New Bursary Assessments

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Antinous1
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New Bursary Assessments

Post by Antinous1 » Fri Aug 03, 2012 3:57 pm

I'm a bit puzzled about something and wondered if anyone here had better information about the introduction of the new bursary assessment system than I do? A friend of mine with a child just going into year 8 at CH recently changed jobs - he was a bit worried about what this would do to his assessed contribution but when he looked at the examples they give on the school website he was reassured that it looked as if the change would be minimal and manageable. In fact now that he's been reassessed his contribution is much higher than he was expecting and way higher than the examples on the website led him to expect - the explanation he's been given for this is that the examples refer to assessment under the new system and are only relevant to parents of children entering from Sept. 2012.

The thing that's bothering him isn't so much the change in his payments as the fact that a) he wasn't able to anticipate properly what he would be paying if he took the job and b) that he feels this is introducing a real unfairness, since it looks very much like it creates a situation where a child from an identical financial background to his could join year 8 in Sept, and then move through the school side-by-side with his child, paying quite a bit less than he is. He was asking me whether this was what happened the last time the assessment system was altered or whether those changes were applied across the board and I said that I would ask here, as some parent was bound to know! He's also wondering what it is that's been changed that makes the difference? Mortgage/rent payments allowed in the calculations for existing parents are still restricted to 12.5% aren't they? and he's wondering if that figure has been upped to something more realistic for new parents … it would definitely make a difference in his case if that has changed as he has quite a high rent.

Anyway after his experience I thought it would be useful to alert people to the fact that for existing parents those examples given on the CH website could be pretty misleading.

Antinous

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Re: New Bursary Assessments

Post by ailurophile » Fri Aug 03, 2012 9:02 pm

Unfortunately, the bursaries table seems to have been carefully designed to be as unclear and unhelpful as possible! But in the example closest to my own situation, it certainly looks as though the example family have a considerably higher net income than us but would have an assessed contribution of about £2000 less! And in example 2 the figure shown for mortgage payments is much higher than the 12.5% of income I’ve always understood is ‘allowed’. Mind you, this particular cap is no longer specified anywhere, so maybe things have changed?

Of course I’ve been hoping for years for a more affordable contribution scale and more realistic recognition of how much an average family need to live on – it would be just my luck if CH have now introduced this, but not for us!!

But surely the Foundation can’t apply one method of means testing to existing parents and another to new entrants? Wouldn’t this be unethical? (I was going to say illegal, but CH seem to be a law unto themselves!).

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Re: New Bursary Assessments

Post by pinkhebe » Sat Aug 04, 2012 9:02 am

Has your friend taken into account that the fees have gone up this year?

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Re: New Bursary Assessments

Post by ailurophile » Sat Aug 04, 2012 2:14 pm

Has your friend taken into account that the fees have gone up this year?
Well it’s certainly true that there’s been a massive hike in the full fees Pinkhebe – up from £24000 last year to £27000 this, a figure which I'm sure has had a big impact on many of us!

But presumably that has to apply equally to all? I can’t quite see how the fee increase would explain why Antinous’s friend should pay a higher contribution than a new entrant with the same income, which seems to be what is implied here if I’ve understood it correctly.

Antinous1
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Re: New Bursary Assessments

Post by Antinous1 » Sun Aug 05, 2012 2:37 pm

Thanks ailurophile, it looks like it might be worth his while trying to find out if the mortgage/rent allowance has been changed, either just for new parents or for both existing and new ones.

Pinkhebe, I really don't think it's the increase in overall fees itself that he's asking about - everything's got more expensive recently and if that's what the fees need to be then that's what the fees need to be! What bothered him was that he'd used the information put out by the school to get a ball park figure for what would happen to his contribution if he changed jobs and then, when that figure proved to be misleading, he was told that the information only counted if you were a new parent. You have to admit too that it seems very strange that it appears as if he might end up paying thousands of pounds more for his child's education at CH than someone with the same financial set up who was just lucky enough that their child joined the school in year 8 rather than year 7. After all, if the school's adjusted the way they calculate contributions it's presumably because they feel that something wasn't right about it - in which case why are they still applying it to existing parents?

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Re: New Bursary Assessments

Post by ailurophile » Mon Aug 06, 2012 1:03 pm

It's very difficult to establish whether CH are operating two different methods of assessment when only one set of indicative figures is published for parents to go by. But if this is true then it seems not only grossly unethical and unfair, but also unworkable - how would they apply a two tier system to siblings, for a start?

I find this suggestion particularly infuriating because when changes were introduced in the past, for example when CH decided to start counting employee pension contributions as ‘income’ for the purposes of assessment, they applied this to everyone "in order to be fair to all families".

