CH will always look to support students who need us BUT parents do have to contribute to make it work. The cost of running the school exceeds our income from the charity. That stark reality needs to be addressed. Uncomfortable but necessary change to our income profile from parents is required or we will not offer the education a child a CH deserves. This is why a modest increase in full fee paying parents and those that contribute to the costs is inevitable, at least in the short to medium term.

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Re: Thinking about being a hopeful new parent

Post by ailurophile » Tue Mar 03, 2009 5:46 pm

Let me clarify my comments. We are essentially a needs blind institution like Harvard or Yale. This means that when we assess a student the income of the parent is essentially ignored. You only find out if they are the son of a milkman or merchant banker AFTER you accept them. Having sat on an entrance day looking at the students who applied, the income was rarely if ever mentioned. What is key is the academic performance. This is bar far and away the key factor, regardless of the PR spin you here!

This is not true of NEW FOUNDATIONERS who are full fee paying because they earn too much but essentially, there is not an income bar for applicants. The reason we receive fewer full paying applicants is due to marketing, lack of interest in full boarding, the cost and frankly the competition. For these places we compete with Eton, Charterhouse, Harrow etc. It is also a snobbery amongst the wealthy - they do not want their children to mix with certain types of child.

That is what I meant by income being ignored.
Christ's Hospital - needs blind?!! With all respect to Onewestguncopse, this is exactly the opposite of what I have always understood to be the ethos underpinnng the school and the charitable foundation. My problem is obviously that I've believed the PR spin...

I understand that there is no actual income bar for applicants, but can anyone explain how, if CH "only find out if [applicants] are the son of a milkman or merchant banker AFTER [they] accept them", the school manages to keep within its own limit for admission of New Foundationers (6%) and to aim for a target of pupils with high needs scores (20%)?

Like I say, I'm increasingly confused by what appear to be conflicting messages. I can appreciate the need for change in these difficult times, but is CH trying to move in too many different directions at once?

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Re: Thinking about being a hopeful new parent

Post by blondie95 » Fri Mar 06, 2009 6:12 pm

as someone who has lived at the school since i was 13 and attended it for two years and helped out on entrance exam days i too am rather confused!

My understanding was the school aimed to provide education for those who may not have the oppountuity for such a level of education at home, or had a need to benefit from the boarding environment of CH and were academically bright! This would then suggest that parents background and income were a factor and often came through the interviews of the children during the entrance exam period!!
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Re: Thinking about being a hopeful new parent

Post by onewestguncopse » Sun Mar 08, 2009 9:48 pm

I too was surprised that there is not an income bar - indeed for years I assumed that there was. It was only after a chance chat with admissions that I was informed that this had been dropped recently.

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Re: Thinking about being a hopeful new parent

Post by onewestguncopse » Sun Mar 08, 2009 9:52 pm

PS The terms 'Needs' blind borrows an idea from the States. This means that regardless of your means, we will do what we can to help you. An applicant to Harvard is asked to pay only what a parent can afford based on income and other circumstances. I appreciate that this may have confused the issue somewhat, as CH still places need at the centre of its focus. That being said, it is still true that academic performance is a prime consideration.

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Re: Thinking about being a hopeful new parent

Post by Dusty » Fri Mar 13, 2009 1:06 pm

We went to the Open Day last Saturday and were so impressed. The big change since seeing it all those years ago was in the houses. We were shown round Maine B (our guide would probably be embarrassed to know we thought he was such a nice boy) and I just couldn't believe the bedrooms, baths and common rooms. So two things - congratulations for doing it all so well and is Maine B typical of the houses? Also, I can see why even DMs get worn out.

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Re: Thinking about being a hopeful new parent

Post by lonelymom » Fri Mar 13, 2009 3:59 pm

Apparently all of the boys houses are just as good as Maine :)
lonelymom :rolleyes:

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Eruresto
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Re: Thinking about being a hopeful new parent

Post by Eruresto » Mon Mar 16, 2009 8:39 pm

Of course, Peele is quite blatantly the best :D
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Re: Thinking about being a hopeful new parent

Post by lonelymom » Mon Mar 16, 2009 8:46 pm

I meant accommodation Eruresto - and you're BIASED!!! :lol:
lonelymom :rolleyes:

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Re: Thinking about being a hopeful new parent

Post by Fjgrogan » Mon Mar 16, 2009 9:42 pm

Not quite on topic, but I have just realised the meaning of the bit of Latin under Eruristo's signature - more used to singing it in English ...... 'brothers best with righteous living shall our grateful thanks be paid' - I am amazed that I could still do that since I last did any Latin in 1961 for O level!!
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Re: Thinking about being a hopeful new parent

Post by Eruresto » Mon Mar 16, 2009 10:20 pm

Yes, I see your point. In fact, you're probably right, as the Junior Kitchen in Maine (certainly in LH) has an oven - which would be really useful if you're a cook.
Joshua Bell: PeA 2002-2008, GrW 2008-9

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