Governors agree to merge Sedbergh and Casterton schools

SEDBERGH and Casterton Schools are to merge from September, governors have announced.

Casterton has experienced a decline in pupil numbers in recent years, while Sedbergh School has been growing.

By bringing the two schools together governors said they had enabled Sedbergh to expand further at preparatory and senior levels while providing continuity of education for Casterton pupils.

The move means senior pupils at Casterton School will transfer to Sedbergh School.

Sedbergh Junior School will relocate to the Casterton site and be renamed Casterton, the Preparatory School for Sedbergh.

A statement issued by both schools read: "Pupils will benefit from a combination of the most talented teachers and impressive resources; particularly for music, sport, design and technology, as well as the rich heritage that both schools offer.

Andrew Fleck, Sedbergh School headmaster, said: "This is a truly exciting development.

"The creation of a superb new preparatory school at Casterton is a bold step, which will enable us to provide an exceptional start in life to our youngest pupils.

"The senior school will provide continuity of education to pupils who transfer from Casterton to Sedbergh.

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"We are constantly seeking innovative means to improve the education we offer, be it through links with Cambridge University, internships in industry or the development of technology in the school.

"The greater size of the school will lead to a wider range of subjects, sports, cultural and social opportunities which will undoubtedly benefit our pupils and prepare them for the fast-changing world they will enter.”

Maxine Lucas, Headmistress of Casterton School, added: "There have been links between Casterton and Sedbergh Schools for many years.

"The new combined school will offer continuity to all Casterton pupils, particularly to those who are currently at key points in their education, in addition to enhanced facilities and greater opportunities for all.”

Hugh Blair, chairman of governors of Sedbergh School, said: “I am delighted that the governing bodies of Sedbergh and Casterton School have agreed unanimously to combine.

"This merger will create the pre-eminent prep and boarding schools in the north of England.

"Senior staff have worked hard to plan a seamless integration and I am confident that we will be able to bring the schools together in such a way that pupils only benefit.”

Colin Tomlinson, chairman of governors of Casterton School, said: “The amalgamation of these two fine, nationally and internationally renowned schools, both with a wealth of heritage, respected culture, high reputations for excellent standards and exemplary academic results, provides the opportunity to establish one of the best co-educational schools in the north of England.

"This will be achieved by combining the vast range of resources available from both schools. The prospects and enormous potential are immensely exciting.”

Sedbergh School was founded in 1525 and Casterton in 1823.

Comments (224)

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10:33am Wed 27 Feb 13

sibbetson says...

It isn't a merger, it's a takeover. Sedbergh Heads, Sedbergh hours, Sedbergh uniform. It isn't exciting, it's shocking. Nobody was consulted, nobody was invited to have an opinion. It's disgraceful behaviour on behalf of the Governors. You will be losing my daughter.
It isn't a merger, it's a takeover. Sedbergh Heads, Sedbergh hours, Sedbergh uniform. It isn't exciting, it's shocking. Nobody was consulted, nobody was invited to have an opinion. It's disgraceful behaviour on behalf of the Governors. You will be losing my daughter. sibbetson
  • Score: 0

2:09pm Wed 27 Feb 13

Sir arthur says...

I would concur with sibbetson , this is very disapointing ,Casterton offered a much different and preferred option in my opinion to the Sedbergh approach .We have lost a fine asset in the community whatever the spin that is spewed out ,no doubt expect hikes in the fees to follow
I would concur with sibbetson , this is very disapointing ,Casterton offered a much different and preferred option in my opinion to the Sedbergh approach .We have lost a fine asset in the community whatever the spin that is spewed out ,no doubt expect hikes in the fees to follow Sir arthur
  • Score: 0

7:01pm Wed 27 Feb 13

blade stall says...

Cmon guys calm down its called progress, evolve or die. Sedbergh is a wonderful school and if casterton's survival warrants a merger then go for it. As for consulting the parental base why would they possibly do that?? Its their job to make these decisions your job to elect if they warrant your hard earned cash. Simply put if you dont like it vote with your wallet and walk.. but consult?????
Cmon guys calm down its called progress, evolve or die. Sedbergh is a wonderful school and if casterton's survival warrants a merger then go for it. As for consulting the parental base why would they possibly do that?? Its their job to make these decisions your job to elect if they warrant your hard earned cash. Simply put if you dont like it vote with your wallet and walk.. but consult????? blade stall
  • Score: -1

7:39pm Wed 27 Feb 13

sibbetson says...

There may well be other solutions. Every parent at Casterton is there because they have achieved a measure of success: there is a wealth of financial experience there to draw on, a resource the Governors have ignored. As for voting with your feet, how easy you make it sound. It means taking your child away from everything familiar, in some cases halfway through exams. And take them to where exactly? One of the other dozens of girls' schools in Cumbria maybe? I wanted my daughter at a girls' school. Evidence suggests that girls do better in single sex education - this may or may not be so but my daughter has been both happy and successful and I believe in it wholeheartedly. We didn't want her to board, we certainly don't want to lose her to school every Saturday (and Friday night since they don't run a bus on Saturday): why did nobody discuss it with us before persuading us to invest thousands in her education, hundreds in her now redundant uniform, and her own emotional investment in the friends she thought she would be with for the rest of her childhood. It is a disgrace.
There may well be other solutions. Every parent at Casterton is there because they have achieved a measure of success: there is a wealth of financial experience there to draw on, a resource the Governors have ignored. As for voting with your feet, how easy you make it sound. It means taking your child away from everything familiar, in some cases halfway through exams. And take them to where exactly? One of the other dozens of girls' schools in Cumbria maybe? I wanted my daughter at a girls' school. Evidence suggests that girls do better in single sex education - this may or may not be so but my daughter has been both happy and successful and I believe in it wholeheartedly. We didn't want her to board, we certainly don't want to lose her to school every Saturday (and Friday night since they don't run a bus on Saturday): why did nobody discuss it with us before persuading us to invest thousands in her education, hundreds in her now redundant uniform, and her own emotional investment in the friends she thought she would be with for the rest of her childhood. It is a disgrace. sibbetson
  • Score: 1

8:04pm Wed 27 Feb 13

aimzygal says...

Ok fair enough your all upset your girls are going to have to go through some change e.g. Travelling a bit further and having to work with boys but nothing major they've still got a "posh" school to go to. If you were going to send them to another school it would either be "un posh" or a totally different "posh" school. Surely it's betterer everyone has a job which means less unemployment and there's still a "posh" localish school for them to go to. Yep before you say anything I didn't go to a "posh" school.
Ok fair enough your all upset your girls are going to have to go through some change e.g. Travelling a bit further and having to work with boys but nothing major they've still got a "posh" school to go to. If you were going to send them to another school it would either be "un posh" or a totally different "posh" school. Surely it's betterer everyone has a job which means less unemployment and there's still a "posh" localish school for them to go to. Yep before you say anything I didn't go to a "posh" school. aimzygal
  • Score: -1

8:32pm Wed 27 Feb 13

sibbetson says...

Everyone won't still have a job. The point in doing it is to get rid of staff. I don't think posh or not is the point. The point is I want my child at a school with girls. There is a lot of evidence that single sex education is better for girls: and Cumbria doesn't offer any. There is just Casterton. We pay for it by taxi-driving on Saturday nights and by doing without lots of things we would really like. 'Posh' is nothing to do with it.
Everyone won't still have a job. The point in doing it is to get rid of staff. I don't think posh or not is the point. The point is I want my child at a school with girls. There is a lot of evidence that single sex education is better for girls: and Cumbria doesn't offer any. There is just Casterton. We pay for it by taxi-driving on Saturday nights and by doing without lots of things we would really like. 'Posh' is nothing to do with it. sibbetson
  • Score: 1

9:12pm Wed 27 Feb 13

aimzygal says...

I think single sex education isn't just the main thing to a child's learning the quality of teaching is far more important surely if the teaching is poor no matter what gender they are it will be pointless also surely the class size has something to do with it?
I think single sex education isn't just the main thing to a child's learning the quality of teaching is far more important surely if the teaching is poor no matter what gender they are it will be pointless also surely the class size has something to do with it? aimzygal
  • Score: 0

10:59pm Wed 27 Feb 13

blade stall says...

I can feel the disappointment in your tone sibbetson and i actually empathise with you.. i went to sedbergh many years ago and loved the whole experience and can assure you all out there it certainly isnt posh.... its hard working and anyone posh soon gets it knocked out of them.

I t was boys only back then and that for me (in hindsight) was the only negative. A co ed system is far healthier... And you are dead right the parent base is a collossal resource to use but in this occasion it was a strategic decision to merge and i imagine consulting would just make the decision harder. And remember this merger has been mooted for a generation now im sure thats long enough to canvass opinion.
I hope your daughter settles in her new surroundings but before you jump ship dont knock it until you have tried it!!!
I can feel the disappointment in your tone sibbetson and i actually empathise with you.. i went to sedbergh many years ago and loved the whole experience and can assure you all out there it certainly isnt posh.... its hard working and anyone posh soon gets it knocked out of them. I t was boys only back then and that for me (in hindsight) was the only negative. A co ed system is far healthier... And you are dead right the parent base is a collossal resource to use but in this occasion it was a strategic decision to merge and i imagine consulting would just make the decision harder. And remember this merger has been mooted for a generation now im sure thats long enough to canvass opinion. I hope your daughter settles in her new surroundings but before you jump ship dont knock it until you have tried it!!! blade stall
  • Score: 0

4:58am Thu 28 Feb 13

sibbetson says...

When we were looking for a school for my daughter - and I imagine most parents of day pupils did the same - we looked at both Sedbergh and Casterton, and decided that Sedbergh was not the right atmosphere: and chose Casterton.

The two schools are not at all similar, in attitude, in atmosphere, in ethos. In merging the two local parents are having their range of choices quite seriously limited.

For children who board the choices are wider: if your child is happy boarding then really there are many schools nationally which can be considered. If you are on a smaller budget, as we are, or if your child prefers to be a day child, then there is nothing at all similar to Casterton anywhere in the area. It is Cumbria which has lost out.

Nobody disputes that co-ed is better for boys: but for girls the evidence is far less clear. There have been studies published in the last month which strongly point towards single-sex making quite a big difference for girls, taking account of factors such as class size etc. If this is so then Cumbria's girls have now had that opportunity quite firmly closed to them.

Consulting would certainly have made the decision harder: taking other people's opinions into account does that. It is a complex issue and deserves close and detailed examination. It is no small thing to remove a one-of-a-kind facility from an area: and since Casterton enjoys charitable status I believe it has a responsibility to the area it serves: at the very least to investigate as fully as it can whether or not it really has no other options. It has not done this.The Governors have been blinded by their belief that co-ed is better - they have not considered, for example, offering separate lessons for girls in the sciences, where differences are most apparent - or indeed making any gestures at all towards the wishes of the hundreds of parents who deliberately chose single sex education for their daughters, and for whom it is no longer available.

It is a bitter pill for those of us who are affected: for parents who believed in girls' schools, for the girls whose lives are being changed, and for the staff who have given them such a happy and safe environment to grow up in: but also for the whole of Cumbria, whose residents cannot now make this choice without sending their daughters a great distance away, to lose them from their homes for most of the term.
When we were looking for a school for my daughter - and I imagine most parents of day pupils did the same - we looked at both Sedbergh and Casterton, and decided that Sedbergh was not the right atmosphere: and chose Casterton. The two schools are not at all similar, in attitude, in atmosphere, in ethos. In merging the two local parents are having their range of choices quite seriously limited. For children who board the choices are wider: if your child is happy boarding then really there are many schools nationally which can be considered. If you are on a smaller budget, as we are, or if your child prefers to be a day child, then there is nothing at all similar to Casterton anywhere in the area. It is Cumbria which has lost out. Nobody disputes that co-ed is better for boys: but for girls the evidence is far less clear. There have been studies published in the last month which strongly point towards single-sex making quite a big difference for girls, taking account of factors such as class size etc. If this is so then Cumbria's girls have now had that opportunity quite firmly closed to them. Consulting would certainly have made the decision harder: taking other people's opinions into account does that. It is a complex issue and deserves close and detailed examination. It is no small thing to remove a one-of-a-kind facility from an area: and since Casterton enjoys charitable status I believe it has a responsibility to the area it serves: at the very least to investigate as fully as it can whether or not it really has no other options. It has not done this.The Governors have been blinded by their belief that co-ed is better - they have not considered, for example, offering separate lessons for girls in the sciences, where differences are most apparent - or indeed making any gestures at all towards the wishes of the hundreds of parents who deliberately chose single sex education for their daughters, and for whom it is no longer available. It is a bitter pill for those of us who are affected: for parents who believed in girls' schools, for the girls whose lives are being changed, and for the staff who have given them such a happy and safe environment to grow up in: but also for the whole of Cumbria, whose residents cannot now make this choice without sending their daughters a great distance away, to lose them from their homes for most of the term. sibbetson
  • Score: 0

8:20am Thu 28 Feb 13

zaney5 says...

aimzygal wrote:
Ok fair enough your all upset your girls are going to have to go through some change e.g. Travelling a bit further and having to work with boys but nothing major they've still got a "posh" school to go to. If you were going to send them to another school it would either be "un posh" or a totally different "posh" school. Surely it's betterer everyone has a job which means less unemployment and there's still a "posh" localish school for them to go to. Yep before you say anything I didn't go to a "posh" school.
I have to say I really object to your use of the word "posh" here.
It's incredibly narrow minded.
[quote][p][bold]aimzygal[/bold] wrote: Ok fair enough your all upset your girls are going to have to go through some change e.g. Travelling a bit further and having to work with boys but nothing major they've still got a "posh" school to go to. If you were going to send them to another school it would either be "un posh" or a totally different "posh" school. Surely it's betterer everyone has a job which means less unemployment and there's still a "posh" localish school for them to go to. Yep before you say anything I didn't go to a "posh" school.[/p][/quote]I have to say I really object to your use of the word "posh" here. It's incredibly narrow minded. zaney5
  • Score: 0

9:22am Thu 28 Feb 13

alisontuley says...

I have 3 children, all of whom have had or are in single sex education. My reason for this was based on my own personal experience of the distraction during my adolescence of co-education and "the boy factor". My girls have been able to enjoy their education both inside and outside of the classroom without the pressures associated with boys during their teenage years. I firmly believe that the all girl experience that they have had up to age 16 has provided them with the confidence to enter a co-ed sixth form if they choose and view boys as peers rather than social objects. I am certain that their academic success is a direct result of the single sex school throughout which regular interaction was encouraged with boys in an outdoor environment. Lasting friendships have been formed as a result of this, without impacting on the aims of the normal school day.
I can't speak highly enough of my girls school, Queen Mary's in Topcliffe, North Yorkshire. A friendly, family atmosphere where girls can still be girls.
I have 3 children, all of whom have had or are in single sex education. My reason for this was based on my own personal experience of the distraction during my adolescence of co-education and "the boy factor". My girls have been able to enjoy their education both inside and outside of the classroom without the pressures associated with boys during their teenage years. I firmly believe that the all girl experience that they have had up to age 16 has provided them with the confidence to enter a co-ed sixth form if they choose and view boys as peers rather than social objects. I am certain that their academic success is a direct result of the single sex school throughout which regular interaction was encouraged with boys in an outdoor environment. Lasting friendships have been formed as a result of this, without impacting on the aims of the normal school day. I can't speak highly enough of my girls school, Queen Mary's in Topcliffe, North Yorkshire. A friendly, family atmosphere where girls can still be girls. alisontuley
  • Score: 0

11:35am Thu 28 Feb 13

aimzygal says...

@ Zany 5 apologies if my narrow mindness has upset you I'll change the word from "posh" to private
@ Zany 5 apologies if my narrow mindness has upset you I'll change the word from "posh" to private aimzygal
  • Score: 0

11:36am Thu 28 Feb 13

aimzygal says...

Zaney 5 even
Zaney 5 even aimzygal
  • Score: 0

2:36pm Thu 28 Feb 13

PhillDewhurst says...

As a father of girls currently at Casterton I agree with sibbetson very much. The governors of Casterton have let the girls down, let the staff down and let parents (present, past and future) down. The girls were scared and are scarred by this action and I will be supporting any movement to try and "save" Casterton School and its heritage rather than see it taken-over by Sedbergh. Why would I want someone like the chair of governors to make this decision without consulting with me - the paying customer and father of the girls. Appalingly handled by the governors who should be removed immediately.
As a father of girls currently at Casterton I agree with sibbetson very much. The governors of Casterton have let the girls down, let the staff down and let parents (present, past and future) down. The girls were scared and are scarred by this action and I will be supporting any movement to try and "save" Casterton School and its heritage rather than see it taken-over by Sedbergh. Why would I want someone like the chair of governors to make this decision without consulting with me - the paying customer and father of the girls. Appalingly handled by the governors who should be removed immediately. PhillDewhurst
  • Score: 0

2:45pm Thu 28 Feb 13

sibbetson says...

There is a legal challenge gathering momentum. e-mail me and I will pass on details.
We need as many parents' contact details as we can pull together and obviously can't get them from school. sarah_ibbetson@yahoo
.com
There is a legal challenge gathering momentum. e-mail me and I will pass on details. We need as many parents' contact details as we can pull together and obviously can't get them from school. sarah_ibbetson@yahoo .com sibbetson
  • Score: 0

4:19pm Thu 28 Feb 13

JBean2 says...

sibbetson wrote:
There may well be other solutions. Every parent at Casterton is there because they have achieved a measure of success: there is a wealth of financial experience there to draw on, a resource the Governors have ignored. As for voting with your feet, how easy you make it sound. It means taking your child away from everything familiar, in some cases halfway through exams. And take them to where exactly? One of the other dozens of girls' schools in Cumbria maybe? I wanted my daughter at a girls' school. Evidence suggests that girls do better in single sex education - this may or may not be so but my daughter has been both happy and successful and I believe in it wholeheartedly. We didn't want her to board, we certainly don't want to lose her to school every Saturday (and Friday night since they don't run a bus on Saturday): why did nobody discuss it with us before persuading us to invest thousands in her education, hundreds in her now redundant uniform, and her own emotional investment in the friends she thought she would be with for the rest of her childhood. It is a disgrace.
Firstly I do feel sorry for the girls at Casterton whose lives will be disrupted by this change. However, I would suggest that there are many excellent state schools in Cumbria, where achievement is for all, not just those with parents who consider themselves to be successful.
I understand some people think their daughters should be educated away from the influence of the other half of the population known as boys. Thus leaving it up to the rest of us to let our daughters be educated with boys in the interest of a healthy balanced upbringing. But it clearly is not a very popular choice these days, since declining numbers at Casterton have presumably prompted this change.
I would have thought the change could be looked on as a good life experience and opportunity for personal growth.
[quote][p][bold]sibbetson[/bold] wrote: There may well be other solutions. Every parent at Casterton is there because they have achieved a measure of success: there is a wealth of financial experience there to draw on, a resource the Governors have ignored. As for voting with your feet, how easy you make it sound. It means taking your child away from everything familiar, in some cases halfway through exams. And take them to where exactly? One of the other dozens of girls' schools in Cumbria maybe? I wanted my daughter at a girls' school. Evidence suggests that girls do better in single sex education - this may or may not be so but my daughter has been both happy and successful and I believe in it wholeheartedly. We didn't want her to board, we certainly don't want to lose her to school every Saturday (and Friday night since they don't run a bus on Saturday): why did nobody discuss it with us before persuading us to invest thousands in her education, hundreds in her now redundant uniform, and her own emotional investment in the friends she thought she would be with for the rest of her childhood. It is a disgrace.[/p][/quote]Firstly I do feel sorry for the girls at Casterton whose lives will be disrupted by this change. However, I would suggest that there are many excellent state schools in Cumbria, where achievement is for all, not just those with parents who consider themselves to be successful. I understand some people think their daughters should be educated away from the influence of the other half of the population known as boys. Thus leaving it up to the rest of us to let our daughters be educated with boys in the interest of a healthy balanced upbringing. But it clearly is not a very popular choice these days, since declining numbers at Casterton have presumably prompted this change. I would have thought the change could be looked on as a good life experience and opportunity for personal growth. JBean2
  • Score: 0

6:53pm Thu 28 Feb 13

zaney5 says...

"However, I would suggest that there are many excellent state schools in Cumbria, where achievement is for all, not just those with parents who consider themselves to be successful."

Folk really need to let go of this idea that private education is only for the "posh" or the "successful".
I know plenty of families that send their kids to private schools. They are normal folk, they don't consider themselves to be anything special.
"However, I would suggest that there are many excellent state schools in Cumbria, where achievement is for all, not just those with parents who consider themselves to be successful." Folk really need to let go of this idea that private education is only for the "posh" or the "successful". I know plenty of families that send their kids to private schools. They are normal folk, they don't consider themselves to be anything special. zaney5
  • Score: 0

7:26pm Thu 28 Feb 13

JBean2 says...

zaney5, I was quoting a parent of a girl at Casterton who claimed,

"Every parent at Casterton is there because they have achieved a measure of success: "

I think this speaks for itself. Sibbetson clearly considers him/herself to be successful.

I was trying to make two points. Firstly, a child can get just as good, if not a better education in a state school.
Secondly, if you really need a private education for your child, look on this as an opportunity for growth. Perhaps you can give a child a too sheltered an education.
zaney5, I was quoting a parent of a girl at Casterton who claimed, "Every parent at Casterton is there because they have achieved a measure of success: " I think this speaks for itself. Sibbetson clearly considers him/herself to be successful. I was trying to make two points. Firstly, a child can get just as good, if not a better education in a state school. Secondly, if you really need a private education for your child, look on this as an opportunity for growth. Perhaps you can give a child a too sheltered an education. JBean2
  • Score: 0

7:31pm Thu 28 Feb 13

aimzygal says...

Well said JBean2 I totally agree as good a education can be achieved in a state school, it's the quality of teaching that's important.
Well said JBean2 I totally agree as good a education can be achieved in a state school, it's the quality of teaching that's important. aimzygal
  • Score: 0

7:49pm Thu 28 Feb 13

Neil Robinson 13 says...

What the Casterton Governors have done is shameful...selling out the school, the teachers, the parents, the staff and most importantly the girls who seem almost unanimous in their desire not to go to Sedbergh

This is not a merger it is a takeover...Sedbergh teachers were briefed on this a fortnight ago and told under pain of dismissal to keep it quiet ..Our Casterton team were informed 10 minutes before the announcement.

The takeover includes uniform, head teaching staff and bursar ( but hopefully not their "modest" position in the academic league tables)

If I had wanted to send my daughter to a (mainly) boy's public school I would have sent her to this academically inferior establishment in the first place.

The way this has been handled, manipulated and presented stinks

I am also reminded that Sedbergh acquired Bentham school some years ago with very much the same declared aims ...A school that has now been closed down and sold for development

Final message to the Casterton Governors...your credibility is in tatters...I hope you at least have the decency to resign en masse
What the Casterton Governors have done is shameful...selling out the school, the teachers, the parents, the staff and most importantly the girls who seem almost unanimous in their desire not to go to Sedbergh This is not a merger it is a takeover...Sedbergh teachers were briefed on this a fortnight ago and told under pain of dismissal to keep it quiet ..Our Casterton team were informed 10 minutes before the announcement. The takeover includes uniform, head teaching staff and bursar ( but hopefully not their "modest" position in the academic league tables) If I had wanted to send my daughter to a (mainly) boy's public school I would have sent her to this academically inferior establishment in the first place. The way this has been handled, manipulated and presented stinks I am also reminded that Sedbergh acquired Bentham school some years ago with very much the same declared aims ...A school that has now been closed down and sold for development Final message to the Casterton Governors...your credibility is in tatters...I hope you at least have the decency to resign en masse Neil Robinson 13
  • Score: 0

8:49pm Thu 28 Feb 13

sibbetson says...

Hurrah for Neil Robinson, sure you will have found the campaign by now, we can stop this if we try hard enough.
If I had wanted Sedbergh I would have chosen Sedbergh. I didn't, and don't, and can hardly believe such callous handling of an extraordinarily sensitive and distressing situation.
Hurrah for Neil Robinson, sure you will have found the campaign by now, we can stop this if we try hard enough. If I had wanted Sedbergh I would have chosen Sedbergh. I didn't, and don't, and can hardly believe such callous handling of an extraordinarily sensitive and distressing situation. sibbetson
  • Score: 0

9:07pm Thu 28 Feb 13

PennB-S says...

The two schools have completely different values, ethos, atmosphere, attitudes and traditions. Because of this I will not be sending my three daughters to Sedbergh School. (They don’t want to go either.)

Take for example the mottos. Sedbergh's is ‘A Stern Nurse of Men’ and is a school where the majority of senior staff are male (and although I don't know the exact student figures, I would guess there is a majority of boys). Compare this to Casterton’s motto ‘One Heart One Way’ and the fact that its senior school is girls-only with many women role models at senior level.

Girls learn differently to boys. Research has found that girls prosper in a single-sex environment. (See the recent league tables of BOTH schools and make your own mind up.) Boys have been found to flourish in a co-ed environment. It is as though the female pupils are to be used to bolster the male pupils' academic acheivements, to the detriment of the girls' own education. Why didn’t Sedbergh at least consider a diamond system? Or for all girls to be at the Casterton site?

Casterton’s results are down to a number of factors, single-sex being one, but also, it is to do with the small size of classes, individual attention and the calibre of staff.

Information issued first by Sedbergh, currently on their website:

‘It is good to be big.’ (A stereotypically male-originated statement, and not necessarily true.)

‘It is better to be good.’ (Indeed, as Casterton knows.)

‘But it is best to be both.’ (In theory, but in reality, adding something good to something big doesn’t mean the end result will be good and big. If you added a teaspoon of honey to a pint of water, you don’t’ get a pint of honey.)

Hopefully Casterton can be saved. Good things come in small packages. Sedbergh may have the numbers, but they will never have the quality, grace, or results of Casterton.
The two schools have completely different values, ethos, atmosphere, attitudes and traditions. Because of this I will not be sending my three daughters to Sedbergh School. (They don’t want to go either.) Take for example the mottos. Sedbergh's is ‘A Stern Nurse of Men’ and is a school where the majority of senior staff are male (and although I don't know the exact student figures, I would guess there is a majority of boys). Compare this to Casterton’s motto ‘One Heart One Way’ and the fact that its senior school is girls-only with many women role models at senior level. Girls learn differently to boys. Research has found that girls prosper in a single-sex environment. (See the recent league tables of BOTH schools and make your own mind up.) Boys have been found to flourish in a co-ed environment. It is as though the female pupils are to be used to bolster the male pupils' academic acheivements, to the detriment of the girls' own education. Why didn’t Sedbergh at least consider a diamond system? Or for all girls to be at the Casterton site? Casterton’s results are down to a number of factors, single-sex being one, but also, it is to do with the small size of classes, individual attention and the calibre of staff. Information issued first by Sedbergh, currently on their website: ‘It is good to be big.’ (A stereotypically male-originated statement, and not necessarily true.) ‘It is better to be good.’ (Indeed, as Casterton knows.) ‘But it is best to be both.’ (In theory, but in reality, adding something good to something big doesn’t mean the end result will be good and big. If you added a teaspoon of honey to a pint of water, you don’t’ get a pint of honey.) Hopefully Casterton can be saved. Good things come in small packages. Sedbergh may have the numbers, but they will never have the quality, grace, or results of Casterton. PennB-S
  • Score: 0

9:39pm Thu 28 Feb 13

Neil Robinson 13 says...

blade stall wrote:
Cmon guys calm down its called progress, evolve or die. Sedbergh is a wonderful school and if casterton's survival warrants a merger then go for it. As for consulting the parental base why would they possibly do that?? Its their job to make these decisions your job to elect if they warrant your hard earned cash. Simply put if you dont like it vote with your wallet and walk.. but consult?????
Fair comment, but just to correct you on one matter.

Casterton's survival does not rely on a merger with Sedbergh.

If you look at the accounts (readily available from the charity commissioners) you will see that Casterton do not need to merge to survive.

I have no doubt that Sedbergh is a good school (albeit academically vastly inferior to Casterton..but great if you want to play sport all day) so fine for some, not so good for others... this is not a "one solution fits all" scenario.

The Governors of Casterton, in their infinite wisdom, are claiming they know what is better for our children than we as parents do..they are in for a rude awakening for the ones that attend the meeting tomorrow

This is not about evolve or die...there is an undeclared and cynical agenda going on and they are not going to bully this through as easily as their collective ego clearly imagines
[quote][p][bold]blade stall[/bold] wrote: Cmon guys calm down its called progress, evolve or die. Sedbergh is a wonderful school and if casterton's survival warrants a merger then go for it. As for consulting the parental base why would they possibly do that?? Its their job to make these decisions your job to elect if they warrant your hard earned cash. Simply put if you dont like it vote with your wallet and walk.. but consult?????[/p][/quote]Fair comment, but just to correct you on one matter. Casterton's survival does not rely on a merger with Sedbergh. If you look at the accounts (readily available from the charity commissioners) you will see that Casterton do not need to merge to survive. I have no doubt that Sedbergh is a good school (albeit academically vastly inferior to Casterton..but great if you want to play sport all day) so fine for some, not so good for others... this is not a "one solution fits all" scenario. The Governors of Casterton, in their infinite wisdom, are claiming they know what is better for our children than we as parents do..they are in for a rude awakening for the ones that attend the meeting tomorrow This is not about evolve or die...there is an undeclared and cynical agenda going on and they are not going to bully this through as easily as their collective ego clearly imagines Neil Robinson 13
  • Score: 0

10:21pm Thu 28 Feb 13

sibbetson says...

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Concerned Parents of Casterton Girls

Update: Casterton/Sedbergh merger

Dear Parents

I have become aware that there are two concerns circulating around regarding the proposed merger. The first is that Casterton is in financial dire straits and that this merger is somehow inescapable. More importantly, some of you believe that if we can prevent or delay the merger, we are just delaying the inevitable. Please may I reassure you that the significant research that has been done on this matter has quite clearly demonstrated that Casterton is a viable business and there is no financial reason for this merger.

The second concern is regarding the potential for bad feeling towards families who have expressed their unhappiness at the merger, should it go ahead. I would like to set your minds at rest. A limited company, Casterton Parents Ltd has been established today for a number of reasons. The most significant of these are the following:

• It keeps consistency, the lawyers, the press and Sedbergh School are only dealing with one entity
• Two spokespeople can be appointed to speak on behalf of the company
• It is transparent so that every participating parent can see what is happening
• It is discrete; no individual parent can be identified. (to reassure those who may be worried as they have connections with Sedbergh School, or potentially future connections with Sedbergh School)
• I keep hearing from parents that the merger is a ‘done deal’. My lawyer has pressed me to tell you in the strongest terms that this is not the case. We can and will make a difference if 50% of families add their names to my list

You are now able to add your name to the list of concerned parents, safe in the knowledge that you are anonymous.

May I press upon you the urgency of this matter and how desperately I need you to respond? We CAN make a difference if 50% of parents add their names to the list, but it needs to be done now. Please feel free to email me if you have any questions.


Kind regards
Sarah
Web Version | Update preferences | Unsubscribe Like Tweet Forward Concerned Parents of Casterton Girls Update: Casterton/Sedbergh merger Dear Parents I have become aware that there are two concerns circulating around regarding the proposed merger. The first is that Casterton is in financial dire straits and that this merger is somehow inescapable. More importantly, some of you believe that if we can prevent or delay the merger, we are just delaying the inevitable. Please may I reassure you that the significant research that has been done on this matter has quite clearly demonstrated that Casterton is a viable business and there is no financial reason for this merger. The second concern is regarding the potential for bad feeling towards families who have expressed their unhappiness at the merger, should it go ahead. I would like to set your minds at rest. A limited company, Casterton Parents Ltd has been established today for a number of reasons. The most significant of these are the following: • It keeps consistency, the lawyers, the press and Sedbergh School are only dealing with one entity • Two spokespeople can be appointed to speak on behalf of the company • It is transparent so that every participating parent can see what is happening • It is discrete; no individual parent can be identified. (to reassure those who may be worried as they have connections with Sedbergh School, or potentially future connections with Sedbergh School) • I keep hearing from parents that the merger is a ‘done deal’. My lawyer has pressed me to tell you in the strongest terms that this is not the case. We can and will make a difference if 50% of families add their names to my list You are now able to add your name to the list of concerned parents, safe in the knowledge that you are anonymous. May I press upon you the urgency of this matter and how desperately I need you to respond? We CAN make a difference if 50% of parents add their names to the list, but it needs to be done now. Please feel free to email me if you have any questions. Kind regards Sarah sibbetson
  • Score: 0

11:00pm Thu 28 Feb 13

RedDevil9 says...

Neil Robinson 13 wrote:
What the Casterton Governors have done is shameful...selling out the school, the teachers, the parents, the staff and most importantly the girls who seem almost unanimous in their desire not to go to Sedbergh

This is not a merger it is a takeover...Sedbergh teachers were briefed on this a fortnight ago and told under pain of dismissal to keep it quiet ..Our Casterton team were informed 10 minutes before the announcement.

The takeover includes uniform, head teaching staff and bursar ( but hopefully not their "modest" position in the academic league tables)

If I had wanted to send my daughter to a (mainly) boy's public school I would have sent her to this academically inferior establishment in the first place.

The way this has been handled, manipulated and presented stinks

I am also reminded that Sedbergh acquired Bentham school some years ago with very much the same declared aims ...A school that has now been closed down and sold for development

Final message to the Casterton Governors...your credibility is in tatters...I hope you at least have the decency to resign en masse
Neil, are you sure about this? I would be the first to admit that I am not a primary source, but I was under the impression that Sedbergh staff were only told of the merger just before the rest of us found out earlier this week.

My thoughts are with all concerned in what is clearly an unsettling time, to say the least. This includes the pupils and staff of Sedbergh. In the case of the latter, and assuming that this is indeed a merger, there will be job insecurities all round - I think that there are certain legal processes related to staffing that must be followed following a merge.
[quote][p][bold]Neil Robinson 13[/bold] wrote: What the Casterton Governors have done is shameful...selling out the school, the teachers, the parents, the staff and most importantly the girls who seem almost unanimous in their desire not to go to Sedbergh This is not a merger it is a takeover...Sedbergh teachers were briefed on this a fortnight ago and told under pain of dismissal to keep it quiet ..Our Casterton team were informed 10 minutes before the announcement. The takeover includes uniform, head teaching staff and bursar ( but hopefully not their "modest" position in the academic league tables) If I had wanted to send my daughter to a (mainly) boy's public school I would have sent her to this academically inferior establishment in the first place. The way this has been handled, manipulated and presented stinks I am also reminded that Sedbergh acquired Bentham school some years ago with very much the same declared aims ...A school that has now been closed down and sold for development Final message to the Casterton Governors...your credibility is in tatters...I hope you at least have the decency to resign en masse[/p][/quote]Neil, are you sure about this? I would be the first to admit that I am not a primary source, but I was under the impression that Sedbergh staff were only told of the merger just before the rest of us found out earlier this week. My thoughts are with all concerned in what is clearly an unsettling time, to say the least. This includes the pupils and staff of Sedbergh. In the case of the latter, and assuming that this is indeed a merger, there will be job insecurities all round - I think that there are certain legal processes related to staffing that must be followed following a merge. RedDevil9
  • Score: 0

11:35pm Thu 28 Feb 13

Neil Robinson 13 says...

Yes, absolutely certain. My sources (more than one) have confirmed this in writing, including the date that they were informed.

Sorry; don't mean to be pedantic, but this is not a merger it is in my humble opinion a takeover

Regards
Neil
Yes, absolutely certain. My sources (more than one) have confirmed this in writing, including the date that they were informed. Sorry; don't mean to be pedantic, but this is not a merger it is in my humble opinion a takeover Regards Neil Neil Robinson 13
  • Score: 0

8:08am Fri 1 Mar 13

Sir arthur says...

The best of luck with your efforts to do something about preserving this fine school , hopefully you can maintain the school long enough so my grandchildren can attend .
Good point made about Bentham school which was taken over as a feeder school and is now lost to the community i can only imagine that the Casterton input will soon diminish and the site will be sold for redevelopment again to further bolster the cash reserves
To be so underhand about this is just a disgrace
The best of luck with your efforts to do something about preserving this fine school , hopefully you can maintain the school long enough so my grandchildren can attend . Good point made about Bentham school which was taken over as a feeder school and is now lost to the community i can only imagine that the Casterton input will soon diminish and the site will be sold for redevelopment again to further bolster the cash reserves To be so underhand about this is just a disgrace Sir arthur
  • Score: 0

9:43am Fri 1 Mar 13

sibbetson says...

Horrible, horrible letter in the post this morning from an astoundingly insensitive person parroting his joy and delight at being newly appointed Headmaster at Casterton School. I don't think I have ever been so upset and angry, what an appallingly tactless document it is. How much he is looking forward to moving to Casterton and presumably taking over the current Head's house. Can he really be this thick-skinned and indifferent?
Horrible, horrible letter in the post this morning from an astoundingly insensitive person parroting his joy and delight at being newly appointed Headmaster at Casterton School. I don't think I have ever been so upset and angry, what an appallingly tactless document it is. How much he is looking forward to moving to Casterton and presumably taking over the current Head's house. Can he really be this thick-skinned and indifferent? sibbetson
  • Score: 0

10:01am Fri 1 Mar 13

life cycle too says...

Surely this is simply a business move - Casterton facing declining numbers (therefore income) while Sedbergh wished to expand beyond it's present site to cope with increasing numbers.

It is money that makes the world (and private schools) go round, and the same problem faced St.Annes School in Windermere a few years ago.
Parents engaged with the school to help them overcome the hurdle then - if this hasn't happened at Casteron, then perhaps your faith in the school (or at least it's managers) was misplaced?
Surely this is simply a business move - Casterton facing declining numbers (therefore income) while Sedbergh wished to expand beyond it's present site to cope with increasing numbers. It is money that makes the world (and private schools) go round, and the same problem faced St.Annes School in Windermere a few years ago. Parents engaged with the school to help them overcome the hurdle then - if this hasn't happened at Casteron, then perhaps your faith in the school (or at least it's managers) was misplaced? life cycle too
  • Score: 0

10:06am Fri 1 Mar 13

sibbetson says...

Parents want to help. We haven't been given the opportunity. This has been presented as a fair accompli.

Any faith in these Governors was certainly misplaced, that must be the understatement of the week. We can't believe what they have done.
Parents want to help. We haven't been given the opportunity. This has been presented as a fair accompli. Any faith in these Governors was certainly misplaced, that must be the understatement of the week. We can't believe what they have done. sibbetson
  • Score: 0

11:49am Fri 1 Mar 13

Thegreenman2013 says...

ATL have been told that redundancies of teachers because of the 'merger' will be between 20 and 100.That could easily mean the equivalent of an entire schools teachers,very good teachers from my first hand knowledge of Casterton.
ATL have been told that redundancies of teachers because of the 'merger' will be between 20 and 100.That could easily mean the equivalent of an entire schools teachers,very good teachers from my first hand knowledge of Casterton. Thegreenman2013
  • Score: 0

12:21pm Fri 1 Mar 13

RedDevil9 says...

Thegreenman2013 wrote:
ATL have been told that redundancies of teachers because of the 'merger' will be between 20 and 100.That could easily mean the equivalent of an entire schools teachers,very good teachers from my first hand knowledge of Casterton.
Does that mean redundancies could happen from either staffing body? I have real sympathy, in that case, for staff on both sides. Sedbergh staff (who I can't believe would have been told two weeks ago-maybe just the Senior staff?) will be feeling hard done by if they were contributing to the success of their school, whilst Casteron staff must be enduring as difficult a time as pupils and parents.

I think it is hard to pass comment without knowing the details of the situation, but surely it can't really be the case that Casterton parents were oblivious of serious problems? From the outside, the current model would appear unsustainable and closures of schools all over the country are further evidence of this. I do appreciate that it is easy for me to say this with the benefit of hindsight, and the last thing I intend to do is cause offence.

As for the Sedbergh Headmaster expressing his honour at taking the role...can we really expect him to do anything else?!
[quote][p][bold]Thegreenman2013[/bold] wrote: ATL have been told that redundancies of teachers because of the 'merger' will be between 20 and 100.That could easily mean the equivalent of an entire schools teachers,very good teachers from my first hand knowledge of Casterton.[/p][/quote]Does that mean redundancies could happen from either staffing body? I have real sympathy, in that case, for staff on both sides. Sedbergh staff (who I can't believe would have been told two weeks ago-maybe just the Senior staff?) will be feeling hard done by if they were contributing to the success of their school, whilst Casteron staff must be enduring as difficult a time as pupils and parents. I think it is hard to pass comment without knowing the details of the situation, but surely it can't really be the case that Casterton parents were oblivious of serious problems? From the outside, the current model would appear unsustainable and closures of schools all over the country are further evidence of this. I do appreciate that it is easy for me to say this with the benefit of hindsight, and the last thing I intend to do is cause offence. As for the Sedbergh Headmaster expressing his honour at taking the role...can we really expect him to do anything else?! RedDevil9
  • Score: 0

3:09pm Fri 1 Mar 13

cumbriabornandbred says...

I think this is dreadfully sad.

Parents who chose Casterton over Sedbergh did so partly because it is single sex. The new school will not be and let's face it - if parents had wanted to send their daughters to Sedbergh, they would have done so. The two schools are also VERY different. We all know that sport is all at Sedbergh, no matter how they try to say otherwise. As a VERY unsporty ex Castertonian, I can safely say that my talents lay elsewhere and that I was encouraged to develop them. I know current Sedberghians who feel that they need to be better at sport in order to fit in. What about celebrating the talents of others?!

I feel horrendous for the staff at Casterton - the idea that these incredible teachers face losing their jobs is desperatly sad. They are all wonderful people, who pass on their love of their subjects to their pupils. Their support, pastorally and academically, is the reason why Casterton turns out such well rounded, confident and happy girls.

As for Casterton being "posh" how ridiculous. My parents worked incredibly hard to send me there and I will be eternally grateful to them for it. We are not posh at all!!!

And as for the 'new' head of Casterton writing to the Gazette - bull in china shop springs to mind. Tact and diplomacy? I do hope that's not what a Sedbergh education brings....

It's not a merger. Casterton will be swallowed up and Sedbergh will continue on it's march to gobble up the schools in the area.

I shall now get off my soap box. It's getting quite worn this week.

