Parental Contribution

Area for current parents, past parents and future parents of Blues or Old Blues.

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YadaYada
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Re: Parental Contribution

Post by YadaYada » Sat Jul 23, 2011 7:03 am

In my son's house the dorms for the lower years sleep 4. When he was in second form they only had 7 in their year so a spare bed. The same was true with the current second form. His year is now down to 6 but a new boy is joining in September to take it back up to 7.

I always assumed that the school would be full and have never understood why there was space in his house.

ailurophile
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Re: Parental Contribution

Post by ailurophile » Sat Jul 23, 2011 3:05 pm

Doing the maths, the published intake of 112 would mean 7 new pupils in each of the 16 boarding Houses. (My sons both had 8 in their second form cohorts a few years back, but their House is popular with staff so this number included 'non-foundationers' who spend most of their nights at home). If the number of second formers per House is reduced to 6, as seems to be the trend, then the year group would be down to 96 - exactly the number which hlou suggests were accepted last year.

We keep being told that the school will have to admit an increased number of full fee paying pupils, but there has been no official clarification of whether fewer foundation places will actually be available as a consequence of this. As well as day places I believe that CH will now be offering the option of weekly or flexible boarding to direct entry pupils, so perhaps they have reduced the number of foundation boarding places on offer in order to allow for this?

dinahcat
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Re: Parental Contribution

Post by dinahcat » Sat Jul 23, 2011 10:58 pm

With regard to the smaller year group in last year's second form there was probelm with the weather at the time of the residential. it snowed and the residential was postponed. This had a knock on effect when it came to national offers day. Parents obiously have in the main a number of schools in mind and CH is only one for many people. CH results for that year were sent out much later than all other independents and state school offers including grammars. A parent who had a grammar offered on national offers day may well have thought a bird in the hand etc or may have received a good bursary from another independent which seemed too good to turn down as it was local or a day school or some other deciding factor. It all depends on who turns up for the party in any particular year with regard to the residential.I don't think the school is obliged to take pupils on the waiting list even if the school is not full. I have never heard of a school that puts so much time and effort into selecting it's intake. I can see how it is a very delicate balancing act as the pupils are from such diverse backgrounds and there is such a wide range of abilities.It would appear that the Foundation has been driven into widening its net and adding to the diversity by accepting day pupils, more full fee payers and weekly boarders. Of course it will have to keep places available for these pupils if it can not balance the books but also to maintain the social diversity.
It must be remembered that many are called and not as many chosen. It is very hard if you have hope because you are on the waiting list and it seems that places are available and it is even harder to hold a mirror up to your child and try to understand why they were not chosen when you know there are places. I think it is as simple as the economic situation makes it necessary and the balance of the population of the school is a very real consideration.

ailurophile
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Re: Parental Contribution

Post by ailurophile » Sun Jul 24, 2011 6:05 pm

Dinahcat wrote:

Parents obiously have in the main a number of schools in mind and CH is only one for many people. CH results for that year were sent out much later than all other independents and state school offers including grammars. A parent who had a grammar offered on national offers day may well have thought a bird in the hand etc or may have received a good bursary from another independent which seemed too good to turn down as it was local or a day school or some other deciding factor.

And also:

I have never heard of a school that puts so much time and effort into selecting it's intake.

Perhaps it’s just me, but these two observations seem to sit slightly at odds with each other.

Although long experience of CH has made me aware that this is frequently the case, I have always personally been uncomfortable with the notion of the school being just one of a ‘shopping list’ of options for families with ample choice. Much has always been made (or used to be) of the idea that CH provides an affordable education for children in ‘need’ of various kinds. As Dinahcat points out, the school puts considerable time and effort into selecting pupils competing for Foundation places. If significant numbers of those selected by this process either turn out not to need the opportunity on offer because they have better choices open to them elsewhere, or they cannot afford the means-tested fees required to take up their place, then with respect something would appear to be going wrong somewhere.

