Bursary information

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Bursary information

Post by ailurophile » Mon Jun 02, 2014 1:02 pm

A colleague of mine is thinking of applying to CH for her DD for next year, and has been asking me lots of questions about the school. Of course, the thing she really wants (and needs!) to know above all else is whether it's likely to be affordable; I've explained that I can't help her there as it's very much down to individual circumstances, and I directed her to look at the bursary table on the school website... but neither of us have been able to find it!

I remember this came up on the 2014 admissions thread earlier in the year, and at that stage eowyn posted:
Hmmmm, weird, it is still there, but you have to go via the sitemap, then it's under prospective parents, bursaries, bursary table.
We've tried that, but the only link from 'bursaries' is to the scholarship page - there doesn't seem to be any mention at all of a bursary table. Is this information still available, and can anyone tell me how to find it?

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Re: Bursary information

Post by Fjgrogan » Mon Jun 02, 2014 3:46 pm

Perhaps the headmaster, who believes he is running a business rather than a school, is trying to make it as difficult as possible to find any useful information, in the hope that those who are actually in need of assistance will decide not to bother!
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Re: Bursary information

Post by Fairy » Mon Jun 02, 2014 7:20 pm

If you go to the school website home page and type bursary table into the search box the link comes up :)

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Re: Bursary information

Post by ailurophile » Tue Jun 03, 2014 12:39 pm

If you go to the school website home page and type bursary table into the search box the link comes up
Thanks for your help Fairy; that does the trick! Although I can’t help wondering how on earth the average prospective parent is meant to locate this information (perhaps Frances is right, and they’re not!!). Also I notice that this appears to be the bursary table first published for prospective 2012 entrants, when the financial assessment changed - if the link from the bursaries page has now been deliberately removed, I wonder whether these figures are still current?... Still, I guess that even outdated guidance is better than nothing, so thanks again!

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Re: Bursary information

Post by J.R. » Tue Jun 03, 2014 3:11 pm

I wish you well, but having said that, I think Fjgrogan had it just about right three posts above !
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Re: Bursary information

Post by eowyn3099 » Wed Jun 18, 2014 11:20 am

Just checked the bursary table, this was the new version bursary, my DS is on the system before this. Having said that, as the have removed the table from any obvious location on the website I would be inclined to use it as a very very rough guide!

Their own financial statement last year confirmed they are now actively seeking more children from middle income families able to afford a higher percentage of the fees. No idea why removing the table would affect that though. I've given up trying to double guess how they work!

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Re: Bursary information

Post by J.R. » Wed Jun 18, 2014 11:28 am

Interesting, but NOT surprising !
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Re: Bursary information

Post by ailurophile » Mon Jun 23, 2014 5:24 pm

Eowyn3099 wrote:
Just checked the bursary table, this was the new version bursary, my DS is on the system before this. Having said that, as the have removed the table from any obvious location on the website I would be inclined to use it as a very very rough guide!

Their own financial statement last year confirmed they are now actively seeking more children from middle income families able to afford a higher percentage of the fees. No idea why removing the table would affect that though. I've given up trying to double guess how they work!
In the current economic climate, what in heaven’s name makes CH think that middle income families can afford a higher percentage of the fees? In my experience they are woefully out of touch with reality when it comes to these matters! Last year the HM himself told me that even some lower income families are now having to resort to payday loans in order to keep their children at CH – this information was offered in a “what on earth do the ‘squeezed middle’ think they’ve got to complain about?” context, and was said without any apparent sense of irony or flicker of concern.

Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t see how creating the potential for such distress benefits either the school or the families it serves. Rather than hide the financial information away, surely it would be better to publish full and detailed guidance to the bursary assessment process and let potential parents work out for themselves up front whether they are likely to be able to afford a CH education.

(Of course we did exactly that back in 2005, only to find subsequently that the goalposts kept being moved; but that’s another story…)

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Re: Bursary information

Post by eowyn3099 » Fri Jul 04, 2014 10:18 pm

[quote="]

In the current economic climate, what in heaven’s name makes CH think that middle income families can afford a higher percentage of the fees? In my experience they are woefully out of touch with reality when it comes to these matters! Last year the HM himself told me that even some lower income families are now having to resort to payday loans in order to keep their children at CH – this information was offered in a “what on earth do the ‘squeezed middle’ think they’ve got to complain about?” context, and was said without any apparent sense of irony or flicker of concern.

Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t see how creating the potential for such distress benefits either the school or the families it serves. Rather than hide the financial information away, surely it would be better to publish full and detailed guidance to the bursary assessment process and let potential parents work out for themselves up front whether they are likely to be able to afford a CH education.

(Of course we did exactly that back in 2005, only to find subsequently that the goalposts kept being moved; but that’s another story…)[/quote]

Indeed! Our fees are up again this year, despite DH not having a pay rise in 4 years! Seems that most others parents are in a similar boat. :?