Cor unum via una.
I think this is dreadfully sad. Parents who chose Casterton over Sedbergh did so partly because it is single sex. The new school will not be and let's face it - if parents had wanted to send their daughters to Sedbergh, they would have done so. The two schools are also VERY different. We all know that sport is all at Sedbergh, no matter how they try to say otherwise. As a VERY unsporty ex Castertonian, I can safely say that my talents lay elsewhere and that I was encouraged to develop them. I know current Sedberghians who feel that they need to be better at sport in order to fit in. What about celebrating the talents of others?! I feel horrendous for the staff at Casterton - the idea that these incredible teachers face losing their jobs is desperatly sad. They are all wonderful people, who pass on their love of their subjects to their pupils. Their support, pastorally and academically, is the reason why Casterton turns out such well rounded, confident and happy girls. As for Casterton being "posh" how ridiculous. My parents worked incredibly hard to send me there and I will be eternally grateful to them for it. We are not posh at all!!! And as for the 'new' head of Casterton writing to the Gazette - bull in china shop springs to mind. Tact and diplomacy? I do hope that's not what a Sedbergh education brings.... It's not a merger. Casterton will be swallowed up and Sedbergh will continue on it's march to gobble up the schools in the area. I shall now get off my soap box. It's getting quite worn this week. Cor unum via una. cumbriabornandbred
  • Score: 0

3:37pm Fri 1 Mar 13

laserjet69 says...

I do find a majority of the comments above very wearing. Being a parent at Sedbergh with both boys and girls at the school I do feel you all need to have a good look at Sedbergh and see the direction it is going. Long gone are the days of it being known simply for its sporting prowess, Sedbergh is just as well known for music and drama, and is catching up on the Academic side of things, which i agree are far behind Castertons. Obviously when 2 businesses merge there will be redundancies, that is a fact of life, and as much as it may be unfair on those staff that lose their jobs, unfortunately that is a fact of life. The merger would not be happening if both Governing bodies did not fully support the move, and there would never have been a thought to consult with parents on the decision, as that is why we elect a governing body in the first place, to ensure continuing excellent education for our children. Sedbergh is a fantastic school, and it is currently giving all our my children a wonderful all round education, the type of education I am more than happy to pay for. Perhaps the whole situation hasn't been handled with the utmost sensitivity, however I can assure you from a parents perspective, the Headmaster, Mr Andrew Fleck is dong a superb job here at Sedbergh, in increasing the academic results, and is the right man to take this merger forward.
I do find a majority of the comments above very wearing. Being a parent at Sedbergh with both boys and girls at the school I do feel you all need to have a good look at Sedbergh and see the direction it is going. Long gone are the days of it being known simply for its sporting prowess, Sedbergh is just as well known for music and drama, and is catching up on the Academic side of things, which i agree are far behind Castertons. Obviously when 2 businesses merge there will be redundancies, that is a fact of life, and as much as it may be unfair on those staff that lose their jobs, unfortunately that is a fact of life. The merger would not be happening if both Governing bodies did not fully support the move, and there would never have been a thought to consult with parents on the decision, as that is why we elect a governing body in the first place, to ensure continuing excellent education for our children. Sedbergh is a fantastic school, and it is currently giving all our my children a wonderful all round education, the type of education I am more than happy to pay for. Perhaps the whole situation hasn't been handled with the utmost sensitivity, however I can assure you from a parents perspective, the Headmaster, Mr Andrew Fleck is dong a superb job here at Sedbergh, in increasing the academic results, and is the right man to take this merger forward. laserjet69
  • Score: 0

3:49pm Fri 1 Mar 13

cumbriabornandbred says...

I have sent pupils to Sedbergh and my comments merely repeat what they have told me in recent months and years.
I know Sedbergh well personally, and I acknowledge that, as with every school, it is right for some children and not right for others.
The main thing here is the single sex/ co-ed situation. Many girls schools are thriving at the moment, it is not the case that all single sex schools are struggling. I feel sorry for those who don't want to go down the co-ed route, whether we think it is right or wrong. They will have to move schools and make new friends - it might seem easy to us as adults, but for children it is daunting (I still find it hard starting a new school and I have been teaching for years!).

If Sedbergh elect their governing body, that is very impressive. I have yet to work in a school that does - and believe me, it would have made a huge difference if we had been able to!

Casterton parents will need to feel that there is someone 'on their side' when the merge happens. With a Sedbergh Head, Sedbergh Head of Prep School, and Sedbergh Bursar...who is there to carry the ethos of Casterton on?

Whatever happens, I wish both schools, and their pupils, the best of luck.
I have sent pupils to Sedbergh and my comments merely repeat what they have told me in recent months and years. I know Sedbergh well personally, and I acknowledge that, as with every school, it is right for some children and not right for others. The main thing here is the single sex/ co-ed situation. Many girls schools are thriving at the moment, it is not the case that all single sex schools are struggling. I feel sorry for those who don't want to go down the co-ed route, whether we think it is right or wrong. They will have to move schools and make new friends - it might seem easy to us as adults, but for children it is daunting (I still find it hard starting a new school and I have been teaching for years!). If Sedbergh elect their governing body, that is very impressive. I have yet to work in a school that does - and believe me, it would have made a huge difference if we had been able to! Casterton parents will need to feel that there is someone 'on their side' when the merge happens. With a Sedbergh Head, Sedbergh Head of Prep School, and Sedbergh Bursar...who is there to carry the ethos of Casterton on? Whatever happens, I wish both schools, and their pupils, the best of luck. cumbriabornandbred
  • Score: 0

4:23pm Fri 1 Mar 13

zaney5 says...

At the end of the day the most important people here are the children. Such a shame no-one thought to ask THEM what they thought. Speaking as someone who knows 2 Casterton girls, I feel for them.
At the end of the day the most important people here are the children. Such a shame no-one thought to ask THEM what they thought. Speaking as someone who knows 2 Casterton girls, I feel for them. zaney5
  • Score: 0

6:24pm Fri 1 Mar 13

boris plasticmac says...

What happens to daughters of clergymen? I can't believe the home of the the Wilson Run is a suitable place.
What happens to daughters of clergymen? I can't believe the home of the the Wilson Run is a suitable place. boris plasticmac
  • Score: 0

6:27pm Fri 1 Mar 13

Fromthesouth says...

zaney5 wrote:
At the end of the day the most important people here are the children. Such a shame no-one thought to ask THEM what they thought. Speaking as someone who knows 2 Casterton girls, I feel for them.
My children have experienced both independent and state schooling. I have been very happy with both.
It is important that some of the facts above are considered carefully for their integrity. It is important that the reader has a clear perspective and is not swayed by some of the emotive comments that have been made.
Some of the following facts might be worth noting and I believe are unquestionable (if not please let me know):
Whilst independent schools may award bursaries, free places and contribute extremely well to their local communities, they cannot be considered to serve the community in terms of education for the young, as the vast majority of children go to state schools. In this sense, state schools serve the community far greater than any independent school does or can.
Most independent schools are essentially non-profit making enterprises (charitable trusts) that will aim to progress through a variety of possible strategies (within the law) to improve – just like any other business. There is no finance from any local authority. Growth, marketing and being aware of competition are therefore essential.
The vast majority of parents cannot afford to send their children to independent schools. Successful parents are not always wealthy parents and even if they were wealthy they don’t always choose independent schools. There are excellent state schools in Cumbria.
Daily life for the vast majority of people in the community- young and developing or older and wiser is ‘co-educational’
. Most of Cumbria’s girls will have, be having or would have had co-educational schooling without a realistic choice of single sex education. The vast majority will never have the choice of single sex education and this is reflected nationally.
League tables (based on exam performance) cannot be realistically/scient
ifically used to compare schools unless the subjects taken are identical as well as the number of pupils taking the subjects. In addition, the baseline assessment of individuals entering a school is a significant factor. Some schools suffer in the league tables because they persist in there offering of more academic and demanding subjects to provide opportunities and choice for pupils/students. There are many other non-academic aspects of schools that are equally important for overall development.
Schools are frequently measured on statistics, data or reputation whereas personal visits can be more revealing.
[quote][p][bold]zaney5[/bold] wrote: At the end of the day the most important people here are the children. Such a shame no-one thought to ask THEM what they thought. Speaking as someone who knows 2 Casterton girls, I feel for them.[/p][/quote]My children have experienced both independent and state schooling. I have been very happy with both. It is important that some of the facts above are considered carefully for their integrity. It is important that the reader has a clear perspective and is not swayed by some of the emotive comments that have been made. Some of the following facts might be worth noting and I believe are unquestionable (if not please let me know): Whilst independent schools may award bursaries, free places and contribute extremely well to their local communities, they cannot be considered to serve the community in terms of education for the young, as the vast majority of children go to state schools. In this sense, state schools serve the community far greater than any independent school does or can. Most independent schools are essentially non-profit making enterprises (charitable trusts) that will aim to progress through a variety of possible strategies (within the law) to improve – just like any other business. There is no finance from any local authority. Growth, marketing and being aware of competition are therefore essential. The vast majority of parents cannot afford to send their children to independent schools. Successful parents are not always wealthy parents and even if they were wealthy they don’t always choose independent schools. There are excellent state schools in Cumbria. Daily life for the vast majority of people in the community- young and developing or older and wiser is ‘co-educational’ . Most of Cumbria’s girls will have, be having or would have had co-educational schooling without a realistic choice of single sex education. The vast majority will never have the choice of single sex education and this is reflected nationally. League tables (based on exam performance) cannot be realistically/scient ifically used to compare schools unless the subjects taken are identical as well as the number of pupils taking the subjects. In addition, the baseline assessment of individuals entering a school is a significant factor. Some schools suffer in the league tables because they persist in there offering of more academic and demanding subjects to provide opportunities and choice for pupils/students. There are many other non-academic aspects of schools that are equally important for overall development. Schools are frequently measured on statistics, data or reputation whereas personal visits can be more revealing. Fromthesouth
  • Score: 0

6:51pm Fri 1 Mar 13

Fromthesouth says...

Apologies to Zaney 5 - somehow your quote got posted at the beginning - unintentional! Sorry.
Apologies to Zaney 5 - somehow your quote got posted at the beginning - unintentional! Sorry. Fromthesouth
  • Score: 0

7:00pm Fri 1 Mar 13

Pigfarmer72 says...

As a parent of a child who has attended both schools, I feel I can write with some degree of objectivity rather than pure cynicism.

Let me begin by saying I felt compelled to post these words after reading a number of disparaging and often quite offensive comments. Yes, for those Casterton parents that want a single sex education for their daughters, this merger is not going to be a positive experience and I empathise with some our your feelings, but in your whole hearted support for your school, please do not feel the need to insult the children, staff and parents of Sedbergh School. This outdated and stereotypical view that the pupils at Sedbergh play competitive sport from dawn till dusk is simply ridiculous. Yes, sport plays an important part but so too does academics, music, drama, debating etc all to the highest of standards. Is this not the case in all good public schools, a careful balance of curricula and extra-curricula activities? Surely this is one of the reasons our successful business leaders, scientists, artists, actors and athletes disproportionally come from such educational establishments.

The most important aspect of this merger is that we continue to provide our children with the best possible educational experiences in this ever competitive world. An ethos which I am sure is currently prevalent in both schools.

So please do not continue to peddle in untruths but instead take up the opportunities to hear from the two headmasters, visit the school and talk to the pupils with an open mind. If what you see is not to your liking then I wish you and your daughters the very best. If it is however, I welcome your drive and enthusiasm to help make two great schools into one superb one.
As a parent of a child who has attended both schools, I feel I can write with some degree of objectivity rather than pure cynicism. Let me begin by saying I felt compelled to post these words after reading a number of disparaging and often quite offensive comments. Yes, for those Casterton parents that want a single sex education for their daughters, this merger is not going to be a positive experience and I empathise with some our your feelings, but in your whole hearted support for your school, please do not feel the need to insult the children, staff and parents of Sedbergh School. This outdated and stereotypical view that the pupils at Sedbergh play competitive sport from dawn till dusk is simply ridiculous. Yes, sport plays an important part but so too does academics, music, drama, debating etc all to the highest of standards. Is this not the case in all good public schools, a careful balance of curricula and extra-curricula activities? Surely this is one of the reasons our successful business leaders, scientists, artists, actors and athletes disproportionally come from such educational establishments. The most important aspect of this merger is that we continue to provide our children with the best possible educational experiences in this ever competitive world. An ethos which I am sure is currently prevalent in both schools. So please do not continue to peddle in untruths but instead take up the opportunities to hear from the two headmasters, visit the school and talk to the pupils with an open mind. If what you see is not to your liking then I wish you and your daughters the very best. If it is however, I welcome your drive and enthusiasm to help make two great schools into one superb one. Pigfarmer72
  • Score: 0

8:30pm Fri 1 Mar 13

JBean2 says...

PennB-S wrote:
The two schools have completely different values, ethos, atmosphere, attitudes and traditions. Because of this I will not be sending my three daughters to Sedbergh School. (They don’t want to go either.)

Take for example the mottos. Sedbergh's is ‘A Stern Nurse of Men’ and is a school where the majority of senior staff are male (and although I don't know the exact student figures, I would guess there is a majority of boys). Compare this to Casterton’s motto ‘One Heart One Way’ and the fact that its senior school is girls-only with many women role models at senior level.

Girls learn differently to boys. Research has found that girls prosper in a single-sex environment. (See the recent league tables of BOTH schools and make your own mind up.) Boys have been found to flourish in a co-ed environment. It is as though the female pupils are to be used to bolster the male pupils' academic acheivements, to the detriment of the girls' own education. Why didn’t Sedbergh at least consider a diamond system? Or for all girls to be at the Casterton site?

Casterton’s results are down to a number of factors, single-sex being one, but also, it is to do with the small size of classes, individual attention and the calibre of staff.

Information issued first by Sedbergh, currently on their website:

‘It is good to be big.’ (A stereotypically male-originated statement, and not necessarily true.)

‘It is better to be good.’ (Indeed, as Casterton knows.)

‘But it is best to be both.’ (In theory, but in reality, adding something good to something big doesn’t mean the end result will be good and big. If you added a teaspoon of honey to a pint of water, you don’t’ get a pint of honey.)

Hopefully Casterton can be saved. Good things come in small packages. Sedbergh may have the numbers, but they will never have the quality, grace, or results of Casterton.
PennB-S wrote

"The two schools have completely different values, ethos, atmosphere, attitudes and traditions. Because of this I will not be sending my three daughters to Sedbergh School. (They don’t want to go either.) "

Surely the two schools both aim to provide a good education and to develop the child to his/her full potential whilst providing every opportunity for personal development. Oh, and perhaps developing respect for others and a desire to contribute to society. If not, why not?That is what state schools aim to do.
You make it sound like Sedbergh is stuck in the past. As someone with no direct connection to either school, I find some of the comments about Sedbergh School here quite offensive.
I completely respect your decision that if you don't like the idea of the schools being merged you will send your children somewhere else. It's a shame for the girls to have to encounter change, but you never know it might be an enriching experience. When they leave school the world will not always be carefully balanced in their favour.
Several people have mentioned success and the "competitive" world we live in. I prefer my children to go to school where they learn respect and understanding for others. They are happy and well adjusted with friends of both sexes. They do not feel that their parents have competed to get them an advantage over their peers.
It seems there are a lot of angry parents, who having felt that they had cleverly worked out how to give their daughters an advantage over others now feel cheated.
It would be interesting to know the facts though. Why would Casterton agree to a merger unless it was financially necessary? Can't people read the minutes of Governor's meetings. Aren't any of the parents Governors. If not why not?
[quote][p][bold]PennB-S[/bold] wrote: The two schools have completely different values, ethos, atmosphere, attitudes and traditions. Because of this I will not be sending my three daughters to Sedbergh School. (They don’t want to go either.) Take for example the mottos. Sedbergh's is ‘A Stern Nurse of Men’ and is a school where the majority of senior staff are male (and although I don't know the exact student figures, I would guess there is a majority of boys). Compare this to Casterton’s motto ‘One Heart One Way’ and the fact that its senior school is girls-only with many women role models at senior level. Girls learn differently to boys. Research has found that girls prosper in a single-sex environment. (See the recent league tables of BOTH schools and make your own mind up.) Boys have been found to flourish in a co-ed environment. It is as though the female pupils are to be used to bolster the male pupils' academic acheivements, to the detriment of the girls' own education. Why didn’t Sedbergh at least consider a diamond system? Or for all girls to be at the Casterton site? Casterton’s results are down to a number of factors, single-sex being one, but also, it is to do with the small size of classes, individual attention and the calibre of staff. Information issued first by Sedbergh, currently on their website: ‘It is good to be big.’ (A stereotypically male-originated statement, and not necessarily true.) ‘It is better to be good.’ (Indeed, as Casterton knows.) ‘But it is best to be both.’ (In theory, but in reality, adding something good to something big doesn’t mean the end result will be good and big. If you added a teaspoon of honey to a pint of water, you don’t’ get a pint of honey.) Hopefully Casterton can be saved. Good things come in small packages. Sedbergh may have the numbers, but they will never have the quality, grace, or results of Casterton.[/p][/quote]PennB-S wrote "The two schools have completely different values, ethos, atmosphere, attitudes and traditions. Because of this I will not be sending my three daughters to Sedbergh School. (They don’t want to go either.) " Surely the two schools both aim to provide a good education and to develop the child to his/her full potential whilst providing every opportunity for personal development. Oh, and perhaps developing respect for others and a desire to contribute to society. If not, why not?That is what state schools aim to do. You make it sound like Sedbergh is stuck in the past. As someone with no direct connection to either school, I find some of the comments about Sedbergh School here quite offensive. I completely respect your decision that if you don't like the idea of the schools being merged you will send your children somewhere else. It's a shame for the girls to have to encounter change, but you never know it might be an enriching experience. When they leave school the world will not always be carefully balanced in their favour. Several people have mentioned success and the "competitive" world we live in. I prefer my children to go to school where they learn respect and understanding for others. They are happy and well adjusted with friends of both sexes. They do not feel that their parents have competed to get them an advantage over their peers. It seems there are a lot of angry parents, who having felt that they had cleverly worked out how to give their daughters an advantage over others now feel cheated. It would be interesting to know the facts though. Why would Casterton agree to a merger unless it was financially necessary? Can't people read the minutes of Governor's meetings. Aren't any of the parents Governors. If not why not? JBean2
  • Score: 0

9:28pm Fri 1 Mar 13

sibbetson says...

None of the parents are governors. We discover that the minutes of the meetings have not been published. We are all very interested indeed to know the facts. So:

Dear Governors: we would like to see your accounts made public and the minutes of your meetings. Your excuse (made tonight at a parents' meeting) that many of the discussions were informal and not minuted - does not wash. We would like to know why the posts of Head at each school were not advertised. We would like to know why, when it seems that the school is still solvent, that you are selling out. Do let us know. Love from Casterton parents.
None of the parents are governors. We discover that the minutes of the meetings have not been published. We are all very interested indeed to know the facts. So: Dear Governors: we would like to see your accounts made public and the minutes of your meetings. Your excuse (made tonight at a parents' meeting) that many of the discussions were informal and not minuted - does not wash. We would like to know why the posts of Head at each school were not advertised. We would like to know why, when it seems that the school is still solvent, that you are selling out. Do let us know. Love from Casterton parents. sibbetson
  • Score: 0

11:17pm Fri 1 Mar 13

Fromthesouth says...

Dear Sibbetson

I was wondering if you think that it is important to have a parent representative on the governing body?

How long have you known that none of your Governors are parents?

Did you know that there was not a parent governor representative on your first contact with Casterton?
Dear Sibbetson I was wondering if you think that it is important to have a parent representative on the governing body? How long have you known that none of your Governors are parents? Did you know that there was not a parent governor representative on your first contact with Casterton? Fromthesouth
  • Score: 0

11:30pm Fri 1 Mar 13

Castertonparent says...

Hmm just back from meeting the Casterton Govenors. Very disappointing to hear no cogent argument nor any evidence of why this takeover ( for that is exactly what it is) has to happen and no credible or convincing explanation as to why the school must close. Although they did try to lecture us a little - that didn't, go down well. And yet they think it is acceptable to appear before the parents having already signed a contract and simply inform us that this is how things will be. Remind me whose children are affected by this, apparently not their own. To add insult to injury they seem to think its fine to refuse to resign, the school closure and this debacle having occurred on their watch- but instead now plan to join the Sedbergh School Governors! Unbelievable.

Headmaster Sedbergh School spoke very well so not an entire waste of four hours.
Hmm just back from meeting the Casterton Govenors. Very disappointing to hear no cogent argument nor any evidence of why this takeover ( for that is exactly what it is) has to happen and no credible or convincing explanation as to why the school must close. Although they did try to lecture us a little - that didn't, go down well. And yet they think it is acceptable to appear before the parents having already signed a contract and simply inform us that this is how things will be. Remind me whose children are affected by this, apparently not their own. To add insult to injury they seem to think its fine to refuse to resign, the school closure and this debacle having occurred on their watch- but instead now plan to join the Sedbergh School Governors! Unbelievable. Headmaster Sedbergh School spoke very well so not an entire waste of four hours. Castertonparent
  • Score: 0

7:30am Sat 2 Mar 13

sibbetson says...

I had no idea there was no parent representative on the Governors. I think parents from both prep and senior schools, day and boarders should be represented. It is my own fault for not checking: now I know I was naive to trust them, but I did. In business I would question, and question and examine: I am annoyed with myself for accepting so much of the Governors' activities at face value. Now we have started looking more closely at the affairs of the school we know that our interests were not being represented.

As for a small intake: John Ruskin in Coniston manages with a smaller, and with far less income, and runs a good school with no suggestion of going pop. Small is not necessarily failing.
I had no idea there was no parent representative on the Governors. I think parents from both prep and senior schools, day and boarders should be represented. It is my own fault for not checking: now I know I was naive to trust them, but I did. In business I would question, and question and examine: I am annoyed with myself for accepting so much of the Governors' activities at face value. Now we have started looking more closely at the affairs of the school we know that our interests were not being represented. As for a small intake: John Ruskin in Coniston manages with a smaller, and with far less income, and runs a good school with no suggestion of going pop. Small is not necessarily failing. sibbetson
  • Score: 0

7:54am Sat 2 Mar 13

Fromthesouth says...

Dear Sibbetson

I am sure that independent schools can function equally as well whether there are parent governors or not and sometimes they have to make very difficult decisions.
At the end of the day you are in control of your child/children's education. You have made a choice and you are responsible to your kin - not the governors. Whilst saying this, I have every faith that in humanity and believe that governors always intend to make the best decisions (as they see them) so as to minimise harm to parents and their children. As with any business it is difficult to please everyone.
Dear Sibbetson I am sure that independent schools can function equally as well whether there are parent governors or not and sometimes they have to make very difficult decisions. At the end of the day you are in control of your child/children's education. You have made a choice and you are responsible to your kin - not the governors. Whilst saying this, I have every faith that in humanity and believe that governors always intend to make the best decisions (as they see them) so as to minimise harm to parents and their children. As with any business it is difficult to please everyone. Fromthesouth
  • Score: 0

12:20pm Sat 2 Mar 13

sibbetson says...

Dear Fromthesouth,
It would appear that I am not in charge of my child's education. I could not prevent people standing up in front of an assembly of little girls and telling them that the world as they knew it was about to come to an end. I could not warn her, I could not break it gently, I could not protect her. It was eight hours before I could mop up her tears: and there were plenty of them. I did not choose that.

I am responsible to my kin, and so, in fact, are the Governors. They have a responsibility to my child because they are running a charity which has pledged to act in her best interests.

I have no sympathy whatsoever with the 'difficult decisions' made by the governors, and am convinced that if their genuine intention had been to minimise harm, they would have consulted with parents and asked for advice and discussion long ago.

The reason given for not doing, that the uncertainty thus created would reduce the value of Casterton to Sedbergh, I find contemptible.

As far as pleasing everyone: it would appear from a poll conducted by this newspaper that the Governors have failed to please over three quarters of interested parties, which is hardly an impressive result.

I can and will choose what to do with my child's education now: but that choice will not stop me drawing as much attention as I possibly can to heartless and ruthless behaviour on behalf of a body of governors in whom I had placed my trust
Dear Fromthesouth, It would appear that I am not in charge of my child's education. I could not prevent people standing up in front of an assembly of little girls and telling them that the world as they knew it was about to come to an end. I could not warn her, I could not break it gently, I could not protect her. It was eight hours before I could mop up her tears: and there were plenty of them. I did not choose that. I am responsible to my kin, and so, in fact, are the Governors. They have a responsibility to my child because they are running a charity which has pledged to act in her best interests. I have no sympathy whatsoever with the 'difficult decisions' made by the governors, and am convinced that if their genuine intention had been to minimise harm, they would have consulted with parents and asked for advice and discussion long ago. The reason given for not doing, that the uncertainty thus created would reduce the value of Casterton to Sedbergh, I find contemptible. As far as pleasing everyone: it would appear from a poll conducted by this newspaper that the Governors have failed to please over three quarters of interested parties, which is hardly an impressive result. I can and will choose what to do with my child's education now: but that choice will not stop me drawing as much attention as I possibly can to heartless and ruthless behaviour on behalf of a body of governors in whom I had placed my trust sibbetson
  • Score: 0

1:21pm Sat 2 Mar 13

RedDevil9 says...

The poll that is on this website is useless - you have the option to repeat your vote every time you visit the website. All it would take is for somebody with too much time on their hands to sit and click the button of their choice over and over again.

Sarah, I do not wish to antagonise you and rest assured I have great sympathy for your situation, but using John Ruskin school as a comparison is fruitless - it is a completely different beast to Casterton/Sedbergh.
The poll that is on this website is useless - you have the option to repeat your vote every time you visit the website. All it would take is for somebody with too much time on their hands to sit and click the button of their choice over and over again. Sarah, I do not wish to antagonise you and rest assured I have great sympathy for your situation, but using John Ruskin school as a comparison is fruitless - it is a completely different beast to Casterton/Sedbergh. RedDevil9
  • Score: 0

3:55pm Sat 2 Mar 13

paul gilby says...

I was at a meeting at the school on Friday. The invitation was to a Q&A with the headmaster of Sedbergh School.
I was astonished to see that the current board of governors were present, as it was they that blatantly presided over the lies that the previous headmaster pedaled about his reasons for leaving.
The Governors then did not want it be known that the good Dr Mc was at odds with the board about the direction in which they were steering the school
.Other board members have resigned for similar reasons.
I can understand why Sedbergh are interested in this cultural and academic jewel that is Casterton School. I am at a loss as to why they accept the integrity of the current boards intentions ,given their 'form' and that they have effectively colluded with the Casterton Board for their own gain.
Change is inevitable , we all have to adapt to survive, however the requirement for consultation exists in order that we can be fit members of society , the Sedbergh Governing body are as shameful as the Casterton board for this collusion , and I find it staggering the the current chair of Casterton will now be a joint Governor.
there are too many unanswered questions about this process for this matter to die, I hope our free and independent press are up for this challenge, because I along with many other righteously indignant stake holders will not let this lie . So look out Governors I am coming for yah! Good luck with that .
I was at a meeting at the school on Friday. The invitation was to a Q&A with the headmaster of Sedbergh School. I was astonished to see that the current board of governors were present, as it was they that blatantly presided over the lies that the previous headmaster pedaled about his reasons for leaving. The Governors then did not want it be known that the good Dr Mc was at odds with the board about the direction in which they were steering the school .Other board members have resigned for similar reasons. I can understand why Sedbergh are interested in this cultural and academic jewel that is Casterton School. I am at a loss as to why they accept the integrity of the current boards intentions ,given their 'form' and that they have effectively colluded with the Casterton Board for their own gain. Change is inevitable , we all have to adapt to survive, however the requirement for consultation exists in order that we can be fit members of society , the Sedbergh Governing body are as shameful as the Casterton board for this collusion , and I find it staggering the the current chair of Casterton will now be a joint Governor. there are too many unanswered questions about this process for this matter to die, I hope our free and independent press are up for this challenge, because I along with many other righteously indignant stake holders will not let this lie . So look out Governors I am coming for yah! Good luck with that . paul gilby
  • Score: 0

4:11pm Sat 2 Mar 13

laserjet69 says...

And so the barrage of abuse of Sedbergh School continues. I find this increasingly annoying and somewhat churlish. Those of you who are peddling this somewhat disparraging attitude regarding Sedbergh ought to be ashamed. The girls at Casterton now have the opportunity that many would like to have, to be part of a school that is going places, one of the few public schools in the country to be expanding their pupil role year on year, rather than reducing it; one of the few public schools to be reducing its overseas intake instead of expanding it; one of the few public schools to be overwhelmed with Scholarship interest......with few for sport. I think unless you know the full facts about Sedbergh School, unless you understand how the school works, unless you meet teachers, pupils and ancilliary staff you really have no right to comment. The history of this school stretches back nearly 500 years, and it will be here for another 500, simply because the governors and staff are committed to their work at a 7 day week boarding school. If you feel let down by the Governors of Casterton School, then I suggest you target them with your comments, as Sedbergh will welcome your children, and you will see them grow and prosper as never before
And so the barrage of abuse of Sedbergh School continues. I find this increasingly annoying and somewhat churlish. Those of you who are peddling this somewhat disparraging attitude regarding Sedbergh ought to be ashamed. The girls at Casterton now have the opportunity that many would like to have, to be part of a school that is going places, one of the few public schools in the country to be expanding their pupil role year on year, rather than reducing it; one of the few public schools to be reducing its overseas intake instead of expanding it; one of the few public schools to be overwhelmed with Scholarship interest......with few for sport. I think unless you know the full facts about Sedbergh School, unless you understand how the school works, unless you meet teachers, pupils and ancilliary staff you really have no right to comment. The history of this school stretches back nearly 500 years, and it will be here for another 500, simply because the governors and staff are committed to their work at a 7 day week boarding school. If you feel let down by the Governors of Casterton School, then I suggest you target them with your comments, as Sedbergh will welcome your children, and you will see them grow and prosper as never before laserjet69
  • Score: 0

4:32pm Sat 2 Mar 13

hongkongparent says...

My daughter opted to study in a UK boarding school four years ago. She chose Casterton Girl School on her own as she enjoys a single-sex school life. As a parent, I respect her choice and sent her to Casterton from Far East. I agree that parent should not in charge of the children, and so I didn’t and never in charge of my daughter, and give her freedom to choose her way. Then why did these selfish businessmen (they can’t name as the Governors of the school) control the girls to move to a co-ed school? Did they respect the girls?

The whole plan is really ridiculous which the Casterton Girl School will be taken over (don't argue to say merger any more please) in four months after this summer term!

Just saying that the parents and girls have right to choose to stay or walk away is typically not knowing what is education. School life is a continuous development for several years. For those girls are at the middle of their GCSE/GCE curriculum, it is simply totally unfair to ask them to walk away to face such a change at this critical juncture of their education. In fact, if you understand the current examination curriculum, it is nearly no way to walk away! Then what is the choice???

If they are really thought of the students’ need and future, they should at least put the plan on hold first and conduct open and transparent consultation of better plan for Casterton school.
My daughter opted to study in a UK boarding school four years ago. She chose Casterton Girl School on her own as she enjoys a single-sex school life. As a parent, I respect her choice and sent her to Casterton from Far East. I agree that parent should not in charge of the children, and so I didn’t and never in charge of my daughter, and give her freedom to choose her way. Then why did these selfish businessmen (they can’t name as the Governors of the school) control the girls to move to a co-ed school? Did they respect the girls? The whole plan is really ridiculous which the Casterton Girl School will be taken over (don't argue to say merger any more please) in four months after this summer term! Just saying that the parents and girls have right to choose to stay or walk away is typically not knowing what is education. School life is a continuous development for several years. For those girls are at the middle of their GCSE/GCE curriculum, it is simply totally unfair to ask them to walk away to face such a change at this critical juncture of their education. In fact, if you understand the current examination curriculum, it is nearly no way to walk away! Then what is the choice??? If they are really thought of the students’ need and future, they should at least put the plan on hold first and conduct open and transparent consultation of better plan for Casterton school. hongkongparent
  • Score: 0

4:50pm Sat 2 Mar 13

zaney5 says...

laserjet69 wrote:
And so the barrage of abuse of Sedbergh School continues. I find this increasingly annoying and somewhat churlish. Those of you who are peddling this somewhat disparraging attitude regarding Sedbergh ought to be ashamed. The girls at Casterton now have the opportunity that many would like to have, to be part of a school that is going places, one of the few public schools in the country to be expanding their pupil role year on year, rather than reducing it; one of the few public schools to be reducing its overseas intake instead of expanding it; one of the few public schools to be overwhelmed with Scholarship interest......with few for sport. I think unless you know the full facts about Sedbergh School, unless you understand how the school works, unless you meet teachers, pupils and ancilliary staff you really have no right to comment. The history of this school stretches back nearly 500 years, and it will be here for another 500, simply because the governors and staff are committed to their work at a 7 day week boarding school. If you feel let down by the Governors of Casterton School, then I suggest you target them with your comments, as Sedbergh will welcome your children, and you will see them grow and prosper as never before
I would LOVE to see what YOUR reponse would be if it was Sedbergh that was effectively being taken over by Casterton. Cos I'd bet my **** you'd be **** off.
[quote][p][bold]laserjet69[/bold] wrote: And so the barrage of abuse of Sedbergh School continues. I find this increasingly annoying and somewhat churlish. Those of you who are peddling this somewhat disparraging attitude regarding Sedbergh ought to be ashamed. The girls at Casterton now have the opportunity that many would like to have, to be part of a school that is going places, one of the few public schools in the country to be expanding their pupil role year on year, rather than reducing it; one of the few public schools to be reducing its overseas intake instead of expanding it; one of the few public schools to be overwhelmed with Scholarship interest......with few for sport. I think unless you know the full facts about Sedbergh School, unless you understand how the school works, unless you meet teachers, pupils and ancilliary staff you really have no right to comment. The history of this school stretches back nearly 500 years, and it will be here for another 500, simply because the governors and staff are committed to their work at a 7 day week boarding school. If you feel let down by the Governors of Casterton School, then I suggest you target them with your comments, as Sedbergh will welcome your children, and you will see them grow and prosper as never before[/p][/quote]I would LOVE to see what YOUR reponse would be if it was Sedbergh that was effectively being taken over by Casterton. Cos I'd bet my **** you'd be **** off. zaney5
  • Score: 0

5:10pm Sat 2 Mar 13

paul gilby says...

I am sure that Sedbergh is a fine school , and I would expect it to continue as such, however in order to remain so it should continue to have an open and transparent policy with it's stake holders .It must have such a policy, as the majority of the Sedbergh Staff were ,it is now apparent,aware of the take over two weeks ago.
my point is that the new governors joining you on the board at Sedbergh from Casterton have demonstrated themselves to be unreliable and lacking in integrity.
This particular choice of alliance must be questioned.
I am expecting to have look around the new School soon, I will of course have to consider the matter of the governing body quite seriously as this ,as you can see from the way Casterton has handled it's PR , can be the cause of a great deal of anxiety.
I am sure that Sedbergh is a fine school , and I would expect it to continue as such, however in order to remain so it should continue to have an open and transparent policy with it's stake holders .It must have such a policy, as the majority of the Sedbergh Staff were ,it is now apparent,aware of the take over two weeks ago. my point is that the new governors joining you on the board at Sedbergh from Casterton have demonstrated themselves to be unreliable and lacking in integrity. This particular choice of alliance must be questioned. I am expecting to have look around the new School soon, I will of course have to consider the matter of the governing body quite seriously as this ,as you can see from the way Casterton has handled it's PR , can be the cause of a great deal of anxiety. paul gilby
  • Score: 0

5:53pm Sat 2 Mar 13

zaney5 says...

http://www.cravenher
ald.co.uk/news/43834
04.Former_grammar_sc
hool_site_for_sale/

And is this what we can be expecting for Casterton a few years down the line?
http://www.cravenher ald.co.uk/news/43834 04.Former_grammar_sc hool_site_for_sale/ And is this what we can be expecting for Casterton a few years down the line? zaney5
  • Score: 0

5:55pm Sat 2 Mar 13

Fromthesouth says...

Dear Sibbetson
I am really sorry to hear how the news of the changes was communicated to your little girl. From what you have said it sounds that it could have been managed much better.
Please be careful of the use of the word charity instead of a 'charitable trust' (which enables most independent schools to be finacially viable). I say this because most of the people in our community cannot afford schools like Casterton or Sedbergh and would find it difficult to accept and understand any 'charity' aspect; it's not available to them.
Please take note from RedDevill9 about the poll.
Unless there is any clear personal gain it is difficult to believe that your governors have knowingly acted in a 'heartless and ruthless' way.
Governors would not seek sympathy when making difficult decisions. Governors freely give their time and must be in a position to govern and not have to consult - otherwise they have no purpose. I would have thought that the criteria for the selection of governors at Casterton would be for the good of the school or at least the greater good as they see it. You are obviously disatisfied and have every right to make a formal complaint. It is possibly more credible to do this without venting some raw thoughts and emotions so publicly and of a kind that you might later regret.
Dear Sibbetson I am really sorry to hear how the news of the changes was communicated to your little girl. From what you have said it sounds that it could have been managed much better. Please be careful of the use of the word charity instead of a 'charitable trust' (which enables most independent schools to be finacially viable). I say this because most of the people in our community cannot afford schools like Casterton or Sedbergh and would find it difficult to accept and understand any 'charity' aspect; it's not available to them. Please take note from RedDevill9 about the poll. Unless there is any clear personal gain it is difficult to believe that your governors have knowingly acted in a 'heartless and ruthless' way. Governors would not seek sympathy when making difficult decisions. Governors freely give their time and must be in a position to govern and not have to consult - otherwise they have no purpose. I would have thought that the criteria for the selection of governors at Casterton would be for the good of the school or at least the greater good as they see it. You are obviously disatisfied and have every right to make a formal complaint. It is possibly more credible to do this without venting some raw thoughts and emotions so publicly and of a kind that you might later regret. Fromthesouth
  • Score: 0

6:15pm Sat 2 Mar 13

laserjet69 says...

zaney5 wrote:
laserjet69 wrote:
And so the barrage of abuse of Sedbergh School continues. I find this increasingly annoying and somewhat churlish. Those of you who are peddling this somewhat disparraging attitude regarding Sedbergh ought to be ashamed. The girls at Casterton now have the opportunity that many would like to have, to be part of a school that is going places, one of the few public schools in the country to be expanding their pupil role year on year, rather than reducing it; one of the few public schools to be reducing its overseas intake instead of expanding it; one of the few public schools to be overwhelmed with Scholarship interest......with few for sport. I think unless you know the full facts about Sedbergh School, unless you understand how the school works, unless you meet teachers, pupils and ancilliary staff you really have no right to comment. The history of this school stretches back nearly 500 years, and it will be here for another 500, simply because the governors and staff are committed to their work at a 7 day week boarding school. If you feel let down by the Governors of Casterton School, then I suggest you target them with your comments, as Sedbergh will welcome your children, and you will see them grow and prosper as never before
I would LOVE to see what YOUR reponse would be if it was Sedbergh that was effectively being taken over by Casterton. Cos I'd bet my **** you'd be **** off.
That was nice language Zaney, thank you.
[quote][p][bold]zaney5[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]laserjet69[/bold] wrote: And so the barrage of abuse of Sedbergh School continues. I find this increasingly annoying and somewhat churlish. Those of you who are peddling this somewhat disparraging attitude regarding Sedbergh ought to be ashamed. The girls at Casterton now have the opportunity that many would like to have, to be part of a school that is going places, one of the few public schools in the country to be expanding their pupil role year on year, rather than reducing it; one of the few public schools to be reducing its overseas intake instead of expanding it; one of the few public schools to be overwhelmed with Scholarship interest......with few for sport. I think unless you know the full facts about Sedbergh School, unless you understand how the school works, unless you meet teachers, pupils and ancilliary staff you really have no right to comment. The history of this school stretches back nearly 500 years, and it will be here for another 500, simply because the governors and staff are committed to their work at a 7 day week boarding school. If you feel let down by the Governors of Casterton School, then I suggest you target them with your comments, as Sedbergh will welcome your children, and you will see them grow and prosper as never before[/p][/quote]I would LOVE to see what YOUR reponse would be if it was Sedbergh that was effectively being taken over by Casterton. Cos I'd bet my **** you'd be **** off.[/p][/quote]That was nice language Zaney, thank you. laserjet69
  • Score: 0

6:16pm Sat 2 Mar 13

sibbetson says...

So, Fromthesouth, why are there no staff representatives on the Governors either?

I think you are right and a formal complaint may be a good idea, if you can point me to who I could complain to then I will do so.

To Laserjet69, whether Sedbergh is a good or a bad school is entirely irrelevant, the point is we have all had the opportunity to choose Sedbergh and did not do so and still do not. Clearly it is a splendid school but not at all what many parents want otherwise we would have chosen it in the first place.

Nobody is suggesting that Governors should have sought sympathy. What they should have sought is guidance and transparency.

I would genuinely like to know why staff are not represented on the Governors either? Did they prefer not to be?

As for regretting it, thank you for the warning: but I'll risk it.
So, Fromthesouth, why are there no staff representatives on the Governors either? I think you are right and a formal complaint may be a good idea, if you can point me to who I could complain to then I will do so. To Laserjet69, whether Sedbergh is a good or a bad school is entirely irrelevant, the point is we have all had the opportunity to choose Sedbergh and did not do so and still do not. Clearly it is a splendid school but not at all what many parents want otherwise we would have chosen it in the first place. Nobody is suggesting that Governors should have sought sympathy. What they should have sought is guidance and transparency. I would genuinely like to know why staff are not represented on the Governors either? Did they prefer not to be? As for regretting it, thank you for the warning: but I'll risk it. sibbetson
  • Score: 0

6:41pm Sat 2 Mar 13

bynac says...

