Residential assessment?

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LJG
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Re: Residential assessment?

Post by LJG » Wed Feb 18, 2015 8:34 pm

As a full time working single parent, my daughter received a means tested bursary which left us with a disposable income just below income support. No holidays apart from with family, charity shop clothes etc. Today my DD is an articulate, hard-working member of society doing her MA, and she is so proud to have been to CH. We have no regrets. You get what you pay for one way or another in society.

marcandbec
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Re: Residential assessment?

Post by marcandbec » Thu Feb 19, 2015 8:15 am

If only I knew last year what I know now about CH it would have saved us time, money and an emotional rollercoaster! Although we don't have an Aldi locally or grandparents who help out financially, we do have other outstanding schools. As we live locally to CH, it was considered as an option purely because it offered something different. It is marketed strongly in the local area, but very few children locally go there. However, from the other posts that I have read I see that we are lucky in that we have other options.
We don't feel strongly enough about CH to re-mortgage the house or get ourselves into debt, so it looks at though CH won't be for us.
I do wish everyone else on here who didn't get a place all the luck in the world for their children and all those who did get in or who currently go there the same. Many thanks.

ailurophile
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Re: Residential assessment?

Post by ailurophile » Thu Feb 19, 2015 1:10 pm

Marcandbec wrote:
I have read with interest the comments on this post, I am new to this site and was directed to it by someone who had done some investigations into CH on my behalf. My daughter has just been offered a place, which are delighted about BUT unfortunately we are one of the families who wouldn't be offered a full bursary as we both work full time (just managing to scrape by). The bursary we have been offered makes it completely unachievable, we can demonstrate this by providing details of our out-goings (and I don't mean ski trips, I mean household bills, food etc). We are yet to hear about a scholarship (this information is released AFTER you have paid £500 to secure a place?!) So, after telling our daughter (quoting from the website) 'bursaries make places at CH affordable' obviously we have to now explain to her that this is not the case. She's perfect for the school academically and socially, but we simply can't afford it. I have contacted them to explain in detail the situation but am yet to hear back. Does anyone have any advice?
This is a perfect example, if one were needed, of why CH needs to be more open and honest about its assessment process and contribution scale. I fail to see how it is helpful to anyone, either the school or prospective pupils and parents, to create a situation where families can successfully get right to the end of a complex and competitive application procedure only to find that they have to turn down the offered place because they can’t afford the assessed contribution.

While the CH endowment still supports a more generous bursary scheme than any other independent school can offer, it is disingenuous to claim that this makes the school accessible to all; repeated evidence on this Forum alone demonstrates that simply isn’t true. In reality a CH education is most accessible to the very poor who receive a full bursary, and the very wealthy who can pay the full whack; for anyone in the ‘squeezed middle’ sending a child to CH is now likely to be a real struggle, and the flawed assessment that takes every penny of income into account without making any realistic allowance for outgoings means that families with two parents in PAYE employment are going to be squeezed hardest. I speak from bitter experience, having tried (and failed) repeatedly over years to get CH to recognize and respond to these issues, and having eventually been forced to withdraw my DS from the school.

I sympathise with your situation Marcandbec, but my advice would be not to expect the school to engage in any dialogue; the most likely response will be that if you can’t afford the assessed fees you must go elsewhere. But it’s sad, and wrong, that families like yours are still being encouraged to apply and get this far before finding out that a CH education is not after all within their reach.

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J.R.
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Re: Residential assessment?

Post by J.R. » Thu Feb 19, 2015 4:05 pm

A question for HowardH .......

Just out of interest, generally how many places are available, and how many actual applications are received ?
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

DavidRawlins
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Re: Residential assessment?

Post by DavidRawlins » Fri Feb 20, 2015 7:25 am

If the endowment became considerably larger it would be possible to give more help to the squeezed middle. Fees were only introduced about 1880, and they seem to apply to more and more pupils since then, and also get higher as a proportion of income. At present CH has got enough assets to be generous.
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HowardH
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Re: Residential assessment?

Post by HowardH » Fri Feb 20, 2015 12:03 pm

For yr 7 entry for Sept 2015 there were approx. 430 candidate for 85 places.
For Yr 9 entry for Sept 2015 there were approx. 120 candidates for 35 places.

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J.R.
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Re: Residential assessment?

