Angry parents in High Court bid to halt Casterton-Sedbergh schools' merger

FURIOUS parents fighting the merger of Casterton and Sedbergh schools will take their battle to London’s High Court tomorrow.

Newly-formed Casterton Parents Ltd wants the start date of March 11 delayed for two weeks and for the school’s governors to stand down while a temporary board reviews how the ‘secret’ deal was reached.

Parents are angry they were not consulted over last week’s announcement and hope a court order will allow the new board time to investigate other options for the 190-year-old school.

Stephen Ellis, the group’s lawyer, said if the governors did not agree to the request, an injunction would be sought tomorrow in a bid to legally force them to.

The parents labelled the merger a ‘takeover’ and threatened to remove their daughters from the all-girl school, near Kirkby Lonsdale.

However, some parents have begun speaking out in favour of the move, claiming Casterton Preparatory School could close without the merger.

Meanwhile, donations from as far away as China, Africa and America are pouring in to fund the opposition campaign.

Mr Ellis, whose daughter attends Casterton, said: “The school is a charity. The parents and children are the beneficiaries of that charity. They have not been consulted on the future of the school. The governors have agreed to a merger in secret.

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“The majority of parents chose Casterton over Sedbergh and do not want their children to be forced to attend Sedbergh.”

Mr Ellis said he had sought advice from specialist barristers and believed the parents’ group could halt the merger.

Colin Tomlinson, chairman of Casterton governors, faced angry calls to resign at a meeting to answer parents’ questions on Friday.

But he told them he was ‘standing firm’ over the merger and was jeered after revealing he would be joint chairman of governors at the merged school.

Mr Tomlinson was said to be unavailable for comment this week.

Casterton Parents Ltd spokeswoman Sarah Short said the group included two-thirds of all Casterton parents.

“Parents want the pause button pressing,” said Mrs Short, who has two daughters aged 16 and 11 at the school.

“All we are saying is: ‘Please will you delay so we can have a look at this process’. It’s all been done in a cloak and dagger fashion. We want to know what discussions have taken place and with whom.”

She explained that her daughters had been ‘very worried’ since the announcement, adding: “They can’t talk about anything else. They won’t be going to Sedbergh. I don’t have a problem with Sedbergh, it’s just not the school I chose for my daughters.”

Former Casterton pupil Katherine Evans, whose five-year-old daughter Isabella is now a student there, said she was ‘confident’ the legal challenge would succeed.

“We want to find out the truth,” she said. “We’re standing together and not backing down.”

Sarah Ibbetson said her 12-year-old daughter Lucy, who has Asperger’s Syndrome, was heartbroken.

Mrs Ibbetson, whose parents help her to meet the school’s annual £15,000 fees, said: “It’s got to be one of the worst weeks we have ever known. My daughter has struggled in school all her life but she loves it at Casterton. I have never felt so angry.”

But parents with children at Casterton Prep School spoke out in favour of the merger.

David Ellwood said: “Pupil numbers have been falling dramatically. Parents raised concerns two years ago and the school tried to improve its marketing but there wasn’t the interest.”

Father-of-two Adam Key added: “If it doesn’t happen I suspect the school won’t be there in a year. It’s a terrific opportunity. The facilities that are going to be on offer are going to be absolutely unparalleled.”

Andrew Fleck, Sedbergh School headmaster, said the merger was ‘progressing as planned’.

“Friday’s meeting was difficult and I understand why parents and children at Casterton are upset,” he said.

“I’m determined to help them in a difficult situation. We are doing everything possible to accommodate wishes and bring pupils and schools together successfully.”

The merger was announced amid falling pupil numbers at Casterton and Sedbergh’s wish to expand its junior school.

Senior pupils at Casterton would transfer to Sedbergh, while Sedbergh Junior School would relocate to a new prep school at Casterton.

Consultation with staff started this week amid union speculation 20 to 100 jobs could go.

Update: The Gazette received the following statement from Colin Tomlinson, chairman of governors at Casterton School, at 11.32am today.

"We have been placed on notice of potential court action brought on behalf of some of the parents of Casterton School who are apparently opposed to the merger of Casterton School with Sedbergh School.

"Our lawyers have requested details of the basis upon which such action is being threatened but have, to date, received no details.

"The merger between Casterton and Sedbergh is in the interests of both establishments and any action brought will be vigorously defended.

"The governors of Casterton have at all times acted, and will continue to act, in the best interests of the whole of Casterton community - pupils, parents and staff alike.

"We are firmly of the opinion that the merger represents the only viable option for the preservation of the educational and pastoral standards that Casterton has been delivering and will ensure that the first rate education and extra-curricular opportunities which Casterton pupils enjoy will continue without interruption for future generations to come. 

"The welfare of the pupils and their education has been at the forefront of our minds."

Comments (129)

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1:24pm Thu 7 Mar 13

Sir arthur says...

Sincere best wishes with that injunction .
Sincere best wishes with that injunction . Sir arthur
  • Score: 0

1:35pm Thu 7 Mar 13

Overseas Parent says...

The statement from Colin Tomlinson as Chairman of the Governors, typifies his approach to this whole matter. He must be extremely thick skinned and slow on the uptake if, following the meeting with parents last Friday, he does not recognise why a legal challenge is forthcoming! It is easy for him to say that he has acted in the best interests of all parties, but unless he is completely open with parents, staff and pupils alike there will always be doubt.

Simple maths, comparing assets and overdrafts at Casterton shows that the school, could have been viable; what other alternatives were considered? Why, after an upbeat speech at Speech Day in July 2012 did he in August 2012 start discussing a possible merger?

Yes, pupil numbers need to increase so it follows that marketing needs to be improved but the same Board of Governors have resided over the lack of a full time, dedicated, member of staff for marketing for the last 2 years!

While my comments appear to be focussed on Mr Tomlinson as Chairman of the Governors, the whole governing body need to think long and hard about their role in this decision and the events that preceded this. If the legal challenge fails, I know that the parent body will pursue the Governors for the truth, and under oath they, with sworn evidence from key members of the Casterton Senior Management Team, will need to be able to demonstrate that they personally analysed ALL the available information and that no other alternative existed which would have been better for the school and the now distressed pupils and staff. If they are not able to do this in a court of law, they will be personally liable and must be prepared to face any compensation claims which arise! Again, like many others, I would call on the Governing Body to resign before this decision is ratified!
The statement from Colin Tomlinson as Chairman of the Governors, typifies his approach to this whole matter. He must be extremely thick skinned and slow on the uptake if, following the meeting with parents last Friday, he does not recognise why a legal challenge is forthcoming! It is easy for him to say that he has acted in the best interests of all parties, but unless he is completely open with parents, staff and pupils alike there will always be doubt. Simple maths, comparing assets and overdrafts at Casterton shows that the school, could have been viable; what other alternatives were considered? Why, after an upbeat speech at Speech Day in July 2012 did he in August 2012 start discussing a possible merger? Yes, pupil numbers need to increase so it follows that marketing needs to be improved but the same Board of Governors have resided over the lack of a full time, dedicated, member of staff for marketing for the last 2 years! While my comments appear to be focussed on Mr Tomlinson as Chairman of the Governors, the whole governing body need to think long and hard about their role in this decision and the events that preceded this. If the legal challenge fails, I know that the parent body will pursue the Governors for the truth, and under oath they, with sworn evidence from key members of the Casterton Senior Management Team, will need to be able to demonstrate that they personally analysed ALL the available information and that no other alternative existed which would have been better for the school and the now distressed pupils and staff. If they are not able to do this in a court of law, they will be personally liable and must be prepared to face any compensation claims which arise! Again, like many others, I would call on the Governing Body to resign before this decision is ratified! Overseas Parent
  • Score: 0

1:44pm Thu 7 Mar 13

oldgirl11 says...

What isn't mentioned is that apparently the Governors legal advisors are on holiday until the day after the merger is deemed to be complete.
I hope this injunction is successful, even if it doesn't stop the merger, at least all the parents will be aware fully of the facts before it is completed.
What isn't mentioned is that apparently the Governors legal advisors are on holiday until the day after the merger is deemed to be complete. I hope this injunction is successful, even if it doesn't stop the merger, at least all the parents will be aware fully of the facts before it is completed. oldgirl11
  • Score: 0

2:59pm Thu 7 Mar 13

hongkongparent says...

Obviously the majority of patents and pupils against the merger plan.

As said by Mr Tomlinson, "The governors of Casterton have at all times acted, and will continue to act, in the best interests of the whole of Casterton community - pupils, parents and staff alike",

Then why don't the governors have courage to halt the merger process for a few weeks and conduct a open, fair and transparent consultation and discussion on all possible options for schools?

What reasons behind the process cannot be halted for two weeks?
Obviously the majority of patents and pupils against the merger plan. As said by Mr Tomlinson, "The governors of Casterton have at all times acted, and will continue to act, in the best interests of the whole of Casterton community - pupils, parents and staff alike", Then why don't the governors have courage to halt the merger process for a few weeks and conduct a open, fair and transparent consultation and discussion on all possible options for schools? What reasons behind the process cannot be halted for two weeks? hongkongparent
  • Score: 0

3:16pm Thu 7 Mar 13

blade stall says...

All this animosity is starting to get a bit long in the tooth. In my experience in business and in life its best to evolve and embrace change rather than spend all this emotional capital on what sounds like a done deal.

Harness all this energy and use it to move foreward.. ok the injunction may succeed but then sedbergh will probably walk away from the deal and all your floating life boats will sink with the school.

