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 Post subject: School closures
PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 7:14 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 10:47 am
Posts: 3310
Location: Warwickshire.
Anyone have any idea what warning signs we need to look out for? Or would it be a total surprise to parents do we think?

I assume that some schools are more susceptible than others but it's a worry for all of us really.

I'm really panicking at the moment actually as I've just completed the bursary form for next academic year and they state clearly that the bursary can be adjusted or withdrawn if there is more demand and greater need from others. I'm assuming that there will be more demand at the moment as the recession takes hold.

I've always been honest on this forum that we are pretty hard up (!) and blessed with fantastic financial assistance from Ed's school. Our situation has not changed much since last year so I'm crossing everything until September that we can keep Ed there.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 7:37 pm 
Regarding school closures you do not have to worry about a school like Rugby. On the whole, although there are exceptions, it seems to be very small boarding prep schools that suffer or other cheaper independents which are close to top schools.

As for removing the bursary I believe they have to have a "get out clause" and this is why it is stated in the paperwork. Realistically, unless DS academic performance diminishes dramatically or his behaviour and effort are poor then it is highly unlikely that they would take away any bursary. When offering a bursary they generally offer it to the strongest candidates with the assumption that they will always have to maintain this bursary for the full 5-7 years. It would be foolish of them to remove the bursary because more applicants needed help because you would then take DS out and the money and other resources they had spent on your son would be for nothing.

I do now how you feel though. I hate DC being on scholarships/bursaries because if their performance drops I always get stressed that this means they could take lose their awards. I'd much rather be told DC got a C in his latest report and shrug it off rather than panic whilst reading his not so good report card. And it is so easy to pick up on every negative comment because they are receiving a lot of funding. :(


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 8:01 pm 
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I agree with TIPSY - there are some well endowed schools that will weather the storm and I suspect Rugby is one of them - though full fees will go up a steady rate.
There are others that have little stashed away and have hence borrowed ++ recently to expand and develop further in the belief that there will be an increasing demand for places from full fee payers, whereas in fact the numbers may fall while the requests for help with fees may increase - with schools having little capacity to help


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 8:08 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
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COGNITA has bought up quite a few in recent years.

I think the warning signs are often subtle - lots of NQTs (they are cheap) when older teachers leave, charging for things that were free, teachers being asked to do extra ( the staff are often aware first), lots of open mornings afternoons, .....


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 9:19 pm 
You don't need to worry at all with a school like Rugby. Some parents are so unreasonable that they would try to make a complaint if their income went up a lot (or if the school discovered undeclared income :oops: ) and the bursary was then reduced accordingly, so their terms and conditions have to cover all contingencies. Provided Ed doesn't start disrupting classes or doing no work at all, I don't think there would be any question of them giving his bursary funding to anyone else, and even if he did there would be multiple warnings before they took any action. A school with a reputation to keep up and very large financial resources at its disposal would never jeopardise the education of a child they had taken on. In my opinion you don't need to worry at all. The schools that are in danger are mainly small schools, where the loss of a few fee paying pupils makes a huge difference to them. Honestly, don't worry. The only school I personally know which has folded was one I wouldn't have sent a pet rat to, never mind a child, and they certainly never gave any bursaries to anyone anyway.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 9:32 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 10:47 am
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Location: Warwickshire.
Thanks for all the replies guys. I suppose I feel a bit more confident now than I did. I'm still worried about the bursary assessment though as we've REALLY struggled this year.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 9:53 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2006 5:12 pm
Posts: 1301
Location: Birmingham
Hi Ed's Mum

I've has information from a number of sources that some Independent Schools are only now offering bursaries on a rolling 1 year basis rather than for 5 or 7 years as before.

Regards

Ken


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 10:04 am 
KenR,

Is that the same as having to fill in the means-tested form every year which virtually all pupils receiving bursary support have to do? Or does this mean if an even brighter child turns up they could stop another childs funding? If it is the latter then I think that is outrageous. Any school that does this clearly does not have children at the core of their ethos.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 2:22 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2006 5:12 pm
Posts: 1301
Location: Birmingham
Tipsy

This doesn't affect those on existing bursaries that were awarded them for 5/7 years.

What seems to be happening is that many schools are being inundated with requests from existing full fee parents who have hit on hard times. In the past schools would review and allocate bursaries in many cases usually untill the end of year 11 or 13, but now many schools are only awarding bursaries for guaranteed 1 year period which will be reviewed again at that times.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 8:26 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 10:47 am
Posts: 3310
Location: Warwickshire.
We are expected to fill out the same financial form each year to keep them abreast of any changes - good or bad - in our financial situation.

Ed has a Head Master's Bursary, an academic award, which amounts to 10% of the total fee, for all his years at Rugby: with the proviso that his behaviour and effort remain good.

The rest of our bursary is not for academic reasons and is based upon financial need. Should we suddenly find that we have more money, the bursary would be removed. This is a totally fair system and I am more than happy that the money goes to those with a genuine need. However, I genuinely need it!!


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