Post by J.R. » Fri Feb 20, 2015 12:24 pm

Very many thanks for your prompt reply Howard.

I can now see why there are so many disappointed applicants.
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

Katharine
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Re: Residential assessment?

Post by Katharine » Sat Feb 21, 2015 2:40 pm

I'm sure I'm not the only Old Blue to be saddened by posts such as that by Marcandbec. I know times change but I am saddened.

When I went on to university, in the days of grants, my father was astounded at how much more generous Hertfordshire was than CH had been, or rather how little they asked him to contribute towards my grant. Perhaps my fees at CH had been a struggle for them, if so they never made me aware of it. We never had much money, but that was life then!
Katharine Dobson (Hills) 6.14, 1959 - 1965
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ailurophile
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Re: Residential assessment?

Post by ailurophile » Mon Feb 23, 2015 5:23 pm

For yr 7 entry for Sept 2015 there were approx. 430 candidate for 85 places.
For Yr 9 entry for Sept 2015 there were approx. 120 candidates for 35 places.
I’m interested to see that such a high proportion of the available places are now allocated to Year 9 entry. As I recollect, this option was introduced just a few years ago, together with day places and scholarships, to help CH compete with other independent schools and attract more full fee payers. As a query for HowardH I’d be curious to know whether the demographic of Year 9 entrants reflects this – is there a majority of full fee paying/ overseas pupils entering at this stage?

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Re: Residential assessment?

Post by pinkhebe » Mon Feb 23, 2015 5:50 pm

ailurophile wrote: is there a majority of full fee paying/ overseas pupils entering at this stage?
I'd also be interested in this. I'm still considering the school for ds2 but he's at a poor secondary at the moment, and i'm not really sure whether it'll be worth putting him through it all again. He certainly couldn't compete with children educated privately

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Fairy
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Re: Residential assessment?

Post by Fairy » Mon Feb 23, 2015 10:24 pm

I have decided to "retire" from here as I am tired of the negativity and cynicism towards an amazing school offering fantastic opportunities, albeit to a selected few. I do feel for those who apply and don't get in, I know I am lucky my dd did. I have made huge sacrifices for her to go to CH, none of which I regret. She is getting an education I could only dream of and a social grounding which will see her through life. For those on the waiting list, don't give up, we applied late, post waiting list, and got a place. This is an opportunity of a lifetime, if you get the chance for your ds or dd, take it.

HowardH
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Re: Residential assessment?

Post by HowardH » Tue Feb 24, 2015 6:30 am

A very simple answer to the question about the majority at Yr 9 entry being either full-fee payers or from overseas is that this is not the case.
I would also like to thank the last writer "Fairy" for her open and honest viewpoint. This is an amazing school.

seajayuu
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Re: Residential assessment?

Post by seajayuu » Tue Feb 24, 2015 8:43 am

I am with you HowardH! I have become increasingly frustrated with responses on several strands of this forum, both by OBs and others. CH remains a school which is brilliant at addressing real need, however it is defined. In it's current format the school offers a breadth of education to both the disadvantaged and the advantaged. This is not free to everyone - but it is heavily subsidised to the overwhelming majority.

We may regret the removal of the old upper income limit which applied for so long, but hard times call for change. CH's mission is to continue in its charitable purpose for the next 450 years.........

Rant over!

Moominmama
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Re: Residential assessment?

Post by Moominmama » Tue Feb 24, 2015 11:01 am

Moominmama wrote:
Whilst I'm wary of making excuses, we too needed full bursary.. Does seem to be a pattern emerging, doesn't there?
As Howard said, there was no pattern. As was probably horribly apparent, that was just us grasping at straws, trying to make sense of things in the absence of any explanantion.

We now have that explanantion and know why our daughter didn't make it. And luckily, its fixable.

She wants to try again in 2 years time, and we think that's the right decision.

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J.R.
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Re: Residential assessment?

Post by J.R. » Tue Feb 24, 2015 11:23 am

Not wishing to be pedantic, but I do object to my views being called negative.

I am sure if you asked OB's who left school before the mid 1960's, they would all quote the original ethos of CH.

I appreciate that time marches on, and I do fully admit to being a 'die-hard' believer in the 'old-days'

However, if the Board and school wish is to promote the school to produce the 'Hooray-Henry' types of Eton and Harrow, then so be it. I won't be going along with it.
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

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