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Re: Bursary information

Post by Jo » Mon Sep 01, 2014 6:40 am

Fjgrogan wrote:Perhaps the headmaster, who believes he is running a business rather than a school, is trying to make it as difficult as possible to find any useful information, in the hope that those who are actually in need of assistance will decide not to bother!
Sorry to come late to this thread - I don't visit the forums so often these days - but I am not sure what makes you say that about the Head Master, Frances?
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Re: Bursary information

Post by Fjgrogan » Mon Sep 01, 2014 8:17 am

Jo, I was told this by a struggling parent who had asked for an explanation of why their fees kept increasing although their income did not. The HM's reply was along the lines of 'we are running a business; you would not ask your bank how they arrive at their charges'! Frankly at this point I just lost interest in CH - it is just no longer what it was originally founded to be! Incidentally last week I received our usual glossy free local magazine which this month is majoring on education, so lots of ads for independent schools, mostly two or four to the page. CH had contributed a full page ad, half of which was a picture of six happy pupils running joyfully towards the camera - five girls and one boy (although we had to look hard to be sure that it was a boy; the clincher was that his socks were falling down!!). The text said 'If you are considering a school consider Christ's Hospital. An independent co-educational boarding and day school right in the heart of Sussex. To find out more contact our Admissions Team for an invitation to our forthcoming Open Morning or to arrange a personal tour.' CH is still described as 'A school like no other' but with no indication of what made it different from the rest and there was certainly no suggestion that the school is mainly boarding with a limited number of day pupils. To the uninitiated the picture alone simply gave the impression that it was a girls' school with a strange uniform - hardly enough to rouse sufficient interest to follow up with a telephone enquiry! After fuming about it for a while I eventually noticed in small print in the bottom left-hand corner the Registered Charity Number, although I believe that there are many independent schools which are registered charities, although not in the way that CH always used to be - that is precisely what has always made CH 'a school like no other', but it seems no longer to be so! Nor was there any mention of the 'religious, royal and ancient' tradition of CH - mentioning religion - guaranteed to put off the punters?! I wonder how much of the Foundation's allegedly dwindling funds were wasted on that little exercise? At risk of upsetting the PC brigade, I also notice that throughout the whole magazine all the ads feature predominantly white children, with just the occasional possibly oriental. I know nothing about marketing as a science, but it used to be the norm to indicate an ethnic mix - useful when the targeted market is poorer kids in London, but obviously not so desirable if the target is 'leafy' suburban Surrey or indeed Hong Kong businessmen! Yes, I know, I am sounding increasingly xenophobic, which in real life I am not. (It also struck me some time later that this local magazine's circulation area includes what used to be West's Gift territory - 'Twickenham or parishes contiguous thereto' - I wonder whether the West's Gift still exists or is it another closely guarded secret?)
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Re: Bursary information

Post by Jo » Mon Sep 01, 2014 9:12 am

Thanks for the detailed reply Frances. I don't know too much about marketing either, I admit, but I am fairly sure that the investment will have been deemed worthwhile. I honestly don't know whether that will have been the case but I would sincerely hope that a review would have been done afterwards. Like you, I am very surprised that the ethnic mix of the school was not made clear from the photos because every time I visit it is abundantly clear to me that it is a very ethnically diverse school. I seem to remember it being said that that particular brochure was targeted at a specific group although I may be wrong - will try and remember to enquire next time I'm there.

The school is particularly targeting full fee payers from Hong Kong and Germany, mainly because these countries hold the English public school system in high esteem and are interested in the opportunity. I know there have been concerns about full fee payers and the detrimental effect on free and subsidised places, but the school had been running substantially under capacity for some years, so the full fee payers have just taken up that slack and the school is now more or less at full capacity. There are actually more people paying no fees and very low fees than ever before. And the HM says that it has been good for school morale to have pupils whose parents could have afforded to send them to more expensive schools, but who have positively chosen CH.

Whatever changes the HM makes will (a) not be taken lightly, and (b) certainly not be taken by him alone. The CEO/Clerk and governers will have to approve any substantial changes. The new Clerk (well, he arrived a couple of years ago I think) is fairly business-like but I believe he truly does value the school's ethos. I know he was concerned about the performance of the endowment and is taking steps to protect it because once it's depleted it's virtually impossible to build up again.

It's a very different school from the one we were at (in our case, geography being the main factor!) but I do believe it's a happy and high performing school. Certainly the pastoral care and the opportunities available to pupils are miles better than in our day.
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Re: Bursary information

Post by ailurophile » Mon Sep 01, 2014 1:43 pm

Jo said:
There are actually more people paying no fees and very low fees than ever before.
Really?

I was having a clear-out recently and came across the CH prospectus from when we first started to consider the school - about 2002/3 I suppose. At that stage ISTR that the published statistic was 40% of families paying no fees (I'll check this when I get home, if I didn't consign the document to the recycling bin!). I'm pretty sure that that's a much higher percentage than currently...

And surely when the school was founded, and for a large part of its long history as a charitable foundation, no pupils paid fees!

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Re: Bursary information

Post by ailurophile » Mon Sep 01, 2014 2:02 pm

Oh, and something else;
the school had been running substantially under capacity for some years, so the full fee payers have just taken up that slack and the school is now more or less at full capacity.
Just a thought, but the fact that CH had been running under capacity was presumably a deliberate policy decision on the part of the management team. I don't imagine it was caused by a shortfall in numbers of families seeking substantial bursary support - if anything, the evidence on this Forum would indicate that competitive entry has become more oversubscribed over recent years.

I recognise of course that the CH endowment is increasingly inadequate to maintain the previous levels of support, but it does seem a little disingenuous to suggest that the full fee payers have been brought in just to 'take up the slack'.

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Re: Bursary information

Post by ailurophile » Wed Sep 03, 2014 12:49 pm

I was having a clear-out recently and came across the CH prospectus from when we first started to consider the school - about 2002/3 I suppose. At that stage ISTR that the published statistic was 40% of families paying no fees (I'll check this when I get home, if I didn't consign the document to the recycling bin!). I'm pretty sure that that's a much higher percentage than currently...
Aha! I had kept the prospectus… and I had remembered correctly - in 2003 or thereabouts it was stated that:

Currently, over 85 percent of costs are funded by the Foundation, and parents contribute according to their income; in about 40 percent of current pupils no contribution is received from parents – the less you earn, the more we can assist.

For comparison, the most recent available statistic indicates 13% of families currently pay no contribution, with a similar number now paying full fees (which was probably only around 1% back in 2003).

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