As a sedberghian im not an impartial observer and if sedbergh were to be taken over then yeah i would feel strongly about it... but its all got very personal and remember its not about you and your child... its about what is best for the long term viability of casterton and thats what the governors are there to do not endlessly consult with parents and go round in circles.
All this animosity is starting to get a bit long in the tooth. In my experience in business and in life its best to evolve and embrace change rather than spend all this emotional capital on what sounds like a done deal. Harness all this energy and use it to move foreward.. ok the injunction may succeed but then sedbergh will probably walk away from the deal and all your floating life boats will sink with the school. As a sedberghian im not an impartial observer and if sedbergh were to be taken over then yeah i would feel strongly about it... but its all got very personal and remember its not about you and your child... its about what is best for the long term viability of casterton and thats what the governors are there to do not endlessly consult with parents and go round in circles. blade stall
  • Score: -1

3:52pm Thu 7 Mar 13

CastertonY8Parent says...

In response to Blade Stall's comments, you said yourself if it were Sedbergh being taken over you would "feel strongly" so please forgive us for doing the same. Unlike you, I happen to think it's ALL about the children, past, present and future!
In response to Blade Stall's comments, you said yourself if it were Sedbergh being taken over you would "feel strongly" so please forgive us for doing the same. Unlike you, I happen to think it's ALL about the children, past, present and future! CastertonY8Parent
  • Score: 0

10:51pm Thu 7 Mar 13

JillY8Parent says...

I chose Casterton for my daughter,not Sedbergh. Thank you Governors but I will decide what's best for my daughter not you. I'm going to the Windermere School open day tomorrow. Notice in the post.
I chose Casterton for my daughter,not Sedbergh. Thank you Governors but I will decide what's best for my daughter not you. I'm going to the Windermere School open day tomorrow. Notice in the post. JillY8Parent
  • Score: 0

10:57pm Thu 7 Mar 13

Tiffany22 says...

It does seem strange that parents were not consulted or fees raised in an attempt to improve Casterton finances. How is it possible that a school worth millions of pounds does not have a full time member of staff to market the school? It is difficult to trust a governing body that seems to have made so little effort to preserve a school that is unique in this part of the country.
It does seem strange that parents were not consulted or fees raised in an attempt to improve Casterton finances. How is it possible that a school worth millions of pounds does not have a full time member of staff to market the school? It is difficult to trust a governing body that seems to have made so little effort to preserve a school that is unique in this part of the country. Tiffany22
  • Score: 0

9:16am Fri 8 Mar 13

Thegreenman2013 says...

The staff at Casterton,at least 6 months ago,wrote to the Head and Governors out of desperation, offering unpaid help in many additional areas of expertise including marketing (which some teachers have previous and current experience in) and were turned down flat. Additionally,Lancast
er's largest newspaper offered the school unlimited advertising space (for features and promotion) for a very modest fee and the governors turned it down because it looked 'desperate'!!

Two more examples of the Governors really trying to keep the school numbers up and open.
The staff at Casterton,at least 6 months ago,wrote to the Head and Governors out of desperation, offering unpaid help in many additional areas of expertise including marketing (which some teachers have previous and current experience in) and were turned down flat. Additionally,Lancast er's largest newspaper offered the school unlimited advertising space (for features and promotion) for a very modest fee and the governors turned it down because it looked 'desperate'!! Two more examples of the Governors really trying to keep the school numbers up and open. Thegreenman2013
  • Score: 0

10:16am Fri 8 Mar 13

PeterRogerson says...

Am i right in thinking that the injunction has been withdrawn....and if so is a reason for this?
Am i right in thinking that the injunction has been withdrawn....and if so is a reason for this? PeterRogerson
  • Score: 0

10:30am Fri 8 Mar 13

SSStaff says...

The injunction has been withdrawn.
The radio said that this was due to the parents being threatened with a £1.6 million damages lawsuit should they delay the merger.
Back to worrying about my job then.
The injunction has been withdrawn. The radio said that this was due to the parents being threatened with a £1.6 million damages lawsuit should they delay the merger. Back to worrying about my job then. SSStaff
  • Score: 0

10:44am Fri 8 Mar 13

Egg1985 says...

What kind of damages and to who? Feel sorry for the parents who have effectively been bullied throughout the process.
What kind of damages and to who? Feel sorry for the parents who have effectively been bullied throughout the process. Egg1985
  • Score: 0

10:48am Fri 8 Mar 13

PeterRogerson says...

Pleased with this, the merger in the long run wil be the best for all concerns, yes I understand there will be plenty of redundancies, which is worrying for all concerns, including plenty of my friends at Sedbergh School. However this is progress for both schools and the future of boarding in Cumbria.
Pleased with this, the merger in the long run wil be the best for all concerns, yes I understand there will be plenty of redundancies, which is worrying for all concerns, including plenty of my friends at Sedbergh School. However this is progress for both schools and the future of boarding in Cumbria. PeterRogerson
  • Score: 0

10:49am Fri 8 Mar 13

SSStaff says...

I would guess that it would be something to do with the fact that if the merger was delayed then they would have to pay both staff bodies for another term.
I would guess that it would be something to do with the fact that if the merger was delayed then they would have to pay both staff bodies for another term. SSStaff
  • Score: 0

11:29am Fri 8 Mar 13

zaney5 says...

Disgraceful. Once again the sheer arrogance of the governors shines through.

Time for parents to vote with their feet and make alternative arrangements for their children. I notice rather a lot of adverts for private schools in this weeks Gazette. Windermere School I believe has an open day today.

I'll give it a few years and the good name of Casterton will be effectively wiped out. Such a shame.
Disgraceful. Once again the sheer arrogance of the governors shines through. Time for parents to vote with their feet and make alternative arrangements for their children. I notice rather a lot of adverts for private schools in this weeks Gazette. Windermere School I believe has an open day today. I'll give it a few years and the good name of Casterton will be effectively wiped out. Such a shame. zaney5
  • Score: 0

11:39am Fri 8 Mar 13

mike21up says...

What a strange affair!!! Becoming quite clear that reading between the lines there is a very obvious agenda in the backstory.
If all the aggrieved parents make other schooling arrangements for their children that would leave the Sedbergh head with two sites, two lots of overheads and only a third of his expected new pupils. Be a worried man i would think , but no!! He ships his few pupils over to Sedbergh, sells off Casterton and pockets a good few pennies to pay off the debts of his underperforming school. Has no one else seen this plan yet? Just speculating!!
What a strange affair!!! Becoming quite clear that reading between the lines there is a very obvious agenda in the backstory. If all the aggrieved parents make other schooling arrangements for their children that would leave the Sedbergh head with two sites, two lots of overheads and only a third of his expected new pupils. Be a worried man i would think , but no!! He ships his few pupils over to Sedbergh, sells off Casterton and pockets a good few pennies to pay off the debts of his underperforming school. Has no one else seen this plan yet? Just speculating!! mike21up
  • Score: 0

11:48am Fri 8 Mar 13

PeterRogerson says...

mike21up wrote:
What a strange affair!!! Becoming quite clear that reading between the lines there is a very obvious agenda in the backstory.
If all the aggrieved parents make other schooling arrangements for their children that would leave the Sedbergh head with two sites, two lots of overheads and only a third of his expected new pupils. Be a worried man i would think , but no!! He ships his few pupils over to Sedbergh, sells off Casterton and pockets a good few pennies to pay off the debts of his underperforming school. Has no one else seen this plan yet? Just speculating!!
You clearly have no idea what you are talking about. The whole reason for the merger is to expand Sedberghs already large Junior School, to enable it to reach it full potential with the fabulous facilities available at Casterton. This will make it the premier prep school in the North of England, which in turn will make it the main feeder school for Sedbergh, and ensure the Casterton Community benefits from a high number of prep school pupils, instead of having an empty ghostly Casterton. Sedbergh has an Open Day tomorrow, and I suggest instead of suggesting conspiracy theories on here, you actually come and look at the school and look at the plans in place, which I can assure you are fantastic. The school would not be investing millions of pounds in the facilities if it were not a long term project for the good of both communities and the pupils.
[quote][p][bold]mike21up[/bold] wrote: What a strange affair!!! Becoming quite clear that reading between the lines there is a very obvious agenda in the backstory. If all the aggrieved parents make other schooling arrangements for their children that would leave the Sedbergh head with two sites, two lots of overheads and only a third of his expected new pupils. Be a worried man i would think , but no!! He ships his few pupils over to Sedbergh, sells off Casterton and pockets a good few pennies to pay off the debts of his underperforming school. Has no one else seen this plan yet? Just speculating!![/p][/quote]You clearly have no idea what you are talking about. The whole reason for the merger is to expand Sedberghs already large Junior School, to enable it to reach it full potential with the fabulous facilities available at Casterton. This will make it the premier prep school in the North of England, which in turn will make it the main feeder school for Sedbergh, and ensure the Casterton Community benefits from a high number of prep school pupils, instead of having an empty ghostly Casterton. Sedbergh has an Open Day tomorrow, and I suggest instead of suggesting conspiracy theories on here, you actually come and look at the school and look at the plans in place, which I can assure you are fantastic. The school would not be investing millions of pounds in the facilities if it were not a long term project for the good of both communities and the pupils. PeterRogerson
  • Score: 0

12:09pm Fri 8 Mar 13

zaney5 says...

mike21up wrote:
What a strange affair!!! Becoming quite clear that reading between the lines there is a very obvious agenda in the backstory.
If all the aggrieved parents make other schooling arrangements for their children that would leave the Sedbergh head with two sites, two lots of overheads and only a third of his expected new pupils. Be a worried man i would think , but no!! He ships his few pupils over to Sedbergh, sells off Casterton and pockets a good few pennies to pay off the debts of his underperforming school. Has no one else seen this plan yet? Just speculating!!
Which I believe is similar to what happened with Bentham.

I asked a Casterton parent last week what would happen if many parents took the decision NOT to send their girls to Sedbergh. The reply? They haven't got the room for all of them so are actually banking on many not transferring over.

