09/10 Financial Contributions

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epammi
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09/10 Financial Contributions

Post by epammi » Mon Aug 03, 2009 2:58 pm

Can anyone tell me what has happened to the "Contributions Scale" that we used to have? I thought it was to be published in April 09, but now we have just an arbitrary figure for our assessment, which we cannot check -or equate to anything. How do we know it is correct, when we are just given a figure plucked out of thin air? I really think we should have a spreadsheet type of form that itemizes how our contribution was calculated, so that it is transparent what has gone on. Does anyone know how we can voice this concern to effect a change? I add - the figure they have come up with is about what I was expecting, but it could be a bit light... if they have done this across the board, then they are wasting valuable funds due to CH, but if they have overcharged, I would also want to know. I just want to pay what is correct and these new assessments make it impossible to know what is correct.

dinahcat
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Re: 09/10 Financial Contributions

Post by dinahcat » Wed Aug 05, 2009 3:51 pm

I've never been told how fees are calculated but then, it never crossed my mind to ask.. There is a rough guide on the website but I think everyone just sends off their details and then gets told what to pay. You would have to contact the finance office if you really want to know. I would imagine they would tell you.

ailurophile
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Re: 09/10 Financial Contributions

Post by ailurophile » Mon Aug 10, 2009 12:52 pm

In addition to the vanished contribution scale, has anyone else noticed that we’re no longer being told what our assessed income actually is? In previous years we would submit our financial forms and in due course would receive a letter stating that ‘Your assessed income is x, and your contribution has been set at y’. You could then check these figures to see whether x was roughly in line with your own calculations and y corresponded to the published scale of contributions. This year we have simply been given a figure for our contribution which, as epammi says, might as well be plucked out of thin air. I agree with Dinahcat that the actual reasoning behind how this figure was arrived at has always been somewhat obscure, but the published contribution scale at least gave you some indication of what you might anticipate this to be; it was presumably useful in this way not only to current but also to prospective parents.

The sample calculations currently available on the school website are interesting, but without any published scale to set them in context they are of little help to anyone trying to fathom what their own assessed contribution might be. I can only imagine that the trend towards obfuscation will result in a huge increase in enquiries to the Counting House from baffled parents; surely more transparency would be helpful to all concerned.

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englishangel
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Re: 09/10 Financial Contributions

Post by englishangel » Mon Aug 10, 2009 3:20 pm

Interestingly, whenever I come to this section there are always "guests", interested/worried parents, or Counting House Staff? I think we should be told.
"If a man speaks, and there isn't a woman to hear him, is he still wrong?"

Fjgrogan
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Re: 09/10 Financial Contributions

Post by Fjgrogan » Mon Aug 10, 2009 3:40 pm

Apart from anything else, it would save the Counting House staff having to 'waste' a lot of time trying to explain their reasoning to baffled parents!
Frances Grogan (Haley) 6's 1956 - 62

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ailurophile
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Re: 09/10 Financial Contributions

Post by ailurophile » Tue Aug 11, 2009 12:56 pm

Apart from anything else, it would save the Counting House staff having to 'waste' a lot of time trying to explain their reasoning to baffled parents!
Exactly! I know of friends who have already contacted the Counting House for clarification of how the contribution for second / subsequent children has been calculated this year. There is a new system in place which deducts the first child’s contribution from your assessed income in order to give a figure for calculating the second child’s fee; complex enough in itself, although it sounds more rational than the old 50% rule. But if (a) you have not actually been told what your assessed income is, and (b) there is no published scale of contributions, it is simply impossible to understand this calculation. Curiously for some families the new system appears to have reduced the fee for their second child compared to last year, but for others it has involved an increase.

Englishangel, I very much doubt whether the Counting House staff have enough time on their hands to browse this forum, they must be inundated with enquiries!

epammi
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Re: 09/10 Financial Contributions

Post by epammi » Tue Aug 11, 2009 1:13 pm

Added at all that - if a third child at CH has a net assessed income of lower than the cut off (say £10,000) for free music fees, will you be charged full music fees, when they should actually be charged the lower rate. It seems it may not have been thought through. Should we all write to the Counting House, or is there a friendly and knowledgeable Governor who might be better to approach with our concerns? Thoughts..

ActionMan
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Re: 09/10 Financial Contributions

Post by ActionMan » Tue Aug 18, 2009 4:06 pm

See my post today under "Are we alone..?" re the mysteries of the Counting House and the need for transparency. I don't know that it is enough to wonder whether anyone at CH might be reading this, or if they are, whether anything will actually be done. Posters to this site are comparatively few and I think there is a need to bring it to the attention of more parents to see if there is wider concern. And if there is, thought needs to be given to the possibility of an approach which will require some answers to be supplied.

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Re: 09/10 Financial Contributions

Post by huggermugger » Fri Sep 04, 2009 9:02 pm

I too have noticed the absence of the "assessed income" figure - I think it was missing last year, for the first time. I agree with the worry over the apparent lack of transparency over how the figures are arrived at. Mine's a pretty straightforward case, I think, and I was able to work out pretty much how the assessed income figure had been arrived at. I did have some difficulty with that one year, but a call to the Finance Office helped me to understand - they were actually very candid about that bit though I didn't ask any questions about how the fees scale worked and I have never really worked that out, except that if you plot income v fees payable it seems to be an increasingly steep graph... I have to agree with observations elsewhere that if you have one child at CH and your mortgage payments/housing costs are low you are probably in a fairly advantageous position.

I do feel everyone would benefit from having reassurance that everything has been worked out properly and since the withdrawal of the assessed income figure that's been even more difficult to ascertain. Surely everyone deserves that courtesy?

huggermugger
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Re: 09/10 Financial Contributions

Post by huggermugger » Fri Sep 04, 2009 9:20 pm

Another thought - I agree with Action Man's comments. It is slightly bizarre to simply hope that "the powers that be" or members of relevant departments will read what is written here and take it on board. Letters should and must be written and maybe the whole thing does have to be widened. I know that individuals have written letters about their own cases but I think that letters from those who are less directly involved are needed as well. Surely this is about equity.

I will write a letter tomorrow saying that I am unhappy about problems encountered by others and on a more general point asking that they consider being more open about how the fees are calculated. Not sure who to send it to tho!

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