With friends on the staff at Sedbergh, I can confirm that only the very senior staff and administration knew about the proposal before Tuesday 26th. That morning every member of the teaching and non teaching staff were informed.
How are Casterton girls going to cope with change when they entered the real world. In the state sector there are the moves from primary school (often very small) to secondary school(usually very large. when grammar schools were closed and turned into comprehensives the parents didn't start petitions that their children had passed the eleven plus so HAD to go to a grammar school. If they felt really strongly they could go privately or send them elsewhere. It was all a temporary upheaval, but the children were still with their friends and still knew some of their teachers, so they coped. Change happens and it can only build a stronger character to cope with change.
Stop whining and give Sedbergh a chance
With friends on the staff at Sedbergh, I can confirm that only the very senior staff and administration knew about the proposal before Tuesday 26th. That morning every member of the teaching and non teaching staff were informed. How are Casterton girls going to cope with change when they entered the real world. In the state sector there are the moves from primary school (often very small) to secondary school(usually very large. when grammar schools were closed and turned into comprehensives the parents didn't start petitions that their children had passed the eleven plus so HAD to go to a grammar school. If they felt really strongly they could go privately or send them elsewhere. It was all a temporary upheaval, but the children were still with their friends and still knew some of their teachers, so they coped. Change happens and it can only build a stronger character to cope with change. Stop whining and give Sedbergh a chance bynac
  • Score: 0

7:08pm Sat 2 Mar 13

sibbetson says...

Dear Bynac,

Giving Sedbergh a chance will cost me fifteen thousand pounds a year, quite a sum for something I don't want, don't you think?

Children do cope with change, mine coped splendidly when she went from primary school to secondary. I am sure she will cope with this one. But I disagree that it builds a stronger character. In this case I think it will introduce a level of anxiety and damage their trust and confidence in the world around them.

My choice is to gamble thousands of pounds on this school I didn't like when I went to look at it a couple of years ago: or to uproot my daughter from her friends and the few staff who might stay.

I am angry with the people who have put me in this unpleasant position, who have put the staff in a worse position, and by whom we have been let down. Those people are good at saying: 'stop whining' and rather less good at saying how sorry they are for the mistakes which led to it. Not a one of the current Board of Governors has said: we have let you down, we are sorry, your school can no longer carry on, it is our fault, we have failed, we resign.
Dear Bynac, Giving Sedbergh a chance will cost me fifteen thousand pounds a year, quite a sum for something I don't want, don't you think? Children do cope with change, mine coped splendidly when she went from primary school to secondary. I am sure she will cope with this one. But I disagree that it builds a stronger character. In this case I think it will introduce a level of anxiety and damage their trust and confidence in the world around them. My choice is to gamble thousands of pounds on this school I didn't like when I went to look at it a couple of years ago: or to uproot my daughter from her friends and the few staff who might stay. I am angry with the people who have put me in this unpleasant position, who have put the staff in a worse position, and by whom we have been let down. Those people are good at saying: 'stop whining' and rather less good at saying how sorry they are for the mistakes which led to it. Not a one of the current Board of Governors has said: we have let you down, we are sorry, your school can no longer carry on, it is our fault, we have failed, we resign. sibbetson
  • Score: 0

7:15pm Sat 2 Mar 13

Fromthesouth says...

Dear Sibbetson

Depending on each establishment and their governing criteria the school representation on the governing body is usually via the Head and possibly their deputy or a nominated/elected member of staff.
Every school should have formal complaints procedures and you should have been made fully aware of these. If not do ask.
It was you who said that you have 'no sympathy whatsoever with the 'difficult decisions' made by the governors'.- there may have been some misunderstanding of meaning from both or one of us here.
Dear Sibbetson Depending on each establishment and their governing criteria the school representation on the governing body is usually via the Head and possibly their deputy or a nominated/elected member of staff. Every school should have formal complaints procedures and you should have been made fully aware of these. If not do ask. It was you who said that you have 'no sympathy whatsoever with the 'difficult decisions' made by the governors'.- there may have been some misunderstanding of meaning from both or one of us here. Fromthesouth
  • Score: 0

7:19pm Sat 2 Mar 13

Overseas Parent says...

The debate has moved along significantly and as parents of three Casterton girls I would suggest that a large number of us are not criticising Sedbergh per se, it is simply that while we had a choice as to where to send our daughters, our personal preference was Casterton for a variety of reasons, including the staff, the atmosphere and the ethos.

The absorption into Sedbergh removes these key tenets and cause us to question the wisdom of the Governors, particularly in light of how they communicated the decision and what appears to have been agreed. Better minds than mine are asking very pertinent questions and rumours abound. Thus the Board of Governors at both schools need to be totally transparent, something that does not appear to have occurred to date.

I personally am particularly interested to hear what other options were considered drawing on cases where other schools have 'combined' or was this just
a local 'drug deal?'

I would also be keen to have the Chair of Casterton Governors refute rumours that his Estate Agent company was involved in the sale of the Bentham site or will take any part in the disposal of any Casterton site assets.

I understand a formal legal challenge will shortly be mounted in a bid to gain transparency! Well done to those involved; they clearly have over 50% of parents behind them - an indication of the strong feeling involved!!

To those involved with Sedbergh, many of us are not criticising your school, we are simply saying that we chose Casterton in preference for our own reasons. As Paul Gilby says, we question the integrity and logic behind the Casterton Governors' decision and you will be grateful in the long term that we do not give you a 'hospital pass' of inept, arrogant and self-interested individuals joining your School Governors!!
The debate has moved along significantly and as parents of three Casterton girls I would suggest that a large number of us are not criticising Sedbergh per se, it is simply that while we had a choice as to where to send our daughters, our personal preference was Casterton for a variety of reasons, including the staff, the atmosphere and the ethos. The absorption into Sedbergh removes these key tenets and cause us to question the wisdom of the Governors, particularly in light of how they communicated the decision and what appears to have been agreed. Better minds than mine are asking very pertinent questions and rumours abound. Thus the Board of Governors at both schools need to be totally transparent, something that does not appear to have occurred to date. I personally am particularly interested to hear what other options were considered drawing on cases where other schools have 'combined' or was this just a local 'drug deal?' I would also be keen to have the Chair of Casterton Governors refute rumours that his Estate Agent company was involved in the sale of the Bentham site or will take any part in the disposal of any Casterton site assets. I understand a formal legal challenge will shortly be mounted in a bid to gain transparency! Well done to those involved; they clearly have over 50% of parents behind them - an indication of the strong feeling involved!! To those involved with Sedbergh, many of us are not criticising your school, we are simply saying that we chose Casterton in preference for our own reasons. As Paul Gilby says, we question the integrity and logic behind the Casterton Governors' decision and you will be grateful in the long term that we do not give you a 'hospital pass' of inept, arrogant and self-interested individuals joining your School Governors!! Overseas Parent
  • Score: 0

7:32pm Sat 2 Mar 13

sibbetson says...

Dear Fromthesouth,

So please tell me, is it not correct that the staff asked to have a representative on the Governors and were refused?
Dear Fromthesouth, So please tell me, is it not correct that the staff asked to have a representative on the Governors and were refused? sibbetson
  • Score: 0

7:46pm Sat 2 Mar 13

oashton says...

sibbetson wrote:
It isn't a merger, it's a takeover. Sedbergh Heads, Sedbergh hours, Sedbergh uniform. It isn't exciting, it's shocking. Nobody was consulted, nobody was invited to have an opinion. It's disgraceful behaviour on behalf of the Governors. You will be losing my daughter.
You obviously haven't read the Q&A. Your daughter's uniform won't change, except for a red jumper.

I'd like to point out that the Casterton uniform only changed around 5 years ago for the main uniform, and whilst I was still in 6th form (8 years ago) for the 6th form uniform. The change was to a uniform not so dissimilar from the girls' uniform at Sedbergh.
[quote][p][bold]sibbetson[/bold] wrote: It isn't a merger, it's a takeover. Sedbergh Heads, Sedbergh hours, Sedbergh uniform. It isn't exciting, it's shocking. Nobody was consulted, nobody was invited to have an opinion. It's disgraceful behaviour on behalf of the Governors. You will be losing my daughter.[/p][/quote]You obviously haven't read the Q&A. Your daughter's uniform won't change, except for a red jumper. I'd like to point out that the Casterton uniform only changed around 5 years ago for the main uniform, and whilst I was still in 6th form (8 years ago) for the 6th form uniform. The change was to a uniform not so dissimilar from the girls' uniform at Sedbergh. oashton
  • Score: 0

7:49pm Sat 2 Mar 13

oashton says...

sibbetson wrote:
There may well be other solutions. Every parent at Casterton is there because they have achieved a measure of success: there is a wealth of financial experience there to draw on, a resource the Governors have ignored. As for voting with your feet, how easy you make it sound. It means taking your child away from everything familiar, in some cases halfway through exams. And take them to where exactly? One of the other dozens of girls' schools in Cumbria maybe? I wanted my daughter at a girls' school. Evidence suggests that girls do better in single sex education - this may or may not be so but my daughter has been both happy and successful and I believe in it wholeheartedly. We didn't want her to board, we certainly don't want to lose her to school every Saturday (and Friday night since they don't run a bus on Saturday): why did nobody discuss it with us before persuading us to invest thousands in her education, hundreds in her now redundant uniform, and her own emotional investment in the friends she thought she would be with for the rest of her childhood. It is a disgrace.
Absolute utter twaddle!

There are MANY parents at Casterton who have not achieved financial success, but whose daughters are there on academic merit or who receive financial aid from the Armed Forces.

If you would like to continue your daughter's education at a girls' school then I suggest you look in to LGGS in Lancaster.
[quote][p][bold]sibbetson[/bold] wrote: There may well be other solutions. Every parent at Casterton is there because they have achieved a measure of success: there is a wealth of financial experience there to draw on, a resource the Governors have ignored. As for voting with your feet, how easy you make it sound. It means taking your child away from everything familiar, in some cases halfway through exams. And take them to where exactly? One of the other dozens of girls' schools in Cumbria maybe? I wanted my daughter at a girls' school. Evidence suggests that girls do better in single sex education - this may or may not be so but my daughter has been both happy and successful and I believe in it wholeheartedly. We didn't want her to board, we certainly don't want to lose her to school every Saturday (and Friday night since they don't run a bus on Saturday): why did nobody discuss it with us before persuading us to invest thousands in her education, hundreds in her now redundant uniform, and her own emotional investment in the friends she thought she would be with for the rest of her childhood. It is a disgrace.[/p][/quote]Absolute utter twaddle! There are MANY parents at Casterton who have not achieved financial success, but whose daughters are there on academic merit or who receive financial aid from the Armed Forces. If you would like to continue your daughter's education at a girls' school then I suggest you look in to LGGS in Lancaster. oashton
  • Score: 0

7:50pm Sat 2 Mar 13

sibbetson says...

Quote: "The pupils will need to wear a new kilt, blazer and games kit (but the requirement is minimal)" Q&A sent to me on Tuesday.
Quote: "The pupils will need to wear a new kilt, blazer and games kit (but the requirement is minimal)" Q&A sent to me on Tuesday. sibbetson
  • Score: 0

7:52pm Sat 2 Mar 13

sibbetson says...

Also she is not eligible for a place at Lancaster Grammar because we don't live in Lancaster and they offer places first to children from their own authority. I know because I approached them when she was in yr 6. Cumbrian children are not eligible.
Also she is not eligible for a place at Lancaster Grammar because we don't live in Lancaster and they offer places first to children from their own authority. I know because I approached them when she was in yr 6. Cumbrian children are not eligible. sibbetson
  • Score: 0

7:55pm Sat 2 Mar 13

oashton says...

Neil Robinson 13 wrote:
What the Casterton Governors have done is shameful...selling out the school, the teachers, the parents, the staff and most importantly the girls who seem almost unanimous in their desire not to go to Sedbergh

This is not a merger it is a takeover...Sedbergh teachers were briefed on this a fortnight ago and told under pain of dismissal to keep it quiet ..Our Casterton team were informed 10 minutes before the announcement.

The takeover includes uniform, head teaching staff and bursar ( but hopefully not their "modest" position in the academic league tables)

If I had wanted to send my daughter to a (mainly) boy's public school I would have sent her to this academically inferior establishment in the first place.

The way this has been handled, manipulated and presented stinks

I am also reminded that Sedbergh acquired Bentham school some years ago with very much the same declared aims ...A school that has now been closed down and sold for development

Final message to the Casterton Governors...your credibility is in tatters...I hope you at least have the decency to resign en masse
Sedbergh did not acquire Bentham with the same declared aims at all. There was no pretence that it was a takeover.

It was quite simple. Bentham School closed its doors because it became bankrupt and could no longer run. The buildings and facilities were then bought by Sedbergh for the site of their growing junior school.

How do I know this? Because I was at Casterton when it happened, and I watched as friends from outside of school had to find new schools. And because my younger brother had to switch sites as he was at SJS.

Maybe you should check your facts before you start spouting nonsense online.
[quote][p][bold]Neil Robinson 13[/bold] wrote: What the Casterton Governors have done is shameful...selling out the school, the teachers, the parents, the staff and most importantly the girls who seem almost unanimous in their desire not to go to Sedbergh This is not a merger it is a takeover...Sedbergh teachers were briefed on this a fortnight ago and told under pain of dismissal to keep it quiet ..Our Casterton team were informed 10 minutes before the announcement. The takeover includes uniform, head teaching staff and bursar ( but hopefully not their "modest" position in the academic league tables) If I had wanted to send my daughter to a (mainly) boy's public school I would have sent her to this academically inferior establishment in the first place. The way this has been handled, manipulated and presented stinks I am also reminded that Sedbergh acquired Bentham school some years ago with very much the same declared aims ...A school that has now been closed down and sold for development Final message to the Casterton Governors...your credibility is in tatters...I hope you at least have the decency to resign en masse[/p][/quote]Sedbergh did not acquire Bentham with the same declared aims at all. There was no pretence that it was a takeover. It was quite simple. Bentham School closed its doors because it became bankrupt and could no longer run. The buildings and facilities were then bought by Sedbergh for the site of their growing junior school. How do I know this? Because I was at Casterton when it happened, and I watched as friends from outside of school had to find new schools. And because my younger brother had to switch sites as he was at SJS. Maybe you should check your facts before you start spouting nonsense online. oashton
  • Score: 0

8:09pm Sat 2 Mar 13

oashton says...

Neil Robinson 13 wrote:
blade stall wrote:
Cmon guys calm down its called progress, evolve or die. Sedbergh is a wonderful school and if casterton's survival warrants a merger then go for it. As for consulting the parental base why would they possibly do that?? Its their job to make these decisions your job to elect if they warrant your hard earned cash. Simply put if you dont like it vote with your wallet and walk.. but consult?????
Fair comment, but just to correct you on one matter.

Casterton's survival does not rely on a merger with Sedbergh.

If you look at the accounts (readily available from the charity commissioners) you will see that Casterton do not need to merge to survive.

I have no doubt that Sedbergh is a good school (albeit academically vastly inferior to Casterton..but great if you want to play sport all day) so fine for some, not so good for others... this is not a "one solution fits all" scenario.

The Governors of Casterton, in their infinite wisdom, are claiming they know what is better for our children than we as parents do..they are in for a rude awakening for the ones that attend the meeting tomorrow

This is not about evolve or die...there is an undeclared and cynical agenda going on and they are not going to bully this through as easily as their collective ego clearly imagines
It is funny that you say that this is not a one solution for all scenario.

Casterton is a school where all are expected to become the same, where diversity is not celebrated but quashed, and where the number 1 priority is results and not pastoral care. Casterton is a school where you are expected to fit in to a one size fits all mould, whereas Sedbergh is a school where you are expected to fit in wherever your strengths take you.

I didn't play a single sports match in my 2 years at Sedbergh. Instead I spent the time investing in my music (playing the piano, singing, bassoon and harp), and investing in myself. Casterton broke me, and Sedbergh rebuilt me and my confidence.

Whenever my parents attended functions at Casterton (many times, as I was involved in many areas of school life) they were shunned, as were many others, whilst those parents with monetary value were given all the attention. There were a few staff who were outstanding, and really cared, but most were unforgiving and ineffective.

As a trainee teacher now, evaluating my own practice is standard. The one thing that sticks out to me is that too many of the teachers at Casterton were the kind of teacher that we are warned about in our training - the teachers not to become.

It is not just the governors who have made this decision, but also senior staff. And many would argue that if you think top A level results are more important than moulding your child into a happy, healthy, well-rounded and well-grounded individual, then the governors do know what is better for them.

For all this bleating about results, you would assume that you are personally concerned with getting into a top university and then a top job. Casterton's notable alumni consists of the Bronte sisters, who did not even attend Casterton School. Once you leave Casterton there is no support, from staff or COGA. Sedbergh, however, has been responsible for many industry leaders, partly because of support upon leaving the school and partly because of their obsession with allowing young people to flourish wherever their strengths lie.

And just so you know, I loved my time at Casterton. But I loved my time at Sedbergh more. It was their hard work that has moulded me into the responsible adult I am today. It is their continued support which sees me at the top of my class and flying through my placements. It is their support that will see me applying for a Masters in Education at Harvard University.

P.s. More Sedberghians have attended Oxbridge colleges in the last decade than Castertonians.
[quote][p][bold]Neil Robinson 13[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]blade stall[/bold] wrote: Cmon guys calm down its called progress, evolve or die. Sedbergh is a wonderful school and if casterton's survival warrants a merger then go for it. As for consulting the parental base why would they possibly do that?? Its their job to make these decisions your job to elect if they warrant your hard earned cash. Simply put if you dont like it vote with your wallet and walk.. but consult?????[/p][/quote]Fair comment, but just to correct you on one matter. Casterton's survival does not rely on a merger with Sedbergh. If you look at the accounts (readily available from the charity commissioners) you will see that Casterton do not need to merge to survive. I have no doubt that Sedbergh is a good school (albeit academically vastly inferior to Casterton..but great if you want to play sport all day) so fine for some, not so good for others... this is not a "one solution fits all" scenario. The Governors of Casterton, in their infinite wisdom, are claiming they know what is better for our children than we as parents do..they are in for a rude awakening for the ones that attend the meeting tomorrow This is not about evolve or die...there is an undeclared and cynical agenda going on and they are not going to bully this through as easily as their collective ego clearly imagines[/p][/quote]It is funny that you say that this is not a one solution for all scenario. Casterton is a school where all are expected to become the same, where diversity is not celebrated but quashed, and where the number 1 priority is results and not pastoral care. Casterton is a school where you are expected to fit in to a one size fits all mould, whereas Sedbergh is a school where you are expected to fit in wherever your strengths take you. I didn't play a single sports match in my 2 years at Sedbergh. Instead I spent the time investing in my music (playing the piano, singing, bassoon and harp), and investing in myself. Casterton broke me, and Sedbergh rebuilt me and my confidence. Whenever my parents attended functions at Casterton (many times, as I was involved in many areas of school life) they were shunned, as were many others, whilst those parents with monetary value were given all the attention. There were a few staff who were outstanding, and really cared, but most were unforgiving and ineffective. As a trainee teacher now, evaluating my own practice is standard. The one thing that sticks out to me is that too many of the teachers at Casterton were the kind of teacher that we are warned about in our training - the teachers not to become. It is not just the governors who have made this decision, but also senior staff. And many would argue that if you think top A level results are more important than moulding your child into a happy, healthy, well-rounded and well-grounded individual, then the governors do know what is better for them. For all this bleating about results, you would assume that you are personally concerned with getting into a top university and then a top job. Casterton's notable alumni consists of the Bronte sisters, who did not even attend Casterton School. Once you leave Casterton there is no support, from staff or COGA. Sedbergh, however, has been responsible for many industry leaders, partly because of support upon leaving the school and partly because of their obsession with allowing young people to flourish wherever their strengths lie. And just so you know, I loved my time at Casterton. But I loved my time at Sedbergh more. It was their hard work that has moulded me into the responsible adult I am today. It is their continued support which sees me at the top of my class and flying through my placements. It is their support that will see me applying for a Masters in Education at Harvard University. P.s. More Sedberghians have attended Oxbridge colleges in the last decade than Castertonians. oashton
  • Score: 0

8:12pm Sat 2 Mar 13

oashton says...

Neil Robinson 13 wrote:
Yes, absolutely certain. My sources (more than one) have confirmed this in writing, including the date that they were informed.

Sorry; don't mean to be pedantic, but this is not a merger it is in my humble opinion a takeover

Regards
Neil
Then your sources are liars.

I have numerous friends, from school, who now work at the school. None were informed last week.

Similarly, friends who now work at Casterton believe they were told at the same time as their Sedbergh counterparts because of liaisons between staff across both sites.
[quote][p][bold]Neil Robinson 13[/bold] wrote: Yes, absolutely certain. My sources (more than one) have confirmed this in writing, including the date that they were informed. Sorry; don't mean to be pedantic, but this is not a merger it is in my humble opinion a takeover Regards Neil[/p][/quote]Then your sources are liars. I have numerous friends, from school, who now work at the school. None were informed last week. Similarly, friends who now work at Casterton believe they were told at the same time as their Sedbergh counterparts because of liaisons between staff across both sites. oashton
  • Score: 0

8:13pm Sat 2 Mar 13

PennB-S says...

Dear Bynac,

And I can confirm, having friends on the staff at Casterton, that the majority of senior and admin staff did not know before the 26th. An unfair imbalance from the start.

How girls will cope with change when they enter the ‘real world’ as you put it is irrelevant in the case of this ‘merger’ and any changes and moves experienced by pupils in the state sector is also irrelevant here.

Imagine you bought an Audi having researched a certain model. You chose it for its particular set of pros and cons that you considered important. You could afford it and you paid for it and you were delighted with how it performed. You couldn’t be happier with the choice YOU had made. How would you then feel if someone turned up to remove the Audi from your driveway without your permission, telling you they were about to replace it with a Rover? And that they hoped you would be excited to change it to a Rover?

Both may be good cars for different reasons, but you CHOSE the Audi to suit your personal beliefs, lifestyle and requirements.

Would you then say ‘oh I won’t complain because many people are happy with Fiats’? Again, irrelevant.

A crude analogy, I admit, but the point is not about whether and how girls will adapt, or whether Sedbergh School is commendable, it’s the principal of the matter; the autocratic, opaque process, the omission of consultation, the style and timing of communication, the complete absence of sensitivity, the lack of rationale for the decision, the readiness to rapidly dissolve the essence of Casterton, and the failure to consider other options and to discuss them with the people involved, who will be the people affected by the outcome.

People ‘whine’ over trivial matters like rising utility bills, or that the postman is late; my daughters’ education is not among the things I ‘whine’ about.
Dear Bynac, And I can confirm, having friends on the staff at Casterton, that the majority of senior and admin staff did not know before the 26th. An unfair imbalance from the start. How girls will cope with change when they enter the ‘real world’ as you put it is irrelevant in the case of this ‘merger’ and any changes and moves experienced by pupils in the state sector is also irrelevant here. Imagine you bought an Audi having researched a certain model. You chose it for its particular set of pros and cons that you considered important. You could afford it and you paid for it and you were delighted with how it performed. You couldn’t be happier with the choice YOU had made. How would you then feel if someone turned up to remove the Audi from your driveway without your permission, telling you they were about to replace it with a Rover? And that they hoped you would be excited to change it to a Rover? Both may be good cars for different reasons, but you CHOSE the Audi to suit your personal beliefs, lifestyle and requirements. Would you then say ‘oh I won’t complain because many people are happy with Fiats’? Again, irrelevant. A crude analogy, I admit, but the point is not about whether and how girls will adapt, or whether Sedbergh School is commendable, it’s the principal of the matter; the autocratic, opaque process, the omission of consultation, the style and timing of communication, the complete absence of sensitivity, the lack of rationale for the decision, the readiness to rapidly dissolve the essence of Casterton, and the failure to consider other options and to discuss them with the people involved, who will be the people affected by the outcome. People ‘whine’ over trivial matters like rising utility bills, or that the postman is late; my daughters’ education is not among the things I ‘whine’ about. PennB-S
  • Score: 0

8:26pm Sat 2 Mar 13

sibbetson says...

Hurrah for you, Penn B-S, couldn't agree more! - your analogy sums up my feelings exactly.
Hurrah for you, Penn B-S, couldn't agree more! - your analogy sums up my feelings exactly. sibbetson
  • Score: 0

8:33pm Sat 2 Mar 13

oashton says...

sibbetson wrote:
Quote: "The pupils will need to wear a new kilt, blazer and games kit (but the requirement is minimal)" Q&A sent to me on Tuesday.
This isn't true. You do not HAVE to buy the new kit.

And if you want to buy second hand, I still have my entire Sedbergh uniform in top condition. Especially the sports kit, as I never wore it.
[quote][p][bold]sibbetson[/bold] wrote: Quote: "The pupils will need to wear a new kilt, blazer and games kit (but the requirement is minimal)" Q&A sent to me on Tuesday.[/p][/quote]This isn't true. You do not HAVE to buy the new kit. And if you want to buy second hand, I still have my entire Sedbergh uniform in top condition. Especially the sports kit, as I never wore it. oashton
  • Score: 0

8:37pm Sat 2 Mar 13

oashton says...

PennB-S wrote:
Dear Bynac,

And I can confirm, having friends on the staff at Casterton, that the majority of senior and admin staff did not know before the 26th. An unfair imbalance from the start.

How girls will cope with change when they enter the ‘real world’ as you put it is irrelevant in the case of this ‘merger’ and any changes and moves experienced by pupils in the state sector is also irrelevant here.

Imagine you bought an Audi having researched a certain model. You chose it for its particular set of pros and cons that you considered important. You could afford it and you paid for it and you were delighted with how it performed. You couldn’t be happier with the choice YOU had made. How would you then feel if someone turned up to remove the Audi from your driveway without your permission, telling you they were about to replace it with a Rover? And that they hoped you would be excited to change it to a Rover?

Both may be good cars for different reasons, but you CHOSE the Audi to suit your personal beliefs, lifestyle and requirements.

Would you then say ‘oh I won’t complain because many people are happy with Fiats’? Again, irrelevant.

A crude analogy, I admit, but the point is not about whether and how girls will adapt, or whether Sedbergh School is commendable, it’s the principal of the matter; the autocratic, opaque process, the omission of consultation, the style and timing of communication, the complete absence of sensitivity, the lack of rationale for the decision, the readiness to rapidly dissolve the essence of Casterton, and the failure to consider other options and to discuss them with the people involved, who will be the people affected by the outcome.

People ‘whine’ over trivial matters like rising utility bills, or that the postman is late; my daughters’ education is not among the things I ‘whine’ about.
What a lot of people are missing here is that it you as the parents that have the biggest problem.

Psychology of education and children shows that children will thrive under any circumstances, so long as they have healthy attachment and security.

If you love your child, and they were able to form those firm and important attachments to you when they were young, they will get over change and they will continue to thrive.

There were many changes in my childhood which I hated, however I soon got over them and I continued to thrive.
[quote][p][bold]PennB-S[/bold] wrote: Dear Bynac, And I can confirm, having friends on the staff at Casterton, that the majority of senior and admin staff did not know before the 26th. An unfair imbalance from the start. How girls will cope with change when they enter the ‘real world’ as you put it is irrelevant in the case of this ‘merger’ and any changes and moves experienced by pupils in the state sector is also irrelevant here. Imagine you bought an Audi having researched a certain model. You chose it for its particular set of pros and cons that you considered important. You could afford it and you paid for it and you were delighted with how it performed. You couldn’t be happier with the choice YOU had made. How would you then feel if someone turned up to remove the Audi from your driveway without your permission, telling you they were about to replace it with a Rover? And that they hoped you would be excited to change it to a Rover? Both may be good cars for different reasons, but you CHOSE the Audi to suit your personal beliefs, lifestyle and requirements. Would you then say ‘oh I won’t complain because many people are happy with Fiats’? Again, irrelevant. A crude analogy, I admit, but the point is not about whether and how girls will adapt, or whether Sedbergh School is commendable, it’s the principal of the matter; the autocratic, opaque process, the omission of consultation, the style and timing of communication, the complete absence of sensitivity, the lack of rationale for the decision, the readiness to rapidly dissolve the essence of Casterton, and the failure to consider other options and to discuss them with the people involved, who will be the people affected by the outcome. People ‘whine’ over trivial matters like rising utility bills, or that the postman is late; my daughters’ education is not among the things I ‘whine’ about.[/p][/quote]What a lot of people are missing here is that it you as the parents that have the biggest problem. Psychology of education and children shows that children will thrive under any circumstances, so long as they have healthy attachment and security. If you love your child, and they were able to form those firm and important attachments to you when they were young, they will get over change and they will continue to thrive. There were many changes in my childhood which I hated, however I soon got over them and I continued to thrive. oashton
  • Score: 0

8:38pm Sat 2 Mar 13

sibbetson says...

To all interested bodies, the school's accounts can be found here. http://www.charityco
mmission.gov.uk/Show
charity/RegisterOfCh
arities/FinancialHis
tory.aspx?Registered
CharityNumber=107638
0&SubsidiaryNumber=0


Doesn't look to me as if they are so broke they have no other choices.
Dear oashton, thanks, but no thanks.
To all interested bodies, the school's accounts can be found here. http://www.charityco mmission.gov.uk/Show charity/RegisterOfCh arities/FinancialHis tory.aspx?Registered CharityNumber=107638 0&SubsidiaryNumber=0 Doesn't look to me as if they are so broke they have no other choices. Dear oashton, thanks, but no thanks. sibbetson
  • Score: 0

8:41pm Sat 2 Mar 13

oashton says...

sibbetson wrote:
Also she is not eligible for a place at Lancaster Grammar because we don't live in Lancaster and they offer places first to children from their own authority. I know because I approached them when she was in yr 6. Cumbrian children are not eligible.
Well look into any one of the fine outstanding schools in Cumbria then. I know there are many as I am training to teach in the area.

I know you think that single sex education is better but it just cannot be true. If it were, then the top universities and jobs would be occupied by girls that had attended single sex schools, with everyone else left chomping at the bit.

Trust your local LEA - there are lots of excellent schools where you daughters could thrive if you supported them. Or give Sedbergh a try, and I really mean try. Children often adopt their parents' feelings. If you say, "let's give this a go" and be positive about the first year, it may have all the difference in your daughter's approach. Please believe me when I say, the transition from Casterton to Sedbergh is tough - even if it is what you want - but it is eternally worth it. I promise.
[quote][p][bold]sibbetson[/bold] wrote: Also she is not eligible for a place at Lancaster Grammar because we don't live in Lancaster and they offer places first to children from their own authority. I know because I approached them when she was in yr 6. Cumbrian children are not eligible.[/p][/quote]Well look into any one of the fine outstanding schools in Cumbria then. I know there are many as I am training to teach in the area. I know you think that single sex education is better but it just cannot be true. If it were, then the top universities and jobs would be occupied by girls that had attended single sex schools, with everyone else left chomping at the bit. Trust your local LEA - there are lots of excellent schools where you daughters could thrive if you supported them. Or give Sedbergh a try, and I really mean try. Children often adopt their parents' feelings. If you say, "let's give this a go" and be positive about the first year, it may have all the difference in your daughter's approach. Please believe me when I say, the transition from Casterton to Sedbergh is tough - even if it is what you want - but it is eternally worth it. I promise. oashton
  • Score: 0

8:45pm Sat 2 Mar 13

Mooga23 says...

oashton wrote:
sibbetson wrote:
There may well be other solutions. Every parent at Casterton is there because they have achieved a measure of success: there is a wealth of financial experience there to draw on, a resource the Governors have ignored. As for voting with your feet, how easy you make it sound. It means taking your child away from everything familiar, in some cases halfway through exams. And take them to where exactly? One of the other dozens of girls' schools in Cumbria maybe? I wanted my daughter at a girls' school. Evidence suggests that girls do better in single sex education - this may or may not be so but my daughter has been both happy and successful and I believe in it wholeheartedly. We didn't want her to board, we certainly don't want to lose her to school every Saturday (and Friday night since they don't run a bus on Saturday): why did nobody discuss it with us before persuading us to invest thousands in her education, hundreds in her now redundant uniform, and her own emotional investment in the friends she thought she would be with for the rest of her childhood. It is a disgrace.
Absolute utter twaddle!

There are MANY parents at Casterton who have not achieved financial success, but whose daughters are there on academic merit or who receive financial aid from the Armed Forces.

If you would like to continue your daughter's education at a girls' school then I suggest you look in to LGGS in Lancaster.
Are you trying to say that those who are there on academic merit or receive financial aid from the Armed Forces have therefore not achieved financial success? Because I can assure you that is not the case.
[quote][p][bold]oashton[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]sibbetson[/bold] wrote: There may well be other solutions. Every parent at Casterton is there because they have achieved a measure of success: there is a wealth of financial experience there to draw on, a resource the Governors have ignored. As for voting with your feet, how easy you make it sound. It means taking your child away from everything familiar, in some cases halfway through exams. And take them to where exactly? One of the other dozens of girls' schools in Cumbria maybe? I wanted my daughter at a girls' school. Evidence suggests that girls do better in single sex education - this may or may not be so but my daughter has been both happy and successful and I believe in it wholeheartedly. We didn't want her to board, we certainly don't want to lose her to school every Saturday (and Friday night since they don't run a bus on Saturday): why did nobody discuss it with us before persuading us to invest thousands in her education, hundreds in her now redundant uniform, and her own emotional investment in the friends she thought she would be with for the rest of her childhood. It is a disgrace.[/p][/quote]Absolute utter twaddle! There are MANY parents at Casterton who have not achieved financial success, but whose daughters are there on academic merit or who receive financial aid from the Armed Forces. If you would like to continue your daughter's education at a girls' school then I suggest you look in to LGGS in Lancaster.[/p][/quote]Are you trying to say that those who are there on academic merit or receive financial aid from the Armed Forces have therefore not achieved financial success? Because I can assure you that is not the case. Mooga23
  • Score: 0

9:04pm Sat 2 Mar 13

oashton says...

Mooga23 wrote:
oashton wrote:
sibbetson wrote:
There may well be other solutions. Every parent at Casterton is there because they have achieved a measure of success: there is a wealth of financial experience there to draw on, a resource the Governors have ignored. As for voting with your feet, how easy you make it sound. It means taking your child away from everything familiar, in some cases halfway through exams. And take them to where exactly? One of the other dozens of girls' schools in Cumbria maybe? I wanted my daughter at a girls' school. Evidence suggests that girls do better in single sex education - this may or may not be so but my daughter has been both happy and successful and I believe in it wholeheartedly. We didn't want her to board, we certainly don't want to lose her to school every Saturday (and Friday night since they don't run a bus on Saturday): why did nobody discuss it with us before persuading us to invest thousands in her education, hundreds in her now redundant uniform, and her own emotional investment in the friends she thought she would be with for the rest of her childhood. It is a disgrace.
Absolute utter twaddle!

There are MANY parents at Casterton who have not achieved financial success, but whose daughters are there on academic merit or who receive financial aid from the Armed Forces.

If you would like to continue your daughter's education at a girls' school then I suggest you look in to LGGS in Lancaster.
Are you trying to say that those who are there on academic merit or receive financial aid from the Armed Forces have therefore not achieved financial success? Because I can assure you that is not the case.
I'm trying to say that sibbetson's idea of 'success' is ludicrous.

Yes, my family had achieved a certain level of success. But they certainly couldn't have afforded to send me to Casterton without the discount for being a clergy daughter and the Armed Forces discount.
[quote][p][bold]Mooga23[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]oashton[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]sibbetson[/bold] wrote: There may well be other solutions. Every parent at Casterton is there because they have achieved a measure of success: there is a wealth of financial experience there to draw on, a resource the Governors have ignored. As for voting with your feet, how easy you make it sound. It means taking your child away from everything familiar, in some cases halfway through exams. And take them to where exactly? One of the other dozens of girls' schools in Cumbria maybe? I wanted my daughter at a girls' school. Evidence suggests that girls do better in single sex education - this may or may not be so but my daughter has been both happy and successful and I believe in it wholeheartedly. We didn't want her to board, we certainly don't want to lose her to school every Saturday (and Friday night since they don't run a bus on Saturday): why did nobody discuss it with us before persuading us to invest thousands in her education, hundreds in her now redundant uniform, and her own emotional investment in the friends she thought she would be with for the rest of her childhood. It is a disgrace.[/p][/quote]Absolute utter twaddle! There are MANY parents at Casterton who have not achieved financial success, but whose daughters are there on academic merit or who receive financial aid from the Armed Forces. If you would like to continue your daughter's education at a girls' school then I suggest you look in to LGGS in Lancaster.[/p][/quote]Are you trying to say that those who are there on academic merit or receive financial aid from the Armed Forces have therefore not achieved financial success? Because I can assure you that is not the case.[/p][/quote]I'm trying to say that sibbetson's idea of 'success' is ludicrous. Yes, my family had achieved a certain level of success. But they certainly couldn't have afforded to send me to Casterton without the discount for being a clergy daughter and the Armed Forces discount. oashton
  • Score: 0

9:16pm Sat 2 Mar 13

sibbetson says...

The point is not some kind of elitism but that there is a great deal of financial experience there upon which the Governors could have drawn and did not. The point that some parents are not financial experts is irrelevant: others are and could well have been able to offer some very useful advice based on successful strategies they have employed in their own business activities.
The point is not some kind of elitism but that there is a great deal of financial experience there upon which the Governors could have drawn and did not. The point that some parents are not financial experts is irrelevant: others are and could well have been able to offer some very useful advice based on successful strategies they have employed in their own business activities. sibbetson
  • Score: 0

9:30pm Sat 2 Mar 13

Fromthesouth says...

sibbetson wrote:
Dear Fromthesouth, So please tell me, is it not correct that the staff asked to have a representative on the Governors and were refused?
Dear Sibbetson

I have no knowledge of any requests or refusuals between Casterton staff and Casterton governors. Why don't you ask the staff or governors? Why don't you ask how the governors aquired the positions they have? These are the sort of important questions that parents ask before they consider sending their children to a school.

I can really sense a degree of anger and agression and I can understand your disappointment. However, you should try to persue your concerns/enquiry more logically and systematically and maintain some decorum.
[quote][p][bold]sibbetson[/bold] wrote: Dear Fromthesouth, So please tell me, is it not correct that the staff asked to have a representative on the Governors and were refused?[/p][/quote]Dear Sibbetson I have no knowledge of any requests or refusuals between Casterton staff and Casterton governors. Why don't you ask the staff or governors? Why don't you ask how the governors aquired the positions they have? These are the sort of important questions that parents ask before they consider sending their children to a school. I can really sense a degree of anger and agression and I can understand your disappointment. However, you should try to persue your concerns/enquiry more logically and systematically and maintain some decorum. Fromthesouth
  • Score: 0

9:40pm Sat 2 Mar 13

Tiffany22 says...

@'oashton' you're completely missing the point here. This is not about you and your time at casterton/sedbergh..
. You CHOSE to move schools.
We are all extremely happy with all aspects of Casterton. We do not want to or can not move our daughters to Sedbergh, plus the way it has been handled by the governors is disgraceful...Good for you if you had a great time Sedbergh, but it's not for us.
@'oashton' you're completely missing the point here. This is not about you and your time at casterton/sedbergh.. . You CHOSE to move schools. We are all extremely happy with all aspects of Casterton. We do not want to or can not move our daughters to Sedbergh, plus the way it has been handled by the governors is disgraceful...Good for you if you had a great time Sedbergh, but it's not for us. Tiffany22
  • Score: 0

9:51pm Sat 2 Mar 13

sibbetson says...

Dear fromthesouth
acquired. aggression, pursue, has your spellchecker stopped working?
Dear fromthesouth acquired. aggression, pursue, has your spellchecker stopped working? sibbetson
  • Score: 0

10:15pm Sat 2 Mar 13

RedDevil9 says...

Assuming the merger goes ahead (anyone know when this is due to happen?), I wonder how many present Casterton girls are intending to make the move up to Sedbergh. I presume there is also a pool of prospective pupils to Casterton for next year that Sedbergh is able to tap into.

Just wondering how many pupils Sedbergh would need to pick up in order for it to have been worthwhile for them.
Assuming the merger goes ahead (anyone know when this is due to happen?), I wonder how many present Casterton girls are intending to make the move up to Sedbergh. I presume there is also a pool of prospective pupils to Casterton for next year that Sedbergh is able to tap into. Just wondering how many pupils Sedbergh would need to pick up in order for it to have been worthwhile for them. RedDevil9
  • Score: 0

10:43pm Sat 2 Mar 13

oashton says...

RedDevil9 wrote:
Assuming the merger goes ahead (anyone know when this is due to happen?), I wonder how many present Casterton girls are intending to make the move up to Sedbergh. I presume there is also a pool of prospective pupils to Casterton for next year that Sedbergh is able to tap into.

Just wondering how many pupils Sedbergh would need to pick up in order for it to have been worthwhile for them.
I'm sure Sedbergh won't have any difficulties filling pupil places needed to make this financially viable.

However, with only 11 pupils entering Casterton this year it doesn't seem financially viable to continue to pay all their staff, overheads etc..
[quote][p][bold]RedDevil9[/bold] wrote: Assuming the merger goes ahead (anyone know when this is due to happen?), I wonder how many present Casterton girls are intending to make the move up to Sedbergh. I presume there is also a pool of prospective pupils to Casterton for next year that Sedbergh is able to tap into. Just wondering how many pupils Sedbergh would need to pick up in order for it to have been worthwhile for them.[/p][/quote]I'm sure Sedbergh won't have any difficulties filling pupil places needed to make this financially viable. However, with only 11 pupils entering Casterton this year it doesn't seem financially viable to continue to pay all their staff, overheads etc.. oashton
  • Score: 0

10:45pm Sat 2 Mar 13

oashton says...

Tiffany22 wrote:
@'oashton' you're completely missing the point here. This is not about you and your time at casterton/sedbergh..

. You CHOSE to move schools.
We are all extremely happy with all aspects of Casterton. We do not want to or can not move our daughters to Sedbergh, plus the way it has been handled by the governors is disgraceful...Good for you if you had a great time Sedbergh, but it's not for us.
You're missing the point. If more people were happier with Casterton as a choice they would have more pupils attending the school.

There were 3/4 forms in each year when I started boarding in year 6 and only 1/2 in each year when I left in year 11.
[quote][p][bold]Tiffany22[/bold] wrote: @'oashton' you're completely missing the point here. This is not about you and your time at casterton/sedbergh.. . You CHOSE to move schools. We are all extremely happy with all aspects of Casterton. We do not want to or can not move our daughters to Sedbergh, plus the way it has been handled by the governors is disgraceful...Good for you if you had a great time Sedbergh, but it's not for us.[/p][/quote]You're missing the point. If more people were happier with Casterton as a choice they would have more pupils attending the school. There were 3/4 forms in each year when I started boarding in year 6 and only 1/2 in each year when I left in year 11. oashton
  • Score: 0

10:53pm Sat 2 Mar 13

Fromthesouth says...

sibbetson wrote:
Dear fromthesouth acquired. aggression, pursue, has your spellchecker stopped working?
It's a pity that you have to respond in this way. Perhaps you are showing your true colours.............
....?
It makes me wonder what sort of parent you are.
You seem to now be indulging in hype and point-scoring rather than giving your priorities to the substance.
[quote][p][bold]sibbetson[/bold] wrote: Dear fromthesouth acquired. aggression, pursue, has your spellchecker stopped working?[/p][/quote]It's a pity that you have to respond in this way. Perhaps you are showing your true colours............. ....? It makes me wonder what sort of parent you are. You seem to now be indulging in hype and point-scoring rather than giving your priorities to the substance. Fromthesouth
  • Score: 0

11:35pm Sat 2 Mar 13

laserjet69 says...