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Re: New Bursary Assessments

Post by SAS » Thu Aug 16, 2012 2:32 pm

The whole thing is a mish-mash and terribly secretive. We do not even know which bracket we fall into for the purposes of music lessons. We are told what our contribution is but not what our "level of assessed income" is. I seem to spend my time scanning and sending forms off so that we can be reassessed. Meanwhile there are parents out there who hide elements of income or are helped by family members and do not disclose this. I do not want to move my DD but it is getting more and more difficult to find the fees. And the incentive to earn more is pretty much removed, as CH will take any extra income anyway. I am in a bit of a mood, as you can see! Sorry folks....

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Re: New Bursary Assessments

Post by Vonny » Thu Aug 16, 2012 4:09 pm

SAS wrote:it is getting more and more difficult to find the fees. And the incentive to earn more is pretty much removed,
This is what's putting me off sending my daughter there next year.............
2's 1981-1985 2:12 BaB 1985-1988 BaB 41

SAS
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Re: New Bursary Assessments

Post by SAS » Thu Aug 16, 2012 9:06 pm

It is a fabulous school and DD adores it. As long as we can get the contrib down to a manageable level it will be OK, but it is the uncertainty each year that pees me off!

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Re: New Bursary Assessments

Post by J.R. » Fri Aug 17, 2012 6:05 pm

SAS wrote:The whole thing is a mish-mash and terribly secretive. We do not even know which bracket we fall into for the purposes of music lessons. We are told what our contribution is but not what our "level of assessed income" is. I seem to spend my time scanning and sending forms off so that we can be reassessed. Meanwhile there are parents out there who hide elements of income or are helped by family members and do not disclose this. I do not want to move my DD but it is getting more and more difficult to find the fees. And the incentive to earn more is pretty much removed, as CH will take any extra income anyway. I am in a bit of a mood, as you can see! Sorry folks....

Maybe a little more transparency from the school wouldn't go amiss ?

Anyone from Horsham Admin care to comment ??

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Re: New Bursary Assessments

Post by Ineedacoffee » Sat Aug 18, 2012 8:29 am

sAS I have PMed you.

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Re: New Bursary Assessments

Post by pinkhebe » Sat Aug 18, 2012 9:00 am

SAS wrote:The whole thing is a mish-mash and terribly secretive. We do not even know which bracket we fall into for the purposes of music lessons. We are told what our contribution is but not what our "level of assessed income" is. I seem to spend my time scanning and sending forms off so that we can be reassessed. Meanwhile there are parents out there who hide elements of income or are helped by family members and do not disclose this. I do not want to move my DD but it is getting more and more difficult to find the fees. And the incentive to earn more is pretty much removed, as CH will take any extra income anyway. I am in a bit of a mood, as you can see! Sorry folks....
I swing from being blaise about the fees (we are remortgaging to pay them as there is no way we can afford them out of our limilted disposable income), to being in a blind panic about how we shall be able to afford to send ds to university, and then back to thinking he'll have to take a gap year to earn some money, blind panic about the lack of jobs ..... I think I think too much :D :roll:

However unless he pulls his socks up and tries harder in his lessons, the choice might be taken out of my hands... :evil:

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Re: New Bursary Assessments

Post by ailurophile » Sat Aug 18, 2012 7:38 pm

Pinkhebe wrote:
I swing from being blaise about the fees (we are remortgaging to pay them as there is no way we can afford them out of our limilted disposable income), to being in a blind panic about how we shall be able to afford to send ds to university, and then back to thinking he'll have to take a gap year to earn some money, blind panic about the lack of jobs ..... I think I think too much.
I think about this rather a lot too! But then we're just entering our eighth year of paying CH fees, and now we've got to think about how to support one child at CH and one planning to go to University!!

We know at the outset that it would be difficult to manage the assessed contribution, but our experience has been that it has been increasingly difficult year on year; in fact, we're now expected to make ends meet on an actual disposable income of about £3000 less per annum than was considered 'reasonable' in 2005. If anyone in the Foundation would care to explain how this can be done, I'd be very grateful for their advice.

This is why I am so furious at the suggestion that the example bursaries shown on the school website, which as far as I can work out appear to be significantly more generous that what we currently receive, will apply only to new entrants. I simply can't believe that this can be right.

Perhaps we should have withdrawn our son from school this year and reapplied for sixth form entry!!

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Re: New Bursary Assessments

Post by SAS » Sat Aug 18, 2012 10:32 pm

However unless he pulls his socks up and tries harder in his lessons, the choice might be taken out of my hands...
Nooooooo!!????

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Re: New Bursary Assessments

Post by pinkhebe » Sun Aug 19, 2012 11:56 am

SAS wrote:
However unless he pulls his socks up and tries harder in his lessons, the choice might be taken out of my hands...
Nooooooo!!????

No not really, but his focus has slipped during the last term, although attainment remains high

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