All very strange.
[quote][p][bold]mike21up[/bold] wrote: What a strange affair!!! Becoming quite clear that reading between the lines there is a very obvious agenda in the backstory. If all the aggrieved parents make other schooling arrangements for their children that would leave the Sedbergh head with two sites, two lots of overheads and only a third of his expected new pupils. Be a worried man i would think , but no!! He ships his few pupils over to Sedbergh, sells off Casterton and pockets a good few pennies to pay off the debts of his underperforming school. Has no one else seen this plan yet? Just speculating!![/p][/quote]Which I believe is similar to what happened with Bentham. I asked a Casterton parent last week what would happen if many parents took the decision NOT to send their girls to Sedbergh. The reply? They haven't got the room for all of them so are actually banking on many not transferring over. All very strange. zaney5
  • Score: 0

12:17pm Fri 8 Mar 13

mike21up says...

Exactly!! We've been here before with Sedbergh. Interesting that Mr Rogersons comments are exclusively about the benefits for Sedbergh. Let us not lose sight of the issue for parents here, they chose Casterton for the Girls education because its a girls scholl. If the wanted to go co-ed they would probably have picked Sedbergh. Would love to know where the figure of £1.6 million comes from in terms of the lawsuit or was it plucked from thin air.
Exactly!! We've been here before with Sedbergh. Interesting that Mr Rogersons comments are exclusively about the benefits for Sedbergh. Let us not lose sight of the issue for parents here, they chose Casterton for the Girls education because its a girls scholl. If the wanted to go co-ed they would probably have picked Sedbergh. Would love to know where the figure of £1.6 million comes from in terms of the lawsuit or was it plucked from thin air. mike21up
  • Score: 0

12:24pm Fri 8 Mar 13

mike21up says...

Just had a further thought to put into the equation. Since everything seems to be Sedbergh driven one would presume that the bulk of teachers made redundant would be at the Casterton end. Which school has historically produced the better exam results, which would suggest having the more capable staff??
Just had a further thought to put into the equation. Since everything seems to be Sedbergh driven one would presume that the bulk of teachers made redundant would be at the Casterton end. Which school has historically produced the better exam results, which would suggest having the more capable staff?? mike21up
  • Score: 0

12:24pm Fri 8 Mar 13

tommydst says...

As a generally neutral local observer, I have followed developments in the Casterton/Sedbergh schools merger with considerable interest. Having been involved in mergers/takeovers in the past, I know how difficult these can be and how much bitterness can carry forward over the following years - even when the greatest efforts are made to carry everyone along with the deal.

In this case there appears to have been little or no attempt to persuade the Casterton parents that this is a good deal for everyone. I can only assume that this is because the governors of Casterton knew that the parents would oppose the move and therefore chose to complete the deal in relative secrecy. This may be appropriate in the earlier discussions and preparations, but at some point there has to be a concerted effort to win over the doubters.

Whatever happens now, the merger will undoubtedly be an acrimonious one and the Casterton governors must take the blame for this. The latest threat to sue the parents for seeking to learn the facts behind the merger defies belief and demonstrates the total lack of any industrial relations awareness amongst the Casterton governors.

I await future developments with great interest!
As a generally neutral local observer, I have followed developments in the Casterton/Sedbergh schools merger with considerable interest. Having been involved in mergers/takeovers in the past, I know how difficult these can be and how much bitterness can carry forward over the following years - even when the greatest efforts are made to carry everyone along with the deal. In this case there appears to have been little or no attempt to persuade the Casterton parents that this is a good deal for everyone. I can only assume that this is because the governors of Casterton knew that the parents would oppose the move and therefore chose to complete the deal in relative secrecy. This may be appropriate in the earlier discussions and preparations, but at some point there has to be a concerted effort to win over the doubters. Whatever happens now, the merger will undoubtedly be an acrimonious one and the Casterton governors must take the blame for this. The latest threat to sue the parents for seeking to learn the facts behind the merger defies belief and demonstrates the total lack of any industrial relations awareness amongst the Casterton governors. I await future developments with great interest! tommydst
  • Score: 0

12:54pm Fri 8 Mar 13

Overseas Parent says...

If the Governors of Casterton have not been negligent in their duties regarding this ‘merger’ they will be doing what they believe is right for the School which must include the pupils. With the dissention from the Casterton parents in the various threads, along with the points raised at last week’s meeting with parents, the Governors must by now have got the message that parents are VERY unhappy with this and need to be engaged properly, rather than have their lawyers threaten a £1.6M lawsuit! Their failure to engage properly with a legally formulated parent body is tantamount to negligence!! (No doubt we’ll soon see what the lawyers say if the change does go through!)

Having discussed with many parents, I suspect a large number of pupils will not make the move to Sedbergh; nothing against Sedbergh, but we as parents chose Casterton for a reason! In our case it was the ethos, atmosphere, results, caring passionate staff and the prospect of stability and continuity for friendships and education. The ‘merger’ or lets be blunt, the takeover, by Sedbergh removes most of these in one fair swoop. If the Governors are unable to say which Casterton staff will move and go, we do not even get continuity in teaching staff so we may as well decide for ourselves where we want to go, rather than have the Governing Body (in whom we have no confidence) condescendingly tell us that they know what is best!

If a large number of Casterton pupils do decide to go elsewhere, (as the indications currently show) how will the Governors be able to place their hand on heart and say they did the right thing and were right not to engage properly with the parents!

Governors – now is the time to think carefully about what you are committing to, both for the school and in terms of your personal liability.

Zany5 is spot on when he suggest that the Casterton Campus will go the same way as Bentham. How very sad, 190 years of history and the best academic results in the county going down the drain due to arrogant and intransigent Governors who will not engage with their key stakeholders!!
If the Governors of Casterton have not been negligent in their duties regarding this ‘merger’ they will be doing what they believe is right for the School which must include the pupils. With the dissention from the Casterton parents in the various threads, along with the points raised at last week’s meeting with parents, the Governors must by now have got the message that parents are VERY unhappy with this and need to be engaged properly, rather than have their lawyers threaten a £1.6M lawsuit! Their failure to engage properly with a legally formulated parent body is tantamount to negligence!! (No doubt we’ll soon see what the lawyers say if the change does go through!) Having discussed with many parents, I suspect a large number of pupils will not make the move to Sedbergh; nothing against Sedbergh, but we as parents chose Casterton for a reason! In our case it was the ethos, atmosphere, results, caring passionate staff and the prospect of stability and continuity for friendships and education. The ‘merger’ or lets be blunt, the takeover, by Sedbergh removes most of these in one fair swoop. If the Governors are unable to say which Casterton staff will move and go, we do not even get continuity in teaching staff so we may as well decide for ourselves where we want to go, rather than have the Governing Body (in whom we have no confidence) condescendingly tell us that they know what is best! If a large number of Casterton pupils do decide to go elsewhere, (as the indications currently show) how will the Governors be able to place their hand on heart and say they did the right thing and were right not to engage properly with the parents! Governors – now is the time to think carefully about what you are committing to, both for the school and in terms of your personal liability. Zany5 is spot on when he suggest that the Casterton Campus will go the same way as Bentham. How very sad, 190 years of history and the best academic results in the county going down the drain due to arrogant and intransigent Governors who will not engage with their key stakeholders!! Overseas Parent
  • Score: 0

12:54pm Fri 8 Mar 13

mike21up says...

Aye, future developments there will be once Casterton is sold off and pulled to the ground! As Tommy says the governers knew the parents would object because they want their daughters educated at a girls school. By merging you take away the main selling point of Casterton. If the governers were interested in the long term future of Casterton they would appreciate that fact more than anything.
As he also says what business threatens to sue its customers and then expects them to stay loyal and stump up fees for the next few years.
You really have to question the mentality of these people!
Aye, future developments there will be once Casterton is sold off and pulled to the ground! As Tommy says the governers knew the parents would object because they want their daughters educated at a girls school. By merging you take away the main selling point of Casterton. If the governers were interested in the long term future of Casterton they would appreciate that fact more than anything. As he also says what business threatens to sue its customers and then expects them to stay loyal and stump up fees for the next few years. You really have to question the mentality of these people! mike21up
  • Score: 0

1:24pm Fri 8 Mar 13

PeterRogerson says...

This strange talk regarding Casterton going the same way as Bentham confuses me. I was of the impression that Bentham was bought by the Witherslack group and it is now being used as one of their establishments, which is far from being left to rack and ruin!
This strange talk regarding Casterton going the same way as Bentham confuses me. I was of the impression that Bentham was bought by the Witherslack group and it is now being used as one of their establishments, which is far from being left to rack and ruin! PeterRogerson
  • Score: 0

1:26pm Fri 8 Mar 13

zaney5 says...

Benthan Grammer School became Sedbergh Junior School. For a time.
Benthan Grammer School became Sedbergh Junior School. For a time. zaney5
  • Score: 0

1:27pm Fri 8 Mar 13

zaney5 says...

From the Save Casterton Facebook Page:

"An update for all of our supporters

We were unable to have the injunction hearing this morning as we could not come up with the £1.6 million deposit Casterton's governors required in time and they threatened to sue all of the parents for their legal costs which is a risk we cannot ask the parents to take.

We suggested yesterday the appointment of a Professor of Ethics in education to review the takeover contract confidentially. Casterton's governors point blank refused.

Last night we sent all the governors an invitation to meet us this morning at 10 at Whoop Wall. They refused to come. Shame, because there is a viable rescue plan we wanted to show them. It's been emailed to them instead..

We waited anyway. None of the governors showed up.