As for the waiting list… well yes, I suppose CH is not ‘obliged’ to take children from the waiting list to fill any vacancies. But this is rather what the notion of a waiting list traditionally implies, and it is not unreasonable for this to be the natural expectation of families told that they have been placed on such a list. Every year there are posts on this Forum from families desperately anxious to hear whether their child is going to be one of the lucky 'reserves'. If CH have no intention of offering a Foundation place to a child even should one become available, wouldn’t it be kinder to say so honestly from the outset rather than to raise unrealistic hopes?

dinahcat
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Re: Parental Contribution

Post by dinahcat » Sun Jul 24, 2011 11:08 pm

I can entirely agree with what you say about the waiting lists -it seems odd at the very least to keep a waiting list and not use it.I do think though that the mix of children is carefully considered and that children on the waiting list may not be suitable for all sorts of reasons even when places become available.
Unfortunately CH has no control over how may schools each family apply to. It would be fool hardy for any parent to put all thier eggs in one basket and be left with no alternative if they are turned down by CH.If a needy child has sevaral offers then they will take the most expedient one for their circumstances.It is perfectly possible that a bright child in dire financial need may apply for and recieve a %100 bursary from St Paul's and also be accepted by CH but the parents may be asked to pay something towards CH.They may think, taking travel and uniform into account ,they would be better off at St Paul's and may also qualify for uniform and travel grants. Bursaries in most independents are means tested and take into account quite a genereous salary and all outgoings . CH only takes a certain number of things into account and as this is not as transparent as at other independents there in lies the problem for some parents. It is unreasonable too think that parents who apply to CH should only apply there as they might be left without any school at all.

ailurophile
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Re: Parental Contribution

Post by ailurophile » Mon Jul 25, 2011 12:15 pm

Dinahcat, don't forget that there is a state system out there too! Every child in this country is guaranteed an education and no-one is in danger of being 'left wthout any school at all'. It might just not be the school you'd want if you enjoy the luxury of choice.

Maybe I am being unreasonable in expecting that applicants to CH would not also shop around for better options; or perhaps I’m just naïve. Certainly as a parent with no previous experience of the independent schools system, I was ‘sold’ CH as an affordable alternative (I believed the only alternative) to sending my bright boys to the local comp, where I was worried that they would not fulfil their academic potential. Obviously I’ve missed a trick here! Although I did look into the possibility of academic scholarships elsewhere, there are no independent day schools within reasonable travelling distance of our home - and even with a scholarship the fees would have been way out of our reach. I genuinely had no idea that schools other than CH might also be able to offer us a means-tested bursary, and one based moreover on a more realistic recognition of our necessary incomings and outgoings. If only we’d known…

Maybe what any child really 'needs' to get them the benefits of a good education is parents who know how to play the system!!

pinkhebe
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Re: Parental Contribution

Post by pinkhebe » Mon Jul 25, 2011 4:20 pm

I didn't know either, but I never wanted my ds to be 'the poor kid', I'm hoping that CH will have a huge variety when it comes to social background, and am taking out a loan!

Antinous1
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Re: Parental Contribution

Post by Antinous1 » Mon Jul 25, 2011 11:04 pm

pinkhebe wrote:I didn't know either, but I never wanted my ds to be 'the poor kid', I'm hoping that CH will have a huge variety when it comes to social background, and am taking out a loan!
Well, provided that the following information taken from the school's website is still more or less correct, I think he's unlikely to be 'the poor kid':
....the vast majority paying less than 10% of the cost of their education, and nearly 15% paying nothing....
He's clearly not going to be in the bottom 15% (roughly 6 boys out of his house of 40, I suppose), as you have enough of an income to warrant the school charging you some portion of his fees; assuming that you are paying less than 10% of the annual fees (around £2,400 ?) then he will be part of the "vast majority"; if you are paying more than £2,400 then I guess that makes him part of the wealthier minority at the school.

Antinous

Volupturaptor
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Re: Parental Contribution

Post by Volupturaptor » Tue Aug 02, 2011 3:30 pm

ailurophile wrote:
Maybe I am being unreasonable in expecting that applicants to CH would not also shop around for better options; or perhaps I’m just naïve. Certainly as a parent with no previous experience of the independent schools system, I was ‘sold’ CH as an affordable alternative (I believed the only alternative) to sending my bright boys to the local comp, where I was worried that they would not fulfil their academic potential. Obviously I’ve missed a trick here! Although I did look into the possibility of academic scholarships elsewhere, there are no independent day schools within reasonable travelling distance of our home - and even with a scholarship the fees would have been way out of our reach. I genuinely had no idea that schools other than CH might also be able to offer us a means-tested bursary, and one based moreover on a more realistic recognition of our necessary incomings and outgoings. If only we’d known…

Maybe what any child really 'needs' to get them the benefits of a good education is parents who know how to play the system!!
Swap "Boys" for "Girl" and I could have written that!

I'm still sure CH will be great for my daughter, but it would have been good to feel we had more of a choice.

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