RedDevil9 wrote:
Assuming the merger goes ahead (anyone know when this is due to happen?), I wonder how many present Casterton girls are intending to make the move up to Sedbergh. I presume there is also a pool of prospective pupils to Casterton for next year that Sedbergh is able to tap into.

Just wondering how many pupils Sedbergh would need to pick up in order for it to have been worthwhile for them.
Merger will be completed on March 11th
[quote][p][bold]RedDevil9[/bold] wrote: Assuming the merger goes ahead (anyone know when this is due to happen?), I wonder how many present Casterton girls are intending to make the move up to Sedbergh. I presume there is also a pool of prospective pupils to Casterton for next year that Sedbergh is able to tap into. Just wondering how many pupils Sedbergh would need to pick up in order for it to have been worthwhile for them.[/p][/quote]Merger will be completed on March 11th laserjet69
  • Score: 0

11:41pm Sat 2 Mar 13

Thegreenman2013 says...

Staff at Casterton school HAVE been asking to have a representative at governors meetings for many many many months and have been refused every time.
Staff at Casterton school HAVE been asking to have a representative at governors meetings for many many many months and have been refused every time. Thegreenman2013
  • Score: 0

8:46am Sun 3 Mar 13

Tiffany22 says...

oashton wrote:
Tiffany22 wrote: @'oashton' you're completely missing the point here. This is not about you and your time at casterton/sedbergh.. . You CHOSE to move schools. We are all extremely happy with all aspects of Casterton. We do not want to or can not move our daughters to Sedbergh, plus the way it has been handled by the governors is disgraceful...Good for you if you had a great time Sedbergh, but it's not for us.
You're missing the point. If more people were happier with Casterton as a choice they would have more pupils attending the school. There were 3/4 forms in each year when I started boarding in year 6 and only 1/2 in each year when I left in year 11.
Again you bring the conversation around to you and you're time at Casterton. As I mentioned before I'm really not interested oashton.
[quote][p][bold]oashton[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Tiffany22[/bold] wrote: @'oashton' you're completely missing the point here. This is not about you and your time at casterton/sedbergh.. . You CHOSE to move schools. We are all extremely happy with all aspects of Casterton. We do not want to or can not move our daughters to Sedbergh, plus the way it has been handled by the governors is disgraceful...Good for you if you had a great time Sedbergh, but it's not for us.[/p][/quote]You're missing the point. If more people were happier with Casterton as a choice they would have more pupils attending the school. There were 3/4 forms in each year when I started boarding in year 6 and only 1/2 in each year when I left in year 11.[/p][/quote]Again you bring the conversation around to you and you're time at Casterton. As I mentioned before I'm really not interested oashton. Tiffany22
  • Score: 0

8:49am Sun 3 Mar 13

Tiffany22 says...

*your
*your Tiffany22
  • Score: 0

8:49am Sun 3 Mar 13

Tiffany22 says...

*your
*your Tiffany22
  • Score: 0

9:30am Sun 3 Mar 13

cumbriabornandbred says...

oashton wrote:
Neil Robinson 13 wrote:
blade stall wrote:
Cmon guys calm down its called progress, evolve or die. Sedbergh is a wonderful school and if casterton's survival warrants a merger then go for it. As for consulting the parental base why would they possibly do that?? Its their job to make these decisions your job to elect if they warrant your hard earned cash. Simply put if you dont like it vote with your wallet and walk.. but consult?????
Fair comment, but just to correct you on one matter.

Casterton's survival does not rely on a merger with Sedbergh.

If you look at the accounts (readily available from the charity commissioners) you will see that Casterton do not need to merge to survive.

I have no doubt that Sedbergh is a good school (albeit academically vastly inferior to Casterton..but great if you want to play sport all day) so fine for some, not so good for others... this is not a "one solution fits all" scenario.

The Governors of Casterton, in their infinite wisdom, are claiming they know what is better for our children than we as parents do..they are in for a rude awakening for the ones that attend the meeting tomorrow

This is not about evolve or die...there is an undeclared and cynical agenda going on and they are not going to bully this through as easily as their collective ego clearly imagines
It is funny that you say that this is not a one solution for all scenario.

Casterton is a school where all are expected to become the same, where diversity is not celebrated but quashed, and where the number 1 priority is results and not pastoral care. Casterton is a school where you are expected to fit in to a one size fits all mould, whereas Sedbergh is a school where you are expected to fit in wherever your strengths take you.

I didn't play a single sports match in my 2 years at Sedbergh. Instead I spent the time investing in my music (playing the piano, singing, bassoon and harp), and investing in myself. Casterton broke me, and Sedbergh rebuilt me and my confidence.

Whenever my parents attended functions at Casterton (many times, as I was involved in many areas of school life) they were shunned, as were many others, whilst those parents with monetary value were given all the attention. There were a few staff who were outstanding, and really cared, but most were unforgiving and ineffective.

As a trainee teacher now, evaluating my own practice is standard. The one thing that sticks out to me is that too many of the teachers at Casterton were the kind of teacher that we are warned about in our training - the teachers not to become.

It is not just the governors who have made this decision, but also senior staff. And many would argue that if you think top A level results are more important than moulding your child into a happy, healthy, well-rounded and well-grounded individual, then the governors do know what is better for them.

For all this bleating about results, you would assume that you are personally concerned with getting into a top university and then a top job. Casterton's notable alumni consists of the Bronte sisters, who did not even attend Casterton School. Once you leave Casterton there is no support, from staff or COGA. Sedbergh, however, has been responsible for many industry leaders, partly because of support upon leaving the school and partly because of their obsession with allowing young people to flourish wherever their strengths lie.

And just so you know, I loved my time at Casterton. But I loved my time at Sedbergh more. It was their hard work that has moulded me into the responsible adult I am today. It is their continued support which sees me at the top of my class and flying through my placements. It is their support that will see me applying for a Masters in Education at Harvard University.

P.s. More Sedberghians have attended Oxbridge colleges in the last decade than Castertonians.
I have been thinking about this post throughout the night and I think you are totally wrong in many ways. And yes, this refers to my time at the school. But my loyalty to, and love of, the school means I need to defend it.

1) Many, many ex Casterton girls are hugely successful. They have their own businesses, are in the forces, work for the UN, are CEO's, as well as being teachers, doctors, nurses, etc etc etc. success is NOT just measured by being an 'industry leader'.
2) In my experience, Casterton staff are hugely supportive once you have left.
3) Ditto - teachers. If I can inspire my pupils like some of my teachers inspired me, then I will be pleased.
3.a) Pastoral care was excellent (believe me I had to receive a lot of it) and we were encouraged to be good at whatever it was that got us going - music, sport, academics, art, drama...
my siblings were at Sedbergh (and yes, I know it is changing) but their interests in different areas were far from encouraged.
4) This is NOT about whether Casterton is a good school. It is about whether it should become part of a bigger, already co-ed school.
5) My parents were welcomed with open arms at Casterton (and we were not moneyed). Actually, in comparison, at Sedbergh, they were rarely spoken to.
6) Governors DO make this decision. Senior Staff generally have it passed it to them as a fait accompli.

" know you think that single sex education is better but it just cannot be true. If it were, then the top universities and jobs would be occupied by girls that had attended single sex schools, with everyone else left chomping at the bit."

ok - stop right now. There are a number of girls schools where results are excellent (just as there are boys school where results are excellent) and the girls are well rounded and successful. Have you heard of Wycombe Abbey, Queen Mary's, Downe House, St Swithun's, Heathfield, etc etc etc the list goes on?

Personally, I am shocked that they are not considering the diamond system - co-ed prep school, single sex for years 7-11 OR 9-11 and then co-ed Sixth Form. This is known to work.

Also - we very carefully need to come back to the fact that this is not about knocking Sedbergh - there is a lot that is good about it, but it is about parents being told that their school is becoming part of a larger, co educational establishment. It is about them, and their daughters, having chosen single sex education over co-ed in the first place. It is about them having to now decide whether to move their daughters to the new school, or whether to look further afield for a different girl's school, or to go into the state system, where the places have already been awarded. It is about having made a decision, and having that whipped away from you. It's like buying what you thought was a crunchie and getting home to find it's a curly wurly. (one is not necessarily better than the other, they are just different).
It is about parents being told that their daughter's school is changing - by their daughters (irresponsible, and unprofessional). It is about staff (at both schools) now having to worry about their jobs.
Children are remarkably resilient, and yes, they will be fine. But it is our job, as adults, to make their childhood as stress-free as possible. Let's face it, they have their entire adult life to get stressed about things.

As old girls, we have differing feelings towards the school we attended, and our loyalties are thus marked. I suggest that we allow the parents of both schools to say what they want to say; their plans and their children's lives have been turned upside down in the space of a few days. Let's afford them this discussion space without being rude to them or dismissive of their feelings.
[quote][p][bold]oashton[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Neil Robinson 13[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]blade stall[/bold] wrote: Cmon guys calm down its called progress, evolve or die. Sedbergh is a wonderful school and if casterton's survival warrants a merger then go for it. As for consulting the parental base why would they possibly do that?? Its their job to make these decisions your job to elect if they warrant your hard earned cash. Simply put if you dont like it vote with your wallet and walk.. but consult?????[/p][/quote]Fair comment, but just to correct you on one matter. Casterton's survival does not rely on a merger with Sedbergh. If you look at the accounts (readily available from the charity commissioners) you will see that Casterton do not need to merge to survive. I have no doubt that Sedbergh is a good school (albeit academically vastly inferior to Casterton..but great if you want to play sport all day) so fine for some, not so good for others... this is not a "one solution fits all" scenario. The Governors of Casterton, in their infinite wisdom, are claiming they know what is better for our children than we as parents do..they are in for a rude awakening for the ones that attend the meeting tomorrow This is not about evolve or die...there is an undeclared and cynical agenda going on and they are not going to bully this through as easily as their collective ego clearly imagines[/p][/quote]It is funny that you say that this is not a one solution for all scenario. Casterton is a school where all are expected to become the same, where diversity is not celebrated but quashed, and where the number 1 priority is results and not pastoral care. Casterton is a school where you are expected to fit in to a one size fits all mould, whereas Sedbergh is a school where you are expected to fit in wherever your strengths take you. I didn't play a single sports match in my 2 years at Sedbergh. Instead I spent the time investing in my music (playing the piano, singing, bassoon and harp), and investing in myself. Casterton broke me, and Sedbergh rebuilt me and my confidence. Whenever my parents attended functions at Casterton (many times, as I was involved in many areas of school life) they were shunned, as were many others, whilst those parents with monetary value were given all the attention. There were a few staff who were outstanding, and really cared, but most were unforgiving and ineffective. As a trainee teacher now, evaluating my own practice is standard. The one thing that sticks out to me is that too many of the teachers at Casterton were the kind of teacher that we are warned about in our training - the teachers not to become. It is not just the governors who have made this decision, but also senior staff. And many would argue that if you think top A level results are more important than moulding your child into a happy, healthy, well-rounded and well-grounded individual, then the governors do know what is better for them. For all this bleating about results, you would assume that you are personally concerned with getting into a top university and then a top job. Casterton's notable alumni consists of the Bronte sisters, who did not even attend Casterton School. Once you leave Casterton there is no support, from staff or COGA. Sedbergh, however, has been responsible for many industry leaders, partly because of support upon leaving the school and partly because of their obsession with allowing young people to flourish wherever their strengths lie. And just so you know, I loved my time at Casterton. But I loved my time at Sedbergh more. It was their hard work that has moulded me into the responsible adult I am today. It is their continued support which sees me at the top of my class and flying through my placements. It is their support that will see me applying for a Masters in Education at Harvard University. P.s. More Sedberghians have attended Oxbridge colleges in the last decade than Castertonians.[/p][/quote]I have been thinking about this post throughout the night and I think you are totally wrong in many ways. And yes, this refers to my time at the school. But my loyalty to, and love of, the school means I need to defend it. 1) Many, many ex Casterton girls are hugely successful. They have their own businesses, are in the forces, work for the UN, are CEO's, as well as being teachers, doctors, nurses, etc etc etc. success is NOT just measured by being an 'industry leader'. 2) In my experience, Casterton staff are hugely supportive once you have left. 3) Ditto - teachers. If I can inspire my pupils like some of my teachers inspired me, then I will be pleased. 3.a) Pastoral care was excellent (believe me I had to receive a lot of it) and we were encouraged to be good at whatever it was that got us going - music, sport, academics, art, drama... my siblings were at Sedbergh (and yes, I know it is changing) but their interests in different areas were far from encouraged. 4) This is NOT about whether Casterton is a good school. It is about whether it should become part of a bigger, already co-ed school. 5) My parents were welcomed with open arms at Casterton (and we were not moneyed). Actually, in comparison, at Sedbergh, they were rarely spoken to. 6) Governors DO make this decision. Senior Staff generally have it passed it to them as a fait accompli. " know you think that single sex education is better but it just cannot be true. If it were, then the top universities and jobs would be occupied by girls that had attended single sex schools, with everyone else left chomping at the bit." ok - stop right now. There are a number of girls schools where results are excellent (just as there are boys school where results are excellent) and the girls are well rounded and successful. Have you heard of Wycombe Abbey, Queen Mary's, Downe House, St Swithun's, Heathfield, etc etc etc the list goes on? Personally, I am shocked that they are not considering the diamond system - co-ed prep school, single sex for years 7-11 OR 9-11 and then co-ed Sixth Form. This is known to work. Also - we very carefully need to come back to the fact that this is not about knocking Sedbergh - there is a lot that is good about it, but it is about parents being told that their school is becoming part of a larger, co educational establishment. It is about them, and their daughters, having chosen single sex education over co-ed in the first place. It is about them having to now decide whether to move their daughters to the new school, or whether to look further afield for a different girl's school, or to go into the state system, where the places have already been awarded. It is about having made a decision, and having that whipped away from you. It's like buying what you thought was a crunchie and getting home to find it's a curly wurly. (one is not necessarily better than the other, they are just different). It is about parents being told that their daughter's school is changing - by their daughters (irresponsible, and unprofessional). It is about staff (at both schools) now having to worry about their jobs. Children are remarkably resilient, and yes, they will be fine. But it is our job, as adults, to make their childhood as stress-free as possible. Let's face it, they have their entire adult life to get stressed about things. As old girls, we have differing feelings towards the school we attended, and our loyalties are thus marked. I suggest that we allow the parents of both schools to say what they want to say; their plans and their children's lives have been turned upside down in the space of a few days. Let's afford them this discussion space without being rude to them or dismissive of their feelings. cumbriabornandbred
  • Score: 0

10:50am Sun 3 Mar 13

zaney5 says...

I was awake into the early hours of this morning listening to the recording of the meeting between the governors and parents that took place on Friday, as I believe many people were.

Riveting stuff indeed.

What astounds me is the sheer arrogance of the governors,one in particular - I'll let those of you who were there draw your own conclusions as to who that might be - and just how unprepared they were to deal with the questions asked by the parents.

For this takeover - because lets not sugar coat it,it IS a takeover - to have got this far without anyone having the common decency (regardless of any legal advice given) to consult both the parents of the children affected and staff is shocking.

I sincerely hope that Colin Tomlinson now does the decent thing and stands down from his role as chairman of the governors as it is quite clear that any faith the parents of Casterton pupils had in him has long since left.
I was awake into the early hours of this morning listening to the recording of the meeting between the governors and parents that took place on Friday, as I believe many people were. Riveting stuff indeed. What astounds me is the sheer arrogance of the governors,one in particular - I'll let those of you who were there draw your own conclusions as to who that might be - and just how unprepared they were to deal with the questions asked by the parents. For this takeover - because lets not sugar coat it,it IS a takeover - to have got this far without anyone having the common decency (regardless of any legal advice given) to consult both the parents of the children affected and staff is shocking. I sincerely hope that Colin Tomlinson now does the decent thing and stands down from his role as chairman of the governors as it is quite clear that any faith the parents of Casterton pupils had in him has long since left. zaney5
  • Score: 0

11:19am Sun 3 Mar 13

Sir arthur says...

The bottom line seems to be that the current governance of casterton has been questionable to say the least and they intend to close down a fine institution with indecent haste without due regard to the community it serves and its pupils present and future .
Hopefully the current parents can recover this sorry situation and i wish them all the best
The bottom line seems to be that the current governance of casterton has been questionable to say the least and they intend to close down a fine institution with indecent haste without due regard to the community it serves and its pupils present and future . Hopefully the current parents can recover this sorry situation and i wish them all the best Sir arthur
  • Score: 0

11:47am Sun 3 Mar 13

paul gilby says...

Sir arthur wrote:
The bottom line seems to be that the current governance of casterton has been questionable to say the least and they intend to close down a fine institution with indecent haste without due regard to the community it serves and its pupils present and future .
Hopefully the current parents can recover this sorry situation and i wish them all the best
Indeed Sir Arthur, the very nub of it!
I for one, shall sense this very quat to the quick!
There is something rotten about this procedure, thank you for your good wishes.
[quote][p][bold]Sir arthur[/bold] wrote: The bottom line seems to be that the current governance of casterton has been questionable to say the least and they intend to close down a fine institution with indecent haste without due regard to the community it serves and its pupils present and future . Hopefully the current parents can recover this sorry situation and i wish them all the best[/p][/quote]Indeed Sir Arthur, the very nub of it! I for one, shall sense this very quat to the quick! There is something rotten about this procedure, thank you for your good wishes. paul gilby
  • Score: 0

12:04pm Sun 3 Mar 13

boris plasticmac says...

As an observer, with only a very distant connection to one of the schools, I think it is going to be difficult to overcome the damage caused by the insensitive handling of this "merger".
As zaney5 points out there is an arrogance from the governing bodies, which has also been reflected by some of the take or leave it comments appearing on this thread.
I would like to think that this is not a fait accompli and there is something to be done to address the parents concerns.
As an observer, with only a very distant connection to one of the schools, I think it is going to be difficult to overcome the damage caused by the insensitive handling of this "merger". As zaney5 points out there is an arrogance from the governing bodies, which has also been reflected by some of the take or leave it comments appearing on this thread. I would like to think that this is not a fait accompli and there is something to be done to address the parents concerns. boris plasticmac
  • Score: 0

12:35pm Sun 3 Mar 13

Oldgirl_05 says...

This is such sad news. I don't know what happened after Mr Thomas left as headmaster but this would never have happened on his watch.
This is such sad news. I don't know what happened after Mr Thomas left as headmaster but this would never have happened on his watch. Oldgirl_05
  • Score: 0

1:44pm Sun 3 Mar 13

Kendal Mintcake says...

I don't want to bring my personal memories of Casterton in to the argument. I was a pupil myself for 11 years, and whilst I have both good and bad memories of the school, I look back with fondness and appreciate everything that Casterton did for me as a person.

I'm not against the idea of a merger between the two schools. I do, in fact, believe it has been in the pipeline for many years now, and, setting personal bias aside for a moment, Sedbergh is a undoubtedly a fantastic school, with a much more rounded approach to all aspects of school life than I have seen in the past, and I have seen good friends flourish there. There is no reason that the current Casterton School girls that do go there cannot flourish just the same, but at the same time, it wasn't the correct choice for me and it may not necessarily be the correct choice for them, we are all different. Furthermore, the Casterton girls have seemingly had an aspect of choice taken away from them with the speed at which this merger has been rushed through. Delaying putting the merger into force by another school year would have created a lot less stress and upset than there is now (to both sides), given the girls time to decide where their academic future lies and staff a clearer idea on their own future.

I believe that Casterton is an equally fantastic school with many qualities that could be lost with this so-called 'merger'. It is seemingly being carried forward on Sedbergh terms and I fear for the jobs of many fantastic teachers on both sides, but particularly for the Casterton teachers (who have contributed to the best grades in the county) as so far, top positions have seemingly being handed on a plate to Sedbergh staff. Why has Mrs Lucas being frozen out in this process? I feel the Governors have rushed through this process, not factoring the strengths of Casterton into the negotiation process, and this is where the idea of them having 'sold out' to Sedbergh.

Most importantly, the governors must accept responsibility for their incorrect handling of the situation (and perhaps others decisions that led up to that point). Yes, they were making a business decision, and a seemingly correct one, but this process should have been reported to their customers-the parents, pupils and the staff. They are not obliged to do so maybe, but it would have made good sense and would have diffused what was always going to be a difficult situation.

I wish the pupils, parents and staff of both schools all the best for whatever happens next. Casterton will always live on in the heart of her old girls.
I don't want to bring my personal memories of Casterton in to the argument. I was a pupil myself for 11 years, and whilst I have both good and bad memories of the school, I look back with fondness and appreciate everything that Casterton did for me as a person. I'm not against the idea of a merger between the two schools. I do, in fact, believe it has been in the pipeline for many years now, and, setting personal bias aside for a moment, Sedbergh is a undoubtedly a fantastic school, with a much more rounded approach to all aspects of school life than I have seen in the past, and I have seen good friends flourish there. There is no reason that the current Casterton School girls that do go there cannot flourish just the same, but at the same time, it wasn't the correct choice for me and it may not necessarily be the correct choice for them, we are all different. Furthermore, the Casterton girls have seemingly had an aspect of choice taken away from them with the speed at which this merger has been rushed through. Delaying putting the merger into force by another school year would have created a lot less stress and upset than there is now (to both sides), given the girls time to decide where their academic future lies and staff a clearer idea on their own future. I believe that Casterton is an equally fantastic school with many qualities that could be lost with this so-called 'merger'. It is seemingly being carried forward on Sedbergh terms and I fear for the jobs of many fantastic teachers on both sides, but particularly for the Casterton teachers (who have contributed to the best grades in the county) as so far, top positions have seemingly being handed on a plate to Sedbergh staff. Why has Mrs Lucas being frozen out in this process? I feel the Governors have rushed through this process, not factoring the strengths of Casterton into the negotiation process, and this is where the idea of them having 'sold out' to Sedbergh. Most importantly, the governors must accept responsibility for their incorrect handling of the situation (and perhaps others decisions that led up to that point). Yes, they were making a business decision, and a seemingly correct one, but this process should have been reported to their customers-the parents, pupils and the staff. They are not obliged to do so maybe, but it would have made good sense and would have diffused what was always going to be a difficult situation. I wish the pupils, parents and staff of both schools all the best for whatever happens next. Casterton will always live on in the heart of her old girls. Kendal Mintcake
  • Score: 0

3:27pm Sun 3 Mar 13

PlainTalker says...

Sadly, whether a merger (sic) is the best outcome for Casterton or not, the debate has been over-shadowed by the understandable frustrations of parents that they were not engaged before a final decision was taken and the enormous - traumatic, even - upset caused by the poor handling of the announcement. What is regrettable is the apparent reluctance of the Chairman of Casterton Governors to acknowledge the mistakes made in this respect and to publicly apologise for it, which small admission would go a little way to assuage the vitriol of incensed parents, many of whom I am afraid will not be able to reconcile any of the potential benefits of the merger or to discuss this without high dudgeon whilst he remains in place and is continuing to talk down to people.

I am interested that the majority of posts relating to this article seem to be from supporters of Casterton School; I would be interested to hear from parents of Sedbergh Junior Boarders and pupils who will, of course, be moving in the other direction and who may find relocation in the other direction equally traumatic.
Sadly, whether a merger (sic) is the best outcome for Casterton or not, the debate has been over-shadowed by the understandable frustrations of parents that they were not engaged before a final decision was taken and the enormous - traumatic, even - upset caused by the poor handling of the announcement. What is regrettable is the apparent reluctance of the Chairman of Casterton Governors to acknowledge the mistakes made in this respect and to publicly apologise for it, which small admission would go a little way to assuage the vitriol of incensed parents, many of whom I am afraid will not be able to reconcile any of the potential benefits of the merger or to discuss this without high dudgeon whilst he remains in place and is continuing to talk down to people. I am interested that the majority of posts relating to this article seem to be from supporters of Casterton School; I would be interested to hear from parents of Sedbergh Junior Boarders and pupils who will, of course, be moving in the other direction and who may find relocation in the other direction equally traumatic. PlainTalker
  • Score: 0

3:36pm Sun 3 Mar 13

xross9 says...

http://www.charity-c
ommission.gov.uk/Cha
rity_requirements_gu
idance/Your_charitys
_activities/Working_
with_others/mergetoo
lkit.aspx

Item 3 of Tips for Successful Mergers confirms that - 'Effective communication with all stakeholders from the outset is vital - processes and outcomes should be clear to all involved'
http://www.charity-c ommission.gov.uk/Cha rity_requirements_gu idance/Your_charitys _activities/Working_ with_others/mergetoo lkit.aspx Item 3 of Tips for Successful Mergers confirms that - 'Effective communication with all stakeholders from the outset is vital - processes and outcomes should be clear to all involved' xross9
  • Score: 0

4:23pm Sun 3 Mar 13

drixhen says...

sibbetson wrote:
It isn't a merger, it's a takeover. Sedbergh Heads, Sedbergh hours, Sedbergh uniform. It isn't exciting, it's shocking. Nobody was consulted, nobody was invited to have an opinion. It's disgraceful behaviour on behalf of the Governors. You will be losing my daughter.
As someone with close ties to
casterton school I feel Imust agree
with Sibbetson that it will be a great
shame if this merger (takeover)
goes ahead .
I wish sibbetson and all other parents
and girls best wishes and good luck
with their efforts in this matter
[quote][p][bold]sibbetson[/bold] wrote: It isn't a merger, it's a takeover. Sedbergh Heads, Sedbergh hours, Sedbergh uniform. It isn't exciting, it's shocking. Nobody was consulted, nobody was invited to have an opinion. It's disgraceful behaviour on behalf of the Governors. You will be losing my daughter.[/p][/quote]As someone with close ties to casterton school I feel Imust agree with Sibbetson that it will be a great shame if this merger (takeover) goes ahead . I wish sibbetson and all other parents and girls best wishes and good luck with their efforts in this matter drixhen
  • Score: 0

4:39pm Sun 3 Mar 13

Gemma5511 says...

Sedbergh is a super school!!!!
Sedbergh is a super school!!!! Gemma5511
  • Score: 0

6:03pm Sun 3 Mar 13

PlainTalker says...

Gemma5511 wrote:
Sedbergh is a super school!!!!
That may well be the case but I think the point is that many regard Casterton as a super school too, Gemma, and have chosen to send their daughters their for specific reasons. Whilst I have no doubt that Sedbergh will try hard to accommodate the needs of everyone, it will not be to everyone's taste nor will it necessarily suit every Casterton girl.

Sedbergh staff, parents and students could go a long way to make this work by being understanding and appreciating that everyone is different and will need time and support to come to terms with this initiative, something which the Casterton Governors could have usefully thought about in advance of their clumsy communication efforts.
[quote][p][bold]Gemma5511[/bold] wrote: Sedbergh is a super school!!!![/p][/quote]That may well be the case but I think the point is that many regard Casterton as a super school too, Gemma, and have chosen to send their daughters their for specific reasons. Whilst I have no doubt that Sedbergh will try hard to accommodate the needs of everyone, it will not be to everyone's taste nor will it necessarily suit every Casterton girl. Sedbergh staff, parents and students could go a long way to make this work by being understanding and appreciating that everyone is different and will need time and support to come to terms with this initiative, something which the Casterton Governors could have usefully thought about in advance of their clumsy communication efforts. PlainTalker
  • Score: 0

6:24pm Sun 3 Mar 13

RedDevil9 says...

PlainTalker wrote:
Gemma5511 wrote:
Sedbergh is a super school!!!!
That may well be the case but I think the point is that many regard Casterton as a super school too, Gemma, and have chosen to send their daughters their for specific reasons. Whilst I have no doubt that Sedbergh will try hard to accommodate the needs of everyone, it will not be to everyone's taste nor will it necessarily suit every Casterton girl.

Sedbergh staff, parents and students could go a long way to make this work by being understanding and appreciating that everyone is different and will need time and support to come to terms with this initiative, something which the Casterton Governors could have usefully thought about in advance of their clumsy communication efforts.
Indeed, though let us not forget that Sedbergh staff will be more worried about their own jobs. This does seem to be a merger - on paper if not in principle - and all staff from both schools will be going into a pool for (re)selection at the 'new' Sedbergh School. My wife has been through this process before, and I suspect that, for now, very few staff at both schools have a guaranteed job.

As I stated earlier in the thread, this will be very tough on both sets of staff albeit for different reasons.
[quote][p][bold]PlainTalker[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Gemma5511[/bold] wrote: Sedbergh is a super school!!!![/p][/quote]That may well be the case but I think the point is that many regard Casterton as a super school too, Gemma, and have chosen to send their daughters their for specific reasons. Whilst I have no doubt that Sedbergh will try hard to accommodate the needs of everyone, it will not be to everyone's taste nor will it necessarily suit every Casterton girl. Sedbergh staff, parents and students could go a long way to make this work by being understanding and appreciating that everyone is different and will need time and support to come to terms with this initiative, something which the Casterton Governors could have usefully thought about in advance of their clumsy communication efforts.[/p][/quote]Indeed, though let us not forget that Sedbergh staff will be more worried about their own jobs. This does seem to be a merger - on paper if not in principle - and all staff from both schools will be going into a pool for (re)selection at the 'new' Sedbergh School. My wife has been through this process before, and I suspect that, for now, very few staff at both schools have a guaranteed job. As I stated earlier in the thread, this will be very tough on both sets of staff albeit for different reasons. RedDevil9
  • Score: 0

6:47pm Sun 3 Mar 13

Overseas Parent says...

Just listened to a recording of Friday Night's meeting with the Chair of the Governors and Casterton parents. Lots of questions which the Governors just could not answer!

More convinced than ever that the Governors are useless. (Sedbergh - you don't want these people engaged in your school!!!) They quote failing numbers as the driver for the change yet two years ago they ceased having a dedicated, full time member of staff for marketing! They could not even articulate the financial justification for the change!

This appears to be a rash decision and I too would wonder whether a 'Diamond' approach was considered. (This could have allowed a gradual and measured merger rather than the current, ill thought through big bang approach which has shocked, pupils, parents and staff alike.)

Have a sense of honour Casterton Governors and resign NOW!
Just listened to a recording of Friday Night's meeting with the Chair of the Governors and Casterton parents. Lots of questions which the Governors just could not answer! More convinced than ever that the Governors are useless. (Sedbergh - you don't want these people engaged in your school!!!) They quote failing numbers as the driver for the change yet two years ago they ceased having a dedicated, full time member of staff for marketing! They could not even articulate the financial justification for the change! This appears to be a rash decision and I too would wonder whether a 'Diamond' approach was considered. (This could have allowed a gradual and measured merger rather than the current, ill thought through big bang approach which has shocked, pupils, parents and staff alike.) Have a sense of honour Casterton Governors and resign NOW! Overseas Parent
  • Score: 0

7:01pm Sun 3 Mar 13

zaney5 says...

RedDevil9 wrote:
PlainTalker wrote:
Gemma5511 wrote:
Sedbergh is a super school!!!!
That may well be the case but I think the point is that many regard Casterton as a super school too, Gemma, and have chosen to send their daughters their for specific reasons. Whilst I have no doubt that Sedbergh will try hard to accommodate the needs of everyone, it will not be to everyone's taste nor will it necessarily suit every Casterton girl.

Sedbergh staff, parents and students could go a long way to make this work by being understanding and appreciating that everyone is different and will need time and support to come to terms with this initiative, something which the Casterton Governors could have usefully thought about in advance of their clumsy communication efforts.
Indeed, though let us not forget that Sedbergh staff will be more worried about their own jobs. This does seem to be a merger - on paper if not in principle - and all staff from both schools will be going into a pool for (re)selection at the 'new' Sedbergh School. My wife has been through this process before, and I suspect that, for now, very few staff at both schools have a guaranteed job.

As I stated earlier in the thread, this will be very tough on both sets of staff albeit for different reasons.
Apparently not all staff. The Casterton head has already lost her job.
[quote][p][bold]RedDevil9[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]PlainTalker[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Gemma5511[/bold] wrote: Sedbergh is a super school!!!![/p][/quote]That may well be the case but I think the point is that many regard Casterton as a super school too, Gemma, and have chosen to send their daughters their for specific reasons. Whilst I have no doubt that Sedbergh will try hard to accommodate the needs of everyone, it will not be to everyone's taste nor will it necessarily suit every Casterton girl. Sedbergh staff, parents and students could go a long way to make this work by being understanding and appreciating that everyone is different and will need time and support to come to terms with this initiative, something which the Casterton Governors could have usefully thought about in advance of their clumsy communication efforts.[/p][/quote]Indeed, though let us not forget that Sedbergh staff will be more worried about their own jobs. This does seem to be a merger - on paper if not in principle - and all staff from both schools will be going into a pool for (re)selection at the 'new' Sedbergh School. My wife has been through this process before, and I suspect that, for now, very few staff at both schools have a guaranteed job. As I stated earlier in the thread, this will be very tough on both sets of staff albeit for different reasons.[/p][/quote]Apparently not all staff. The Casterton head has already lost her job. zaney5
  • Score: 0

7:33pm Sun 3 Mar 13

paul gilby says...

I have been a loyal parent/supporter of the school at Casterton, I have paid 22 years of School fees, and yet the Governors idea of a controlled integration of the two schools is to keep people like me and others like me in he dark , well it really beggars belief.
When I began my ranting on this site on Saturday I was just very angry about the way the process was handled , now I am, unusually for me , speechless.
Sedbergh parents should take a long spoon before they sup with their new joint Governors
I have been a loyal parent/supporter of the school at Casterton, I have paid 22 years of School fees, and yet the Governors idea of a controlled integration of the two schools is to keep people like me and others like me in he dark , well it really beggars belief. When I began my ranting on this site on Saturday I was just very angry about the way the process was handled , now I am, unusually for me , speechless. Sedbergh parents should take a long spoon before they sup with their new joint Governors paul gilby
  • Score: 0

7:33pm Sun 3 Mar 13

annon13 says...

Where were the other Governors on Friday evening? If the decision to ‘merge’ had been for financial reasons, maybe the Chair of Finance should have been there to answer the questions regarding the accounts that Mr Tomlinson couldn’t answer??? The Chair of Finance is also a current parent of the school, are his daughters continuing to Sedbergh in September 2013??
Where were the other Governors on Friday evening? If the decision to ‘merge’ had been for financial reasons, maybe the Chair of Finance should have been there to answer the questions regarding the accounts that Mr Tomlinson couldn’t answer??? The Chair of Finance is also a current parent of the school, are his daughters continuing to Sedbergh in September 2013?? annon13
  • Score: 0

8:02pm Sun 3 Mar 13

Overseas Parent says...

Annon 13 - I understand the Finance Governor resigned earlier this week. I wonder why?!?
Annon 13 - I understand the Finance Governor resigned earlier this week. I wonder why?!? Overseas Parent
  • Score: 0

8:15pm Sun 3 Mar 13

Bentley108 says...

annon13 wrote:
Where were the other Governors on Friday evening? If the decision to ‘merge’ had been for financial reasons, maybe the Chair of Finance should have been there to answer the questions regarding the accounts that Mr Tomlinson couldn’t answer??? The Chair of Finance is also a current parent of the school, are his daughters continuing to Sedbergh in September 2013??
The Chair of Finance resigned from the Casterton Board of Governors 3 weeks ago. He does have daughters at the school but he was not a Parent Governor. Read into that what you will.
[quote][p][bold]annon13[/bold] wrote: Where were the other Governors on Friday evening? If the decision to ‘merge’ had been for financial reasons, maybe the Chair of Finance should have been there to answer the questions regarding the accounts that Mr Tomlinson couldn’t answer??? The Chair of Finance is also a current parent of the school, are his daughters continuing to Sedbergh in September 2013??[/p][/quote]The Chair of Finance resigned from the Casterton Board of Governors 3 weeks ago. He does have daughters at the school but he was not a Parent Governor. Read into that what you will. Bentley108
  • Score: 0

11:23pm Sun 3 Mar 13

oldgirl11 says...

My Name is Claire Lloyd (I will not hide behind usernames as I feel if you are standing up for what you believe in you should never hide in the shadows), I am an Old Girl of Casterton, I was there for 11 years until 1998.
My Parents (both sadly now deceased) were not the “posh” type as many people have stereotypically presumed boarding school parents to be, my Father was a self-made man from truly humble beginnings. Neither of my parents were huge believers in degrees and amazing qualifications to make it in life, they felt that an all-round happy education where you were encouraged to try even if you didn’t succeed was important. They looked at many schools, Casterton was the best fit, despite it being a boarding school it was a place where (I quote my Father) “ When the time comes for us to pick her up at the end of her school life, we will have no doubt she won’t feel herself superior to others”. That is what I think sums up Casterton. It many not have been “slick or going places” like other Schools but it provided a good, homely, honest education for generations of Girls.
I take exception to a comment by Oashton “Casterton is a school where all are expected to become the same, where diversity is not celebrated but quashed, and where the number 1 priority is results and not pastoral care. Casterton is a school where you are expected to fit in to a one size fits all mould, whereas Sedbergh is a school where you are expected to fit in wherever your strengths take you” How very wrong you are, in the 11 years I was there I was encouraged to be an individual, to try as many different activities, to design and build my own dreams for the future, no matter how big or small.
Again Oashton states “Whenever my parents attended functions at Casterton (many times, as I was involved in many areas of school life) they were shunned, as were many others, whilst those parents with monetary value were given all the attention”. I highly doubt these comments, my parents were hardly the wealthiest, but whilst they did speak with staff and interact with them, my Father was always to be found talking with the kitchen staff ( He always found they were a font of information for what was truly going on in the school).
There have been a lot of comments on here slating Casterton, slating Sedbergh. I am not getting into that argument, my schooling taught me there are many ways to be schooled/live, but it does not necessarily mean one is more right than the other. If the shoe was on the other foot, I am sure the Sedbergh parents would feel as equally concerned.
My main concern, isn’t the merger as such (although on the face of it, it does appear to be a takeover), it is the way in which it has been handled and managed. For all the people involved, staff particularly, it is sad they were not informed earlier, lets not forget that this is their livelihood, their salaries relied upon for paying mortgages etc. For the parents it is deeply concerning when money has been paid into the school in good faith when all along behind the scenes (from as far back as Summer 2012) there were whispers of a merger. My main concern is for the Girls, to have this news thrust upon them without warning, especially when many of them are in final yeats of major exams, is deeply unsettling. I would hope that the actual physical merger is handled in a better way than the releasing of the news.
I just want to finally add, that I personally will be forever thankful to my parents, who made sacrifices by sending me to such a wonderful School. Whilst I may not be a top lawyer, scientist or surgeon, I can’t help but feel that it has shaped me into the Woman I am today. The staff, in particular were extremely supportive when I retook my Upper 6th due to less than good A Level results following the death of my Father only months before I took them. The old place can merge with any School under the sun, however the Governors can’t take away all of the memories that the very walls of the place are soaked with.
I finish my comment with another Oashton comment
“P.s. More Sedberghians have attended Oxbridge colleges in the last decade than Castertonians”
When my Father was sat next to Mrs Thomas (an Old Headmaster’s Wife) at a school function, she asked what he wished me to be in my chosen career. My Father’s response was “Happy”, she pushed him further, he replied again “Happy”. Attending an Oxbridge college may be the wish for parents of a Sedberghian, but ask many parents of Castertonians their reply will probably be that of my Father “Happy”.
My Name is Claire Lloyd (I will not hide behind usernames as I feel if you are standing up for what you believe in you should never hide in the shadows), I am an Old Girl of Casterton, I was there for 11 years until 1998. My Parents (both sadly now deceased) were not the “posh” type as many people have stereotypically presumed boarding school parents to be, my Father was a self-made man from truly humble beginnings. Neither of my parents were huge believers in degrees and amazing qualifications to make it in life, they felt that an all-round happy education where you were encouraged to try even if you didn’t succeed was important. They looked at many schools, Casterton was the best fit, despite it being a boarding school it was a place where (I quote my Father) “ When the time comes for us to pick her up at the end of her school life, we will have no doubt she won’t feel herself superior to others”. That is what I think sums up Casterton. It many not have been “slick or going places” like other Schools but it provided a good, homely, honest education for generations of Girls. I take exception to a comment by Oashton “Casterton is a school where all are expected to become the same, where diversity is not celebrated but quashed, and where the number 1 priority is results and not pastoral care. Casterton is a school where you are expected to fit in to a one size fits all mould, whereas Sedbergh is a school where you are expected to fit in wherever your strengths take you” How very wrong you are, in the 11 years I was there I was encouraged to be an individual, to try as many different activities, to design and build my own dreams for the future, no matter how big or small. Again Oashton states “Whenever my parents attended functions at Casterton (many times, as I was involved in many areas of school life) they were shunned, as were many others, whilst those parents with monetary value were given all the attention”. I highly doubt these comments, my parents were hardly the wealthiest, but whilst they did speak with staff and interact with them, my Father was always to be found talking with the kitchen staff ( He always found they were a font of information for what was truly going on in the school). There have been a lot of comments on here slating Casterton, slating Sedbergh. I am not getting into that argument, my schooling taught me there are many ways to be schooled/live, but it does not necessarily mean one is more right than the other. If the shoe was on the other foot, I am sure the Sedbergh parents would feel as equally concerned. My main concern, isn’t the merger as such (although on the face of it, it does appear to be a takeover), it is the way in which it has been handled and managed. For all the people involved, staff particularly, it is sad they were not informed earlier, lets not forget that this is their livelihood, their salaries relied upon for paying mortgages etc. For the parents it is deeply concerning when money has been paid into the school in good faith when all along behind the scenes (from as far back as Summer 2012) there were whispers of a merger. My main concern is for the Girls, to have this news thrust upon them without warning, especially when many of them are in final yeats of major exams, is deeply unsettling. I would hope that the actual physical merger is handled in a better way than the releasing of the news. I just want to finally add, that I personally will be forever thankful to my parents, who made sacrifices by sending me to such a wonderful School. Whilst I may not be a top lawyer, scientist or surgeon, I can’t help but feel that it has shaped me into the Woman I am today. The staff, in particular were extremely supportive when I retook my Upper 6th due to less than good A Level results following the death of my Father only months before I took them. The old place can merge with any School under the sun, however the Governors can’t take away all of the memories that the very walls of the place are soaked with. I finish my comment with another Oashton comment “P.s. More Sedberghians have attended Oxbridge colleges in the last decade than Castertonians” When my Father was sat next to Mrs Thomas (an Old Headmaster’s Wife) at a school function, she asked what he wished me to be in my chosen career. My Father’s response was “Happy”, she pushed him further, he replied again “Happy”. Attending an Oxbridge college may be the wish for parents of a Sedberghian, but ask many parents of Castertonians their reply will probably be that of my Father “Happy”. oldgirl11
  • Score: 0

11:58pm Sun 3 Mar 13

PropMeUpWithTeabags says...

Wow, posh people are very opinionated...

Or is it...

Wow. Posh people are very opinionated

?

I'm joking ladies I'm sure it is a terrible thing and worth 111 comments.
Wow, posh people are very opinionated... Or is it... Wow. Posh people are very opinionated ? I'm joking ladies I'm sure it is a terrible thing and worth 111 comments. PropMeUpWithTeabags
  • Score: 0

5:33am Mon 4 Mar 13

searcher21c says...

So who are the Casterton governors and what are their backgrounds?
So who are the Casterton governors and what are their backgrounds? searcher21c
  • Score: 0

8:14am Mon 4 Mar 13

PlainTalker says...

Of course, the Chairman of Governors would also have everyone believe that the decision to merge with Sedbergh was unanimous. Whilst that may have been the case among those who were left, I am led to believe that at least 3 have resigned over this issue since it was first mooted last year. Whilst we might have some sympathy for the principle of their stand, it might have been better for all had they publicly opposed it.
Of course, the Chairman of Governors would also have everyone believe that the decision to merge with Sedbergh was unanimous. Whilst that may have been the case among those who were left, I am led to believe that at least 3 have resigned over this issue since it was first mooted last year. Whilst we might have some sympathy for the principle of their stand, it might have been better for all had they publicly opposed it. PlainTalker
  • Score: 0

8:35am Mon 4 Mar 13

PlainTalker says...

PropMeUpWithTeabags wrote:
Wow, posh people are very opinionated... Or is it... Wow. Posh people are very opinionated ? I'm joking ladies I'm sure it is a terrible thing and worth 111 comments.
Presumably - or is that hopefully? - you don't make a living from your jokes, PMUWT? You're comment makes a number of assumptions about who is making contributions about this issue and why they are being made. I am sure that such efforts at humour normally go down well, but if you had taken the trouble to read all of them, you'd realise that this matter is important to a number of people and is of clear local interest. Whilst it is indeed a terrible thing for some, I realise it may be of only passing interest to others - but it is a debate that is surely worth having as a lack of sensitivity to and consideration of others views is central to what is being discussed here. As for contributors being opinionated? No; I think the only one's being 'conceitedly assertive' here are the Board of Governors.
[quote][p][bold]PropMeUpWithTeabags[/bold] wrote: Wow, posh people are very opinionated... Or is it... Wow. Posh people are very opinionated ? I'm joking ladies I'm sure it is a terrible thing and worth 111 comments.[/p][/quote]Presumably - or is that hopefully? - you don't make a living from your jokes, PMUWT? You're comment makes a number of assumptions about who is making contributions about this issue and why they are being made. I am sure that such efforts at humour normally go down well, but if you had taken the trouble to read all of them, you'd realise that this matter is important to a number of people and is of clear local interest. Whilst it is indeed a terrible thing for some, I realise it may be of only passing interest to others - but it is a debate that is surely worth having as a lack of sensitivity to and consideration of others views is central to what is being discussed here. As for contributors being opinionated? No; I think the only one's being 'conceitedly assertive' here are the Board of Governors. PlainTalker
  • Score: 0

9:19am Mon 4 Mar 13

zaney5 says...

Colin Tomlinson is Chairman of the governors and I believe he is the MD of Michael CL Hogson Estate Agents in Kendal.
Colin Tomlinson is Chairman of the governors and I believe he is the MD of Michael CL Hogson Estate Agents in Kendal. zaney5
  • Score: 0

10:34am Mon 4 Mar 13

Pigfarmer72 says...

The "Diamond" system has been mentioned by a number of parents as a solution, could someone please explain how this would work in reality?

I assume such a system would be based upon a co-ed prep school and a co-ed sixth form but boys and girls would be taught separately from years 9 ( or 7) to year 11? If this is the correct assumption than:

1) Would the current Sedbergh pupils be split with the boys being taught in one class and the girls being taught with the current Casterton pupils in another?

or

2) Would the current Casterton girls be kept in classes purely for them, regardless of class numbers and academic ability across the whole school?

If option 1) is your proposal, do you think the current Sedbergh parents who have chosen a co-ed school for their children would be terribly impressed in reverting back to single sex education system? Just as you chose Casteron as an all girls school, the larger group of Sedbergh parents chose Sedbergh for the opposite reason. What would be the costs of doing this, or would children of a broader academic ability be grouped together to insure girls and boys are kept separate? How would extra curricular activities be supported - different orchestras for the girls than the boys, different musicals or plays even? Or is it just academic subjects that must be separate?

If option 2) is your proposal, how integrated are the girls going to feel, will they be able to take part in combined games lessons with the current Sedbergh girls and compete in school teams or must they be kept completely separate for all curricula and extra curricula activities? Where would these classes take place, in Sedbergh or would these girls remain at Casteron with the prep school?

I don't expect to receive detailed answers here but a broad explanation would be appreciated please. I know such schools exist but I am struggling to see how such a proposal could possibly work in this situation. I am as always, happy to listen to other proposals and ideas.
The "Diamond" system has been mentioned by a number of parents as a solution, could someone please explain how this would work in reality? I assume such a system would be based upon a co-ed prep school and a co-ed sixth form but boys and girls would be taught separately from years 9 ( or 7) to year 11? If this is the correct assumption than: 1) Would the current Sedbergh pupils be split with the boys being taught in one class and the girls being taught with the current Casterton pupils in another? or 2) Would the current Casterton girls be kept in classes purely for them, regardless of class numbers and academic ability across the whole school? If option 1) is your proposal, do you think the current Sedbergh parents who have chosen a co-ed school for their children would be terribly impressed in reverting back to single sex education system? Just as you chose Casteron as an all girls school, the larger group of Sedbergh parents chose Sedbergh for the opposite reason. What would be the costs of doing this, or would children of a broader academic ability be grouped together to insure girls and boys are kept separate? How would extra curricular activities be supported - different orchestras for the girls than the boys, different musicals or plays even? Or is it just academic subjects that must be separate? If option 2) is your proposal, how integrated are the girls going to feel, will they be able to take part in combined games lessons with the current Sedbergh girls and compete in school teams or must they be kept completely separate for all curricula and extra curricula activities? Where would these classes take place, in Sedbergh or would these girls remain at Casteron with the prep school? I don't expect to receive detailed answers here but a broad explanation would be appreciated please. I know such schools exist but I am struggling to see how such a proposal could possibly work in this situation. I am as always, happy to listen to other proposals and ideas. Pigfarmer72
  • Score: 0

10:46am Mon 4 Mar 13

Sir arthur says...

Pigfarmer , no one is really having a go at sedbergh plc the real issue lies elsewhere.
I would however think i had won the lottery if my competitors representative knocked on my door and wanted to give me his assets and goodwill etc on the back of having a poor year without there being an almighty caveat.
In real life this is unfortunately highly unlikely to happen to anyone while playing with a straight bat.
Pigfarmer , no one is really having a go at sedbergh plc the real issue lies elsewhere. I would however think i had won the lottery if my competitors representative knocked on my door and wanted to give me his assets and goodwill etc on the back of having a poor year without there being an almighty caveat. In real life this is unfortunately highly unlikely to happen to anyone while playing with a straight bat. Sir arthur
  • Score: 0

11:31am Mon 4 Mar 13

Pigfarmer72 says...

I am not suggesting anyone is "having a go a Sedbergh", thankfully the discussion has moved on from such comments last week. I was just generally interested to know how those who proposed a Diamond structure actually thought it could work?
I am not suggesting anyone is "having a go a Sedbergh", thankfully the discussion has moved on from such comments last week. I was just generally interested to know how those who proposed a Diamond structure actually thought it could work? Pigfarmer72
  • Score: 0

11:36am Mon 4 Mar 13

PeterRogerson says...

The facts are pretty clear to see, the Casterton parents have been let down by their Governing board, however lets be honest with no parent representative on the governing board, and therefore no one to represent your interests it is clear that you have not taken a keen enough interest in your daughters schooling. Sedbergh School has at least 3 if not 4 parents on the Governing board, QES in Kirkby Lonsdale has at least 6 parents on the Governing board, LRGS has 4 on the board and LGGS has 6 parent governors and 3 staff governors. As apparent repsonsible Casterton Parents, you should have been aware of your Governing body and who was representing yours and your pupils interests. Both sets of Governors have taken what they feel is the responsible decision to merge the schools for the long term future of both establishments. I have no parental interest in either school, so speak without bias or favouratism to either, in my view, and looking at the comments here, there is a great deal of emotion from parents at Casterton plus negativity regarding Sedbergh. Funnily enought the Sedbergh Parents seem to be quiet regarding the merger and the effect it will have on their children, in my opinion they seem to be the most accepting, even though they will be affected. I am aware that Casterton School has been a fantastic school both for the pupils and the local community, however I can see the advent of Sedbergh Prep School bringing just as much to the community, and possibly a busy more vibrant atmosphere. I sympathise with Casterton Parents who put their girls at Casterton partly for the single sex education, however reallife isn't single sex, and in my humble opinion children should be educated together to give them an all round education. Don't forget sending your children to a fee paying school is more than about just education, it is about the all round experience they will gain, and that means growing up on a day to day basis with both boys and girls. Casterton parents you need to:
Stop slating the Governors, and look at your own part in this
Be positive with your children regarding the change - a positive parent brings a positive child
Stop pushing your opinions onto your children, let them form their own thoughts on the move
Remember, despite all your protests, this merger will happen, the sooner you accept that the better for all...especially your children.
The facts are pretty clear to see, the Casterton parents have been let down by their Governing board, however lets be honest with no parent representative on the governing board, and therefore no one to represent your interests it is clear that you have not taken a keen enough interest in your daughters schooling. Sedbergh School has at least 3 if not 4 parents on the Governing board, QES in Kirkby Lonsdale has at least 6 parents on the Governing board, LRGS has 4 on the board and LGGS has 6 parent governors and 3 staff governors. As apparent repsonsible Casterton Parents, you should have been aware of your Governing body and who was representing yours and your pupils interests. Both sets of Governors have taken what they feel is the responsible decision to merge the schools for the long term future of both establishments. I have no parental interest in either school, so speak without bias or favouratism to either, in my view, and looking at the comments here, there is a great deal of emotion from parents at Casterton plus negativity regarding Sedbergh. Funnily enought the Sedbergh Parents seem to be quiet regarding the merger and the effect it will have on their children, in my opinion they seem to be the most accepting, even though they will be affected. I am aware that Casterton School has been a fantastic school both for the pupils and the local community, however I can see the advent of Sedbergh Prep School bringing just as much to the community, and possibly a busy more vibrant atmosphere. I sympathise with Casterton Parents who put their girls at Casterton partly for the single sex education, however reallife isn't single sex, and in my humble opinion children should be educated together to give them an all round education. Don't forget sending your children to a fee paying school is more than about just education, it is about the all round experience they will gain, and that means growing up on a day to day basis with both boys and girls. Casterton parents you need to: Stop slating the Governors, and look at your own part in this Be positive with your children regarding the change - a positive parent brings a positive child Stop pushing your opinions onto your children, let them form their own thoughts on the move Remember, despite all your protests, this merger will happen, the sooner you accept that the better for all...especially your children. PeterRogerson
  • Score: 0

11:39am Mon 4 Mar 13

cumbriabornandbred says...

Hi

With regards to the diamond structure, I'd suggest having co-ed prep in the Casterton buildings, and then go single sex but maybe within the buildings at Sedbergh. The girls would all board together, as would the boys. Co-ed sixth form could even move over to Casterton's buildings - there could be positions of responsibility within this for helping with prep school children etc.
School choirs, orchestras etc would be co-ed. It's not about keeping the children totally separate! Teams would then continue as normal with all girls playing together.

It was just an idea. It would combine some co-ed years (assuming the prep school is y1-8 then that's 8 yrs plus 2 of sixth form) with 3 years of single sex education. It's not totally single sex as activities would be co-ed.

Boys and girls do learn differently, and from what I hear it does work. I'm not offering it as a 'you must do this' but it's possibly an idea that could be worked up.
Hi With regards to the diamond structure, I'd suggest having co-ed prep in the Casterton buildings, and then go single sex but maybe within the buildings at Sedbergh. The girls would all board together, as would the boys. Co-ed sixth form could even move over to Casterton's buildings - there could be positions of responsibility within this for helping with prep school children etc. School choirs, orchestras etc would be co-ed. It's not about keeping the children totally separate! Teams would then continue as normal with all girls playing together. It was just an idea. It would combine some co-ed years (assuming the prep school is y1-8 then that's 8 yrs plus 2 of sixth form) with 3 years of single sex education. It's not totally single sex as activities would be co-ed. Boys and girls do learn differently, and from what I hear it does work. I'm not offering it as a 'you must do this' but it's possibly an idea that could be worked up. cumbriabornandbred
  • Score: 0

11:45am Mon 4 Mar 13

sibbetson says...

Mr Tomlinson, chair of Casterton Governors is indeed MD of Michael Hodgson Estate Agents: his picture is all over their website. Would somebody please inform me which estate agency was responsible for the sale of the Casterton properties that have been sold off over the past year, and whether or not this estate agency made any profit from their sale? I don't know anything about it, but surely if it were to turn out to be the case that Mr Tomlinson's day job is making money out of Casterton's affairs, he cannot be said to be disinterested in the matter, and might find it very hard to be objective about anything to do with Casterton's property.

In the meantime: we aren't posh, in fact we could be classified as ambitious peasants. We drive taxis and by the end of every month we're hunting hopefully down the back of all the seats for contributions to the school fees, and never, never, have we been shunned by parents or teachers or anybody. Everybody has been lovely and charming and friendly, to us and to our daughter.

We are opinionated though, being opinionated isn't the province of posh people. Taxi drivers do that much better than anybody.
Mr Tomlinson, chair of Casterton Governors is indeed MD of Michael Hodgson Estate Agents: his picture is all over their website. Would somebody please inform me which estate agency was responsible for the sale of the Casterton properties that have been sold off over the past year, and whether or not this estate agency made any profit from their sale? I don't know anything about it, but surely if it were to turn out to be the case that Mr Tomlinson's day job is making money out of Casterton's affairs, he cannot be said to be disinterested in the matter, and might find it very hard to be objective about anything to do with Casterton's property. In the meantime: we aren't posh, in fact we could be classified as ambitious peasants. We drive taxis and by the end of every month we're hunting hopefully down the back of all the seats for contributions to the school fees, and never, never, have we been shunned by parents or teachers or anybody. Everybody has been lovely and charming and friendly, to us and to our daughter. We are opinionated though, being opinionated isn't the province of posh people. Taxi drivers do that much better than anybody. sibbetson
  • Score: 0

11:59am Mon 4 Mar 13

zaney5 says...

"Remember, despite all your protests, this merger will happen, the sooner you accept that the better for all...especially your children."

You seem very convinced of that. The old phrase regarding chickens and hatching eggs springs to mind.
"Remember, despite all your protests, this merger will happen, the sooner you accept that the better for all...especially your children." You seem very convinced of that. The old phrase regarding chickens and hatching eggs springs to mind. zaney5
  • Score: 0

12:05pm Mon 4 Mar 13

PeterRogerson says...

zaney5 wrote:
"Remember, despite all your protests, this merger will happen, the sooner you accept that the better for all...especially your children."

You seem very convinced of that. The old phrase regarding chickens and hatching eggs springs to mind.
Its nothing to do with being convinced it's to do with knowing the full story, which very few on here actually know.
[quote][p][bold]zaney5[/bold] wrote: "Remember, despite all your protests, this merger will happen, the sooner you accept that the better for all...especially your children." You seem very convinced of that. The old phrase regarding chickens and hatching eggs springs to mind.[/p][/quote]Its nothing to do with being convinced it's to do with knowing the full story, which very few on here actually know. PeterRogerson
  • Score: 0

12:30pm Mon 4 Mar 13

sibbetson says...

Very few people anywhere know the full story. However the more we investigate the more interesting it is getting.

You are absolutely right. It's to do with knowing the full story.

The more of the full story I know, the more I am entirely convinced that the merger is not even on the horizon. It is a very leaky boat which is sinking fast. (I can mix my metaphors if I like because I am only a taxi driver).

I am not going to put a positive spin on it to make things easier for my daughter. She is being sold down the river, she knows it, and trusts me to fight on her behalf. If we all stand together we can stop it.

If any parent is reading this, make double sure we have got your e-mail addresses, some of them were lost in a computer overload. Please, if you are wanting to stand up and be counted, e-mail me or Sarah - even if you think we already have your contact details: just for us to be sure.
Once again, I'm at sarah_ibbetson@yahoo
.com.
Very few people anywhere know the full story. However the more we investigate the more interesting it is getting. You are absolutely right. It's to do with knowing the full story. The more of the full story I know, the more I am entirely convinced that the merger is not even on the horizon. It is a very leaky boat which is sinking fast. (I can mix my metaphors if I like because I am only a taxi driver). I am not going to put a positive spin on it to make things easier for my daughter. She is being sold down the river, she knows it, and trusts me to fight on her behalf. If we all stand together we can stop it. If any parent is reading this, make double sure we have got your e-mail addresses, some of them were lost in a computer overload. Please, if you are wanting to stand up and be counted, e-mail me or Sarah - even if you think we already have your contact details: just for us to be sure. Once again, I'm at sarah_ibbetson@yahoo .com. sibbetson
  • Score: 0

12:31pm Mon 4 Mar 13

Closey1983 says...

I have read all of these comments with great interest and wonderment and feel compelled to put my humble opinion forward.

I work full-time at Sedbergh School so am in a position where I feel I can comment. Firstly, let me make it clear, just to try to settle one argument, the staff at Sedbergh School were all informed of this decision in a full-staff meeting last Tuesday, i.e. on the same day as the staff at Casterton and both respectives sets of parents and pupils. Only those senior members of staff who were working in the months beforehand on the proposals knew anything of the decision any earlier. If anyone is claiming to have known beforehand, they would have been working purely on hear'say or guesswork.

Let's make this clear, Sedbergh School and Casterton school ARE both wonderful schools. Casterton excels over Sedbergh in certain areas in the same way as Sedbergh excels over Casterton in others. A combination of the best staff / mentalities and also educational resources and extra-curricular activities from both schools can only benefit the pupils and indeed the communities in the long run.

Yes, in the short-term, it is potentially going to be tough on staff, pupils and parents alike. And this includes me, as no one knows yet whether their job is safe. For that part, you would forgive me for flying into this debate with nothing but cynicism and anamosity towards all concerned. However, that wouldn't achieve anything. Rationality is the only way to look at it and it is clear that the decision should, and I do say should, benefit all in the long run. Sedbergh is not simply a sporting school anymore, although it is still very high on the agenda. Much investment has been made into a new music and performing arts centre, the design centre and into other extra-curricular activity. The school is growing year on year.

Yes, I work at the school and live in Sedbergh but, believe me, I am not simply showing bias toward my employers. I analyse things as I see them. Sedbergh made a huge decision to become co-ed in 2000 and this has benefited the schoool enormously, yet at the time it was a decision met with a similar reaction.

Yes, the handling of the announcement could have been better (I am not saying this from personal experience but from what I have read) - as far as us staff being told, it was delivered fine but I do not personally have the experience of how this was delivered to anyone else.

Of course, there will always be two different opinions on any major decision and I have sympathy for those who are not in favour as it can affect them in ways they were not anticipating when sending their children to the school. Similarly to the staff, myself included, who are in limbo at the moment.

Change happens, there are casualties but it is sometimes needed to enable businesses to prosper. In this case, I genuinly believe by combining forces, the pupils will enjoy an even better education, if they gave it a chance.

Like I said, this is simply my humble opinion and not showing any bias as I always like to analyse things rationally. I expect a backlash from certain people (especially if my grammar and spelling hasn't been up to scratch) as I haven't conformed with the norm but that's democracy I suppose!

If people gave this a chance, I believe they would see and reap numerous benefits.
I have read all of these comments with great interest and wonderment and feel compelled to put my humble opinion forward. I work full-time at Sedbergh School so am in a position where I feel I can comment. Firstly, let me make it clear, just to try to settle one argument, the staff at Sedbergh School were all informed of this decision in a full-staff meeting last Tuesday, i.e. on the same day as the staff at Casterton and both respectives sets of parents and pupils. Only those senior members of staff who were working in the months beforehand on the proposals knew anything of the decision any earlier. If anyone is claiming to have known beforehand, they would have been working purely on hear'say or guesswork. Let's make this clear, Sedbergh School and Casterton school ARE both wonderful schools. Casterton excels over Sedbergh in certain areas in the same way as Sedbergh excels over Casterton in others. A combination of the best staff / mentalities and also educational resources and extra-curricular activities from both schools can only benefit the pupils and indeed the communities in the long run. Yes, in the short-term, it is potentially going to be tough on staff, pupils and parents alike. And this includes me, as no one knows yet whether their job is safe. For that part, you would forgive me for flying into this debate with nothing but cynicism and anamosity towards all concerned. However, that wouldn't achieve anything. Rationality is the only way to look at it and it is clear that the decision should, and I do say should, benefit all in the long run. Sedbergh is not simply a sporting school anymore, although it is still very high on the agenda. Much investment has been made into a new music and performing arts centre, the design centre and into other extra-curricular activity. The school is growing year on year. Yes, I work at the school and live in Sedbergh but, believe me, I am not simply showing bias toward my employers. I analyse things as I see them. Sedbergh made a huge decision to become co-ed in 2000 and this has benefited the schoool enormously, yet at the time it was a decision met with a similar reaction. Yes, the handling of the announcement could have been better (I am not saying this from personal experience but from what I have read) - as far as us staff being told, it was delivered fine but I do not personally have the experience of how this was delivered to anyone else. Of course, there will always be two different opinions on any major decision and I have sympathy for those who are not in favour as it can affect them in ways they were not anticipating when sending their children to the school. Similarly to the staff, myself included, who are in limbo at the moment. Change happens, there are casualties but it is sometimes needed to enable businesses to prosper. In this case, I genuinly believe by combining forces, the pupils will enjoy an even better education, if they gave it a chance. Like I said, this is simply my humble opinion and not showing any bias as I always like to analyse things rationally. I expect a backlash from certain people (especially if my grammar and spelling hasn't been up to scratch) as I haven't conformed with the norm but that's democracy I suppose! If people gave this a chance, I believe they would see and reap numerous benefits. Closey1983
  • Score: 0

12:33pm Mon 4 Mar 13

sibbetson says...

Dear Closey1983,

I don't want my child at school on Saturdays.
Discuss.
Dear Closey1983, I don't want my child at school on Saturdays. Discuss. sibbetson
  • Score: 0

12:33pm Mon 4 Mar 13

stormin1 says...

I have noyiced that no comments have been directed to the fact that jobs will be lost. Not onlt the teaching staff will be reduced but also all the other staff who maintain the school such as catering, groundsmen, cleaners etc. Give a thought for them please.
I have noyiced that no comments have been directed to the fact that jobs will be lost. Not onlt the teaching staff will be reduced but also all the other staff who maintain the school such as catering, groundsmen, cleaners etc. Give a thought for them please. stormin1
  • Score: 0

12:39pm Mon 4 Mar 13

sibbetson says...

Dear stormin1,

Yes, let's highlight this too. Let's make sure everybody knows that there is wider damage to the area from this. There are an awful lot of lives going to be hurt, an awful lot of families brought to great distress by this, affected partly by the horrible rush of it all. Why wasn't it done slowly over a couple of years, looking carefully at areas where things could be changed, not replacing people as they retired, and giving other people chance to apply for redundancy if they wanted.

The insensitivity and the haste contribute to my feeling that possibly the individuals responsible may not be the best managers on the planet.
Dear stormin1, Yes, let's highlight this too. Let's make sure everybody knows that there is wider damage to the area from this. There are an awful lot of lives going to be hurt, an awful lot of families brought to great distress by this, affected partly by the horrible rush of it all. Why wasn't it done slowly over a couple of years, looking carefully at areas where things could be changed, not replacing people as they retired, and giving other people chance to apply for redundancy if they wanted. The insensitivity and the haste contribute to my feeling that possibly the individuals responsible may not be the best managers on the planet. sibbetson
  • Score: 0

12:40pm Mon 4 Mar 13

oldgirl11 says...

stormin1 wrote:
I have noyiced that no comments have been directed to the fact that jobs will be lost. Not onlt the teaching staff will be reduced but also all the other staff who maintain the school such as catering, groundsmen, cleaners etc. Give a thought for them please.
I think you will find that I have acknowledged the job cuts, by commenting that to staff (which covers everyone) this is their livelihoods which they need to pay mortgages etc.
[quote][p][bold]stormin1[/bold] wrote: I have noyiced that no comments have been directed to the fact that jobs will be lost. Not onlt the teaching staff will be reduced but also all the other staff who maintain the school such as catering, groundsmen, cleaners etc. Give a thought for them please.[/p][/quote]I think you will find that I have acknowledged the job cuts, by commenting that to staff (which covers everyone) this is their livelihoods which they need to pay mortgages etc. oldgirl11
  • Score: 0

12:40pm Mon 4 Mar 13

zaney5 says...

PeterRogerson wrote:
zaney5 wrote:
"Remember, despite all your protests, this merger will happen, the sooner you accept that the better for all...especially your children."

You seem very convinced of that. The old phrase regarding chickens and hatching eggs springs to mind.
Its nothing to do with being convinced it's to do with knowing the full story, which very few on here actually know.
In that case maybe it's your duty to give everyone the "full story".
[quote][p][bold]PeterRogerson[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]zaney5[/bold] wrote: "Remember, despite all your protests, this merger will happen, the sooner you accept that the better for all...especially your children." You seem very convinced of that. The old phrase regarding chickens and hatching eggs springs to mind.[/p][/quote]Its nothing to do with being convinced it's to do with knowing the full story, which very few on here actually know.[/p][/quote]In that case maybe it's your duty to give everyone the "full story". zaney5
  • Score: 0

12:41pm Mon 4 Mar 13

PeterRogerson says...

sibbetson wrote:
Dear Closey1983,

I don't want my child at school on Saturdays.
Discuss.
I suggest you send you daughter to a non paying state school or academy, of which there are many, of which numerous are better than both Sedbergh and Casterton. This will in turn save you paying £15,000 a year, and save you from having to look down the back of your taxi seats for change to pay the fees.
[quote][p][bold]sibbetson[/bold] wrote: Dear Closey1983, I don't want my child at school on Saturdays. Discuss.[/p][/quote]I suggest you send you daughter to a non paying state school or academy, of which there are many, of which numerous are better than both Sedbergh and Casterton. This will in turn save you paying £15,000 a year, and save you from having to look down the back of your taxi seats for change to pay the fees. PeterRogerson
  • Score: 0

12:43pm Mon 4 Mar 13

sibbetson says...

Dear Giggleswick Marketing Manager, how clever you are. How I wish you had been at Casterton for the last few years.!
Dear Giggleswick Marketing Manager, how clever you are. How I wish you had been at Casterton for the last few years.! sibbetson
  • Score: 0

12:45pm Mon 4 Mar 13

Closey1983 says...

stormin1 wrote:
I have noyiced that no comments have been directed to the fact that jobs will be lost. Not onlt the teaching staff will be reduced but also all the other staff who maintain the school such as catering, groundsmen, cleaners etc. Give a thought for them please.
I also covered this. All staff, myself included, do not know yet whether our jobs are safe. This is obviously a downside to it but one which, unfortunately, comes with big decisions.
[quote][p][bold]stormin1[/bold] wrote: I have noyiced that no comments have been directed to the fact that jobs will be lost. Not onlt the teaching staff will be reduced but also all the other staff who maintain the school such as catering, groundsmen, cleaners etc. Give a thought for them please.[/p][/quote]I also covered this. All staff, myself included, do not know yet whether our jobs are safe. This is obviously a downside to it but one which, unfortunately, comes with big decisions. Closey1983
  • Score: 0

12:47pm Mon 4 Mar 13

sibbetson says...

Thank you for your kind advice, Peter Rogerson, but I like Casterton and think it is worth it.
Thank you for your kind advice, Peter Rogerson, but I like Casterton and think it is worth it. sibbetson
  • Score: 0

12:48pm Mon 4 Mar 13

Closey1983 says...

sibbetson wrote:
Dear Closey1983,

I don't want my child at school on Saturdays.
Discuss.
Dear Sibbetson

Like I said, Believe me when I say I have sympathy for you in the fact that this is a major change to what you signed up for by sending your child to Casterton. I am simply a humble staff member at the school, I do not wish to get into any drawn-out arguments. We all have our opinions, I respect yours and would hope you respect mine.
[quote][p][bold]sibbetson[/bold] wrote: Dear Closey1983, I don't want my child at school on Saturdays. Discuss.[/p][/quote]Dear Sibbetson Like I said, Believe me when I say I have sympathy for you in the fact that this is a major change to what you signed up for by sending your child to Casterton. I am simply a humble staff member at the school, I do not wish to get into any drawn-out arguments. We all have our opinions, I respect yours and would hope you respect mine. Closey1983
  • Score: 0

12:57pm Mon 4 Mar 13

sibbetson says...

Dear Closey1983, I genuinely wondered if you had something to suggest. I was rather hoping you might be an important sort of staff member rather than a humble one, who might just say: Ah, yes, well, we'll get on to that right away.

Dear me: it is all so awful. I don't want to be disrespectful to anybody. I have never really thought much about Sedbergh other than deciding that it wasn't for us after we looked at it: and I would much rather I wasn't having to think about it now. I wish to the bottom of my socks that it wasn't happening.
Dear Closey1983, I genuinely wondered if you had something to suggest. I was rather hoping you might be an important sort of staff member rather than a humble one, who might just say: Ah, yes, well, we'll get on to that right away. Dear me: it is all so awful. I don't want to be disrespectful to anybody. I have never really thought much about Sedbergh other than deciding that it wasn't for us after we looked at it: and I would much rather I wasn't having to think about it now. I wish to the bottom of my socks that it wasn't happening. sibbetson
  • Score: 0

12:59pm Mon 4 Mar 13

oldgirl11 says...

PeterRogerson wrote:
The facts are pretty clear to see, the Casterton parents have been let down by their Governing board, however lets be honest with no parent representative on the governing board, and therefore no one to represent your interests it is clear that you have not taken a keen enough interest in your daughters schooling. Sedbergh School has at least 3 if not 4 parents on the Governing board, QES in Kirkby Lonsdale has at least 6 parents on the Governing board, LRGS has 4 on the board and LGGS has 6 parent governors and 3 staff governors. As apparent repsonsible Casterton Parents, you should have been aware of your Governing body and who was representing yours and your pupils interests. Both sets of Governors have taken what they feel is the responsible decision to merge the schools for the long term future of both establishments. I have no parental interest in either school, so speak without bias or favouratism to either, in my view, and looking at the comments here, there is a great deal of emotion from parents at Casterton plus negativity regarding Sedbergh. Funnily enought the Sedbergh Parents seem to be quiet regarding the merger and the effect it will have on their children, in my opinion they seem to be the most accepting, even though they will be affected. I am aware that Casterton School has been a fantastic school both for the pupils and the local community, however I can see the advent of Sedbergh Prep School bringing just as much to the community, and possibly a busy more vibrant atmosphere. I sympathise with Casterton Parents who put their girls at Casterton partly for the single sex education, however reallife isn't single sex, and in my humble opinion children should be educated together to give them an all round education. Don't forget sending your children to a fee paying school is more than about just education, it is about the all round experience they will gain, and that means growing up on a day to day basis with both boys and girls. Casterton parents you need to:
Stop slating the Governors, and look at your own part in this
Be positive with your children regarding the change - a positive parent brings a positive child
Stop pushing your opinions onto your children, let them form their own thoughts on the move
Remember, despite all your protests, this merger will happen, the sooner you accept that the better for all...especially your children.
Perhaps you should discover why there are no parent representatives on the Governing body rather than launching an attack on parents for (in your opinion) a lack of interest.
Sedbergh parents remain quiet because the merger is stacked in their favour.
I find your comment to be more of a lecture to parents in how to conduct themselves with their own children.
Btw, if you think the fees are only £15,000 you need to recheck the fees section on the website.
[quote][p][bold]PeterRogerson[/bold] wrote: The facts are pretty clear to see, the Casterton parents have been let down by their Governing board, however lets be honest with no parent representative on the governing board, and therefore no one to represent your interests it is clear that you have not taken a keen enough interest in your daughters schooling. Sedbergh School has at least 3 if not 4 parents on the Governing board, QES in Kirkby Lonsdale has at least 6 parents on the Governing board, LRGS has 4 on the board and LGGS has 6 parent governors and 3 staff governors. As apparent repsonsible Casterton Parents, you should have been aware of your Governing body and who was representing yours and your pupils interests. Both sets of Governors have taken what they feel is the responsible decision to merge the schools for the long term future of both establishments. I have no parental interest in either school, so speak without bias or favouratism to either, in my view, and looking at the comments here, there is a great deal of emotion from parents at Casterton plus negativity regarding Sedbergh. Funnily enought the Sedbergh Parents seem to be quiet regarding the merger and the effect it will have on their children, in my opinion they seem to be the most accepting, even though they will be affected. I am aware that Casterton School has been a fantastic school both for the pupils and the local community, however I can see the advent of Sedbergh Prep School bringing just as much to the community, and possibly a busy more vibrant atmosphere. I sympathise with Casterton Parents who put their girls at Casterton partly for the single sex education, however reallife isn't single sex, and in my humble opinion children should be educated together to give them an all round education. Don't forget sending your children to a fee paying school is more than about just education, it is about the all round experience they will gain, and that means growing up on a day to day basis with both boys and girls. Casterton parents you need to: Stop slating the Governors, and look at your own part in this Be positive with your children regarding the change - a positive parent brings a positive child Stop pushing your opinions onto your children, let them form their own thoughts on the move Remember, despite all your protests, this merger will happen, the sooner you accept that the better for all...especially your children.[/p][/quote]Perhaps you should discover why there are no parent representatives on the Governing body rather than launching an attack on parents for (in your opinion) a lack of interest. Sedbergh parents remain quiet because the merger is stacked in their favour. I find your comment to be more of a lecture to parents in how to conduct themselves with their own children. Btw, if you think the fees are only £15,000 you need to recheck the fees section on the website. oldgirl11
  • Score: 0

1:04pm Mon 4 Mar 13

Closey1983 says...

sibbetson wrote:
Dear Closey1983, I genuinely wondered if you had something to suggest. I was rather hoping you might be an important sort of staff member rather than a humble one, who might just say: Ah, yes, well, we'll get on to that right away.

Dear me: it is all so awful. I don't want to be disrespectful to anybody. I have never really thought much about Sedbergh other than deciding that it wasn't for us after we looked at it: and I would much rather I wasn't having to think about it now. I wish to the bottom of my socks that it wasn't happening.
Thank you for declaring I am not an important member of staff. Perhaps I should just make myself redundant now as I clearly don't matter to the school.

I find that comment entirely disrespectful.

Again, I will tell you I sympathise with you but our opinions clearly differ.

Whatever the outcome, I sincerely hope you and your daughter are happy in your future education and that she prospers to her full potential.
[quote][p][bold]sibbetson[/bold] wrote: Dear Closey1983, I genuinely wondered if you had something to suggest. I was rather hoping you might be an important sort of staff member rather than a humble one, who might just say: Ah, yes, well, we'll get on to that right away. Dear me: it is all so awful. I don't want to be disrespectful to anybody. I have never really thought much about Sedbergh other than deciding that it wasn't for us after we looked at it: and I would much rather I wasn't having to think about it now. I wish to the bottom of my socks that it wasn't happening.[/p][/quote]Thank you for declaring I am not an important member of staff. Perhaps I should just make myself redundant now as I clearly don't matter to the school. I find that comment entirely disrespectful. Again, I will tell you I sympathise with you but our opinions clearly differ. Whatever the outcome, I sincerely hope you and your daughter are happy in your future education and that she prospers to her full potential. Closey1983
  • Score: 0

1:17pm Mon 4 Mar 13

PeterRogerson says...

oldgirl11 wrote:
PeterRogerson wrote:
The facts are pretty clear to see, the Casterton parents have been let down by their Governing board, however lets be honest with no parent representative on the governing board, and therefore no one to represent your interests it is clear that you have not taken a keen enough interest in your daughters schooling. Sedbergh School has at least 3 if not 4 parents on the Governing board, QES in Kirkby Lonsdale has at least 6 parents on the Governing board, LRGS has 4 on the board and LGGS has 6 parent governors and 3 staff governors. As apparent repsonsible Casterton Parents, you should have been aware of your Governing body and who was representing yours and your pupils interests. Both sets of Governors have taken what they feel is the responsible decision to merge the schools for the long term future of both establishments. I have no parental interest in either school, so speak without bias or favouratism to either, in my view, and looking at the comments here, there is a great deal of emotion from parents at Casterton plus negativity regarding Sedbergh. Funnily enought the Sedbergh Parents seem to be quiet regarding the merger and the effect it will have on their children, in my opinion they seem to be the most accepting, even though they will be affected. I am aware that Casterton School has been a fantastic school both for the pupils and the local community, however I can see the advent of Sedbergh Prep School bringing just as much to the community, and possibly a busy more vibrant atmosphere. I sympathise with Casterton Parents who put their girls at Casterton partly for the single sex education, however reallife isn't single sex, and in my humble opinion children should be educated together to give them an all round education. Don't forget sending your children to a fee paying school is more than about just education, it is about the all round experience they will gain, and that means growing up on a day to day basis with both boys and girls. Casterton parents you need to:
Stop slating the Governors, and look at your own part in this
Be positive with your children regarding the change - a positive parent brings a positive child
Stop pushing your opinions onto your children, let them form their own thoughts on the move
Remember, despite all your protests, this merger will happen, the sooner you accept that the better for all...especially your children.
Perhaps you should discover why there are no parent representatives on the Governing body rather than launching an attack on parents for (in your opinion) a lack of interest.
Sedbergh parents remain quiet because the merger is stacked in their favour.
I find your comment to be more of a lecture to parents in how to conduct themselves with their own children.
Btw, if you think the fees are only £15,000 you need to recheck the fees section on the website.
The fees i am refering to are day fees which are £5250 per term for yr9 upwards...please refer to the website to confirm. And yes I am having a go at the parents, as they clearly have not looked into the organisation of the Governing body at Casterton. In my opinion Sedbergh parents are quiet as they have a touch more decorum.
[quote][p][bold]oldgirl11[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]PeterRogerson[/bold] wrote: The facts are pretty clear to see, the Casterton parents have been let down by their Governing board, however lets be honest with no parent representative on the governing board, and therefore no one to represent your interests it is clear that you have not taken a keen enough interest in your daughters schooling. Sedbergh School has at least 3 if not 4 parents on the Governing board, QES in Kirkby Lonsdale has at least 6 parents on the Governing board, LRGS has 4 on the board and LGGS has 6 parent governors and 3 staff governors. As apparent repsonsible Casterton Parents, you should have been aware of your Governing body and who was representing yours and your pupils interests. Both sets of Governors have taken what they feel is the responsible decision to merge the schools for the long term future of both establishments. I have no parental interest in either school, so speak without bias or favouratism to either, in my view, and looking at the comments here, there is a great deal of emotion from parents at Casterton plus negativity regarding Sedbergh. Funnily enought the Sedbergh Parents seem to be quiet regarding the merger and the effect it will have on their children, in my opinion they seem to be the most accepting, even though they will be affected. I am aware that Casterton School has been a fantastic school both for the pupils and the local community, however I can see the advent of Sedbergh Prep School bringing just as much to the community, and possibly a busy more vibrant atmosphere. I sympathise with Casterton Parents who put their girls at Casterton partly for the single sex education, however reallife isn't single sex, and in my humble opinion children should be educated together to give them an all round education. Don't forget sending your children to a fee paying school is more than about just education, it is about the all round experience they will gain, and that means growing up on a day to day basis with both boys and girls. Casterton parents you need to: Stop slating the Governors, and look at your own part in this Be positive with your children regarding the change - a positive parent brings a positive child Stop pushing your opinions onto your children, let them form their own thoughts on the move Remember, despite all your protests, this merger will happen, the sooner you accept that the better for all...especially your children.[/p][/quote]Perhaps you should discover why there are no parent representatives on the Governing body rather than launching an attack on parents for (in your opinion) a lack of interest. Sedbergh parents remain quiet because the merger is stacked in their favour. I find your comment to be more of a lecture to parents in how to conduct themselves with their own children. Btw, if you think the fees are only £15,000 you need to recheck the fees section on the website.[/p][/quote]The fees i am refering to are day fees which are £5250 per term for yr9 upwards...please refer to the website to confirm. And yes I am having a go at the parents, as they clearly have not looked into the organisation of the Governing body at Casterton. In my opinion Sedbergh parents are quiet as they have a touch more decorum. PeterRogerson
  • Score: 0

1:17pm Mon 4 Mar 13

sibbetson says...

To Oldgirl11, I think the reason there may be no parents or staff on the Governing body might be that in order to get on to the Governing body one must be invited by it. It seems to be as simple as that, there doesn't seem to be any other route.

I wonder why they haven't invited any parents or staff. It surprises me that it hasn't occurred to them that it might be a good and balanced thing to do to get a broad spectrum of opinion.

Dear Closey 1983, substitute 'decision making' for important if you prefer, which is what I intended. I am interested to hear if Sedbergh is prepared to offer this flexibility. If you can't help maybe somebody else could.
To Oldgirl11, I think the reason there may be no parents or staff on the Governing body might be that in order to get on to the Governing body one must be invited by it. It seems to be as simple as that, there doesn't seem to be any other route. I wonder why they haven't invited any parents or staff. It surprises me that it hasn't occurred to them that it might be a good and balanced thing to do to get a broad spectrum of opinion. Dear Closey 1983, substitute 'decision making' for important if you prefer, which is what I intended. I am interested to hear if Sedbergh is prepared to offer this flexibility. If you can't help maybe somebody else could. sibbetson
  • Score: 0

1:28pm Mon 4 Mar 13

oldgirl11 says...

PeterRogerson wrote:
oldgirl11 wrote:
PeterRogerson wrote:
The facts are pretty clear to see, the Casterton parents have been let down by their Governing board, however lets be honest with no parent representative on the governing board, and therefore no one to represent your interests it is clear that you have not taken a keen enough interest in your daughters schooling. Sedbergh School has at least 3 if not 4 parents on the Governing board, QES in Kirkby Lonsdale has at least 6 parents on the Governing board, LRGS has 4 on the board and LGGS has 6 parent governors and 3 staff governors. As apparent repsonsible Casterton Parents, you should have been aware of your Governing body and who was representing yours and your pupils interests. Both sets of Governors have taken what they feel is the responsible decision to merge the schools for the long term future of both establishments. I have no parental interest in either school, so speak without bias or favouratism to either, in my view, and looking at the comments here, there is a great deal of emotion from parents at Casterton plus negativity regarding Sedbergh. Funnily enought the Sedbergh Parents seem to be quiet regarding the merger and the effect it will have on their children, in my opinion they seem to be the most accepting, even though they will be affected. I am aware that Casterton School has been a fantastic school both for the pupils and the local community, however I can see the advent of Sedbergh Prep School bringing just as much to the community, and possibly a busy more vibrant atmosphere. I sympathise with Casterton Parents who put their girls at Casterton partly for the single sex education, however reallife isn't single sex, and in my humble opinion children should be educated together to give them an all round education. Don't forget sending your children to a fee paying school is more than about just education, it is about the all round experience they will gain, and that means growing up on a day to day basis with both boys and girls. Casterton parents you need to:
Stop slating the Governors, and look at your own part in this
Be positive with your children regarding the change - a positive parent brings a positive child
Stop pushing your opinions onto your children, let them form their own thoughts on the move
Remember, despite all your protests, this merger will happen, the sooner you accept that the better for all...especially your children.
Perhaps you should discover why there are no parent representatives on the Governing body rather than launching an attack on parents for (in your opinion) a lack of interest.
Sedbergh parents remain quiet because the merger is stacked in their favour.
I find your comment to be more of a lecture to parents in how to conduct themselves with their own children.
Btw, if you think the fees are only £15,000 you need to recheck the fees section on the website.
The fees i am refering to are day fees which are £5250 per term for yr9 upwards...please refer to the website to confirm. And yes I am having a go at the parents, as they clearly have not looked into the organisation of the Governing body at Casterton. In my opinion Sedbergh parents are quiet as they have a touch more decorum.
I find your comment "Sedbergh parents are quiet as they have a touch more decorum" highly disrespectful. I think that your criticism is more a reflection of yourself than those you are aiming the comment at.
[quote][p][bold]PeterRogerson[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]oldgirl11[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]PeterRogerson[/bold] wrote: The facts are pretty clear to see, the Casterton parents have been let down by their Governing board, however lets be honest with no parent representative on the governing board, and therefore no one to represent your interests it is clear that you have not taken a keen enough interest in your daughters schooling. Sedbergh School has at least 3 if not 4 parents on the Governing board, QES in Kirkby Lonsdale has at least 6 parents on the Governing board, LRGS has 4 on the board and LGGS has 6 parent governors and 3 staff governors. As apparent repsonsible Casterton Parents, you should have been aware of your Governing body and who was representing yours and your pupils interests. Both sets of Governors have taken what they feel is the responsible decision to merge the schools for the long term future of both establishments. I have no parental interest in either school, so speak without bias or favouratism to either, in my view, and looking at the comments here, there is a great deal of emotion from parents at Casterton plus negativity regarding Sedbergh. Funnily enought the Sedbergh Parents seem to be quiet regarding the merger and the effect it will have on their children, in my opinion they seem to be the most accepting, even though they will be affected. I am aware that Casterton School has been a fantastic school both for the pupils and the local community, however I can see the advent of Sedbergh Prep School bringing just as much to the community, and possibly a busy more vibrant atmosphere. I sympathise with Casterton Parents who put their girls at Casterton partly for the single sex education, however reallife isn't single sex, and in my humble opinion children should be educated together to give them an all round education. Don't forget sending your children to a fee paying school is more than about just education, it is about the all round experience they will gain, and that means growing up on a day to day basis with both boys and girls. Casterton parents you need to: Stop slating the Governors, and look at your own part in this Be positive with your children regarding the change - a positive parent brings a positive child Stop pushing your opinions onto your children, let them form their own thoughts on the move Remember, despite all your protests, this merger will happen, the sooner you accept that the better for all...especially your children.[/p][/quote]Perhaps you should discover why there are no parent representatives on the Governing body rather than launching an attack on parents for (in your opinion) a lack of interest. Sedbergh parents remain quiet because the merger is stacked in their favour. I find your comment to be more of a lecture to parents in how to conduct themselves with their own children. Btw, if you think the fees are only £15,000 you need to recheck the fees section on the website.[/p][/quote]The fees i am refering to are day fees which are £5250 per term for yr9 upwards...please refer to the website to confirm. And yes I am having a go at the parents, as they clearly have not looked into the organisation of the Governing body at Casterton. In my opinion Sedbergh parents are quiet as they have a touch more decorum.[/p][/quote]I find your comment "Sedbergh parents are quiet as they have a touch more decorum" highly disrespectful. I think that your criticism is more a reflection of yourself than those you are aiming the comment at. oldgirl11
  • Score: 0

1:38pm Mon 4 Mar 13

sibbetson says...

If I had a large amount of money I should certainly found a hospital for those whose grip upon the world is so tenuous that they can be severely offended by words and phrases and yet remain all unoffended by the injustice, violence and oppression that howls daily about our ears. Steven Fry.

Never mind, nobody on here wants to be rude, it just slips out occasionally when feelings ride high. Let's just try and make it all right for our children.
If I had a large amount of money I should certainly found a hospital for those whose grip upon the world is so tenuous that they can be severely offended by words and phrases and yet remain all unoffended by the injustice, violence and oppression that howls daily about our ears. Steven Fry. Never mind, nobody on here wants to be rude, it just slips out occasionally when feelings ride high. Let's just try and make it all right for our children. sibbetson
  • Score: 0

1:46pm Mon 4 Mar 13

zaney5 says...

@ PeterRogerson

Your arrogance astounds me as much as Colin Tomlinsons.

And believe me, I didn't think I could be anymore astounded after listening to the recording of Friday nights meeting where Mr Tomlinson was asked quite categorically 6-7 times by parents to stand down. The sheer arrogance of the man to refuse after the disgraceful way this has all been handled.

I think they very least he needs to do is make a public apology to those parents and staff he has wronged.
@ PeterRogerson Your arrogance astounds me as much as Colin Tomlinsons. And believe me, I didn't think I could be anymore astounded after listening to the recording of Friday nights meeting where Mr Tomlinson was asked quite categorically 6-7 times by parents to stand down. The sheer arrogance of the man to refuse after the disgraceful way this has all been handled. I think they very least he needs to do is make a public apology to those parents and staff he has wronged. zaney5
  • Score: 0

2:12pm Mon 4 Mar 13

sibbetson says...

A little bird tells me that the staff association at Casterton have had a 100% vote of no confidence in the Governors.

Anybody who wants to support this please do so now, get in touch with Sarah and the Save Casterton campaign, or with me: we can make it happen if we stand together!
A little bird tells me that the staff association at Casterton have had a 100% vote of no confidence in the Governors. Anybody who wants to support this please do so now, get in touch with Sarah and the Save Casterton campaign, or with me: we can make it happen if we stand together! sibbetson
  • Score: 0

2:30pm Mon 4 Mar 13

Sarah/Parent says...

I am a parent of 3 former Casterton pupils. Our time at Casteron finishing 'naturally' at the school last Summer when our daughter left with stunning A levels to take up a place at a top Uni to read Engineering and our youngest son left to follow his brother into LRGS and the State system.

We moved house to make Casterton possible for our children and made a huge commitment to it. We made a concious choice for our daughter who was gifted in the sciences and maths - in order that she could blossom unaffected by the pressures of conforming to the norms of girls and boys, where girls are branded 'geeks' if academic and talented. For us school was about academic learning AND belonging to an institution with positive attitudes to learning prevailed.
Single sex is the key choice that has been removed.

Anyway, personal reminisences/reasons are not really of interest to all.

The key point to remember here is the role of the Governors. It's crazy to suggest there is a conspiracy of some sort regarding propety etc.

To me they appeared perfectly well meaning, but sadly far to slow to forsee what was coming both in the economy and in terms of local competition. Their attitude to marketing the school's key points of difference was old -fashioned and amateurish. ( Too many images of girls on ponies rather than holding bunsen burners!) By the time they had put resource in place to drive the sales process it was far too late. Again, indicating that although well meaning and dedicated they couldn't adapt to survive and offer strong leadership to the Head and her team.

I am very sad about what has happened- the impacts for the local economy and employment in the area are yet to be fully understood.
I am sad for my daughter, who has just left a school that helped shape her future and most of all for the girls at the school and those that will never have the chance to experience learning in a non judgemental, sexism -free, clean-aired haven offering so much to girls of all backgrounds,faiths and cultures.

I hope somthing can be salvaged and wish the best of luck to those who are trying.
I am a parent of 3 former Casterton pupils. Our time at Casteron finishing 'naturally' at the school last Summer when our daughter left with stunning A levels to take up a place at a top Uni to read Engineering and our youngest son left to follow his brother into LRGS and the State system. We moved house to make Casterton possible for our children and made a huge commitment to it. We made a concious choice for our daughter who was gifted in the sciences and maths - in order that she could blossom unaffected by the pressures of conforming to the norms of girls and boys, where girls are branded 'geeks' if academic and talented. For us school was about academic learning AND belonging to an institution with positive attitudes to learning prevailed. Single sex is the key choice that has been removed. Anyway, personal reminisences/reasons are not really of interest to all. The key point to remember here is the role of the Governors. It's crazy to suggest there is a conspiracy of some sort regarding propety etc. To me they appeared perfectly well meaning, but sadly far to slow to forsee what was coming both in the economy and in terms of local competition. Their attitude to marketing the school's key points of difference was old -fashioned and amateurish. ( Too many images of girls on ponies rather than holding bunsen burners!) By the time they had put resource in place to drive the sales process it was far too late. Again, indicating that although well meaning and dedicated they couldn't adapt to survive and offer strong leadership to the Head and her team. I am very sad about what has happened- the impacts for the local economy and employment in the area are yet to be fully understood. I am sad for my daughter, who has just left a school that helped shape her future and most of all for the girls at the school and those that will never have the chance to experience learning in a non judgemental, sexism -free, clean-aired haven offering so much to girls of all backgrounds,faiths and cultures. I hope somthing can be salvaged and wish the best of luck to those who are trying. Sarah/Parent
  • Score: 0

2:45pm Mon 4 Mar 13

sibbetson says...

If indeed they are well meaning then I suggest to any who read this that they stand down now and see if some sharper intellects can salvage something from the colossal mess they have left behind. Their refusal to resign, or to present a detailed explanation complete with figures, or even to produce the minutes of the meetings where the decisions were made does them no favours.
If indeed they are well meaning then I suggest to any who read this that they stand down now and see if some sharper intellects can salvage something from the colossal mess they have left behind. Their refusal to resign, or to present a detailed explanation complete with figures, or even to produce the minutes of the meetings where the decisions were made does them no favours. sibbetson
  • Score: 0

3:11pm Mon 4 Mar 13

ljmparent says...

I have 2 boys in the Prep School at Casterton. In the next academic year throughout the whole Prep School there were to be 13 students. So it was with very great relief that we heard of the merger.

This is a fantastic opportunity to be part of a truly wonderful school. To equip our young people with a love for learning in an environment which has some of the best facilities. With teachers of commitment and experience not only in education but in the wider world.

Who would not want to learn to swim in the pool on the door step, to play hockey and football on Astro Turf, take ponies out around the lanes, sing and perform in a wonderful Church and theatre and the use university standard art facilities?

Let us not lose sight that this decision was made for the long term future. It is not easy to let go of something that we love and treasure. But what we may end up doing is damaging what we do have.

Jobs lying in limbo, directionless, demotivated staff .....

Yes Mr Tomlinson needs to show some grace, his time is over, let it go and move on.
I have 2 boys in the Prep School at Casterton. In the next academic year throughout the whole Prep School there were to be 13 students. So it was with very great relief that we heard of the merger. This is a fantastic opportunity to be part of a truly wonderful school. To equip our young people with a love for learning in an environment which has some of the best facilities. With teachers of commitment and experience not only in education but in the wider world. Who would not want to learn to swim in the pool on the door step, to play hockey and football on Astro Turf, take ponies out around the lanes, sing and perform in a wonderful Church and theatre and the use university standard art facilities? Let us not lose sight that this decision was made for the long term future. It is not easy to let go of something that we love and treasure. But what we may end up doing is damaging what we do have. Jobs lying in limbo, directionless, demotivated staff ..... Yes Mr Tomlinson needs to show some grace, his time is over, let it go and move on. ljmparent
  • Score: 0

4:22pm Mon 4 Mar 13

Cas Res says...

I can only agree with ljmparent. This announcement comes as a great relief. I have a child at the Prep School and she was going to leave due to the low numbers. This is a problem that has been ongoing for a number of years and the prep school is not viable with the current numbers, for example year 2 has two pupils, year 3 two from September. The nursery and reception show good numbers on the roll, this again has been a familiar pattern, once children reach the age of 5 and the voucher scheme ends they generally leave, others are children of teachers or staff from other schools who leave when they reach school age.

The school is in financial dificulties and this has been getting progressivley worse as numbers fall away. The prep school lost its head, deputy head, and teaching staff to reduce costs. Classes were merged. There is little or no training for the staff, equipment failures that do not get repaired to keep costs down (interactive white boards down for months). The financial short fall has been eased by the selling of 5 properties during the last 5 years via Fisher Wrathall in Lancaster the latest being a few weeks ago. This is not reflected in the full accounts, the school has now apart from the main buildings no other means of raising funds to cover the funding gap.

Parents I have spoken to in pre prep are in support of the plans as it places the school on a sound footing, with a clear direction, investment which will benefit the children and it provides the children with fantastic facilities.
I can only agree with ljmparent. This announcement comes as a great relief. I have a child at the Prep School and she was going to leave due to the low numbers. This is a problem that has been ongoing for a number of years and the prep school is not viable with the current numbers, for example year 2 has two pupils, year 3 two from September. The nursery and reception show good numbers on the roll, this again has been a familiar pattern, once children reach the age of 5 and the voucher scheme ends they generally leave, others are children of teachers or staff from other schools who leave when they reach school age. The school is in financial dificulties and this has been getting progressivley worse as numbers fall away. The prep school lost its head, deputy head, and teaching staff to reduce costs. Classes were merged. There is little or no training for the staff, equipment failures that do not get repaired to keep costs down (interactive white boards down for months). The financial short fall has been eased by the selling of 5 properties during the last 5 years via Fisher Wrathall in Lancaster the latest being a few weeks ago. This is not reflected in the full accounts, the school has now apart from the main buildings no other means of raising funds to cover the funding gap. Parents I have spoken to in pre prep are in support of the plans as it places the school on a sound footing, with a clear direction, investment which will benefit the children and it provides the children with fantastic facilities. Cas Res
  • Score: 0

6:05pm Mon 4 Mar 13

JiliAllen says...

Hi everyone, as a former pupil of Casterton from the age of 11-17, and then a sixth form pupil at Sedbergh as one of the first girls in our year, I'd just like to say that they are both great schools and there really is no reason to panic at all. I agree, Casterton is more academic and has excelled in this respect, but Sedbergh allows a more full education, and through my own experience, pupils who are single sex schooled throughout their entire school career are often a little naive and shell-shocked when it comes to real life - there is no other place in life you are really that segregated and part of growing up is to learn so much more than just a curriculum. I wish the merger well and hope that both schools flourish from this collaboration.
Hi everyone, as a former pupil of Casterton from the age of 11-17, and then a sixth form pupil at Sedbergh as one of the first girls in our year, I'd just like to say that they are both great schools and there really is no reason to panic at all. I agree, Casterton is more academic and has excelled in this respect, but Sedbergh allows a more full education, and through my own experience, pupils who are single sex schooled throughout their entire school career are often a little naive and shell-shocked when it comes to real life - there is no other place in life you are really that segregated and part of growing up is to learn so much more than just a curriculum. I wish the merger well and hope that both schools flourish from this collaboration. JiliAllen
  • Score: 0

6:08pm Mon 4 Mar 13

Fromthesouth says...

Dear ljmparent & Cas Res

Your comments place a whole new slant on everything that has been said before. Are the parents of the senior girls at Casterton all aware of the situation you have desribed? It hasn't been mentioned in any of the postings above.
I am genuinely interested why you have left it until this stage. You may, of course, have only just discovered the opportunity to add your comment to this website. As with all the comments here they can only be taken at face value (and I mean this without any disrespect) but quite remarkable if they are true.
Dear ljmparent & Cas Res Your comments place a whole new slant on everything that has been said before. Are the parents of the senior girls at Casterton all aware of the situation you have desribed? It hasn't been mentioned in any of the postings above. I am genuinely interested why you have left it until this stage. You may, of course, have only just discovered the opportunity to add your comment to this website. As with all the comments here they can only be taken at face value (and I mean this without any disrespect) but quite remarkable if they are true. Fromthesouth
  • Score: 0

6:09pm Mon 4 Mar 13

Fromthesouth says...

Dear ljmparent & Cas Res

Your comments place a whole new slant on everything that has been said before. Are the parents of the senior girls at Casterton all aware of the situation you have desribed? It hasn't been mentioned in any of the postings above.
I am genuinely interested why you have left it until this stage. You may, of course, have only just discovered the opportunity to add your comment to this website. As with all the comments here they can only be taken at face value (and I mean this without any disrespect) but quite remarkable if they are true.
Dear ljmparent & Cas Res Your comments place a whole new slant on everything that has been said before. Are the parents of the senior girls at Casterton all aware of the situation you have desribed? It hasn't been mentioned in any of the postings above. I am genuinely interested why you have left it until this stage. You may, of course, have only just discovered the opportunity to add your comment to this website. As with all the comments here they can only be taken at face value (and I mean this without any disrespect) but quite remarkable if they are true. Fromthesouth
  • Score: 0

8:07pm Mon 4 Mar 13

Prep school parent says...

As a Prep School parent, I also agree with ljmparent and Cas Res. I completely empathise with the situation that those at the senior school have found themselves in, in having made the lifestyle choice of single sex education. I too would be agonising over the future of my daughter.

However, the prep school are largely going to benefit from the merger. It means our children can play sport in teams of the same age, perhaps have individual classes instead of consolidated ones and better socialisation whilst retaining the very excellent facilities they currently enjoy. The viability of Prep School was not, on the face of it, possible come September with 13 pupils at best.

There's no doubt the process has been handled badly and I would challenge anyone to dispute that!

The two schools (junior and senior) are very different beasts and comments made on any forum should be considered for each individually.
As a Prep School parent, I also agree with ljmparent and Cas Res. I completely empathise with the situation that those at the senior school have found themselves in, in having made the lifestyle choice of single sex education. I too would be agonising over the future of my daughter. However, the prep school are largely going to benefit from the merger. It means our children can play sport in teams of the same age, perhaps have individual classes instead of consolidated ones and better socialisation whilst retaining the very excellent facilities they currently enjoy. The viability of Prep School was not, on the face of it, possible come September with 13 pupils at best. There's no doubt the process has been handled badly and I would challenge anyone to dispute that! The two schools (junior and senior) are very different beasts and comments made on any forum should be considered for each individually. Prep school parent
  • Score: 0

8:16pm Mon 4 Mar 13

Overseas Parent says...

I would not challenge ljmparent & Cas Res observations as I am not in a position to do so. However a failing Prep school does not reflect the whole School nor can it alone justify the decision promulgated on Tuesday. If the Governors were responsible for overseeing the strategic management of the school how did they let the Prep get to this stage? ( The decision (by The Governors) to close the boarding in Bronte House and move it to the main school had a significant impact on the uptake of boarders in the Prep who in turn fed the main school!)

In addition, if the Prep was not viable, why was that not closed and properties sold off to concentrate on the main site, as the Prep has a relatively short history? Alternatively a combined Prep with Sedbergh could have been trialled as a pre-cursor to greater integration between the two schools.

Instead of confronting the Prep issue and adjusting the estate development plan, the Governors thought it best to have a major refurbishment of Bronte House for the sixth formers, a move which was not requested by the sixth formers who would have preferred more modest renovations to the showers and bathrooms in the existing 6th Form houses - the Governors have had no idea what the girls wanted, being out of touch with the boarding pupils as well as parents!

As has been said many times throughout this thread, the Governors have failed to convince anyone that they really know what they are doing and have lost the confidence of pupils, parents and staff. They need to move aside and let some of those present on Friday evening inject fresh blood into the School rather than having a Board of Governors who decide who they want to join them on the Board risking the commonly held perception that cronyism prevails when opaque and poorly explained decisions such as 'the merger' are promulgated!
I would not challenge ljmparent & Cas Res observations as I am not in a position to do so. However a failing Prep school does not reflect the whole School nor can it alone justify the decision promulgated on Tuesday. If the Governors were responsible for overseeing the strategic management of the school how did they let the Prep get to this stage? ( The decision (by The Governors) to close the boarding in Bronte House and move it to the main school had a significant impact on the uptake of boarders in the Prep who in turn fed the main school!) In addition, if the Prep was not viable, why was that not closed and properties sold off to concentrate on the main site, as the Prep has a relatively short history? Alternatively a combined Prep with Sedbergh could have been trialled as a pre-cursor to greater integration between the two schools. Instead of confronting the Prep issue and adjusting the estate development plan, the Governors thought it best to have a major refurbishment of Bronte House for the sixth formers, a move which was not requested by the sixth formers who would have preferred more modest renovations to the showers and bathrooms in the existing 6th Form houses - the Governors have had no idea what the girls wanted, being out of touch with the boarding pupils as well as parents! As has been said many times throughout this thread, the Governors have failed to convince anyone that they really know what they are doing and have lost the confidence of pupils, parents and staff. They need to move aside and let some of those present on Friday evening inject fresh blood into the School rather than having a Board of Governors who decide who they want to join them on the Board risking the commonly held perception that cronyism prevails when opaque and poorly explained decisions such as 'the merger' are promulgated! Overseas Parent
  • Score: 0

8:30pm Mon 4 Mar 13

sibbetson says...

Dear Overseas Parent, what sensible observations. You should know that despite requests from our lawyers the Governors are still refusing either to step aside, or to reveal any details at all of the contract with Sedbergh.

I do not see how refusing to be transparent is in anybody's best interest at this stage.There has been a clear indication of no confidence from staff, parents and some pupils: at this stage they should either resign or start trying to win that confidence back with some detailed explanations and some clarity.
Dear Overseas Parent, what sensible observations. You should know that despite requests from our lawyers the Governors are still refusing either to step aside, or to reveal any details at all of the contract with Sedbergh. I do not see how refusing to be transparent is in anybody's best interest at this stage.There has been a clear indication of no confidence from staff, parents and some pupils: at this stage they should either resign or start trying to win that confidence back with some detailed explanations and some clarity. sibbetson
  • Score: 0

8:55pm Mon 4 Mar 13

Fromthesouth says...

Most prep-schools and junior schools associated with a senior school are considered to be the 'life and blood' of the senior school by virtue of the fact that they are an essential means of introducing parents to the whole school as well as being a significant feeder. A common ethos through both schools should be very clear indeed for both 'brand' and continuity but with carefully managed identities for each. It is odd that they should be considered as 'very separate beasts.' Prep school parent - please don't think that this is attempting to discredit what you have said as your observations may be true.
Most prep-schools and junior schools associated with a senior school are considered to be the 'life and blood' of the senior school by virtue of the fact that they are an essential means of introducing parents to the whole school as well as being a significant feeder. A common ethos through both schools should be very clear indeed for both 'brand' and continuity but with carefully managed identities for each. It is odd that they should be considered as 'very separate beasts.' Prep school parent - please don't think that this is attempting to discredit what you have said as your observations may be true. Fromthesouth
  • Score: 0

9:11pm Mon 4 Mar 13

Cas Res says...

The main issue is a changing market place and the school either through its customers wishes not wanting to change and/or a reluctance from the senior staff. The real problems started 10 + years ago when the dynamics significantly changed. In the schools locality there are Sedbergh, Giggleswick and Windermere (ex St Annes), when these schools became co-ed 50% of Castertons market disappeared overnight. By this I mean they did not cater for boys but their competition now catered fo girls. The investment in new facilities extra carricular activities increased in both number and variation, due to falling numbers the school was and is not able to invest in this provision. If you look at numbers all the other establishments are either full or very close.

We as parents have raised our concerns with both staff and govenors 18months/2 years ago, a series of meeting was held and time offered by parents to assist in formulating a marketing stratergy to increase numbers. Fees were held or reduced to attract new parents and there was a marked increase in media advertising both locally and nationally. The response was very limited and showed when open days were held and only a handful or no one at all turned up.

In respect as to why we have not commented earler, from our perspective as parents of day puplils the decline was obvious and this outcome or closure for the whole school was inevitable. I understand that the summer term would have been the last.
The main issue is a changing market place and the school either through its customers wishes not wanting to change and/or a reluctance from the senior staff. The real problems started 10 + years ago when the dynamics significantly changed. In the schools locality there are Sedbergh, Giggleswick and Windermere (ex St Annes), when these schools became co-ed 50% of Castertons market disappeared overnight. By this I mean they did not cater for boys but their competition now catered fo girls. The investment in new facilities extra carricular activities increased in both number and variation, due to falling numbers the school was and is not able to invest in this provision. If you look at numbers all the other establishments are either full or very close. We as parents have raised our concerns with both staff and govenors 18months/2 years ago, a series of meeting was held and time offered by parents to assist in formulating a marketing stratergy to increase numbers. Fees were held or reduced to attract new parents and there was a marked increase in media advertising both locally and nationally. The response was very limited and showed when open days were held and only a handful or no one at all turned up. In respect as to why we have not commented earler, from our perspective as parents of day puplils the decline was obvious and this outcome or closure for the whole school was inevitable. I understand that the summer term would have been the last. Cas Res
  • Score: 0

9:30pm Mon 4 Mar 13

Cas Res says...

Fromthesouth, as regards to being 'very separate beasts.'Because one caters for boys and girls the other only girls the dynamics are very different. The difficulty the pre school has is where do the boys go?? All the other establishments have their own prep schools that act as feeders for the senior school, there were no ties with any other establishment for the reasons above, with the exception of RLGS, who if you are out of county will only take pupils as weekly boarders. This became apparent when the parents endevoured to form these links as a marketing tool to increase numbers. If you have a boy and girl at pre-pre/prep age it is unlikely that you will send to two different establishments for logistics reasons of different holidays, conflicting after school activities etc. Once you are embeded into the school through the prep school the chances of one leaving for a single sex school is very limited.
Fromthesouth, as regards to being 'very separate beasts.'Because one caters for boys and girls the other only girls the dynamics are very different. The difficulty the pre school has is where do the boys go?? All the other establishments have their own prep schools that act as feeders for the senior school, there were no ties with any other establishment for the reasons above, with the exception of RLGS, who if you are out of county will only take pupils as weekly boarders. This became apparent when the parents endevoured to form these links as a marketing tool to increase numbers. If you have a boy and girl at pre-pre/prep age it is unlikely that you will send to two different establishments for logistics reasons of different holidays, conflicting after school activities etc. Once you are embeded into the school through the prep school the chances of one leaving for a single sex school is very limited. Cas Res
  • Score: 0

10:02pm Mon 4 Mar 13

rms123 says...

I too have children in the Prep school and we also see this a positive step. The school has been marketed throughout our time here, but as already stated the level of interest has been low.
In so far as this being a girls school, it is interesting to note that there will, from September less girls than boys in the junior part of the school.
These girls do not always chose to go to the senior school. It is difficult to see where the next generation is coming from.
I think that as parents who have always tried to look at the whole picture then it has been obvious for a while that the school has been in danger of being economically viable.
I do feel for the senior girls and their families, but I also find it hard to agree with the idea that the prep school should be sacrificed. After all the prep school is the grounding for the future of the school, at least in part.
I too have children in the Prep school and we also see this a positive step. The school has been marketed throughout our time here, but as already stated the level of interest has been low. In so far as this being a girls school, it is interesting to note that there will, from September less girls than boys in the junior part of the school. These girls do not always chose to go to the senior school. It is difficult to see where the next generation is coming from. I think that as parents who have always tried to look at the whole picture then it has been obvious for a while that the school has been in danger of being economically viable. I do feel for the senior girls and their families, but I also find it hard to agree with the idea that the prep school should be sacrificed. After all the prep school is the grounding for the future of the school, at least in part. rms123
  • Score: 0

10:04pm Mon 4 Mar 13

rms123 says...

I apologise. I meant to say not viable!! Please excuse a tired working mum!
I apologise. I meant to say not viable!! Please excuse a tired working mum! rms123
  • Score: 0

10:29pm Mon 4 Mar 13

lives in the area says...

In relation to sibbertons comment regarding transparency, can they inform me as to why they feel it necessary to have a secure,private internet site accessible by only those parents who have signed up to their campaign and excluding those that have not signed up?
In the interests of transparency would it not be fair for all to have access?
In relation to sibbertons comment regarding transparency, can they inform me as to why they feel it necessary to have a secure,private internet site accessible by only those parents who have signed up to their campaign and excluding those that have not signed up? In the interests of transparency would it not be fair for all to have access? lives in the area
  • Score: 0

11:16pm Mon 4 Mar 13

Fromthesouth says...

Quite interesting comments on the Prep school and I may have learnt more about the situation and how things have become. Thank you Cas Res and Rms for explaining.
Was the Prep school ever a single-sex establishment? If Casterton continues it sounds like it will be gone. I'd be interested to know the demographic intake of Casterton girls; what it was in the past and what it might be in the future bearing in mind the trio of other schools in the same area.
Quite interesting comments on the Prep school and I may have learnt more about the situation and how things have become. Thank you Cas Res and Rms for explaining. Was the Prep school ever a single-sex establishment? If Casterton continues it sounds like it will be gone. I'd be interested to know the demographic intake of Casterton girls; what it was in the past and what it might be in the future bearing in mind the trio of other schools in the same area. Fromthesouth
  • Score: 0

11:16pm Mon 4 Mar 13

Fromthesouth says...

Quite interesting comments on the Prep school and I may have learnt more about the situation and how things have become. Thank you Cas Res and Rms for explaining.
Was the Prep school ever a single-sex establishment? If Casterton continues it sounds like it will be gone. I'd be interested to know the demographic intake of Casterton girls; what it was in the past and what it might be in the future bearing in mind the trio of other schools in the same area.
Quite interesting comments on the Prep school and I may have learnt more about the situation and how things have become. Thank you Cas Res and Rms for explaining. Was the Prep school ever a single-sex establishment? If Casterton continues it sounds like it will be gone. I'd be interested to know the demographic intake of Casterton girls; what it was in the past and what it might be in the future bearing in mind the trio of other schools in the same area. Fromthesouth
  • Score: 0

10:07am Tue 5 Mar 13

sibbetson says...

In terms of our website, it is private in order that people who are afraid of consequences can access it in confidence. All information is public except at this stage the names and contact details of our supporters, this seems to me to be reasonable as if the merger goes ahead many people's jobs and homes are endangered.

Not that I am suggesting anybody might wish to wreak revenge on those who opposed them: but I am not surprised that people are not completely confident in the benevolence and good nature of the current Governors.
In terms of our website, it is private in order that people who are afraid of consequences can access it in confidence. All information is public except at this stage the names and contact details of our supporters, this seems to me to be reasonable as if the merger goes ahead many people's jobs and homes are endangered. Not that I am suggesting anybody might wish to wreak revenge on those who opposed them: but I am not surprised that people are not completely confident in the benevolence and good nature of the current Governors. sibbetson
  • Score: 0

11:32am Tue 5 Mar 13

oldgirl11 says...

Fromthesouth wrote:
Quite interesting comments on the Prep school and I may have learnt more about the situation and how things have become. Thank you Cas Res and Rms for explaining.
Was the Prep school ever a single-sex establishment? If Casterton continues it sounds like it will be gone. I'd be interested to know the demographic intake of Casterton girls; what it was in the past and what it might be in the future bearing in mind the trio of other schools in the same area.
Yes the prep school did used to be single sex, and interestingly, When people are talking about numbers there was only 2 of us in Form 1 and roughly 5 in form 2 in 1988.
[quote][p][bold]Fromthesouth[/bold] wrote: Quite interesting comments on the Prep school and I may have learnt more about the situation and how things have become. Thank you Cas Res and Rms for explaining. Was the Prep school ever a single-sex establishment? If Casterton continues it sounds like it will be gone. I'd be interested to know the demographic intake of Casterton girls; what it was in the past and what it might be in the future bearing in mind the trio of other schools in the same area.[/p][/quote]Yes the prep school did used to be single sex, and interestingly, When people are talking about numbers there was only 2 of us in Form 1 and roughly 5 in form 2 in 1988. oldgirl11
  • Score: 0

12:53pm Tue 5 Mar 13

Fromthesouth says...

Dear Oldgirl
That is interesting. Did prep school girls generally transfer to the senior school?
Where did most of the intake for the senior school come from during your time there? Do you have any ideas as to how the school (if it is able to continue) might maintain future numbers of girls?
Dear Oldgirl That is interesting. Did prep school girls generally transfer to the senior school? Where did most of the intake for the senior school come from during your time there? Do you have any ideas as to how the school (if it is able to continue) might maintain future numbers of girls? Fromthesouth
  • Score: 0

2:29pm Tue 5 Mar 13

LivingInCumbria says...

I was also appalled to find that this entire merger was done without consultation and it would seem, with a worrying degree of covertness. That alone is a bad example to the students and disrespectful to not just them, but the fee-paying parents. I am not an involved party, but I do know that there will be a good deal of staff made redundant. And we're not, of course, talking upper management staff; but administrative, accounts, and others. 'At Risk' letters will no doubt be posted soon and staff will have to fight for their positions wherever roles are duplicated between schools. I don't know about Casterton, but Sedbergh has a long history of not showing their staff respect in more ways than one. This situation is shocking and upsetting for more than students.
I was also appalled to find that this entire merger was done without consultation and it would seem, with a worrying degree of covertness. That alone is a bad example to the students and disrespectful to not just them, but the fee-paying parents. I am not an involved party, but I do know that there will be a good deal of staff made redundant. And we're not, of course, talking upper management staff; but administrative, accounts, and others. 'At Risk' letters will no doubt be posted soon and staff will have to fight for their positions wherever roles are duplicated between schools. I don't know about Casterton, but Sedbergh has a long history of not showing their staff respect in more ways than one. This situation is shocking and upsetting for more than students. LivingInCumbria
  • Score: 0

2:37pm Tue 5 Mar 13

sibbetson says...

Letters have already been sent and staff have found their details have been sent over to Sedbergh for inspection without their consent.

In other words, CVs, many of them out of date, have been forwarded to the new Heads for use during the interview process without permission, without staff getting chance to review and update them, and without regard for anybody's wishes or personal decisions.

If Sedbergh do have a history of not respecting their staff, their present behaviour is doing nothing to improve the situation.

This is a disgrace. Once again I call on the present Governors to step down, if they have any decency left anywhere. Wouldn't you think Gill Sykes would have more fellow feeling for the staff she is helping to decimate?
Letters have already been sent and staff have found their details have been sent over to Sedbergh for inspection without their consent. In other words, CVs, many of them out of date, have been forwarded to the new Heads for use during the interview process without permission, without staff getting chance to review and update them, and without regard for anybody's wishes or personal decisions. If Sedbergh do have a history of not respecting their staff, their present behaviour is doing nothing to improve the situation. This is a disgrace. Once again I call on the present Governors to step down, if they have any decency left anywhere. Wouldn't you think Gill Sykes would have more fellow feeling for the staff she is helping to decimate? sibbetson
  • Score: 0

2:37pm Tue 5 Mar 13

sibbetson says...

Letters have already been sent and staff have found their details have been sent over to Sedbergh for inspection without their consent.

In other words, CVs, many of them out of date, have been forwarded to the new Heads for use during the interview process without permission, without staff getting chance to review and update them, and without regard for anybody's wishes or personal decisions.

If Sedbergh do have a history of not respecting their staff, their present behaviour is doing nothing to improve the situation.

This is a disgrace. Once again I call on the present Governors to step down, if they have any decency left anywhere. Wouldn't you think Gill Sykes would have more fellow feeling for the staff she is helping to decimate?
Letters have already been sent and staff have found their details have been sent over to Sedbergh for inspection without their consent. In other words, CVs, many of them out of date, have been forwarded to the new Heads for use during the interview process without permission, without staff getting chance to review and update them, and without regard for anybody's wishes or personal decisions. If Sedbergh do have a history of not respecting their staff, their present behaviour is doing nothing to improve the situation. This is a disgrace. Once again I call on the present Governors to step down, if they have any decency left anywhere. Wouldn't you think Gill Sykes would have more fellow feeling for the staff she is helping to decimate? sibbetson
  • Score: 0

2:58pm Tue 5 Mar 13

zaney5 says...

I particularly love this quote from a letter published on the Casterton School website. A letter signed from Colin Tomlinson - Chairman of Governors, Casterton School and Hugh Blair - Chairman of Governors, Sedbergh School

" We are committed to discussing our plans with you in an open and honest manner...."

Are you? ARE YOU?

Colin Tomlinson & fellow Casterton Governors - STEP DOWN.
I particularly love this quote from a letter published on the Casterton School website. A letter signed from Colin Tomlinson - Chairman of Governors, Casterton School and Hugh Blair - Chairman of Governors, Sedbergh School " We are committed to discussing our plans with you in an open and honest manner...." Are you? ARE YOU? Colin Tomlinson & fellow Casterton Governors - STEP DOWN. zaney5
  • Score: 0

3:26pm Tue 5 Mar 13

5678910 says...

The support for Casterton here is incredible. However, I am quickly losing respect for a few individuals on this site. Yes, we understand that you're upset about the lack of consultation, and about the fact that you have been backed into a corner somewhat with regard to your daughters education next year, of course you are. There is, however, absolutely no need for some of the comments that you are making. To insult Sedbergh and its staff is most certainly not going to get you anywhere. Imagine for a second that your daughters do end up going there next year. By being so openly rude about the school, you could jeopardize any hope of a smooth transition (or as smooth as possibly, i know it isnt going to be easy) if parents, pupils or staff were to read this. It is most certainly not going to help them settle in, and is just making you seem pompous and quite frankly, downright unpleasant.
Casterton has been covering up its failings for years, take the resignation of the previous head for example, and in all honesty I'm not surprised at all about the way this 'merger' has been conducted. I have to agree with you, as I believe most people are, that the behavior of the governers with regard to this has been disgusting. As a former pupil though, I saw it coming when I left a few years ago. It is something that has been on the cards for a good six years, I certainly knew about the possibility of it happening when I was at the school as many others did.
I apologise if this angers anyone. I have the greatest respect for the efforts of the parents in the attempt to save Casterton, even though I personally did not enjoy my time there, and understand that tempers are perhaps running a little high. A little more respect would not go amiss, you need all the support you can get, and turning people against you on such a public site as this is not a clever move.
The support for Casterton here is incredible. However, I am quickly losing respect for a few individuals on this site. Yes, we understand that you're upset about the lack of consultation, and about the fact that you have been backed into a corner somewhat with regard to your daughters education next year, of course you are. There is, however, absolutely no need for some of the comments that you are making. To insult Sedbergh and its staff is most certainly not going to get you anywhere. Imagine for a second that your daughters do end up going there next year. By being so openly rude about the school, you could jeopardize any hope of a smooth transition (or as smooth as possibly, i know it isnt going to be easy) if parents, pupils or staff were to read this. It is most certainly not going to help them settle in, and is just making you seem pompous and quite frankly, downright unpleasant. Casterton has been covering up its failings for years, take the resignation of the previous head for example, and in all honesty I'm not surprised at all about the way this 'merger' has been conducted. I have to agree with you, as I believe most people are, that the behavior of the governers with regard to this has been disgusting. As a former pupil though, I saw it coming when I left a few years ago. It is something that has been on the cards for a good six years, I certainly knew about the possibility of it happening when I was at the school as many others did. I apologise if this angers anyone. I have the greatest respect for the efforts of the parents in the attempt to save Casterton, even though I personally did not enjoy my time there, and understand that tempers are perhaps running a little high. A little more respect would not go amiss, you need all the support you can get, and turning people against you on such a public site as this is not a clever move. 5678910
  • Score: 0

3:27pm Tue 5 Mar 13

PeterRogerson says...

LivingInCumbria wrote:
I was also appalled to find that this entire merger was done without consultation and it would seem, with a worrying degree of covertness. That alone is a bad example to the students and disrespectful to not just them, but the fee-paying parents. I am not an involved party, but I do know that there will be a good deal of staff made redundant. And we're not, of course, talking upper management staff; but administrative, accounts, and others. 'At Risk' letters will no doubt be posted soon and staff will have to fight for their positions wherever roles are duplicated between schools. I don't know about Casterton, but Sedbergh has a long history of not showing their staff respect in more ways than one. This situation is shocking and upsetting for more than students.
'Sedbergh has a long history of not showing its staff respect'
Are you able to expand on this, I have many friends who have worked and still work at Sedbergh School who would not agree with this. To see a statement such as this i think we need examples and clarification.
[quote][p][bold]LivingInCumbria[/bold] wrote: I was also appalled to find that this entire merger was done without consultation and it would seem, with a worrying degree of covertness. That alone is a bad example to the students and disrespectful to not just them, but the fee-paying parents. I am not an involved party, but I do know that there will be a good deal of staff made redundant. And we're not, of course, talking upper management staff; but administrative, accounts, and others. 'At Risk' letters will no doubt be posted soon and staff will have to fight for their positions wherever roles are duplicated between schools. I don't know about Casterton, but Sedbergh has a long history of not showing their staff respect in more ways than one. This situation is shocking and upsetting for more than students.[/p][/quote]'Sedbergh has a long history of not showing its staff respect' Are you able to expand on this, I have many friends who have worked and still work at Sedbergh School who would not agree with this. To see a statement such as this i think we need examples and clarification. PeterRogerson
  • Score: 0

4:06pm Tue 5 Mar 13

zaney5 says...

To 5678910,

You are right that the support for Casterton parents & pupils is incredible. And yes emotions are running high which is why there are those that feel it necessary to bad mouth Sedbergh. I, personally, have no affiliation with Sedbergh School and therefore I cannot comment on what it may or may not be like.

However, are you aware that there have already been incidents on social media websites of Sedbergh pupils posting unacceptable comments (and if what I have been told is true, totally unacceptable pictures) with regards to the Casterton girls joining in September?

Sadly, I think a smooth transition is going to be nigh on impossible, regardless of any comments that have been posted on here.
To 5678910, You are right that the support for Casterton parents & pupils is incredible. And yes emotions are running high which is why there are those that feel it necessary to bad mouth Sedbergh. I, personally, have no affiliation with Sedbergh School and therefore I cannot comment on what it may or may not be like. However, are you aware that there have already been incidents on social media websites of Sedbergh pupils posting unacceptable comments (and if what I have been told is true, totally unacceptable pictures) with regards to the Casterton girls joining in September? Sadly, I think a smooth transition is going to be nigh on impossible, regardless of any comments that have been posted on here. zaney5
  • Score: 0

4:14pm Tue 5 Mar 13

5678910 says...

I am aware of this, as I believe Sedbergh staff are too, and I doubt it will go unpunished, particularly with the imminent merger. But rivalry between the two schools, particularly the girls, is not a new development. I know for a fact it has gone both ways in the past, perhaps not quite so directly or even publicly on either part but its been there none the less. My point is that parents throwing insults around is only going to escalate things; there is no need to go tit for tat. Don't lower yourselves to those standards.
Of course a transition isn't going to be smooth, that's why parents should be making a particular effort not to make anything worse.
I am aware of this, as I believe Sedbergh staff are too, and I doubt it will go unpunished, particularly with the imminent merger. But rivalry between the two schools, particularly the girls, is not a new development. I know for a fact it has gone both ways in the past, perhaps not quite so directly or even publicly on either part but its been there none the less. My point is that parents throwing insults around is only going to escalate things; there is no need to go tit for tat. Don't lower yourselves to those standards. Of course a transition isn't going to be smooth, that's why parents should be making a particular effort not to make anything worse. 5678910
  • Score: 0

4:25pm Tue 5 Mar 13

WorriedEmployee says...

LivingInCumbria wrote:
I was also appalled to find that this entire merger was done without consultation and it would seem, with a worrying degree of covertness. That alone is a bad example to the students and disrespectful to not just them, but the fee-paying parents. I am not an involved party, but I do know that there will be a good deal of staff made redundant. And we're not, of course, talking upper management staff; but administrative, accounts, and others. 'At Risk' letters will no doubt be posted soon and staff will have to fight for their positions wherever roles are duplicated between schools. I don't know about Casterton, but Sedbergh has a long history of not showing their staff respect in more ways than one. This situation is shocking and upsetting for more than students.
Can you give any further info about Sedbergh having a long history of not showing their staff respect? As a person who can't afford to lose my job, what you wrote worried me. Thanks if you can help.
[quote][p][bold]LivingInCumbria[/bold] wrote: I was also appalled to find that this entire merger was done without consultation and it would seem, with a worrying degree of covertness. That alone is a bad example to the students and disrespectful to not just them, but the fee-paying parents. I am not an involved party, but I do know that there will be a good deal of staff made redundant. And we're not, of course, talking upper management staff; but administrative, accounts, and others. 'At Risk' letters will no doubt be posted soon and staff will have to fight for their positions wherever roles are duplicated between schools. I don't know about Casterton, but Sedbergh has a long history of not showing their staff respect in more ways than one. This situation is shocking and upsetting for more than students.[/p][/quote]Can you give any further info about Sedbergh having a long history of not showing their staff respect? As a person who can't afford to lose my job, what you wrote worried me. Thanks if you can help. WorriedEmployee
  • Score: 0

4:28pm Tue 5 Mar 13

zaney5 says...

"Of course a transition isn't going to be smooth, that's why parents should be making a particular effort not to make anything worse."

And by that do you mean sit back and take everything as a fait accompli?

Because, I'm afraid that simply isn't going to happen.
"Of course a transition isn't going to be smooth, that's why parents should be making a particular effort not to make anything worse." And by that do you mean sit back and take everything as a fait accompli? Because, I'm afraid that simply isn't going to happen. zaney5
  • Score: 0

4:31pm Tue 5 Mar 13

5678910 says...

That's not what I'm saying at all, parents are perfectly capable of fighting for Casterton without throwing insults around. Insulting Sedbergh on a public forum isn't going to achieve anything
That's not what I'm saying at all, parents are perfectly capable of fighting for Casterton without throwing insults around. Insulting Sedbergh on a public forum isn't going to achieve anything 5678910
  • Score: 0

5:03pm Tue 5 Mar 13

zaney5 says...

I have to say I'm a bit confused as I can't see where Sedbergh has been insulted.
I have to say I'm a bit confused as I can't see where Sedbergh has been insulted. zaney5
  • Score: 0

5:08pm Tue 5 Mar 13

5678910 says...

Skimming through some of the posts earlier on, people have been less than polite about it. I'm not about to single out quotes, I don't really want to get into a debate with you about it. Simply to return to my original point, I think some need to watch what they say because their comments could rub people up the wrong way,intended or not. A good example needs to be set at this point. Manners cost nothing.
Skimming through some of the posts earlier on, people have been less than polite about it. I'm not about to single out quotes, I don't really want to get into a debate with you about it. Simply to return to my original point, I think some need to watch what they say because their comments could rub people up the wrong way,intended or not. A good example needs to be set at this point. Manners cost nothing. 5678910
  • Score: 0

7:13pm Tue 5 Mar 13

aimzygal says...

sibbetson wrote:
Letters have already been sent and staff have found their details have been sent over to Sedbergh for inspection without their consent.

In other words, CVs, many of them out of date, have been forwarded to the new Heads for use during the interview process without permission, without staff getting chance to review and update them, and without regard for anybody's wishes or personal decisions.

If Sedbergh do have a history of not respecting their staff, their present behaviour is doing nothing to improve the situation.

This is a disgrace. Once again I call on the present Governors to step down, if they have any decency left anywhere. Wouldn't you think Gill Sykes would have more fellow feeling for the staff she is helping to decimate?
Sibbeston I may well be wrong but didn't Gill Sykes retire?
[quote][p][bold]sibbetson[/bold] wrote: Letters have already been sent and staff have found their details have been sent over to Sedbergh for inspection without their consent. In other words, CVs, many of them out of date, have been forwarded to the new Heads for use during the interview process without permission, without staff getting chance to review and update them, and without regard for anybody's wishes or personal decisions. If Sedbergh do have a history of not respecting their staff, their present behaviour is doing nothing to improve the situation. This is a disgrace. Once again I call on the present Governors to step down, if they have any decency left anywhere. Wouldn't you think Gill Sykes would have more fellow feeling for the staff she is helping to decimate?[/p][/quote]Sibbeston I may well be wrong but didn't Gill Sykes retire? aimzygal
  • Score: 0

7:20pm Tue 5 Mar 13

sibbetson says...

She is on the Governors and working hard to push this through.
She is on the Governors and working hard to push this through. sibbetson
  • Score: 0

7:44pm Tue 5 Mar 13

aimzygal says...

Thanks sibbeston I stand corrected and totally agree with you, wonder how she'd feel if still on "the team"
Thanks sibbeston I stand corrected and totally agree with you, wonder how she'd feel if still on "the team" aimzygal
  • Score: 0

8:24pm Tue 5 Mar 13

Cas Res says...

I am as stated earlier a parent of a child in the prep school and I welcome this merger to secure the schools future. If this merger fails to proceed due to the actions of some has anyone considered the possible outcomes? I along with a considerable number of other parents will be withdrawing their children and taking them else where for a stable future.
The group that is aiming to prevent this have not disclosed a viable alternative;
Have they a business plan in place to state how they will turnaround an establishment saddled with debt?
Have they got access to finance to allow the school to continue; the simple P&L accounts do not show the full picture (Bank loans, selling of assetts, there is no more family silver to sell)
What will happen if sedbergh pull out?
No one has convinced me that there is an altenative for the school to continue.
This merger was proposed around 4 years ago, but failed to happen, so it has been on the cards for a long time.
Have they considered what will happen to the local community if the merger does not go ahead and the school has to close, the village will loose its church as this is funded by both the school and the parish, the school buildings will be sold for development by those holding charging orders, the economic loss to the local business will be considerable as well as the loss of local employment.
Numbers are falling and continue to do so as mentioned in earlier posts marketing has failed to deliver the numbers, there are only 11 new starters when more than double will be leaving in the 6th Form when their exams are completed.
I am as stated earlier a parent of a child in the prep school and I welcome this merger to secure the schools future. If this merger fails to proceed due to the actions of some has anyone considered the possible outcomes? I along with a considerable number of other parents will be withdrawing their children and taking them else where for a stable future. The group that is aiming to prevent this have not disclosed a viable alternative; Have they a business plan in place to state how they will turnaround an establishment saddled with debt? Have they got access to finance to allow the school to continue; the simple P&L accounts do not show the full picture (Bank loans, selling of assetts, there is no more family silver to sell) What will happen if sedbergh pull out? No one has convinced me that there is an altenative for the school to continue. This merger was proposed around 4 years ago, but failed to happen, so it has been on the cards for a long time. Have they considered what will happen to the local community if the merger does not go ahead and the school has to close, the village will loose its church as this is funded by both the school and the parish, the school buildings will be sold for development by those holding charging orders, the economic loss to the local business will be considerable as well as the loss of local employment. Numbers are falling and continue to do so as mentioned in earlier posts marketing has failed to deliver the numbers, there are only 11 new starters when more than double will be leaving in the 6th Form when their exams are completed. Cas Res
  • Score: 0

9:15pm Tue 5 Mar 13

Bezzaberry says...

I think you need to check you information of 11 new starters. If you understood the admissions process of an independent school you would understand that deadlines haven't even passed yet. Recruitment goes on right until the end of the summer term so these figures are totally incorrect!
I think you need to check you information of 11 new starters. If you understood the admissions process of an independent school you would understand that deadlines haven't even passed yet. Recruitment goes on right until the end of the summer term so these figures are totally incorrect! Bezzaberry
  • Score: 0

9:47pm Tue 5 Mar 13

PeterRogerson says...

Bezzaberry wrote:
I think you need to check you information of 11 new starters. If you understood the admissions process of an independent school you would understand that deadlines haven't even passed yet. Recruitment goes on right until the end of the summer term so these figures are totally incorrect!
These figures are correct at this moment in time, most of us are clear of the process of admissions, however any future ones were looking very unlikely
[quote][p][bold]Bezzaberry[/bold] wrote: I think you need to check you information of 11 new starters. If you understood the admissions process of an independent school you would understand that deadlines haven't even passed yet. Recruitment goes on right until the end of the summer term so these figures are totally incorrect![/p][/quote]These figures are correct at this moment in time, most of us are clear of the process of admissions, however any future ones were looking very unlikely PeterRogerson
  • Score: 0

9:50pm Tue 5 Mar 13

PeterRogerson says...

PeterRogerson wrote:
LivingInCumbria wrote:
I was also appalled to find that this entire merger was done without consultation and it would seem, with a worrying degree of covertness. That alone is a bad example to the students and disrespectful to not just them, but the fee-paying parents. I am not an involved party, but I do know that there will be a good deal of staff made redundant. And we're not, of course, talking upper management staff; but administrative, accounts, and others. 'At Risk' letters will no doubt be posted soon and staff will have to fight for their positions wherever roles are duplicated between schools. I don't know about Casterton, but Sedbergh has a long history of not showing their staff respect in more ways than one. This situation is shocking and upsetting for more than students.
'Sedbergh has a long history of not showing its staff respect'
Are you able to expand on this, I have many friends who have worked and still work at Sedbergh School who would not agree with this. To see a statement such as this i think we need examples and clarification.
Any clarification LivinginCumbria?
[quote][p][bold]PeterRogerson[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]LivingInCumbria[/bold] wrote: I was also appalled to find that this entire merger was done without consultation and it would seem, with a worrying degree of covertness. That alone is a bad example to the students and disrespectful to not just them, but the fee-paying parents. I am not an involved party, but I do know that there will be a good deal of staff made redundant. And we're not, of course, talking upper management staff; but administrative, accounts, and others. 'At Risk' letters will no doubt be posted soon and staff will have to fight for their positions wherever roles are duplicated between schools. I don't know about Casterton, but Sedbergh has a long history of not showing their staff respect in more ways than one. This situation is shocking and upsetting for more than students.[/p][/quote]'Sedbergh has a long history of not showing its staff respect' Are you able to expand on this, I have many friends who have worked and still work at Sedbergh School who would not agree with this. To see a statement such as this i think we need examples and clarification.[/p][/quote]Any clarification LivinginCumbria? PeterRogerson
  • Score: 0

9:54pm Tue 5 Mar 13

Bezzaberry says...

Any future ones were looking unlikely? How little you know!
Any future ones were looking unlikely? How little you know! Bezzaberry
  • Score: 0

10:32pm Tue 5 Mar 13

rms123 says...

Bezzaberry wrote:
Any future ones were looking unlikely? How little you know!
Perhaps you could enlighten us then. Any news of new pupils is always welcome and indeed what most of us have been praying for.
[quote][p][bold]Bezzaberry[/bold] wrote: Any future ones were looking unlikely? How little you know![/p][/quote]Perhaps you could enlighten us then. Any news of new pupils is always welcome and indeed what most of us have been praying for. rms123
  • Score: 0

9:12am Wed 6 Mar 13

LivingInCumbria says...

With regard to my earlier comments re: Sedbergh School having a long history of not respecting their staff, I can only say that this is very true from a perspective of someone who has worked there and been through it and seen others go through it. It would be inappropriate to elucidate based on this experience on such a public forum. And I dare say anyone who works at the school is aware of it and, if you're not, you're in a lucky place. This is not the biggest issue here only a side-issue that just demonstrates shockingly that it can happen even in what needs to be a nuturing environment. If I were employed by Sedbergh School, I would not be worried about being disrespected. That time has passed. Start worrying about the safety of your position.
With regard to my earlier comments re: Sedbergh School having a long history of not respecting their staff, I can only say that this is very true from a perspective of someone who has worked there and been through it and seen others go through it. It would be inappropriate to elucidate based on this experience on such a public forum. And I dare say anyone who works at the school is aware of it and, if you're not, you're in a lucky place. This is not the biggest issue here only a side-issue that just demonstrates shockingly that it can happen even in what needs to be a nuturing environment. If I were employed by Sedbergh School, I would not be worried about being disrespected. That time has passed. Start worrying about the safety of your position. LivingInCumbria
  • Score: 0

11:44am Wed 6 Mar 13

sibbetson says...

I need to reiterate this on behalf of many parents.

We do not need to think that Sedbergh is rubbish in order not to want to send our children there. Some parents may not think very highly of it, but the majority have no reason at all to think it is a poor-quality establishment.

However that does not mean we have chosen it. I like duck in plum sauce very much but I did not think it appropriate for my breakfast this morning, and I do not think Sedbergh the appropriate choice for my child.

I am sorry if Sedbergh staff feel they have difficulties at work: It is awful to feel that one's employer does not have one's best interests at heart. If nothing else comes out of this it might be that the powers that be in Sedbergh feel shaken up by that, recognise that they have a problem, and start rethinking their HR policies hard. Happy staff work harder and contribute more. If Sedbergh has any kind of dynamic management at all - and it seems that they do - it may be that through reading their staff's feelings on this site they are shaken and inspired to look hard at their practices and change some of them.

As far as the Save Casterton team's plans for the future - there are an awful lot of ideas floating round at the moment. Nobody will be able to come up with anything realistic and sensible unless we can get the current Governors to release their figures, which so far they have not. In the meantime it is premature to even daydream.

However I suspect that the collection of very bright, perceptive and well-informed people I have met so far during this campaign are likely to be able to come up with some good ideas, and I think we have all taken on board the need for communication, transparency and fairness. It would be very good indeed if we can between us build something fantastic out of this disaster.
I need to reiterate this on behalf of many parents. We do not need to think that Sedbergh is rubbish in order not to want to send our children there. Some parents may not think very highly of it, but the majority have no reason at all to think it is a poor-quality establishment. However that does not mean we have chosen it. I like duck in plum sauce very much but I did not think it appropriate for my breakfast this morning, and I do not think Sedbergh the appropriate choice for my child. I am sorry if Sedbergh staff feel they have difficulties at work: It is awful to feel that one's employer does not have one's best interests at heart. If nothing else comes out of this it might be that the powers that be in Sedbergh feel shaken up by that, recognise that they have a problem, and start rethinking their HR policies hard. Happy staff work harder and contribute more. If Sedbergh has any kind of dynamic management at all - and it seems that they do - it may be that through reading their staff's feelings on this site they are shaken and inspired to look hard at their practices and change some of them. As far as the Save Casterton team's plans for the future - there are an awful lot of ideas floating round at the moment. Nobody will be able to come up with anything realistic and sensible unless we can get the current Governors to release their figures, which so far they have not. In the meantime it is premature to even daydream. However I suspect that the collection of very bright, perceptive and well-informed people I have met so far during this campaign are likely to be able to come up with some good ideas, and I think we have all taken on board the need for communication, transparency and fairness. It would be very good indeed if we can between us build something fantastic out of this disaster. sibbetson
  • Score: 0

12:23pm Wed 6 Mar 13

Fromthesouth says...

sibbetson wrote:
I need to reiterate this on behalf of many parents.

We do not need to think that Sedbergh is rubbish in order not to want to send our children there. Some parents may not think very highly of it, but the majority have no reason at all to think it is a poor-quality establishment.

However that does not mean we have chosen it. I like duck in plum sauce very much but I did not think it appropriate for my breakfast this morning, and I do not think Sedbergh the appropriate choice for my child.

I am sorry if Sedbergh staff feel they have difficulties at work: It is awful to feel that one's employer does not have one's best interests at heart. If nothing else comes out of this it might be that the powers that be in Sedbergh feel shaken up by that, recognise that they have a problem, and start rethinking their HR policies hard. Happy staff work harder and contribute more. If Sedbergh has any kind of dynamic management at all - and it seems that they do - it may be that through reading their staff's feelings on this site they are shaken and inspired to look hard at their practices and change some of them.

As far as the Save Casterton team's plans for the future - there are an awful lot of ideas floating round at the moment. Nobody will be able to come up with anything realistic and sensible unless we can get the current Governors to release their figures, which so far they have not. In the meantime it is premature to even daydream.

However I suspect that the collection of very bright, perceptive and well-informed people I have met so far during this campaign are likely to be able to come up with some good ideas, and I think we have all taken on board the need for communication, transparency and fairness. It would be very good indeed if we can between us build something fantastic out of this disaster.
Sibbetson says:

'I am sorry if Sedbergh staff feel they have difficulties at work: It is awful to feel that one's employer does not have one's best interests at heart. If nothing else comes out of this it might be that the powers that be in Sedbergh feel shaken up by that, recognise that they have a problem, and start rethinking their HR policies hard. Happy staff work harder and contribute more. If Sedbergh has any kind of dynamic management at all - and it seems that they do - it may be that through reading their staff's feelings on this site they are shaken and inspired to look hard at their practices and change some of them.'

I cannot find any quote here from a Sedbergh member of staff that supports this. I may have missed it - if so please help.
[quote][p][bold]sibbetson[/bold] wrote: I need to reiterate this on behalf of many parents. We do not need to think that Sedbergh is rubbish in order not to want to send our children there. Some parents may not think very highly of it, but the majority have no reason at all to think it is a poor-quality establishment. However that does not mean we have chosen it. I like duck in plum sauce very much but I did not think it appropriate for my breakfast this morning, and I do not think Sedbergh the appropriate choice for my child. I am sorry if Sedbergh staff feel they have difficulties at work: It is awful to feel that one's employer does not have one's best interests at heart. If nothing else comes out of this it might be that the powers that be in Sedbergh feel shaken up by that, recognise that they have a problem, and start rethinking their HR policies hard. Happy staff work harder and contribute more. If Sedbergh has any kind of dynamic management at all - and it seems that they do - it may be that through reading their staff's feelings on this site they are shaken and inspired to look hard at their practices and change some of them. As far as the Save Casterton team's plans for the future - there are an awful lot of ideas floating round at the moment. Nobody will be able to come up with anything realistic and sensible unless we can get the current Governors to release their figures, which so far they have not. In the meantime it is premature to even daydream. However I suspect that the collection of very bright, perceptive and well-informed people I have met so far during this campaign are likely to be able to come up with some good ideas, and I think we have all taken on board the need for communication, transparency and fairness. It would be very good indeed if we can between us build something fantastic out of this disaster.[/p][/quote]Sibbetson says: 'I am sorry if Sedbergh staff feel they have difficulties at work: It is awful to feel that one's employer does not have one's best interests at heart. If nothing else comes out of this it might be that the powers that be in Sedbergh feel shaken up by that, recognise that they have a problem, and start rethinking their HR policies hard. Happy staff work harder and contribute more. If Sedbergh has any kind of dynamic management at all - and it seems that they do - it may be that through reading their staff's feelings on this site they are shaken and inspired to look hard at their practices and change some of them.' I cannot find any quote here from a Sedbergh member of staff that supports this. I may have missed it - if so please help. Fromthesouth
  • Score: 0

12:23pm Wed 6 Mar 13

Fromthesouth says...

sibbetson wrote:
I need to reiterate this on behalf of many parents.

We do not need to think that Sedbergh is rubbish in order not to want to send our children there. Some parents may not think very highly of it, but the majority have no reason at all to think it is a poor-quality establishment.

However that does not mean we have chosen it. I like duck in plum sauce very much but I did not think it appropriate for my breakfast this morning, and I do not think Sedbergh the appropriate choice for my child.

I am sorry if Sedbergh staff feel they have difficulties at work: It is awful to feel that one's employer does not have one's best interests at heart. If nothing else comes out of this it might be that the powers that be in Sedbergh feel shaken up by that, recognise that they have a problem, and start rethinking their HR policies hard. Happy staff work harder and contribute more. If Sedbergh has any kind of dynamic management at all - and it seems that they do - it may be that through reading their staff's feelings on this site they are shaken and inspired to look hard at their practices and change some of them.

As far as the Save Casterton team's plans for the future - there are an awful lot of ideas floating round at the moment. Nobody will be able to come up with anything realistic and sensible unless we can get the current Governors to release their figures, which so far they have not. In the meantime it is premature to even daydream.

However I suspect that the collection of very bright, perceptive and well-informed people I have met so far during this campaign are likely to be able to come up with some good ideas, and I think we have all taken on board the need for communication, transparency and fairness. It would be very good indeed if we can between us build something fantastic out of this disaster.
Sibbetson says:

'I am sorry if Sedbergh staff feel they have difficulties at work: It is awful to feel that one's employer does not have one's best interests at heart. If nothing else comes out of this it might be that the powers that be in Sedbergh feel shaken up by that, recognise that they have a problem, and start rethinking their HR policies hard. Happy staff work harder and contribute more. If Sedbergh has any kind of dynamic management at all - and it seems that they do - it may be that through reading their staff's feelings on this site they are shaken and inspired to look hard at their practices and change some of them.'

I cannot find any quote here from a Sedbergh member of staff that supports this. I may have missed it - if so please help.
[quote][p][bold]sibbetson[/bold] wrote: I need to reiterate this on behalf of many parents. We do not need to think that Sedbergh is rubbish in order not to want to send our children there. Some parents may not think very highly of it, but the majority have no reason at all to think it is a poor-quality establishment. However that does not mean we have chosen it. I like duck in plum sauce very much but I did not think it appropriate for my breakfast this morning, and I do not think Sedbergh the appropriate choice for my child. I am sorry if Sedbergh staff feel they have difficulties at work: It is awful to feel that one's employer does not have one's best interests at heart. If nothing else comes out of this it might be that the powers that be in Sedbergh feel shaken up by that, recognise that they have a problem, and start rethinking their HR policies hard. Happy staff work harder and contribute more. If Sedbergh has any kind of dynamic management at all - and it seems that they do - it may be that through reading their staff's feelings on this site they are shaken and inspired to look hard at their practices and change some of them. As far as the Save Casterton team's plans for the future - there are an awful lot of ideas floating round at the moment. Nobody will be able to come up with anything realistic and sensible unless we can get the current Governors to release their figures, which so far they have not. In the meantime it is premature to even daydream. However I suspect that the collection of very bright, perceptive and well-informed people I have met so far during this campaign are likely to be able to come up with some good ideas, and I think we have all taken on board the need for communication, transparency and fairness. It would be very good indeed if we can between us build something fantastic out of this disaster.[/p][/quote]Sibbetson says: 'I am sorry if Sedbergh staff feel they have difficulties at work: It is awful to feel that one's employer does not have one's best interests at heart. If nothing else comes out of this it might be that the powers that be in Sedbergh feel shaken up by that, recognise that they have a problem, and start rethinking their HR policies hard. Happy staff work harder and contribute more. If Sedbergh has any kind of dynamic management at all - and it seems that they do - it may be that through reading their staff's feelings on this site they are shaken and inspired to look hard at their practices and change some of them.' I cannot find any quote here from a Sedbergh member of staff that supports this. I may have missed it - if so please help. Fromthesouth
  • Score: 0

12:25pm Wed 6 Mar 13

PeterRogerson says...

sibbetson wrote:
I need to reiterate this on behalf of many parents.

We do not need to think that Sedbergh is rubbish in order not to want to send our children there. Some parents may not think very highly of it, but the majority have no reason at all to think it is a poor-quality establishment.

However that does not mean we have chosen it. I like duck in plum sauce very much but I did not think it appropriate for my breakfast this morning, and I do not think Sedbergh the appropriate choice for my child.

I am sorry if Sedbergh staff feel they have difficulties at work: It is awful to feel that one's employer does not have one's best interests at heart. If nothing else comes out of this it might be that the powers that be in Sedbergh feel shaken up by that, recognise that they have a problem, and start rethinking their HR policies hard. Happy staff work harder and contribute more. If Sedbergh has any kind of dynamic management at all - and it seems that they do - it may be that through reading their staff's feelings on this site they are shaken and inspired to look hard at their practices and change some of them.

As far as the Save Casterton team's plans for the future - there are an awful lot of ideas floating round at the moment. Nobody will be able to come up with anything realistic and sensible unless we can get the current Governors to release their figures, which so far they have not. In the meantime it is premature to even daydream.

However I suspect that the collection of very bright, perceptive and well-informed people I have met so far during this campaign are likely to be able to come up with some good ideas, and I think we have all taken on board the need for communication, transparency and fairness. It would be very good indeed if we can between us build something fantastic out of this disaster.
'I am sorry if Sedbergh staff feel they have difficulties at work: It is awful to feel that one's employer does not have one's best interests at heart. If nothing else comes out of this it might be that the powers that be in Sedbergh feel shaken up by that, recognise that they have a problem, and start rethinking their HR policies hard.'

Sibbetson, you obviously know very little regarding Sedbergh School, its staffing and its HR procedures. Please do not generalise following one comment from an ex member of staff who feel they have been wronged in some way. Sedbergh School employs over 300 staff, most of them local, and I am sure, as in all organisations, there are times when there will be unhappy staff. Time and time again with your comments you seem to have an issue with Sedbergh School, your issue shouldbe with the way Casterton has been run over the past 5 -10 years, the way the numbers have dwindled, the way the marketing and promotion of the school has been next to nothing, and the way, in all likelihood it would have been closed down in the very near future. I think you ought to be thanking Sedbergh for having the foresight and desire to keep the school open as a different entity,and therefore keeping as many jobs as possible tenable, instead of thinking about the doom and gloom that you seem to surround yourself in.
[quote][p][bold]sibbetson[/bold] wrote: I need to reiterate this on behalf of many parents. We do not need to think that Sedbergh is rubbish in order not to want to send our children there. Some parents may not think very highly of it, but the majority have no reason at all to think it is a poor-quality establishment. However that does not mean we have chosen it. I like duck in plum sauce very much but I did not think it appropriate for my breakfast this morning, and I do not think Sedbergh the appropriate choice for my child. I am sorry if Sedbergh staff feel they have difficulties at work: It is awful to feel that one's employer does not have one's best interests at heart. If nothing else comes out of this it might be that the powers that be in Sedbergh feel shaken up by that, recognise that they have a problem, and start rethinking their HR policies hard. Happy staff work harder and contribute more. If Sedbergh has any kind of dynamic management at all - and it seems that they do - it may be that through reading their staff's feelings on this site they are shaken and inspired to look hard at their practices and change some of them. As far as the Save Casterton team's plans for the future - there are an awful lot of ideas floating round at the moment. Nobody will be able to come up with anything realistic and sensible unless we can get the current Governors to release their figures, which so far they have not. In the meantime it is premature to even daydream. However I suspect that the collection of very bright, perceptive and well-informed people I have met so far during this campaign are likely to be able to come up with some good ideas, and I think we have all taken on board the need for communication, transparency and fairness. It would be very good indeed if we can between us build something fantastic out of this disaster.[/p][/quote]'I am sorry if Sedbergh staff feel they have difficulties at work: It is awful to feel that one's employer does not have one's best interests at heart. If nothing else comes out of this it might be that the powers that be in Sedbergh feel shaken up by that, recognise that they have a problem, and start rethinking their HR policies hard.' Sibbetson, you obviously know very little regarding Sedbergh School, its staffing and its HR procedures. Please do not generalise following one comment from an ex member of staff who feel they have been wronged in some way. Sedbergh School employs over 300 staff, most of them local, and I am sure, as in all organisations, there are times when there will be unhappy staff. Time and time again with your comments you seem to have an issue with Sedbergh School, your issue shouldbe with the way Casterton has been run over the past 5 -10 years, the way the numbers have dwindled, the way the marketing and promotion of the school has been next to nothing, and the way, in all likelihood it would have been closed down in the very near future. I think you ought to be thanking Sedbergh for having the foresight and desire to keep the school open as a different entity,and therefore keeping as many jobs as possible tenable, instead of thinking about the doom and gloom that you seem to surround yourself in. PeterRogerson
  • Score: 0

1:13pm Wed 6 Mar 13

zaney5 says...

"...your issue should be with the way Casterton has been run over the past 5 -10 years, the way the numbers have dwindled, the way the marketing and promotion of the school has been next to nothing, and the way, in all likelihood it would have been closed down in the very near future."

In which case the current governors should resign because quite obviously they haven't been doing their job properly.
"...your issue should be with the way Casterton has been run over the past 5 -10 years, the way the numbers have dwindled, the way the marketing and promotion of the school has been next to nothing, and the way, in all likelihood it would have been closed down in the very near future." In which case the current governors should resign because quite obviously they haven't been doing their job properly. zaney5
  • Score: 0

1:18pm Wed 6 Mar 13

Brionny says...

Cas Res wrote:
I am as stated earlier a parent of a child in the prep school and I welcome this merger to secure the schools future. If this merger fails to proceed due to the actions of some has anyone considered the possible outcomes? I along with a considerable number of other parents will be withdrawing their children and taking them else where for a stable future.
The group that is aiming to prevent this have not disclosed a viable alternative;
Have they a business plan in place to state how they will turnaround an establishment saddled with debt?
Have they got access to finance to allow the school to continue; the simple P&L accounts do not show the full picture (Bank loans, selling of assetts, there is no more family silver to sell)
What will happen if sedbergh pull out?
No one has convinced me that there is an altenative for the school to continue.
This merger was proposed around 4 years ago, but failed to happen, so it has been on the cards for a long time.
Have they considered what will happen to the local community if the merger does not go ahead and the school has to close, the village will loose its church as this is funded by both the school and the parish, the school buildings will be sold for development by those holding charging orders, the economic loss to the local business will be considerable as well as the loss of local employment.
Numbers are falling and continue to do so as mentioned in earlier posts marketing has failed to deliver the numbers, there are only 11 new starters when more than double will be leaving in the 6th Form when their exams are completed.
I am interested in the lack of response by zaney5 and sibbetson with regards to this incredibly valid foresight mentioned in this post?
What are your intentions?how are you planning on 'saving' Casterton?
[quote][p][bold]Cas Res[/bold] wrote: I am as stated earlier a parent of a child in the prep school and I welcome this merger to secure the schools future. If this merger fails to proceed due to the actions of some has anyone considered the possible outcomes? I along with a considerable number of other parents will be withdrawing their children and taking them else where for a stable future. The group that is aiming to prevent this have not disclosed a viable alternative; Have they a business plan in place to state how they will turnaround an establishment saddled with debt? Have they got access to finance to allow the school to continue; the simple P&L accounts do not show the full picture (Bank loans, selling of assetts, there is no more family silver to sell) What will happen if sedbergh pull out? No one has convinced me that there is an altenative for the school to continue. This merger was proposed around 4 years ago, but failed to happen, so it has been on the cards for a long time. Have they considered what will happen to the local community if the merger does not go ahead and the school has to close, the village will loose its church as this is funded by both the school and the parish, the school buildings will be sold for development by those holding charging orders, the economic loss to the local business will be considerable as well as the loss of local employment. Numbers are falling and continue to do so as mentioned in earlier posts marketing has failed to deliver the numbers, there are only 11 new starters when more than double will be leaving in the 6th Form when their exams are completed.[/p][/quote]I am interested in the lack of response by zaney5 and sibbetson with regards to this incredibly valid foresight mentioned in this post? What are your intentions?how are you planning on 'saving' Casterton? Brionny
  • Score: 0

1:21pm Wed 6 Mar 13

PeterRogerson says...

zaney5 wrote:
"...your issue should be with the way Casterton has been run over the past 5 -10 years, the way the numbers have dwindled, the way the marketing and promotion of the school has been next to nothing, and the way, in all likelihood it would have been closed down in the very near future."

In which case the current governors should resign because quite obviously they haven't been doing their job properly.
I have never saiad otherwise on this forum
[quote][p][bold]zaney5[/bold] wrote: "...your issue should be with the way Casterton has been run over the past 5 -10 years, the way the numbers have dwindled, the way the marketing and promotion of the school has been next to nothing, and the way, in all likelihood it would have been closed down in the very near future." In which case the current governors should resign because quite obviously they haven't been doing their job properly.[/p][/quote]I have never saiad otherwise on this forum PeterRogerson
  • Score: 0

2:45pm Wed 6 Mar 13

zaney5 says...

Brionny wrote:
Cas Res wrote:
I am as stated earlier a parent of a child in the prep school and I welcome this merger to secure the schools future. If this merger fails to proceed due to the actions of some has anyone considered the possible outcomes? I along with a considerable number of other parents will be withdrawing their children and taking them else where for a stable future.
The group that is aiming to prevent this have not disclosed a viable alternative;
Have they a business plan in place to state how they will turnaround an establishment saddled with debt?
Have they got access to finance to allow the school to continue; the simple P&L accounts do not show the full picture (Bank loans, selling of assetts, there is no more family silver to sell)
What will happen if sedbergh pull out?
No one has convinced me that there is an altenative for the school to continue.
This merger was proposed around 4 years ago, but failed to happen, so it has been on the cards for a long time.
Have they considered what will happen to the local community if the merger does not go ahead and the school has to close, the village will loose its church as this is funded by both the school and the parish, the school buildings will be sold for development by those holding charging orders, the economic loss to the local business will be considerable as well as the loss of local employment.
Numbers are falling and continue to do so as mentioned in earlier posts marketing has failed to deliver the numbers, there are only 11 new starters when more than double will be leaving in the 6th Form when their exams are completed.
I am interested in the lack of response by zaney5 and sibbetson with regards to this incredibly valid foresight mentioned in this post?
What are your intentions?how are you planning on 'saving' Casterton?
Had you listened to the spokesperson of Casterton Parents Ltd on Radio Cumbria yesterday you would be aware that their intentions (I say their as I am not a parent myself) are thus:

They effectively want the pause button to be pressed on this merger, for the current board of governors to step down (as the majority of parents, staff & pupils now have no faith in them whatsoever) and for a newly elected board to re-examine all the facts and various options, with full transparency. And if it comes down to it that there IS no other option than to merge, then so be it.
I am under the impression that the main issue isn't with the actual merger itself (although this has obviously been met with anger by some) but more about the way the process has been conducted and more importantly how it was communicated with pupils, staff and parents.

And maybe, given the chance for the facts to be exposed and for a full consultation that INCLUDES the major stakeholders involved (ie parents) another option can be brought to the table.
[quote][p][bold]Brionny[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Cas Res[/bold] wrote: I am as stated earlier a parent of a child in the prep school and I welcome this merger to secure the schools future. If this merger fails to proceed due to the actions of some has anyone considered the possible outcomes? I along with a considerable number of other parents will be withdrawing their children and taking them else where for a stable future. The group that is aiming to prevent this have not disclosed a viable alternative; Have they a business plan in place to state how they will turnaround an establishment saddled with debt? Have they got access to finance to allow the school to continue; the simple P&L accounts do not show the full picture (Bank loans, selling of assetts, there is no more family silver to sell) What will happen if sedbergh pull out? No one has convinced me that there is an altenative for the school to continue. This merger was proposed around 4 years ago, but failed to happen, so it has been on the cards for a long time. Have they considered what will happen to the local community if the merger does not go ahead and the school has to close, the village will loose its church as this is funded by both the school and the parish, the school buildings will be sold for development by those holding charging orders, the economic loss to the local business will be considerable as well as the loss of local employment. Numbers are falling and continue to do so as mentioned in earlier posts marketing has failed to deliver the numbers, there are only 11 new starters when more than double will be leaving in the 6th Form when their exams are completed.[/p][/quote]I am interested in the lack of response by zaney5 and sibbetson with regards to this incredibly valid foresight mentioned in this post? What are your intentions?how are you planning on 'saving' Casterton?[/p][/quote]Had you listened to the spokesperson of Casterton Parents Ltd on Radio Cumbria yesterday you would be aware that their intentions (I say their as I am not a parent myself) are thus: They effectively want the pause button to be pressed on this merger, for the current board of governors to step down (as the majority of parents, staff & pupils now have no faith in them whatsoever) and for a newly elected board to re-examine all the facts and various options, with full transparency. And if it comes down to it that there IS no other option than to merge, then so be it. I am under the impression that the main issue isn't with the actual merger itself (although this has obviously been met with anger by some) but more about the way the process has been conducted and more importantly how it was communicated with pupils, staff and parents. And maybe, given the chance for the facts to be exposed and for a full consultation that INCLUDES the major stakeholders involved (ie parents) another option can be brought to the table. zaney5
  • Score: 0

3:59pm Wed 6 Mar 13

Fromthesouth says...

PeterRogerson wrote:
sibbetson wrote:
I need to reiterate this on behalf of many parents.

We do not need to think that Sedbergh is rubbish in order not to want to send our children there. Some parents may not think very highly of it, but the majority have no reason at all to think it is a poor-quality establishment.

However that does not mean we have chosen it. I like duck in plum sauce very much but I did not think it appropriate for my breakfast this morning, and I do not think Sedbergh the appropriate choice for my child.

I am sorry if Sedbergh staff feel they have difficulties at work: It is awful to feel that one's employer does not have one's best interests at heart. If nothing else comes out of this it might be that the powers that be in Sedbergh feel shaken up by that, recognise that they have a problem, and start rethinking their HR policies hard. Happy staff work harder and contribute more. If Sedbergh has any kind of dynamic management at all - and it seems that they do - it may be that through reading their staff's feelings on this site they are shaken and inspired to look hard at their practices and change some of them.

As far as the Save Casterton team's plans for the future - there are an awful lot of ideas floating round at the moment. Nobody will be able to come up with anything realistic and sensible unless we can get the current Governors to release their figures, which so far they have not. In the meantime it is premature to even daydream.

However I suspect that the collection of very bright, perceptive and well-informed people I have met so far during this campaign are likely to be able to come up with some good ideas, and I think we have all taken on board the need for communication, transparency and fairness. It would be very good indeed if we can between us build something fantastic out of this disaster.
'I am sorry if Sedbergh staff feel they have difficulties at work: It is awful to feel that one's employer does not have one's best interests at heart. If nothing else comes out of this it might be that the powers that be in Sedbergh feel shaken up by that, recognise that they have a problem, and start rethinking their HR policies hard.'

Sibbetson, you obviously know very little regarding Sedbergh School, its staffing and its HR procedures. Please do not generalise following one comment from an ex member of staff who feel they have been wronged in some way. Sedbergh School employs over 300 staff, most of them local, and I am sure, as in all organisations, there are times when there will be unhappy staff. Time and time again with your comments you seem to have an issue with Sedbergh School, your issue shouldbe with the way Casterton has been run over the past 5 -10 years, the way the numbers have dwindled, the way the marketing and promotion of the school has been next to nothing, and the way, in all likelihood it would have been closed down in the very near future. I think you ought to be thanking Sedbergh for having the foresight and desire to keep the school open as a different entity,and therefore keeping as many jobs as possible tenable, instead of thinking about the doom and gloom that you seem to surround yourself in.
Dear PeterRogerson

You said:

'Please do not generalise following one comment from an ex member of staff who feel they have been wronged in some way.'

I cannot find any comment of any one claiming to be an ex-member of Sedbergh staff who feels they have been wronged.

If I have missed it please help. Or perhaps you might know a little more detail about one of the contributers in which case that is fair enough. No disrespect or critism intended.
[quote][p][bold]PeterRogerson[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]sibbetson[/bold] wrote: I need to reiterate this on behalf of many parents. We do not need to think that Sedbergh is rubbish in order not to want to send our children there. Some parents may not think very highly of it, but the majority have no reason at all to think it is a poor-quality establishment. However that does not mean we have chosen it. I like duck in plum sauce very much but I did not think it appropriate for my breakfast this morning, and I do not think Sedbergh the appropriate choice for my child. I am sorry if Sedbergh staff feel they have difficulties at work: It is awful to feel that one's employer does not have one's best interests at heart. If nothing else comes out of this it might be that the powers that be in Sedbergh feel shaken up by that, recognise that they have a problem, and start rethinking their HR policies hard. Happy staff work harder and contribute more. If Sedbergh has any kind of dynamic management at all - and it seems that they do - it may be that through reading their staff's feelings on this site they are shaken and inspired to look hard at their practices and change some of them. As far as the Save Casterton team's plans for the future - there are an awful lot of ideas floating round at the moment. Nobody will be able to come up with anything realistic and sensible unless we can get the current Governors to release their figures, which so far they have not. In the meantime it is premature to even daydream. However I suspect that the collection of very bright, perceptive and well-informed people I have met so far during this campaign are likely to be able to come up with some good ideas, and I think we have all taken on board the need for communication, transparency and fairness. It would be very good indeed if we can between us build something fantastic out of this disaster.[/p][/quote]'I am sorry if Sedbergh staff feel they have difficulties at work: It is awful to feel that one's employer does not have one's best interests at heart. If nothing else comes out of this it might be that the powers that be in Sedbergh feel shaken up by that, recognise that they have a problem, and start rethinking their HR policies hard.' Sibbetson, you obviously know very little regarding Sedbergh School, its staffing and its HR procedures. Please do not generalise following one comment from an ex member of staff who feel they have been wronged in some way. Sedbergh School employs over 300 staff, most of them local, and I am sure, as in all organisations, there are times when there will be unhappy staff. Time and time again with your comments you seem to have an issue with Sedbergh School, your issue shouldbe with the way Casterton has been run over the past 5 -10 years, the way the numbers have dwindled, the way the marketing and promotion of the school has been next to nothing, and the way, in all likelihood it would have been closed down in the very near future. I think you ought to be thanking Sedbergh for having the foresight and desire to keep the school open as a different entity,and therefore keeping as many jobs as possible tenable, instead of thinking about the doom and gloom that you seem to surround yourself in.[/p][/quote]Dear PeterRogerson You said: 'Please do not generalise following one comment from an ex member of staff who feel they have been wronged in some way.' I cannot find any comment of any one claiming to be an ex-member of Sedbergh staff who feels they have been wronged. If I have missed it please help. Or perhaps you might know a little more detail about one of the contributers in which case that is fair enough. No disrespect or critism intended. Fromthesouth
  • Score: 0

6:08pm Wed 6 Mar 13

paul gilby says...

zaney5 wrote:
Brionny wrote:
Cas Res wrote:
I am as stated earlier a parent of a child in the prep school and I welcome this merger to secure the schools future. If this merger fails to proceed due to the actions of some has anyone considered the possible outcomes? I along with a considerable number of other parents will be withdrawing their children and taking them else where for a stable future.
The group that is aiming to prevent this have not disclosed a viable alternative;
Have they a business plan in place to state how they will turnaround an establishment saddled with debt?
Have they got access to finance to allow the school to continue; the simple P&L accounts do not show the full picture (Bank loans, selling of assetts, there is no more family silver to sell)
What will happen if sedbergh pull out?
No one has convinced me that there is an altenative for the school to continue.
This merger was proposed around 4 years ago, but failed to happen, so it has been on the cards for a long time.
Have they considered what will happen to the local community if the merger does not go ahead and the school has to close, the village will loose its church as this is funded by both the school and the parish, the school buildings will be sold for development by those holding charging orders, the economic loss to the local business will be considerable as well as the loss of local employment.
Numbers are falling and continue to do so as mentioned in earlier posts marketing has failed to deliver the numbers, there are only 11 new starters when more than double will be leaving in the 6th Form when their exams are completed.
I am interested in the lack of response by zaney5 and sibbetson with regards to this incredibly valid foresight mentioned in this post?
What are your intentions?how are you planning on 'saving' Casterton?
Had you listened to the spokesperson of Casterton Parents Ltd on Radio Cumbria yesterday you would be aware that their intentions (I say their as I am not a parent myself) are thus:

They effectively want the pause button to be pressed on this merger, for the current board of governors to step down (as the majority of parents, staff & pupils now have no faith in them whatsoever) and for a newly elected board to re-examine all the facts and various options, with full transparency. And if it comes down to it that there IS no other option than to merge, then so be it.
I am under the impression that the main issue isn't with the actual merger itself (although this has obviously been met with anger by some) but more about the way the process has been conducted and more importantly how it was communicated with pupils, staff and parents.

And maybe, given the chance for the facts to be exposed and for a full consultation that INCLUDES the major stakeholders involved (ie parents) another option can be brought to the table.
That is all we want, to be able to be part of the process and to explore the options.
Being excluded from the process and the options simply creates anger and suspicion.
In my view Sedbergh parents should question a Governing body that has behaved in such a clandestine way ' 'Just because it can'
[quote][p][bold]zaney5[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Brionny[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Cas Res[/bold] wrote: I am as stated earlier a parent of a child in the prep school and I welcome this merger to secure the schools future. If this merger fails to proceed due to the actions of some has anyone considered the possible outcomes? I along with a considerable number of other parents will be withdrawing their children and taking them else where for a stable future. The group that is aiming to prevent this have not disclosed a viable alternative; Have they a business plan in place to state how they will turnaround an establishment saddled with debt? Have they got access to finance to allow the school to continue; the simple P&L accounts do not show the full picture (Bank loans, selling of assetts, there is no more family silver to sell) What will happen if sedbergh pull out? No one has convinced me that there is an altenative for the school to continue. This merger was proposed around 4 years ago, but failed to happen, so it has been on the cards for a long time. Have they considered what will happen to the local community if the merger does not go ahead and the school has to close, the village will loose its church as this is funded by both the school and the parish, the school buildings will be sold for development by those holding charging orders, the economic loss to the local business will be considerable as well as the loss of local employment. Numbers are falling and continue to do so as mentioned in earlier posts marketing has failed to deliver the numbers, there are only 11 new starters when more than double will be leaving in the 6th Form when their exams are completed.[/p][/quote]I am interested in the lack of response by zaney5 and sibbetson with regards to this incredibly valid foresight mentioned in this post? What are your intentions?how are you planning on 'saving' Casterton?[/p][/quote]Had you listened to the spokesperson of Casterton Parents Ltd on Radio Cumbria yesterday you would be aware that their intentions (I say their as I am not a parent myself) are thus: They effectively want the pause button to be pressed on this merger, for the current board of governors to step down (as the majority of parents, staff & pupils now have no faith in them whatsoever) and for a newly elected board to re-examine all the facts and various options, with full transparency. And if it comes down to it that there IS no other option than to merge, then so be it. I am under the impression that the main issue isn't with the actual merger itself (although this has obviously been met with anger by some) but more about the way the process has been conducted and more importantly how it was communicated with pupils, staff and parents. And maybe, given the chance for the facts to be exposed and for a full consultation that INCLUDES the major stakeholders involved (ie parents) another option can be brought to the table.[/p][/quote]That is all we want, to be able to be part of the process and to explore the options. Being excluded from the process and the options simply creates anger and suspicion. In my view Sedbergh parents should question a Governing body that has behaved in such a clandestine way ' 'Just because it can' paul gilby
  • Score: 0

7:28pm Wed 6 Mar 13

PlainTalker says...

As at 1856 hrs this evening, the Chairman of the Casterton Governors issued a 3 page letter via e-mail to parents in which he explains some more of the detail of the decision making process that led to the course of action to merge and in which he apologises for the upset caused through the majority of pupils being informed before their parents. How difficult was that? One cannot help but feel that had this preceded the announcement of the decision, that an awful lot of angst, upset and vitriol could have been avoided and, from a position of transparency and understanding, parents could more readily have been brought onside.

Whilst this letter may go some way to alleviate what has become an unnecessarily fractious situation.

The letter concludes by stating that Governors have tried to ensure that the new school maintains a Casterton "stamp" - culture, ethos, welfare and support to parents, pupils and staff - by ensuring that the existing Casterton Governors are part of the new governing body. Unfortunately, in the case of Mr Tomilinson, I am not sure how reassuring parents will find this! For the sake of everyone and the good of what follows, I suggest he is better cutting his loses and walking away.
As at 1856 hrs this evening, the Chairman of the Casterton Governors issued a 3 page letter via e-mail to parents in which he explains some more of the detail of the decision making process that led to the course of action to merge and in which he apologises for the upset caused through the majority of pupils being informed before their parents. How difficult was that? One cannot help but feel that had this preceded the announcement of the decision, that an awful lot of angst, upset and vitriol could have been avoided and, from a position of transparency and understanding, parents could more readily have been brought onside. Whilst this letter may go some way to alleviate what has become an unnecessarily fractious situation. The letter concludes by stating that Governors have tried to ensure that the new school maintains a Casterton "stamp" - culture, ethos, welfare and support to parents, pupils and staff - by ensuring that the existing Casterton Governors are part of the new governing body. Unfortunately, in the case of Mr Tomilinson, I am not sure how reassuring parents will find this! For the sake of everyone and the good of what follows, I suggest he is better cutting his loses and walking away. PlainTalker
  • Score: 0

8:08pm Wed 6 Mar 13

PlainTalker says...

PlainTalker wrote:
As at 1856 hrs this evening, the Chairman of the Casterton Governors issued a 3 page letter via e-mail to parents in which he explains some more of the detail of the decision making process that led to the course of action to merge and in which he apologises for the upset caused through the majority of pupils being informed before their parents. How difficult was that? One cannot help but feel that had this preceded the announcement of the decision, that an awful lot of angst, upset and vitriol could have been avoided and, from a position of transparency and understanding, parents could more readily have been brought onside.

Whilst this letter may go some way to alleviate what has become an unnecessarily fractious situation.

The letter concludes by stating that Governors have tried to ensure that the new school maintains a Casterton "stamp" - culture, ethos, welfare and support to parents, pupils and staff - by ensuring that the existing Casterton Governors are part of the new governing body. Unfortunately, in the case of Mr Tomilinson, I am not sure how reassuring parents will find this! For the sake of everyone and the good of what follows, I suggest he is better cutting his loses and walking away.
Sorry, I meant to say that 'whilst this letter may go some way to alleviate what has become an unnecessarily fractious situation..., I am not convinced that it will satisfy those who remain opposed to the merger and, if any progress is to be made on this issue, personality needs to be removed from the mix.

I'm not sure how helpful it is when looking to achieve progress or an acceptable accommodation for the current Chairman to remain in place. Whilst he may feel that he has done no wrong, in these circumstances it might be beneficial - and he might regain some respect - were he to step down.

But some people just do not know when to quit....
[quote][p][bold]PlainTalker[/bold] wrote: As at 1856 hrs this evening, the Chairman of the Casterton Governors issued a 3 page letter via e-mail to parents in which he explains some more of the detail of the decision making process that led to the course of action to merge and in which he apologises for the upset caused through the majority of pupils being informed before their parents. How difficult was that? One cannot help but feel that had this preceded the announcement of the decision, that an awful lot of angst, upset and vitriol could have been avoided and, from a position of transparency and understanding, parents could more readily have been brought onside. Whilst this letter may go some way to alleviate what has become an unnecessarily fractious situation. The letter concludes by stating that Governors have tried to ensure that the new school maintains a Casterton "stamp" - culture, ethos, welfare and support to parents, pupils and staff - by ensuring that the existing Casterton Governors are part of the new governing body. Unfortunately, in the case of Mr Tomilinson, I am not sure how reassuring parents will find this! For the sake of everyone and the good of what follows, I suggest he is better cutting his loses and walking away.[/p][/quote]Sorry, I meant to say that 'whilst this letter may go some way to alleviate what has become an unnecessarily fractious situation..., I am not convinced that it will satisfy those who remain opposed to the merger and, if any progress is to be made on this issue, personality needs to be removed from the mix. I'm not sure how helpful it is when looking to achieve progress or an acceptable accommodation for the current Chairman to remain in place. Whilst he may feel that he has done no wrong, in these circumstances it might be beneficial - and he might regain some respect - were he to step down. But some people just do not know when to quit.... PlainTalker
  • Score: 0

8:37pm Wed 6 Mar 13

sibbetson says...

I agree with PlainTalker: in any case the letter contains no actual information, as far as I can see no hard figures are included nor is a copy of the accounts. The things said in the letter are assertions, not evidence and there is no indication that the Governors feel that they have failed the school in any way in leading it to ruin. Indeed they assure us all that they intend to stay on at Sedbergh.

Give us some evidence and resign.

But they won't. No matter how deeply unpopular they and their decisions are, they are entirely indifferent to the opinions of the staff, the pupils,the parents and the Old Girls, and will serenely carry on on their chosen course.

They do not give a fig for the people involved and have shown that indifference by refusing to expose the details of how they have got the school into this sorry mess, and so far have not apologised for doing it. They have blamed everything on circumstances and acknowledged no responsibility. If a Board of Governors is not responsible for steering a ship successfully through stormy waters what is the point of them? And if they fail it is no good blaming the storm. That will not help the shipwrecked families.

Colin Tomlinson, as a leader at this point you should have the decency to fall upon your sword, apologise and walk away. Telling us that you are off to join Sedbergh is not at all the gentlemanly thing to be doing, and I do not want my child to be educated in a school led by somebody with your values.
I agree with PlainTalker: in any case the letter contains no actual information, as far as I can see no hard figures are included nor is a copy of the accounts. The things said in the letter are assertions, not evidence and there is no indication that the Governors feel that they have failed the school in any way in leading it to ruin. Indeed they assure us all that they intend to stay on at Sedbergh. Give us some evidence and resign. But they won't. No matter how deeply unpopular they and their decisions are, they are entirely indifferent to the opinions of the staff, the pupils,the parents and the Old Girls, and will serenely carry on on their chosen course. They do not give a fig for the people involved and have shown that indifference by refusing to expose the details of how they have got the school into this sorry mess, and so far have not apologised for doing it. They have blamed everything on circumstances and acknowledged no responsibility. If a Board of Governors is not responsible for steering a ship successfully through stormy waters what is the point of them? And if they fail it is no good blaming the storm. That will not help the shipwrecked families. Colin Tomlinson, as a leader at this point you should have the decency to fall upon your sword, apologise and walk away. Telling us that you are off to join Sedbergh is not at all the gentlemanly thing to be doing, and I do not want my child to be educated in a school led by somebody with your values. sibbetson
  • Score: 0

8:51pm Wed 6 Mar 13

bynac says...

Can anyone explain, why, if Sedbergh staff are so badly treated, the majority of staff, both teaching and ancillary have been at the school for twenty or more years, staying until they retire?
Can anyone explain, why, if Sedbergh staff are so badly treated, the majority of staff, both teaching and ancillary have been at the school for twenty or more years, staying until they retire? bynac
  • Score: 0

9:53pm Wed 6 Mar 13

whitwitch28 says...

bynac wrote:
Can anyone explain, why, if Sedbergh staff are so badly treated, the majority of staff, both teaching and ancillary have been at the school for twenty or more years, staying until they retire?
Well said bynac!
[quote][p][bold]bynac[/bold] wrote: Can anyone explain, why, if Sedbergh staff are so badly treated, the majority of staff, both teaching and ancillary have been at the school for twenty or more years, staying until they retire?[/p][/quote]Well said bynac! whitwitch28
  • Score: 0

11:51pm Wed 6 Mar 13

Fromthesouth says...

Goodbye everyone - my last posting. I really do hope that those of you who are troubled in anyway find some peace.
One of my favourite proverbs:

Socrates had gone for a walk outside the city walls of Athens. He was taking a rest, sitting on a milepost about five miles from the city.

There he began to open the contents of the food parcel his wife had prepared for him, as he began to bite into one of the luscious, juicy bright red tomatoes a traveller came along the road and hailed him.

Greetings, friend! Can you tell me, is this the right road for Athens?”

Socrates assured him it was. “carry straight on ahead. It’s quite a big city. You can’t miss it.”

“Tell me” said the traveller, “what are the people of Athens like?”

“well” said Socrates, “tell me where you come from, and what the people there are like, and I’ll tell you about the people of Athens.”

“I’m from Argos. And I’m proud and happy to tell you that the people of Argos are the friendliest, happiest, most generous people you could ever wish to meet.”

“and I’m very happy to tell you , my friend, “ said Socrates, “ that the people of Athens are exactly the same.”

The traveller went on his way, and Socrates was feeling good about the goodness and humanity in the world.

“Greetings, friend! Can you tell me, is this the right road for Athens?” called another traveller.

Once more Socrates assured him it was.

“Tell me, “ said the traveller, “what are the people of Athens like?”

“Well,” said Socrates, “tell me where you are from, and what the people there are like, and I’ll tell you about the people of Athens.”

“I’m from Argos,” said the second traveller , “and I’m sad and disappointed to tell you that the people of Argos are the meanest, most miserable, least friendly people you could ever wish to meet.”

“And I’m disappointed to tell you, my friend,” said Socrates, that the people of Athens are exactly the same.”
Goodbye everyone - my last posting. I really do hope that those of you who are troubled in anyway find some peace. One of my favourite proverbs: Socrates had gone for a walk outside the city walls of Athens. He was taking a rest, sitting on a milepost about five miles from the city. There he began to open the contents of the food parcel his wife had prepared for him, as he began to bite into one of the luscious, juicy bright red tomatoes a traveller came along the road and hailed him. Greetings, friend! Can you tell me, is this the right road for Athens?” Socrates assured him it was. “carry straight on ahead. It’s quite a big city. You can’t miss it.” “Tell me” said the traveller, “what are the people of Athens like?” “well” said Socrates, “tell me where you come from, and what the people there are like, and I’ll tell you about the people of Athens.” “I’m from Argos. And I’m proud and happy to tell you that the people of Argos are the friendliest, happiest, most generous people you could ever wish to meet.” “and I’m very happy to tell you , my friend, “ said Socrates, “ that the people of Athens are exactly the same.” The traveller went on his way, and Socrates was feeling good about the goodness and humanity in the world. “Greetings, friend! Can you tell me, is this the right road for Athens?” called another traveller. Once more Socrates assured him it was. “Tell me, “ said the traveller, “what are the people of Athens like?” “Well,” said Socrates, “tell me where you are from, and what the people there are like, and I’ll tell you about the people of Athens.” “I’m from Argos,” said the second traveller , “and I’m sad and disappointed to tell you that the people of Argos are the meanest, most miserable, least friendly people you could ever wish to meet.” “And I’m disappointed to tell you, my friend,” said Socrates, that the people of Athens are exactly the same.” Fromthesouth
  • Score: 0

8:50am Thu 7 Mar 13

boris plasticmac says...

Fromthesouth, do you know if he got to finish his tomato?
Fromthesouth, do you know if he got to finish his tomato? boris plasticmac
  • Score: 0

9:40am Thu 7 Mar 13

Sir arthur says...

As tomatoes did not appear in europe until 1100 years after the demise of socrates you can surmise that he never started his tomato
As tomatoes did not appear in europe until 1100 years after the demise of socrates you can surmise that he never started his tomato Sir arthur
  • Score: 0

11:27am Thu 7 Mar 13

zaney5 says...

I'm slightly intrigued as to why the front page story in this weeks Gazette isn't featured on the website.

Maybe someone from the Gazette might like to elaborate?
I'm slightly intrigued as to why the front page story in this weeks Gazette isn't featured on the website. Maybe someone from the Gazette might like to elaborate? zaney5
  • Score: 0

11:30am Thu 7 Mar 13

boris plasticmac says...

Thanks Sir Arthur, perhaps fromthesouth mistook the tomato for a potato - easily done.
Thanks Sir Arthur, perhaps fromthesouth mistook the tomato for a potato - easily done. boris plasticmac
  • Score: 0

1:00pm Thu 7 Mar 13

PeterRogerson says...

zaney5 wrote:
I'm slightly intrigued as to why the front page story in this weeks Gazette isn't featured on the website.

Maybe someone from the Gazette might like to elaborate?
It is on there now!
[quote][p][bold]zaney5[/bold] wrote: I'm slightly intrigued as to why the front page story in this weeks Gazette isn't featured on the website. Maybe someone from the Gazette might like to elaborate?[/p][/quote]It is on there now! PeterRogerson
  • Score: 0

10:56pm Thu 7 Mar 13

oashton says...

Fromthesouth wrote:
Quite interesting comments on the Prep school and I may have learnt more about the situation and how things have become. Thank you Cas Res and Rms for explaining.
Was the Prep school ever a single-sex establishment? If Casterton continues it sounds like it will be gone. I'd be interested to know the demographic intake of Casterton girls; what it was in the past and what it might be in the future bearing in mind the trio of other schools in the same area.
I was at the junior school when it was all girls.

They had to open new buildings to fit us in. Bronte House was filled to capacity, with 100+ girls. There were 6/7 members of boarding staff, and a full time teacher in each year group of the junior school.

I think there was about 25 girls in my year 6 class.
[quote][p][bold]Fromthesouth[/bold] wrote: Quite interesting comments on the Prep school and I may have learnt more about the situation and how things have become. Thank you Cas Res and Rms for explaining. Was the Prep school ever a single-sex establishment? If Casterton continues it sounds like it will be gone. I'd be interested to know the demographic intake of Casterton girls; what it was in the past and what it might be in the future bearing in mind the trio of other schools in the same area.[/p][/quote]I was at the junior school when it was all girls. They had to open new buildings to fit us in. Bronte House was filled to capacity, with 100+ girls. There were 6/7 members of boarding staff, and a full time teacher in each year group of the junior school. I think there was about 25 girls in my year 6 class. oashton
  • Score: 0

10:30pm Tue 19 Mar 13

sedberghmummy says...

Please accept that the girls who are lucky enough to arrive in Sedbergh will a) adore it; b) flourish; c) achieve their potential; d) be very happy; e) make even more lovely friends...(some of them even of the opposite sex!); f) leave with a stunning array of top class results in their academic subjects / music / art / drama / sport / design / etc.. etc.. ; g) attain a place at the (Russell Group) university to which they apply; h) know they went to the best school in the country; i) be so glad the merger took place.

Unfortunately, it sounds as though most of the poor young Castertonians are being brainwashed into thinking the move will not bring happiness or success.

Tell them instead about the wonderful school career and the happiness Sedbergh life will bring. Welcome the enrichment it will bring to their life.

...or go elsewhere and watch your daughter realise you have denied her a happy and successful future at Britain's best co-ed public school.
Please accept that the girls who are lucky enough to arrive in Sedbergh will a) adore it; b) flourish; c) achieve their potential; d) be very happy; e) make even more lovely friends...(some of them even of the opposite sex!); f) leave with a stunning array of top class results in their academic subjects / music / art / drama / sport / design / etc.. etc.. ; g) attain a place at the (Russell Group) university to which they apply; h) know they went to the best school in the country; i) be so glad the merger took place. Unfortunately, it sounds as though most of the poor young Castertonians are being brainwashed into thinking the move will not bring happiness or success. Tell them instead about the wonderful school career and the happiness Sedbergh life will bring. Welcome the enrichment it will bring to their life. ...or go elsewhere and watch your daughter realise you have denied her a happy and successful future at Britain's best co-ed public school. sedberghmummy
  • Score: 0

6:45am Wed 20 Mar 13

sibbetson says...

Dear Sedbergh mummy, if you had read the e-mails I have read claiming to be from Sedbergh pupils and detailing bullying and abuse you might be less enthusiastic. Unfortunately it would seem that your wonderful experience is not duplicated for everybody.
Dear Sedbergh mummy, if you had read the e-mails I have read claiming to be from Sedbergh pupils and detailing bullying and abuse you might be less enthusiastic. Unfortunately it would seem that your wonderful experience is not duplicated for everybody. sibbetson
  • Score: 0

8:46am Wed 20 Mar 13

sedberghmummy says...

Over 10 years of 3 children at Sedbergh I have continually heard of happy children with exceptional achievements. There have been a tiny amount of bullying issues...nowhere near as many as the other top class schools which I am very familiar with.

Sedbergh staff handle bullying very well...and having worked in 3 of the country's top independent schools I feel highly qualified to speak about this and to make realistic comparisons. (I don't work at Sedbergh but at a competitive "top" northern independent public school).

There is an unusual "family feel" among the Sedbergh pupils, not found in many other schools ...and as a result of the caring mindset of the staff and pupils, incidents of bullying are very rare.

All schools are aware of the need to prevent, identify and manage potential bullying...Sedbergh now have the right formula for that.

I only wish to reassure all the Castertonian parents that their issues should not lie with their daughters' future at Sedbergh, but just in the logisitcal problems they may encounter as a result of the merger.

Sedbergh has changed...enormously
. It has been a superb school during the 10 years we have known it...not just for us but for all the parents and pupils we have met. The staff are high calibre and utterly devoted to providing the best home and school life for the pupils. The pupils are happy, confident, caring, polite, self assured, high achieving and healthy. The senior management team are very strong with outstanding leadership.

The inspection report will support everything I say. Don' deny your daughters this chance to be part of the best co-ed school in the country.

I'm sorry you have read emails relating to bullying..but have you also read those from all the other top schools..? I am certain you would be very shocked. Sedbergh rates among the lowest rate of bullying and there are frequently pupils arriving there from other leading schools after being bullied.

You should not be inciting hatred of Sedbergh among your daughters....what are you hoping to achieve? It's a certain way to create animosity between both sets of pupils before they get together.

The merger is also unsettling and scary for the Sedbergians..and for us as parents. We hope it won't dilute the excellent standards too much. Our children are feeling uncomfortable and also are realising they will have lower chances of getting into choirs/orchestras/sp
orts teams etc.

The perfect formula is under threat...but we trust the Head, the governors and the SMT to blend in the changes in the best possible way.
Over 10 years of 3 children at Sedbergh I have continually heard of happy children with exceptional achievements. There have been a tiny amount of bullying issues...nowhere near as many as the other top class schools which I am very familiar with. Sedbergh staff handle bullying very well...and having worked in 3 of the country's top independent schools I feel highly qualified to speak about this and to make realistic comparisons. (I don't work at Sedbergh but at a competitive "top" northern independent public school). There is an unusual "family feel" among the Sedbergh pupils, not found in many other schools ...and as a result of the caring mindset of the staff and pupils, incidents of bullying are very rare. All schools are aware of the need to prevent, identify and manage potential bullying...Sedbergh now have the right formula for that. I only wish to reassure all the Castertonian parents that their issues should not lie with their daughters' future at Sedbergh, but just in the logisitcal problems they may encounter as a result of the merger. Sedbergh has changed...enormously . It has been a superb school during the 10 years we have known it...not just for us but for all the parents and pupils we have met. The staff are high calibre and utterly devoted to providing the best home and school life for the pupils. The pupils are happy, confident, caring, polite, self assured, high achieving and healthy. The senior management team are very strong with outstanding leadership. The inspection report will support everything I say. Don' deny your daughters this chance to be part of the best co-ed school in the country. I'm sorry you have read emails relating to bullying..but have you also read those from all the other top schools..? I am certain you would be very shocked. Sedbergh rates among the lowest rate of bullying and there are frequently pupils arriving there from other leading schools after being bullied. You should not be inciting hatred of Sedbergh among your daughters....what are you hoping to achieve? It's a certain way to create animosity between both sets of pupils before they get together. The merger is also unsettling and scary for the Sedbergians..and for us as parents. We hope it won't dilute the excellent standards too much. Our children are feeling uncomfortable and also are realising they will have lower chances of getting into choirs/orchestras/sp orts teams etc. The perfect formula is under threat...but we trust the Head, the governors and the SMT to blend in the changes in the best possible way. sedberghmummy
  • Score: 0

8:46am Wed 20 Mar 13

sedberghmummy says...

Over 10 years of 3 children at Sedbergh I have continually heard of happy children with exceptional achievements. There have been a tiny amount of bullying issues...nowhere near as many as the other top class schools which I am very familiar with.

Sedbergh staff handle bullying very well...and having worked in 3 of the country's top independent schools I feel highly qualified to speak about this and to make realistic comparisons. (I don't work at Sedbergh but at a competitive "top" northern independent public school).

There is an unusual "family feel" among the Sedbergh pupils, not found in many other schools ...and as a result of the caring mindset of the staff and pupils, incidents of bullying are very rare.

All schools are aware of the need to prevent, identify and manage potential bullying...Sedbergh now have the right formula for that.

I only wish to reassure all the Castertonian parents that their issues should not lie with their daughters' future at Sedbergh, but just in the logisitcal problems they may encounter as a result of the merger.

Sedbergh has changed...enormously
. It has been a superb school during the 10 years we have known it...not just for us but for all the parents and pupils we have met. The staff are high calibre and utterly devoted to providing the best home and school life for the pupils. The pupils are happy, confident, caring, polite, self assured, high achieving and healthy. The senior management team are very strong with outstanding leadership.

The inspection report will support everything I say. Don' deny your daughters this chance to be part of the best co-ed school in the country.

I'm sorry you have read emails relating to bullying..but have you also read those from all the other top schools..? I am certain you would be very shocked. Sedbergh rates among the lowest rate of bullying and there are frequently pupils arriving there from other leading schools after being bullied.

You should not be inciting hatred of Sedbergh among your daughters....what are you hoping to achieve? It's a certain way to create animosity between both sets of pupils before they get together.

The merger is also unsettling and scary for the Sedbergians..and for us as parents. We hope it won't dilute the excellent standards too much. Our children are feeling uncomfortable and also are realising they will have lower chances of getting into choirs/orchestras/sp
orts teams etc.

The perfect formula is under threat...but we trust the Head, the governors and the SMT to blend in the changes in the best possible way.
Over 10 years of 3 children at Sedbergh I have continually heard of happy children with exceptional achievements. There have been a tiny amount of bullying issues...nowhere near as many as the other top class schools which I am very familiar with. Sedbergh staff handle bullying very well...and having worked in 3 of the country's top independent schools I feel highly qualified to speak about this and to make realistic comparisons. (I don't work at Sedbergh but at a competitive "top" northern independent public school). There is an unusual "family feel" among the Sedbergh pupils, not found in many other schools ...and as a result of the caring mindset of the staff and pupils, incidents of bullying are very rare. All schools are aware of the need to prevent, identify and manage potential bullying...Sedbergh now have the right formula for that. I only wish to reassure all the Castertonian parents that their issues should not lie with their daughters' future at Sedbergh, but just in the logisitcal problems they may encounter as a result of the merger. Sedbergh has changed...enormously . It has been a superb school during the 10 years we have known it...not just for us but for all the parents and pupils we have met. The staff are high calibre and utterly devoted to providing the best home and school life for the pupils. The pupils are happy, confident, caring, polite, self assured, high achieving and healthy. The senior management team are very strong with outstanding leadership. The inspection report will support everything I say. Don' deny your daughters this chance to be part of the best co-ed school in the country. I'm sorry you have read emails relating to bullying..but have you also read those from all the other top schools..? I am certain you would be very shocked. Sedbergh rates among the lowest rate of bullying and there are frequently pupils arriving there from other leading schools after being bullied. You should not be inciting hatred of Sedbergh among your daughters....what are you hoping to achieve? It's a certain way to create animosity between both sets of pupils before they get together. The merger is also unsettling and scary for the Sedbergians..and for us as parents. We hope it won't dilute the excellent standards too much. Our children are feeling uncomfortable and also are realising they will have lower chances of getting into choirs/orchestras/sp orts teams etc. The perfect formula is under threat...but we trust the Head, the governors and the SMT to blend in the changes in the best possible way. sedberghmummy
  • Score: 0

9:21am Wed 20 Mar 13

sibbetson says...

Dilute the excellent standards! If this is the sort of unsubtle and unpleasant put-down our daughters can expect from Sedbergh you fail to convince me that bullying is not an issue. Just because bullying is an issue in other top schools as well does not make it acceptable. It is not acceptable at all, anywhere. It is not an issue at Casterton.
Dilute the excellent standards! If this is the sort of unsubtle and unpleasant put-down our daughters can expect from Sedbergh you fail to convince me that bullying is not an issue. Just because bullying is an issue in other top schools as well does not make it acceptable. It is not acceptable at all, anywhere. It is not an issue at Casterton. sibbetson
  • Score: 0

10:04am Wed 20 Mar 13

Sir arthur says...

It is a hostile takeover situation and realistically no one at the sedbergh end of the bargain can expect any of the casterton team to be happy about this unfortunate saga .

People like myself sent their daughters to casterton for sound reasons in preference to sedbergh .
It is a hostile takeover situation and realistically no one at the sedbergh end of the bargain can expect any of the casterton team to be happy about this unfortunate saga . People like myself sent their daughters to casterton for sound reasons in preference to sedbergh . Sir arthur
  • Score: 0

10:47am Wed 20 Mar 13

oldgirl11 says...

I feel slightly uneasy at reading "diluting the standards" comment, I feel that whilst Casterton may have dwindled in numbers it still soared in league tables.
Sedbergh parents may not wish to have their School reputation tarnished but please don't resort to tarnishing the good name of my old school.
The term "Brain washing" seems to be cropping up a lot on here, however both sets of parents (both Casterton and Sedbergh) haven't realised that both Schools in fact instil in their pupils to think for themselves, to have their own minds and stand firm on their beliefs.
I am not about to slate Sedbergh, I had many good friends at the School, however in the subject I must speak up. A very close friend told me a story of what one pupil was subjected to on a daily basis, I can't go into the excuse used behind it but the School sided with the bully's rather than the person on the receiving end. Casterton itself however is no angel, when I was there, there were instances of bullying, they were however quickly nipped in the bud.
This isn't a case of good school and bad school, it's a case of bad management of one school. My only fear is that the same figures behind Casterton's downfall are now going to be on the Governors again, plans need to be put in place to ensure that the merger is a success and not just another failed dream further down the line.
I feel slightly uneasy at reading "diluting the standards" comment, I feel that whilst Casterton may have dwindled in numbers it still soared in league tables. Sedbergh parents may not wish to have their School reputation tarnished but please don't resort to tarnishing the good name of my old school. The term "Brain washing" seems to be cropping up a lot on here, however both sets of parents (both Casterton and Sedbergh) haven't realised that both Schools in fact instil in their pupils to think for themselves, to have their own minds and stand firm on their beliefs. I am not about to slate Sedbergh, I had many good friends at the School, however in the subject I must speak up. A very close friend told me a story of what one pupil was subjected to on a daily basis, I can't go into the excuse used behind it but the School sided with the bully's rather than the person on the receiving end. Casterton itself however is no angel, when I was there, there were instances of bullying, they were however quickly nipped in the bud. This isn't a case of good school and bad school, it's a case of bad management of one school. My only fear is that the same figures behind Casterton's downfall are now going to be on the Governors again, plans need to be put in place to ensure that the merger is a success and not just another failed dream further down the line. oldgirl11
  • Score: 0

10:57am Wed 20 Mar 13

sedberghmummy says...

Why do you wish to expose yourself as having bitterness toward people? From commencing your trail of posts you have been accused of making offensive comments and have insulted well meaning people.

If Casterton was suddenly admitting a hundred new pupils you too would be slightly worried that the standards may be diluted for a while. I realise that the Casterton girls are all lovely, just like the Sedberghians. What I ask is that they are not turned completely against the lovely Sedbergh and that you ease the transition for their sake and for the pupils at Sedbergh.

Also I ask that you stop making false accusations about Sedbergh and repeatedly stating that there is a bullying issue..and even accusing a parent such as me of it! I have talked to my children about the kindness they need to afford to the Casterton girls..and they were already well aware of this need and are looking forwad to welcoming them.

Of course there will have been bullying at Casterton. It is not an issue at Sedbergh either....maybe it was once..but it is not any more....no more than in any other school. I did not say it was acceptable.

I hope you can reflect on all the positives,calm down somewhat and be glad that the merger will at least happen with a wonderful school where the children are happy, wholesome and accomplished.

I hope our paths cross one day as proud Sedbergh parents.
Why do you wish to expose yourself as having bitterness toward people? From commencing your trail of posts you have been accused of making offensive comments and have insulted well meaning people. If Casterton was suddenly admitting a hundred new pupils you too would be slightly worried that the standards may be diluted for a while. I realise that the Casterton girls are all lovely, just like the Sedberghians. What I ask is that they are not turned completely against the lovely Sedbergh and that you ease the transition for their sake and for the pupils at Sedbergh. Also I ask that you stop making false accusations about Sedbergh and repeatedly stating that there is a bullying issue..and even accusing a parent such as me of it! I have talked to my children about the kindness they need to afford to the Casterton girls..and they were already well aware of this need and are looking forwad to welcoming them. Of course there will have been bullying at Casterton. It is not an issue at Sedbergh either....maybe it was once..but it is not any more....no more than in any other school. I did not say it was acceptable. I hope you can reflect on all the positives,calm down somewhat and be glad that the merger will at least happen with a wonderful school where the children are happy, wholesome and accomplished. I hope our paths cross one day as proud Sedbergh parents. sedberghmummy
  • Score: 0

11:04am Wed 20 Mar 13

oldgirl11 says...

I hope your above comment wasn't aimed at myself, as a Casterton Old Girl I am aware my comments reflect the education I have had. I am not in here to criticise parents, schools etc. just to merely comment on my wish for the merger to prove to be the right decision and not a quick fix that became a failure.
I hope your above comment wasn't aimed at myself, as a Casterton Old Girl I am aware my comments reflect the education I have had. I am not in here to criticise parents, schools etc. just to merely comment on my wish for the merger to prove to be the right decision and not a quick fix that became a failure. oldgirl11
  • Score: 0

11:55am Wed 20 Mar 13

sedberghmummy says...

oldgirl11 wrote:
I hope your above comment wasn't aimed at myself, as a Casterton Old Girl I am aware my comments reflect the education I have had. I am not in here to criticise parents, schools etc. just to merely comment on my wish for the merger to prove to be the right decision and not a quick fix that became a failure.
No, sorry - it wasn't. It was a reply for sibbetson.
[quote][p][bold]oldgirl11[/bold] wrote: I hope your above comment wasn't aimed at myself, as a Casterton Old Girl I am aware my comments reflect the education I have had. I am not in here to criticise parents, schools etc. just to merely comment on my wish for the merger to prove to be the right decision and not a quick fix that became a failure.[/p][/quote]No, sorry - it wasn't. It was a reply for sibbetson. sedberghmummy
  • Score: 0

12:25pm Wed 20 Mar 13

sibbetson says...

Dear Sedbergh Mummy, I think I can promise you we will never meet as proud Sedbergh parents. Are you by any chance the parent of one of the drunken Sedberghians carousing through the village late at night vandalising property? Fortunately the school has paid for repairs so ultimately no financial damage is done, but it doesn't compensate for lost sleep and anxiety.

I think I have not been offensive, and for my part find your remarks patronising: so there you go, isn't it amazing how people's words can be misinterpreted?

Dear everybody else: have you all heard that Colin Tomlinson has resigned? This has cost me a Mars bar as Sarah Short and I had a bet on how long it would be before it happened, and I thought September, so well done Sarah. Too late, though, Mr Tomlinson, you should have done that three weeks ago.
Dear Sedbergh Mummy, I think I can promise you we will never meet as proud Sedbergh parents. Are you by any chance the parent of one of the drunken Sedberghians carousing through the village late at night vandalising property? Fortunately the school has paid for repairs so ultimately no financial damage is done, but it doesn't compensate for lost sleep and anxiety. I think I have not been offensive, and for my part find your remarks patronising: so there you go, isn't it amazing how people's words can be misinterpreted? Dear everybody else: have you all heard that Colin Tomlinson has resigned? This has cost me a Mars bar as Sarah Short and I had a bet on how long it would be before it happened, and I thought September, so well done Sarah. Too late, though, Mr Tomlinson, you should have done that three weeks ago. sibbetson
  • Score: 0

12:38pm Wed 20 Mar 13

oldgirl11 says...

Yes Mr Tomlinson has resigned, I think his position was untenable though.
Yes Mr Tomlinson has resigned, I think his position was untenable though. oldgirl11
  • Score: 0

3:14pm Wed 20 Mar 13

sedberghmummy says...

sibbetson wrote:
Dilute the excellent standards! If this is the sort of unsubtle and unpleasant put-down our daughters can expect from Sedbergh you fail to convince me that bullying is not an issue. Just because bullying is an issue in other top schools as well does not make it acceptable. It is not acceptable at all, anywhere. It is not an issue at Casterton.
I apologise for my confusing comment re "diluting the standards" - what I meant was that the actual process of the merger may have a disruptive effect on the school life and education of the Sedbergh pupils - I was not meaning to sound slating towards the Casterton girls. Sorry. Any school merger will create some wobbles and affect the smooth running for a while.

Bullying is not acceptable, I didn't say it was. It's certainly not acceptable at Sedbergh.
[quote][p][bold]sibbetson[/bold] wrote: Dilute the excellent standards! If this is the sort of unsubtle and unpleasant put-down our daughters can expect from Sedbergh you fail to convince me that bullying is not an issue. Just because bullying is an issue in other top schools as well does not make it acceptable. It is not acceptable at all, anywhere. It is not an issue at Casterton.[/p][/quote]I apologise for my confusing comment re "diluting the standards" - what I meant was that the actual process of the merger may have a disruptive effect on the school life and education of the Sedbergh pupils - I was not meaning to sound slating towards the Casterton girls. Sorry. Any school merger will create some wobbles and affect the smooth running for a while. Bullying is not acceptable, I didn't say it was. It's certainly not acceptable at Sedbergh. sedberghmummy
  • Score: 0

4:16pm Wed 20 Mar 13

interestedparent says...

The thing I still don't quite understand though, is why Mr Tomlinson stood in the parents' meeting on 1 March and stated that if the 'merger' didn't go ahead, "that Casterton School would be bankrupt by the end of the term".

Clearly, we now know that this is a lie. It isn't even a clever lie - it is just a barefaced one. So, if Casterton wasn't in a bad financial shape, it had just been financially managed badly, surely someone is responsible for this? Would that someone feel it necessary to stand up and tell lies to a group of angry parents? Is it even possible that the reason the school had been steered towards a cashflow problem was to enable the board to present the handing over of Casterton for £1 as 'the only solution'? Surely, this couldn't be right, could it? I must be wrong, because if it were right, wouldn't that be illegal?
The thing I still don't quite understand though, is why Mr Tomlinson stood in the parents' meeting on 1 March and stated that if the 'merger' didn't go ahead, "that Casterton School would be bankrupt by the end of the term". Clearly, we now know that this is a lie. It isn't even a clever lie - it is just a barefaced one. So, if Casterton wasn't in a bad financial shape, it had just been financially managed badly, surely someone is responsible for this? Would that someone feel it necessary to stand up and tell lies to a group of angry parents? Is it even possible that the reason the school had been steered towards a cashflow problem was to enable the board to present the handing over of Casterton for £1 as 'the only solution'? Surely, this couldn't be right, could it? I must be wrong, because if it were right, wouldn't that be illegal? interestedparent
  • Score: 0

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