Colin Tomlinson sent a message via clerk of governors to say he was too busy to meet until next week, but happy to do so then."
From the Save Casterton Facebook Page: "An update for all of our supporters We were unable to have the injunction hearing this morning as we could not come up with the £1.6 million deposit Casterton's governors required in time and they threatened to sue all of the parents for their legal costs which is a risk we cannot ask the parents to take. We suggested yesterday the appointment of a Professor of Ethics in education to review the takeover contract confidentially. Casterton's governors point blank refused. Last night we sent all the governors an invitation to meet us this morning at 10 at Whoop Wall. They refused to come. Shame, because there is a viable rescue plan we wanted to show them. It's been emailed to them instead.. We waited anyway. None of the governors showed up. Colin Tomlinson sent a message via clerk of governors to say he was too busy to meet until next week, but happy to do so then." zaney5
  • Score: 0

1:30pm Fri 8 Mar 13

PeterRogerson says...

zaney5 wrote:
Benthan Grammer School became Sedbergh Junior School. For a time.
Well aware of that, which was my point, the property was sold and re-developed, far from being left to be run down, as some have taken to thinking
[quote][p][bold]zaney5[/bold] wrote: Benthan Grammer School became Sedbergh Junior School. For a time.[/p][/quote]Well aware of that, which was my point, the property was sold and re-developed, far from being left to be run down, as some have taken to thinking PeterRogerson
  • Score: 0

1:38pm Fri 8 Mar 13

zaney5 says...

PeterRogerson wrote:
zaney5 wrote:
Benthan Grammer School became Sedbergh Junior School. For a time.
Well aware of that, which was my point, the property was sold and re-developed, far from being left to be run down, as some have taken to thinking
No one is saying it was run down. And whatever happened to it AFTER Sedbergh disposed of it is not the concern here.
[quote][p][bold]PeterRogerson[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]zaney5[/bold] wrote: Benthan Grammer School became Sedbergh Junior School. For a time.[/p][/quote]Well aware of that, which was my point, the property was sold and re-developed, far from being left to be run down, as some have taken to thinking[/p][/quote]No one is saying it was run down. And whatever happened to it AFTER Sedbergh disposed of it is not the concern here. zaney5
  • Score: 0

1:39pm Fri 8 Mar 13

Overseas Parent says...

PeterRogerson wrote:
zaney5 wrote:
Benthan Grammer School became Sedbergh Junior School. For a time.
Well aware of that, which was my point, the property was sold and re-developed, far from being left to be run down, as some have taken to thinking
The point is that, the value of the asset was realised by Sedbergh.

How long until they will want to realise the £3.2M+ asset at Casteron (minus a £0.5M overdraft) to pay off Sedbergh's significantly larger (£4-5M) overdraft resulting in the demise of 'Casterton' as an entity!
[quote][p][bold]PeterRogerson[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]zaney5[/bold] wrote: Benthan Grammer School became Sedbergh Junior School. For a time.[/p][/quote]Well aware of that, which was my point, the property was sold and re-developed, far from being left to be run down, as some have taken to thinking[/p][/quote]The point is that, the value of the asset was realised by Sedbergh. How long until they will want to realise the £3.2M+ asset at Casteron (minus a £0.5M overdraft) to pay off Sedbergh's significantly larger (£4-5M) overdraft resulting in the demise of 'Casterton' as an entity! Overseas Parent
  • Score: 0

1:54pm Fri 8 Mar 13

PeterRogerson says...

Overseas Parent wrote:
PeterRogerson wrote:
zaney5 wrote:
Benthan Grammer School became Sedbergh Junior School. For a time.
Well aware of that, which was my point, the property was sold and re-developed, far from being left to be run down, as some have taken to thinking
The point is that, the value of the asset was realised by Sedbergh.

How long until they will want to realise the £3.2M+ asset at Casteron (minus a £0.5M overdraft) to pay off Sedbergh's significantly larger (£4-5M) overdraft resulting in the demise of 'Casterton' as an entity!
I suggest you re-check your figures before writing such drivel on this forum
[quote][p][bold]Overseas Parent[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]PeterRogerson[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]zaney5[/bold] wrote: Benthan Grammer School became Sedbergh Junior School. For a time.[/p][/quote]Well aware of that, which was my point, the property was sold and re-developed, far from being left to be run down, as some have taken to thinking[/p][/quote]The point is that, the value of the asset was realised by Sedbergh. How long until they will want to realise the £3.2M+ asset at Casteron (minus a £0.5M overdraft) to pay off Sedbergh's significantly larger (£4-5M) overdraft resulting in the demise of 'Casterton' as an entity![/p][/quote]I suggest you re-check your figures before writing such drivel on this forum PeterRogerson
  • Score: 0

2:01pm Fri 8 Mar 13

zaney5 says...

PeterRogerson wrote:
Overseas Parent wrote:
PeterRogerson wrote:
zaney5 wrote:
Benthan Grammer School became Sedbergh Junior School. For a time.
Well aware of that, which was my point, the property was sold and re-developed, far from being left to be run down, as some have taken to thinking
The point is that, the value of the asset was realised by Sedbergh.

How long until they will want to realise the £3.2M+ asset at Casteron (minus a £0.5M overdraft) to pay off Sedbergh's significantly larger (£4-5M) overdraft resulting in the demise of 'Casterton' as an entity!
I suggest you re-check your figures before writing such drivel on this forum
You're very arrogant aren't you?
[quote][p][bold]PeterRogerson[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Overseas Parent[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]PeterRogerson[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]zaney5[/bold] wrote: Benthan Grammer School became Sedbergh Junior School. For a time.[/p][/quote]Well aware of that, which was my point, the property was sold and re-developed, far from being left to be run down, as some have taken to thinking[/p][/quote]The point is that, the value of the asset was realised by Sedbergh. How long until they will want to realise the £3.2M+ asset at Casteron (minus a £0.5M overdraft) to pay off Sedbergh's significantly larger (£4-5M) overdraft resulting in the demise of 'Casterton' as an entity![/p][/quote]I suggest you re-check your figures before writing such drivel on this forum[/p][/quote]You're very arrogant aren't you? zaney5
  • Score: 0

2:06pm Fri 8 Mar 13

PeterRogerson says...

zaney5 wrote:
PeterRogerson wrote:
Overseas Parent wrote:
PeterRogerson wrote:
zaney5 wrote:
Benthan Grammer School became Sedbergh Junior School. For a time.
Well aware of that, which was my point, the property was sold and re-developed, far from being left to be run down, as some have taken to thinking
The point is that, the value of the asset was realised by Sedbergh.

How long until they will want to realise the £3.2M+ asset at Casteron (minus a £0.5M overdraft) to pay off Sedbergh's significantly larger (£4-5M) overdraft resulting in the demise of 'Casterton' as an entity!
I suggest you re-check your figures before writing such drivel on this forum
You're very arrogant aren't you?
Not one bit, just don't like false statements being posted.
[quote][p][bold]zaney5[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]PeterRogerson[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Overseas Parent[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]PeterRogerson[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]zaney5[/bold] wrote: Benthan Grammer School became Sedbergh Junior School. For a time.[/p][/quote]Well aware of that, which was my point, the property was sold and re-developed, far from being left to be run down, as some have taken to thinking[/p][/quote]The point is that, the value of the asset was realised by Sedbergh. How long until they will want to realise the £3.2M+ asset at Casteron (minus a £0.5M overdraft) to pay off Sedbergh's significantly larger (£4-5M) overdraft resulting in the demise of 'Casterton' as an entity![/p][/quote]I suggest you re-check your figures before writing such drivel on this forum[/p][/quote]You're very arrogant aren't you?[/p][/quote]Not one bit, just don't like false statements being posted. PeterRogerson
  • Score: 0

2:06pm Fri 8 Mar 13

Thegreenman2013 says...

Overseas Parent has the figures bang on.

When Sedbergh DO sell off Casterton in the future,I'm sure Colin Tomlinson's Estate agency will be there to pocket the profits.
Overseas Parent has the figures bang on. When Sedbergh DO sell off Casterton in the future,I'm sure Colin Tomlinson's Estate agency will be there to pocket the profits. Thegreenman2013
  • Score: 0

2:12pm Fri 8 Mar 13

zaney5 says...

PeterRogerson wrote:
zaney5 wrote:
PeterRogerson wrote:
Overseas Parent wrote:
PeterRogerson wrote:
zaney5 wrote:
Benthan Grammer School became Sedbergh Junior School. For a time.
Well aware of that, which was my point, the property was sold and re-developed, far from being left to be run down, as some have taken to thinking
The point is that, the value of the asset was realised by Sedbergh.

How long until they will want to realise the £3.2M+ asset at Casteron (minus a £0.5M overdraft) to pay off Sedbergh's significantly larger (£4-5M) overdraft resulting in the demise of 'Casterton' as an entity!
I suggest you re-check your figures before writing such drivel on this forum
You're very arrogant aren't you?
Not one bit, just don't like false statements being posted.
No, it wasn't a question.
[quote][p][bold]PeterRogerson[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]zaney5[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]PeterRogerson[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Overseas Parent[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]PeterRogerson[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]zaney5[/bold] wrote: Benthan Grammer School became Sedbergh Junior School. For a time.[/p][/quote]Well aware of that, which was my point, the property was sold and re-developed, far from being left to be run down, as some have taken to thinking[/p][/quote]The point is that, the value of the asset was realised by Sedbergh. How long until they will want to realise the £3.2M+ asset at Casteron (minus a £0.5M overdraft) to pay off Sedbergh's significantly larger (£4-5M) overdraft resulting in the demise of 'Casterton' as an entity![/p][/quote]I suggest you re-check your figures before writing such drivel on this forum[/p][/quote]You're very arrogant aren't you?[/p][/quote]Not one bit, just don't like false statements being posted.[/p][/quote]No, it wasn't a question. zaney5
  • Score: 0

2:15pm Fri 8 Mar 13

Overseas Parent says...

