Contributions

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

Moderator: Moderators

lippizaner
GE (Great Erasmus)
Posts: 157
Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2011 11:36 am
Real Name: Fil Reid

Re: Contributions

Post by lippizaner » Sun Jul 08, 2012 8:52 am

That IS kind of worrying Ailurophile! Of course, people in all walks of life make mistakes and none of us are infallible but where money is concerned we all hope the people dealing with it turn out to be the exception to the rule.

SAS
GE (Great Erasmus)
Posts: 197
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 3:51 pm
Real Name: Sally Slade
Location: Lincolnshire

Re: Contributions

Post by SAS » Sun Jul 08, 2012 10:01 pm

Still no news and still everything crossed. Have to agree with last two posts - we are being completely honest and open and cannot understand where they can find ANY disposable income at all. Being over the overdraft limit every month would seem to be an indicator of that, surely? My biggest concern at the mo is that I know of people who either "hide" or simply do not disclose income, as well as those who say there are no relatives able to contribute, yet have frequent foreign holidays paid for by self-same relatives. Meanwhile some of us truly struggle and cannot even afford to camp in the Isle of Wight. I have always been cursed by honesty! I know the majority are the same as us and would not dream of trying to fool the system, but.....there are those who do.

Pangurdubh
2nd Former
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2008 8:16 pm
Real Name: Sandra

Re: Contributions

Post by Pangurdubh » Mon Nov 12, 2012 12:40 pm

Hello all, first visit to the site in ages so am late to the table.

I'd like to raise the issue of the lack of transparency in the process of contributions assessments - from previous comments it seems that this is an old chestnut so apologies if I'm going over old ground. My contribution this year rocketed, despite no significant increase in income and I have to confess to feeling intimidated about challenging this.

I do find it extraordinary that parents who are mostly on low incomes are sent letters which simply state the annual contribution without any breakdown to show how that figure has been arrived at. It would be unthinkable for a public body to demand payment without a detailed explanation of the information and calculation method used.

Would be interested in others thoughts on this, and any suggestions of how to approach the Contributions Assessment Manager to raise the issue of greater transparency. Or would it be better to raise it elsewhere?

Best wishes

pinkhebe
Deputy Grecian
Posts: 455
Joined: Fri Jun 11, 2010 11:57 am
Real Name: Helen
Location: Brighton

Re: Contributions

Post by pinkhebe » Mon Nov 12, 2012 7:22 pm

SAS wrote: as well as those who say there are no relatives able to contribute, yet have frequent foreign holidays paid for by self-same relatives. Meanwhile some of us truly struggle and cannot even afford to camp in the Isle of Wight. I have always been cursed by honesty! I know the majority are the same as us and would not dream of trying to fool the system, but.....there are those who do.
Surely we aren't expected to tap relations to pay for the fees? And we're going on holiday with the in laws (paid by them) next year. Is this not allowed?

ailurophile
Deputy Grecian
Posts: 454
Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2009 12:42 pm
Real Name: Jo

Re: Contributions

Post by ailurophile » Wed Nov 14, 2012 1:18 pm

Pangurdubh wrote:
Hello all, first visit to the site in ages so am late to the table.

I'd like to raise the issue of the lack of transparency in the process of contributions assessments - from previous comments it seems that this is an old chestnut so apologies if I'm going over old ground. My contribution this year rocketed, despite no significant increase in income and I have to confess to feeling intimidated about challenging this.

I do find it extraordinary that parents who are mostly on low incomes are sent letters which simply state the annual contribution without any breakdown to show how that figure has been arrived at. It would be unthinkable for a public body to demand payment without a detailed explanation of the information and calculation method used.

Would be interested in others thoughts on this, and any suggestions of how to approach the Contributions Assessment Manager to raise the issue of greater transparency. Or would it be better to raise it elsewhere?
Welcome to the table Pangurdubh! You're quite right, this is an issue which has been raised on this Forum before, but that's no reason not to revisit it.

I am concerned to see you use the word 'intimidated'. Why should any parent feel anxious about asking for a detailed breakdown of their own financial assessment? - as you observe, this information is no more than we would expect to be given in any other equivalent financial context.

I am currently in my eighth year with children at CH and over that period the financial information provided to parents has become more inadequate year on year. It has also become increasingly difficult to access any meaningful indication of what we might reasonably expect to pay; the school no longer publish a contribution scale, and the bursary table currently available on the website as a 'guide' apparently applies to new entrants from this year only - no equivalent figures are published for pre-2012 families. I know, because I've asked!

The level of deliberate obfuscation is getting worse; for this year's assessment, we were told that some previously means-tested elements of household expenditure would be replaced by a 'standard allowance'; but we weren't told how much this allowance would be. No wonder it is impossible for parents to understand the assessment process! We need clearer information, and where this is not supplied we should have the confidence to ask for it without needing to feel intimidated.

Maybe, just maybe, if more parents are prepared to ask questions we might eventually begin to see some response...

Pangurdubh
2nd Former
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2008 8:16 pm
Real Name: Sandra

Re: Contributions

Post by Pangurdubh » Wed Nov 14, 2012 8:51 pm

Thank you Aurophile for your supportive response - completely agree with you. I am surprised that so far, your's has been the only post. Perhaps we're all so beaten down from exhaustion at having to work so hard to keep our little darlings at CH that we have no energy left to protest!

The intimidation I feel comes from a previous rather bruising and costly (in more ways than just financial) encounter with the Contributions Assessment office. (Not something I want to air on a public board but have pm'd you.) But I feel emboldened by your post and I shall now scuttle off to compose my request for more information and to have my assessment looked at again. It has reached the point where my son's future at CH is threatened by the soaring fees and the seeming unwillingness on the part of CH to appreciate just how much hardship is caused by the contributions expected from households already on low incomes and having to bear the brunt not only of the increase in contributions but also the general all-round rise in the cost of living.

I really hope that others will join in asking CH to be clearer about its contributions assessment process. Although I do understand that individual circumstances must be taken into account, there must be a base line from which all assessments begin and this should be made clearly available in the public domain. Beyond that, it is indefensible that individual assessments do not clearly show how the final contribution requested has been arrived at. I have racked my brains and cannot think of a single public or private organisation where this lack of transparency would be considered acceptable.

Ooooh, am feeling quite fired up and revolutionary now - anyone want to join me? :)

CHDad
Deputy Grecian
Posts: 327
Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2010 5:46 am

Re: Contributions

Post by CHDad » Wed Nov 14, 2012 9:30 pm

I have no particular grouse with what I am being charged by CH, I wish it was less but I think it is probably fair in my case. However I do think we should all receive the calculation sheet for our assessment so it can be shown to be a clear, transparent and fair process.

pinkhebe
Deputy Grecian
Posts: 455
Joined: Fri Jun 11, 2010 11:57 am
Real Name: Helen
Location: Brighton

Re: Contributions

Post by pinkhebe » Wed Nov 14, 2012 9:32 pm

Yes I agree, we should have a clearer assessment letter. We are really struggling at the moment with the fees :cry:

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests