CH 1552 Project

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CH 1552 Project

Post by coliemore » Sat Nov 03, 2018 9:42 pm

Open Letter to John Daniel

Dear John

Thank you for your ongoing engagement. Your highly committed input is appreciated.

This project concerns the debate within the Christ's Hospital community about the appropriate level of Full-Fee-Paying (FFP) Blues in the context of the "Sui Generis" ethos and the charitable mission of Christ's Hospital in the 21stC. This is acknowledged as an important debate by the new Council and the new Headmaster - as evidenced for example by the current Business Plan's aims to steadily reduce the FFP from the recent high zenith of 26% - in concert with a revitalized fund-raising and new collaborative initiatives. This is coupled to a much enhanced engagement of CH management with Old Blues under the leadership of Hugo Middlemas; plus a restructured CHOBA.

One way or another there have virtually always been some FFP Blues even from the 16thC including via special arrangements for children of staff members. Accordingly I have not come across any Old Blue believing that the FFP% should be 0%. Nor have I come across any Old Blue who believes that the FFP% should be 100%, nor even 50%. Universally, however, there seems to be a general view that an FFP of 26% is certainly too high.

This debate, which was initiated in 2015 by the BCOB-led "Petition 1552" in the old era of John Franklin & Guy Perricone and the difficulties arising from the 2008 financial crisis, is now being re-visited in the new era of Simon Reid & Christopher Steane via especially the new involvement of Lizzie Ballagher and Desi Omojokun.

This debate is very positive, engaged and forward-looking - in empathy and beneficial engagement with the top CH management including Hugo Middlemas. This debate distills to asking questions in authentic, reasonable, poetic, philosophical and pragmatic terms about the ideal level of FFP between say 1% and 25% - and other related questions.

All views are very welcome and Lizzie and Desi are already making excellent new contributions to asking these various questions in an accessible and warmly sympathetic manner - with a more gender-balanced, younger and culturally diverse approach.

Fundamentally what does the "Sui Generis" phrase mean in this new multicultural, global, artificial intelligence world of this 21stC?

(1) Should there be a cap (of say 10%) on FFP Blues? Many Old Blues think Yes there should be some sort of cap - otherwise CH becomes simply "Charterhouse in Fancy Dress" - or "Eton in Yellow Stockings" - at significant variance with the ancient deed of pity of the Boy King in 1552.

(2) Has CH progressed in regard to gender-balance, diversity, refugees and multi-culturalism in the 21stC? The answer is a very welcome Yes - but what further developments are appropriate?

(3) Has CH become too academically elitist in admissions - catering mainly for high-achieving, highly gifted children rather than primarily the needy and disadvantaged - and also being too hard on the slower developing Blues and demanding an untowardly high performance to be allowed to stay on into the all-important Grecian years? The answer is Possibly.

The goal of this project is to ask questions and arrive at a new position over the next twelve months.

Lizzie has already made significant progress in regard to 1552 Poetry. She aims to create an illustrated poetry oeuvre by St Matthew's Day 2019.

Desi will be especially reaching out to younger, new Old Blues of all hues. She is also re-addressing the whole story of Old Blues in North America since the 17thC and especially the BCOB Story. Goodness there may even be North American Old Blues who are members of the USA Republican Party and vote for Donald Trump.

Above all within BCOB and within this project all views are welcome absolutely - including to be sure from new FFP Old Blues and Blues themselves.

If you are conveniently in Kent/London I believe that Lizzie would be happy to meet you.

Certainly Desi would be happy to meet you in Vancouver.

We look forward to your ongoing engagement - all of us with immense affection and abiding appreciations of Christ's Hospital enduringly.

Yours fraternally

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