PeterRogerson wrote:
Overseas Parent wrote:
PeterRogerson wrote:
zaney5 wrote:
Benthan Grammer School became Sedbergh Junior School. For a time.
Well aware of that, which was my point, the property was sold and re-developed, far from being left to be run down, as some have taken to thinking
The point is that, the value of the asset was realised by Sedbergh.

How long until they will want to realise the £3.2M+ asset at Casteron (minus a £0.5M overdraft) to pay off Sedbergh's significantly larger (£4-5M) overdraft resulting in the demise of 'Casterton' as an entity!
I suggest you re-check your figures before writing such drivel on this forum
Apologies if I have incorrect figures, perhaps someone can correct me. The heart of this issue is that no one is being open to parents about the financial position of both schools. How can we convinced this is the right decision if we are kept in the dark. (I based my figures on the only accounts I could find for Sedbergh which were dated and has Creditors - overdrafts and ) liabilities circa £4M)

As I said, I accept I may be wrong but someone (Governors?) enlighten me on these figures and the facts!!
[quote][p][bold]PeterRogerson[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Overseas Parent[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]PeterRogerson[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]zaney5[/bold] wrote: Benthan Grammer School became Sedbergh Junior School. For a time.[/p][/quote]Well aware of that, which was my point, the property was sold and re-developed, far from being left to be run down, as some have taken to thinking[/p][/quote]The point is that, the value of the asset was realised by Sedbergh. How long until they will want to realise the £3.2M+ asset at Casteron (minus a £0.5M overdraft) to pay off Sedbergh's significantly larger (£4-5M) overdraft resulting in the demise of 'Casterton' as an entity![/p][/quote]I suggest you re-check your figures before writing such drivel on this forum[/p][/quote]Apologies if I have incorrect figures, perhaps someone can correct me. The heart of this issue is that no one is being open to parents about the financial position of both schools. How can we convinced this is the right decision if we are kept in the dark. (I based my figures on the only accounts I could find for Sedbergh which were dated and has Creditors - overdrafts and ) liabilities circa £4M) As I said, I accept I may be wrong but someone (Governors?) enlighten me on these figures and the facts!! Overseas Parent
  • Score: 0

2:21pm Fri 8 Mar 13

mike21up says...

So Colin Tomlinson is happy to meet after the t's are crossed and the i's dotted. Those with long memories can see exactly where this goes together with Bentham. Would it be wrong to suggest Mr T has a long memory too?

Dissapointed that the parents didn't simply ignore the threat to sue. Always say " Sue and be Damned" when you know you have a strong case.

This is NOT a straight forwards merger. There is a back story here!
So Colin Tomlinson is happy to meet after the t's are crossed and the i's dotted. Those with long memories can see exactly where this goes together with Bentham. Would it be wrong to suggest Mr T has a long memory too? Dissapointed that the parents didn't simply ignore the threat to sue. Always say " Sue and be Damned" when you know you have a strong case. This is NOT a straight forwards merger. There is a back story here! mike21up
  • Score: 0

2:30pm Fri 8 Mar 13

PeterRogerson says...

zaney5 wrote:
PeterRogerson wrote:
zaney5 wrote:
PeterRogerson wrote:
Overseas Parent wrote:
PeterRogerson wrote:
zaney5 wrote:
Benthan Grammer School became Sedbergh Junior School. For a time.
Well aware of that, which was my point, the property was sold and re-developed, far from being left to be run down, as some have taken to thinking
The point is that, the value of the asset was realised by Sedbergh.

How long until they will want to realise the £3.2M+ asset at Casteron (minus a £0.5M overdraft) to pay off Sedbergh's significantly larger (£4-5M) overdraft resulting in the demise of 'Casterton' as an entity!
I suggest you re-check your figures before writing such drivel on this forum
You're very arrogant aren't you?
Not one bit, just don't like false statements being posted.
No, it wasn't a question.
If it wasn't a question then why the question mark. Now thats not a question as there is no question mark.
[quote][p][bold]zaney5[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]PeterRogerson[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]zaney5[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]PeterRogerson[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Overseas Parent[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]PeterRogerson[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]zaney5[/bold] wrote: Benthan Grammer School became Sedbergh Junior School. For a time.[/p][/quote]Well aware of that, which was my point, the property was sold and re-developed, far from being left to be run down, as some have taken to thinking[/p][/quote]The point is that, the value of the asset was realised by Sedbergh. How long until they will want to realise the £3.2M+ asset at Casteron (minus a £0.5M overdraft) to pay off Sedbergh's significantly larger (£4-5M) overdraft resulting in the demise of 'Casterton' as an entity![/p][/quote]I suggest you re-check your figures before writing such drivel on this forum[/p][/quote]You're very arrogant aren't you?[/p][/quote]Not one bit, just don't like false statements being posted.[/p][/quote]No, it wasn't a question.[/p][/quote]If it wasn't a question then why the question mark. Now thats not a question as there is no question mark. PeterRogerson
  • Score: 0

2:37pm Fri 8 Mar 13

zaney5 says...

PeterRogerson wrote:
zaney5 wrote:
PeterRogerson wrote:
zaney5 wrote:
PeterRogerson wrote:
Overseas Parent wrote:
PeterRogerson wrote:
zaney5 wrote:
Benthan Grammer School became Sedbergh Junior School. For a time.
Well aware of that, which was my point, the property was sold and re-developed, far from being left to be run down, as some have taken to thinking
The point is that, the value of the asset was realised by Sedbergh.

How long until they will want to realise the £3.2M+ asset at Casteron (minus a £0.5M overdraft) to pay off Sedbergh's significantly larger (£4-5M) overdraft resulting in the demise of 'Casterton' as an entity!
I suggest you re-check your figures before writing such drivel on this forum
You're very arrogant aren't you?
Not one bit, just don't like false statements being posted.
No, it wasn't a question.
If it wasn't a question then why the question mark. Now thats not a question as there is no question mark.
Apologies, there should have been.
[quote][p][bold]PeterRogerson[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]zaney5[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]PeterRogerson[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]zaney5[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]PeterRogerson[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Overseas Parent[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]PeterRogerson[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]zaney5[/bold] wrote: Benthan Grammer School became Sedbergh Junior School. For a time.[/p][/quote]Well aware of that, which was my point, the property was sold and re-developed, far from being left to be run down, as some have taken to thinking[/p][/quote]The point is that, the value of the asset was realised by Sedbergh. How long until they will want to realise the £3.2M+ asset at Casteron (minus a £0.5M overdraft) to pay off Sedbergh's significantly larger (£4-5M) overdraft resulting in the demise of 'Casterton' as an entity![/p][/quote]I suggest you re-check your figures before writing such drivel on this forum[/p][/quote]You're very arrogant aren't you?[/p][/quote]Not one bit, just don't like false statements being posted.[/p][/quote]No, it wasn't a question.[/p][/quote]If it wasn't a question then why the question mark. Now thats not a question as there is no question mark.[/p][/quote]Apologies, there should have been. zaney5
  • Score: 0

2:43pm Fri 8 Mar 13

zaney5 says...

*shouldn't
*shouldn't zaney5
  • Score: 0

2:51pm Fri 8 Mar 13

sibbetson says...

You may all already know by now that the Casterton Parents Group has withdrawn its attempt at an injunction.

The solicitors employed by Mr Tomlinson and his merrie band, and by Sedbergh school, told us that they would not hesitate to pursue every individual parent who had supported asking for a pause in the merger so we could look at alternatives - for the full extent of damages potentially incurred by waiting for two weeks. This would have made all of us liable to cough up about 1.6 million which I think worked out at about £800,000 per parent or something equally unaffordable.

Not having £1.2million, even after going down the back of the sofa, we had to stop there. No matter how badly we wanted to stick two fingers up at the enemy, we couldn't contemplate raising that level of funds: that's more that the proceeds of a jumble sale or two even at a private school.

We wanted the whole merger process to take a two week break to be examined by committed financial and fund-raising professionals.

Forgive me for implying that retired school teachers and local estate agents are not always the sharpest financial managers on the planet: but the parent body incorporates corporate merger specialists and financial experts. These people are saying loudly: let us look. We can help.


Mr Tomlinson, however, in his lofty wisdom, is refusing to admit that there might be anybody who could possibly know better than he does. We asked all the Governors to come to a meeting this morning to hear a presentation by a financial expert and a professor of educational ethics who specialises in mergers and takeovers

The Governing body refused to attend, and these internationally known specialists were left waiting fruitlessly

It just seems to me plain that the Governors did not want to hear any possibility at all that the school need not merge with Sedbergh. They are determined that it will carry on on its current road into oblivion.

If this merger goes ahead then Casterton will really be no more.

There will be no girls' school in Cumbria.

There will be no school for our daughters.

We will start off as a small arm of Sedbergh and eventually cease to exist at all.

At this moment it does not need to go ahead. At this moment it could still be saved. Some of the best financial brains in the country are prepared to make it happen.

But Colin Tomlinson, local estate agent, quite fancies merging with Sedbergh, and so no arguments or evidence are admissible.

Sedbergh stands to benefit from the acquisition of Casterton's beautiful grounds, whose value Mr Tomlinson as an estate agent, will be well placed to assess.I am not surprised they are in no hurry to back down.

But this is ruthless behaviour, and a far cry from the upstanding and moralistic reputation this fine old school enjoys. Fit your young men to govern, Sedbergh School: in a tradition of which you can be proud. Show some compassion and give Casterton a chance to find its own feet.

Instead of which you have trained your biggest guns on any dissenting voice. Why do you want Casterton so badly, Sedbergh School, if it is the financial black hole we are being told it is? If it is such a liability don't take it. Let our financiers nurture it back to health.

We can do it. Show us the paperwork. Give us figures. But please, please, before this is a done deal on Sunday night, give us a chance to stop it and look hard to see if we can mend things.
You may all already know by now that the Casterton Parents Group has withdrawn its attempt at an injunction. The solicitors employed by Mr Tomlinson and his merrie band, and by Sedbergh school, told us that they would not hesitate to pursue every individual parent who had supported asking for a pause in the merger so we could look at alternatives - for the full extent of damages potentially incurred by waiting for two weeks. This would have made all of us liable to cough up about 1.6 million which I think worked out at about £800,000 per parent or something equally unaffordable. Not having £1.2million, even after going down the back of the sofa, we had to stop there. No matter how badly we wanted to stick two fingers up at the enemy, we couldn't contemplate raising that level of funds: that's more that the proceeds of a jumble sale or two even at a private school. We wanted the whole merger process to take a two week break to be examined by committed financial and fund-raising professionals. Forgive me for implying that retired school teachers and local estate agents are not always the sharpest financial managers on the planet: but the parent body incorporates corporate merger specialists and financial experts. These people are saying loudly: let us look. We can help. Mr Tomlinson, however, in his lofty wisdom, is refusing to admit that there might be anybody who could possibly know better than he does. We asked all the Governors to come to a meeting this morning to hear a presentation by a financial expert and a professor of educational ethics who specialises in mergers and takeovers The Governing body refused to attend, and these internationally known specialists were left waiting fruitlessly It just seems to me plain that the Governors did not want to hear any possibility at all that the school need not merge with Sedbergh. They are determined that it will carry on on its current road into oblivion. If this merger goes ahead then Casterton will really be no more. There will be no girls' school in Cumbria. There will be no school for our daughters. We will start off as a small arm of Sedbergh and eventually cease to exist at all. At this moment it does not need to go ahead. At this moment it could still be saved. Some of the best financial brains in the country are prepared to make it happen. But Colin Tomlinson, local estate agent, quite fancies merging with Sedbergh, and so no arguments or evidence are admissible. Sedbergh stands to benefit from the acquisition of Casterton's beautiful grounds, whose value Mr Tomlinson as an estate agent, will be well placed to assess.I am not surprised they are in no hurry to back down. But this is ruthless behaviour, and a far cry from the upstanding and moralistic reputation this fine old school enjoys. Fit your young men to govern, Sedbergh School: in a tradition of which you can be proud. Show some compassion and give Casterton a chance to find its own feet. Instead of which you have trained your biggest guns on any dissenting voice. Why do you want Casterton so badly, Sedbergh School, if it is the financial black hole we are being told it is? If it is such a liability don't take it. Let our financiers nurture it back to health. We can do it. Show us the paperwork. Give us figures. But please, please, before this is a done deal on Sunday night, give us a chance to stop it and look hard to see if we can mend things. sibbetson
  • Score: 0

3:12pm Fri 8 Mar 13

sibbetson says...

I will add this now. The Governors have just contacted us expressing their happiness to meet us after the deal has gone through but not before. They are very happy to hear the details of any proposals we can make to save the school after they have donated it to Sedbergh, but not before.

Colin Tomlinson, let me say this to you, now: I don't suppose you have got the smallest intention of resigning. But I don't suppose ever in your working life have so many people required of you that you do. Why are you so sure that you don't need to listen?
I will add this now. The Governors have just contacted us expressing their happiness to meet us after the deal has gone through but not before. They are very happy to hear the details of any proposals we can make to save the school after they have donated it to Sedbergh, but not before. Colin Tomlinson, let me say this to you, now: I don't suppose you have got the smallest intention of resigning. But I don't suppose ever in your working life have so many people required of you that you do. Why are you so sure that you don't need to listen? sibbetson
  • Score: 0

3:19pm Fri 8 Mar 13

PeterRogerson says...

mike21up wrote:
Just had a further thought to put into the equation. Since everything seems to be Sedbergh driven one would presume that the bulk of teachers made redundant would be at the Casterton end. Which school has historically produced the better exam results, which would suggest having the more capable staff??
I am told that both Casterton and Sedbergh Staff will be going through exactley the same selection criteria. If there is more than one person for the same post then they will have to fill in a form that gives them points, the person with the most points based on a large number of criteria will get the role. Where they currently work will have no bearing on this.
[quote][p][bold]mike21up[/bold] wrote: Just had a further thought to put into the equation. Since everything seems to be Sedbergh driven one would presume that the bulk of teachers made redundant would be at the Casterton end. Which school has historically produced the better exam results, which would suggest having the more capable staff??[/p][/quote]I am told that both Casterton and Sedbergh Staff will be going through exactley the same selection criteria. If there is more than one person for the same post then they will have to fill in a form that gives them points, the person with the most points based on a large number of criteria will get the role. Where they currently work will have no bearing on this. PeterRogerson
  • Score: 0

3:21pm Fri 8 Mar 13

stormin1 says...

Looks like a done deal-Casterton RIP. Sorry for those likely to loose their jobs. Will Casterton governors employ those unemployed?
Looks like a done deal-Casterton RIP. Sorry for those likely to loose their jobs. Will Casterton governors employ those unemployed? stormin1
  • Score: 0

3:27pm Fri 8 Mar 13

zaney5 says...

sibbetson wrote:
I will add this now. The Governors have just contacted us expressing their happiness to meet us after the deal has gone through but not before. They are very happy to hear the details of any proposals we can make to save the school after they have donated it to Sedbergh, but not before.

Colin Tomlinson, let me say this to you, now: I don't suppose you have got the smallest intention of resigning. But I don't suppose ever in your working life have so many people required of you that you do. Why are you so sure that you don't need to listen?
I have never met the man I can in all honestly say I never want to. His behaviour sounds to me a disgraceful example to be setting for any pupil at any school.

I shall hope from now on, at any school function he attends, that any Casterton girl left will heckle him to within an inch of his life.

He deserves it for destroying their world.
[quote][p][bold]sibbetson[/bold] wrote: I will add this now. The Governors have just contacted us expressing their happiness to meet us after the deal has gone through but not before. They are very happy to hear the details of any proposals we can make to save the school after they have donated it to Sedbergh, but not before. Colin Tomlinson, let me say this to you, now: I don't suppose you have got the smallest intention of resigning. But I don't suppose ever in your working life have so many people required of you that you do. Why are you so sure that you don't need to listen?[/p][/quote]I have never met the man I can in all honestly say I never want to. His behaviour sounds to me a disgraceful example to be setting for any pupil at any school. I shall hope from now on, at any school function he attends, that any Casterton girl left will heckle him to within an inch of his life. He deserves it for destroying their world. zaney5
  • Score: 0

3:30pm Fri 8 Mar 13

sibbetson says...

Casterton IS NOT RIP. It is not over until the fat lady sings and although the orchestra has tuned up and she has cleared her throat: she is not singing yet.

Please: parents, staff, don't give up. I know it looks terrifically bleak: but please please don't give up yet.
Casterton IS NOT RIP. It is not over until the fat lady sings and although the orchestra has tuned up and she has cleared her throat: she is not singing yet. Please: parents, staff, don't give up. I know it looks terrifically bleak: but please please don't give up yet. sibbetson
  • Score: 0

3:53pm Fri 8 Mar 13

cumbriabornandbred says...

I have just written a long post and lost it. I shall start again.

Last year, with 2 weeks before the end of them summer term, we were notified that our tiny (yet hugely successful) school was merging with another one. This caused untold grief and heartache to everyone concerned. We, as staff, were told we could well all be teaching at the new school and then being told at the end of the following term who had got the job - a sort of X Factor for teachers?! Ridiculous, and horrendous.

Our parents were horrified. The new school had better facilities, but they weren't interested in that. All of them, to a man, wanted assurance that the staff would remain with their children. Obviously this couldn't be given. I pray that you never have to talk to your form about how wonderful a merge is (whilst not meaning it), only to have a little girl say "but is it true we won't get to keep you?". That is how staff in both schools are feeling, and what they are going through. It is awful.

However, I also know that our concern, as the incoming staff, was that the Head who would be appointing us was already the head of the new school. He knew all the other staff. He knew how they got on with the children and we certainly felt that they had less to prove, even though our results spoke for themselves.

The bigger school stood to do very well from the sale of our site and was going to get all sorts of developments once they had got the money from the sale of our school.


In the end, the bigger school pulled out of the merge. We were notified that we had lost our jobs by email. Parents and staff pulled together to create a new school - they missed out by only a few pupils. And this is where I reach my point (apologies for the longwindedness getting here) - had we had notice, we would be been able to do something amazing. I am certain that there are enough people out there who, with time, could have saved Casterton. Come on, governors, give them that chance. Hold back on the merge for a little bit. Sedbergh, please, give them this opportunity to feel that they have tried to save the school they loved.

Facilities. Everyone mentions facilities. But facilities are the shiny gloss on a school; it's heart is the staff and the ethos. Yes facilities are great and make the staff's jobs easier and the school look prettier. But let's face it, Casterton's music dept is hardly the most stunning of buildings (sorry Mr C), yet the sounds that some out of it are sublime. The gym is hardly up to date, yet the sporting ability of some of the girls is impressive. Facilities don't make you good at something; but the teachers allow you to be the best you can be.
I'd love a wonderful new department (every teacher would I think) but, then I look at what my pupils achieve from a small room in a cold department, and I think to myself, actually, we'll stay like this. Sometimes you need to look beyond the facilities to see what makes a school special.

As for the being the best prep school in the North; I assume we mean best co-ed prep school in the North? Any prep school teacher will tell you that the one to beat is Aysgarth! However, they are all boys (thriving...) in the prep school.


At the end of the day, Sedbergh stand to gain a lot from this merge - more bums on seats and new buildings. Casterton parents stand to get new facilities. But they will lose the school that they chose to educate their daughters to 18. I can understand prep school parents being pleased because of numbers, however.

Should the merge go through on Sunday, it will be sad. But I think, if nothing else, it cannot be said that the Casterton Spirit does not live on in it's parents, pupils and staff, both past and present. I doff my cap to everyone who has tried to help in anyway that they could, and all I can say is that I am thinking about staff on both sides, and parents and pupils as they decide what is best for them to do.
I have just written a long post and lost it. I shall start again. Last year, with 2 weeks before the end of them summer term, we were notified that our tiny (yet hugely successful) school was merging with another one. This caused untold grief and heartache to everyone concerned. We, as staff, were told we could well all be teaching at the new school and then being told at the end of the following term who had got the job - a sort of X Factor for teachers?! Ridiculous, and horrendous. Our parents were horrified. The new school had better facilities, but they weren't interested in that. All of them, to a man, wanted assurance that the staff would remain with their children. Obviously this couldn't be given. I pray that you never have to talk to your form about how wonderful a merge is (whilst not meaning it), only to have a little girl say "but is it true we won't get to keep you?". That is how staff in both schools are feeling, and what they are going through. It is awful. However, I also know that our concern, as the incoming staff, was that the Head who would be appointing us was already the head of the new school. He knew all the other staff. He knew how they got on with the children and we certainly felt that they had less to prove, even though our results spoke for themselves. The bigger school stood to do very well from the sale of our site and was going to get all sorts of developments once they had got the money from the sale of our school. In the end, the bigger school pulled out of the merge. We were notified that we had lost our jobs by email. Parents and staff pulled together to create a new school - they missed out by only a few pupils. And this is where I reach my point (apologies for the longwindedness getting here) - had we had notice, we would be been able to do something amazing. I am certain that there are enough people out there who, with time, could have saved Casterton. Come on, governors, give them that chance. Hold back on the merge for a little bit. Sedbergh, please, give them this opportunity to feel that they have tried to save the school they loved. Facilities. Everyone mentions facilities. But facilities are the shiny gloss on a school; it's heart is the staff and the ethos. Yes facilities are great and make the staff's jobs easier and the school look prettier. But let's face it, Casterton's music dept is hardly the most stunning of buildings (sorry Mr C), yet the sounds that some out of it are sublime. The gym is hardly up to date, yet the sporting ability of some of the girls is impressive. Facilities don't make you good at something; but the teachers allow you to be the best you can be. I'd love a wonderful new department (every teacher would I think) but, then I look at what my pupils achieve from a small room in a cold department, and I think to myself, actually, we'll stay like this. Sometimes you need to look beyond the facilities to see what makes a school special. As for the being the best prep school in the North; I assume we mean best co-ed prep school in the North? Any prep school teacher will tell you that the one to beat is Aysgarth! However, they are all boys (thriving...) in the prep school. At the end of the day, Sedbergh stand to gain a lot from this merge - more bums on seats and new buildings. Casterton parents stand to get new facilities. But they will lose the school that they chose to educate their daughters to 18. I can understand prep school parents being pleased because of numbers, however. Should the merge go through on Sunday, it will be sad. But I think, if nothing else, it cannot be said that the Casterton Spirit does not live on in it's parents, pupils and staff, both past and present. I doff my cap to everyone who has tried to help in anyway that they could, and all I can say is that I am thinking about staff on both sides, and parents and pupils as they decide what is best for them to do. cumbriabornandbred
  • Score: 0

3:56pm Fri 8 Mar 13

PropMeUpWithTeabags says...

JillY8Parent wrote:
I chose Casterton for my daughter,not Sedbergh. Thank you Governors but I will decide what's best for my daughter not you. I'm going to the Windermere School open day tomorrow. Notice in the post.
Why not let your daughter decide? Don't worry I don't need a reply. Sorry let me rephrase that. I don't want a reply.
[quote][p][bold]JillY8Parent[/bold] wrote: I chose Casterton for my daughter,not Sedbergh. Thank you Governors but I will decide what's best for my daughter not you. I'm going to the Windermere School open day tomorrow. Notice in the post.[/p][/quote]Why not let your daughter decide? Don't worry I don't need a reply. Sorry let me rephrase that. I don't want a reply. PropMeUpWithTeabags
  • Score: 0

4:05pm Fri 8 Mar 13

Egg1985 says...

Most girls will pick Casterton-I can pretty much guarantee. A small merger almost happened whilst I was at Casterton, although I can't remember the ins and outs (I believe some of the sixth form lessons were to be combined eg Latin) everyone backlashed against it-funny enough it didn't happen then for the exact same reasons now, that the parents AND girls didn't want it.
Most girls will pick Casterton-I can pretty much guarantee. A small merger almost happened whilst I was at Casterton, although I can't remember the ins and outs (I believe some of the sixth form lessons were to be combined eg Latin) everyone backlashed against it-funny enough it didn't happen then for the exact same reasons now, that the parents AND girls didn't want it. Egg1985
  • Score: 0

4:07pm Fri 8 Mar 13

Observer21 says...

Your behaviour on this site is appalling. You are meant to be representing Casterton and you unleash all this rage. Casterton is still going to stay as Casterton and the junior school has been co- ed for years!
Your behaviour on this site is appalling. You are meant to be representing Casterton and you unleash all this rage. Casterton is still going to stay as Casterton and the junior school has been co- ed for years! Observer21
  • Score: 0

4:12pm Fri 8 Mar 13

sibbetson says...

I think maybe it isn't the supporters of Casterton who have unleashed rage. I think the rage was created by this horrible horrible sequence of events, and what is happening here is that people are expressing their rage. But we didn't create it.

In fact we would very much rather not be feeling it.
I think maybe it isn't the supporters of Casterton who have unleashed rage. I think the rage was created by this horrible horrible sequence of events, and what is happening here is that people are expressing their rage. But we didn't create it. In fact we would very much rather not be feeling it. sibbetson
  • Score: 0

4:14pm Fri 8 Mar 13

interestedparent says...

Observer21 wrote:
Your behaviour on this site is appalling. You are meant to be representing Casterton and you unleash all this rage. Casterton is still going to stay as Casterton and the junior school has been co- ed for years!
You are wrong. Casterton is NOT going to stay as Casterton. Every shred of Casterton will disappear, apart from the buildings. We are all happy with a co-ed prep school, but we chose a girls school for our older girls. I believe the governors are simply corrupt!
[quote][p][bold]Observer21[/bold] wrote: Your behaviour on this site is appalling. You are meant to be representing Casterton and you unleash all this rage. Casterton is still going to stay as Casterton and the junior school has been co- ed for years![/p][/quote]You are wrong. Casterton is NOT going to stay as Casterton. Every shred of Casterton will disappear, apart from the buildings. We are all happy with a co-ed prep school, but we chose a girls school for our older girls. I believe the governors are simply corrupt! interestedparent
  • Score: 0

4:18pm Fri 8 Mar 13

sibbetson says...

Dear Cumbriabornandbred, it's a really nice post, thank you.
Dear Cumbriabornandbred, it's a really nice post, thank you. sibbetson
  • Score: 0

5:40pm Fri 8 Mar 13

interestedparent says...

"Our lawyers have requested details of the basis upon which such action is being threatened but have, to date, received no details."
This is categorically untrue! Tomlinson released this yesterday morning. His lawyers knew before close of play on Wednesday that the parents had withdrawn their action. Something else he can't quite tell the truth about!
"Our lawyers have requested details of the basis upon which such action is being threatened but have, to date, received no details." This is categorically untrue! Tomlinson released this yesterday morning. His lawyers knew before close of play on Wednesday that the parents had withdrawn their action. Something else he can't quite tell the truth about! interestedparent
  • Score: 0

6:37pm Fri 8 Mar 13

zaney5 says...

Observer21 wrote:
Your behaviour on this site is appalling. You are meant to be representing Casterton and you unleash all this rage. Casterton is still going to stay as Casterton and the junior school has been co- ed for years!
The one person who is supposed to be representing Casterton is the very one that has caused it the most damage.

I believe we all know who THAT is.
[quote][p][bold]Observer21[/bold] wrote: Your behaviour on this site is appalling. You are meant to be representing Casterton and you unleash all this rage. Casterton is still going to stay as Casterton and the junior school has been co- ed for years![/p][/quote]The one person who is supposed to be representing Casterton is the very one that has caused it the most damage. I believe we all know who THAT is. zaney5
  • Score: 0

7:23pm Fri 8 Mar 13

ruthiek says...

As a former Casterton pupil, I am truly saddened by this takeover and very much hope it's not too late to prevent Mr. Tomlinson and the rest of the governors from going ahead with their ill-conceived plans. Despite their insistence that it is in the best interests for Casterton pupils and parents, surely the overwhelming anger directed towards the governors proves that it is not.

If the governors have any sense, they will prevent this takeover immediately. A simple comparison of exam results will show the Casterton is without doubt the more superior of the schools and combining it with a less (albeit still capable) academically successful school is a step in the wrong direction.

I am ashamed of how the governors have handled the entire process and am not surprised in the least the Mr Tomlinson has ensured he at least will still have a job after the takeover. As for the exceptional teachers at Casterton, the future is less certain.

Whatever happens, I will always have extremely fond memories of my time at Casterton and will continue to hope that future generations of young girls will be able to experience the same enjoyment without the threat of an ill-advised, poorly timed and ridiculously short-sighted takeover on the horizon.
As a former Casterton pupil, I am truly saddened by this takeover and very much hope it's not too late to prevent Mr. Tomlinson and the rest of the governors from going ahead with their ill-conceived plans. Despite their insistence that it is in the best interests for Casterton pupils and parents, surely the overwhelming anger directed towards the governors proves that it is not. If the governors have any sense, they will prevent this takeover immediately. A simple comparison of exam results will show the Casterton is without doubt the more superior of the schools and combining it with a less (albeit still capable) academically successful school is a step in the wrong direction. I am ashamed of how the governors have handled the entire process and am not surprised in the least the Mr Tomlinson has ensured he at least will still have a job after the takeover. As for the exceptional teachers at Casterton, the future is less certain. Whatever happens, I will always have extremely fond memories of my time at Casterton and will continue to hope that future generations of young girls will be able to experience the same enjoyment without the threat of an ill-advised, poorly timed and ridiculously short-sighted takeover on the horizon. ruthiek
  • Score: 0

8:05pm Fri 8 Mar 13

oldgirl83 says...

As an Old Girl I have followed every comment relating to this merger/takeover and am overwhelmed by the support that Casterton has received. It has been the best marketing that this school has had in years. The sheer eloquence of the previous comments by other old girls is testimony to the education which the school provides and it is wholly saddening that the environment which has enabled old girls to go forth and excel is being extinguished. The comments aimed at Colin Tomlinson as Chairman of the Governors have been highly emotionally charged and at times vindictive, however he is the one that has the power to stop this merger and take a stand. His wife went to Casterton and they took the decision to send their two daughters there- not Sedbergh, for a reason. It is time for him to stop being strong armed by the so called powers that be (and the might of Sedbergh), stick his head up above the parapet and stand up for what he was elected to represent. I appeal to Mr Tomlinson, as I know that either he, his wife or two daughters will be reading this, to take a step back and look at the sheer support that Casterton as a single sex school garners. There is still a market for this school and it’s more than worth fighting for…let alone listening to the proposals.

COR UNUM VIA UNA
As an Old Girl I have followed every comment relating to this merger/takeover and am overwhelmed by the support that Casterton has received. It has been the best marketing that this school has had in years. The sheer eloquence of the previous comments by other old girls is testimony to the education which the school provides and it is wholly saddening that the environment which has enabled old girls to go forth and excel is being extinguished. The comments aimed at Colin Tomlinson as Chairman of the Governors have been highly emotionally charged and at times vindictive, however he is the one that has the power to stop this merger and take a stand. His wife went to Casterton and they took the decision to send their two daughters there- not Sedbergh, for a reason. It is time for him to stop being strong armed by the so called powers that be (and the might of Sedbergh), stick his head up above the parapet and stand up for what he was elected to represent. I appeal to Mr Tomlinson, as I know that either he, his wife or two daughters will be reading this, to take a step back and look at the sheer support that Casterton as a single sex school garners. There is still a market for this school and it’s more than worth fighting for…let alone listening to the proposals. COR UNUM VIA UNA oldgirl83
  • Score: 0

9:51am Sat 9 Mar 13

Tiffany22 says...

Old girl 83, I agree. Mr Tomlinsons wife and daughters attended Casterton, why oh why can't they make him see sense.
Old girl 83, I agree. Mr Tomlinsons wife and daughters attended Casterton, why oh why can't they make him see sense. Tiffany22
  • Score: 0

10:29am Sat 9 Mar 13

sibbetson says...

Absolutely there is a market for the school: and for some reason it seems to have been completely ignored lately. Why is Mr Tomlinson so silent? Why is he not out there shouting from the rooftops for somebody to come and help him save the school? Why, in fact, are all the Governors refusing to respond? Why aren't they the ones fighting hard to put a rescue package together?

It has cost us money to chase them through the law. We could have put that money into the school. We could have put a great deal of effort into the school instead of fighting against its governing body.

Please, it still isn't too late. You have got until midnight on Sunday. Please halt this. The rescue package is available online. Please don't merge with Sedbergh.

There are still two days left. There is time for a change of heart.
Absolutely there is a market for the school: and for some reason it seems to have been completely ignored lately. Why is Mr Tomlinson so silent? Why is he not out there shouting from the rooftops for somebody to come and help him save the school? Why, in fact, are all the Governors refusing to respond? Why aren't they the ones fighting hard to put a rescue package together? It has cost us money to chase them through the law. We could have put that money into the school. We could have put a great deal of effort into the school instead of fighting against its governing body. Please, it still isn't too late. You have got until midnight on Sunday. Please halt this. The rescue package is available online. Please don't merge with Sedbergh. There are still two days left. There is time for a change of heart. sibbetson
  • Score: 0

11:08am Sat 9 Mar 13

Brionny says...

Thegreenman2013 wrote:
Overseas Parent has the figures bang on.

When Sedbergh DO sell off Casterton in the future,I'm sure Colin Tomlinson's Estate agency will be there to pocket the profits.
Do you have valid proof that the estate agents will profit?
If not i suggest posting speculative,hugely irrelevant misleading quotes on the comments is not appropriate. And I am appalled that vindictive people such as yourself are happy to create malicious rumours without 100% accuracy.
[quote][p][bold]Thegreenman2013[/bold] wrote: Overseas Parent has the figures bang on. When Sedbergh DO sell off Casterton in the future,I'm sure Colin Tomlinson's Estate agency will be there to pocket the profits.[/p][/quote]Do you have valid proof that the estate agents will profit? If not i suggest posting speculative,hugely irrelevant misleading quotes on the comments is not appropriate. And I am appalled that vindictive people such as yourself are happy to create malicious rumours without 100% accuracy. Brionny
  • Score: 0

11:22am Sat 9 Mar 13

Prep school parent says...

Nothing is immune from the economic climate, you need only look at the big names that have gone down with the recession. It seems to me that any challenges on stopping this merger will merely delay the inevitable at which point there may be no business model to salvage. Time to embrace the change. Positive parents.......positi
ve children.

There is nothing more certain in life than change.
Nothing is immune from the economic climate, you need only look at the big names that have gone down with the recession. It seems to me that any challenges on stopping this merger will merely delay the inevitable at which point there may be no business model to salvage. Time to embrace the change. Positive parents.......positi ve children. There is nothing more certain in life than change. Prep school parent
  • Score: 0

12:16pm Sat 9 Mar 13

sibbetson says...

To Briony and Greenman: it's speculation, isn't it? The problem with silence and lack of transparency is that people begin to question your motives. If Mr Tomlinson was being open and willing to discuss the whole thing then nobody would be wondering what was going on and he might even have quite a bit of sympathy.

Unsurprisingly, when he is refusing to discuss, to explain, or to consider alternatives, when he won't even give us the minutes from the meetings at which the merger was decided, people start to wonder why. Secrecy invites suspicion.

It is not vindictive to suspect that something underhand is going on, it is reasonable caution under the circumstances.

Only time will tell whether or not CL Hodgson's estate agency will profit from Mr Tomlinson's activity, let us hope we don't all forget to watch and find out.
To Briony and Greenman: it's speculation, isn't it? The problem with silence and lack of transparency is that people begin to question your motives. If Mr Tomlinson was being open and willing to discuss the whole thing then nobody would be wondering what was going on and he might even have quite a bit of sympathy. Unsurprisingly, when he is refusing to discuss, to explain, or to consider alternatives, when he won't even give us the minutes from the meetings at which the merger was decided, people start to wonder why. Secrecy invites suspicion. It is not vindictive to suspect that something underhand is going on, it is reasonable caution under the circumstances. Only time will tell whether or not CL Hodgson's estate agency will profit from Mr Tomlinson's activity, let us hope we don't all forget to watch and find out. sibbetson
  • Score: 0

12:51pm Sat 9 Mar 13

hongkongparent says...

Mr Tomlinson and all governors, where are you now?

Do you remember what are your roles as a governor?

What make you scare to meet parents to listen to the alternatives to save the school? Just listening! No show without reasons! Why????

Mr Tomlinson, your reply to suggest to meet the patents after the done deal date clearly demonstrate you have no confidence your so-called 'merger' plan can standing front of parents and girls!

Are we playing "hide-and-seek" like kids? Poor!
Mr Tomlinson and all governors, where are you now? Do you remember what are your roles as a governor? What make you scare to meet parents to listen to the alternatives to save the school? Just listening! No show without reasons! Why???? Mr Tomlinson, your reply to suggest to meet the patents after the done deal date clearly demonstrate you have no confidence your so-called 'merger' plan can standing front of parents and girls! Are we playing "hide-and-seek" like kids? Poor! hongkongparent
  • Score: 0

5:49pm Sat 9 Mar 13

JBean2 says...

As an observer with no connection to either school, I am appalled by some of the comments above.

Tiffany22 says,
"Old girl 83, I agree. Mr Tomlinsons wife and daughters attended Casterton, why oh why can't they make him see sense."

Are you serious? So you think a governor should just ask his family what they think before making a decision. And all this emotive language aimed at Mr Tomlinson is disgraceful.
Those who worship at the feet of private education and the free market somehow don't seem to understand the consequences. It has bitten you back, oh dear.
As an observer with no connection to either school, I am appalled by some of the comments above. Tiffany22 says, "Old girl 83, I agree. Mr Tomlinsons wife and daughters attended Casterton, why oh why can't they make him see sense." Are you serious? So you think a governor should just ask his family what they think before making a decision. And all this emotive language aimed at Mr Tomlinson is disgraceful. Those who worship at the feet of private education and the free market somehow don't seem to understand the consequences. It has bitten you back, oh dear. JBean2
  • Score: 0

6:03pm Sat 9 Mar 13

mike21up says...

JBean2 wrote:
As an observer with no connection to either school, I am appalled by some of the comments above.

Tiffany22 says,
"Old girl 83, I agree. Mr Tomlinsons wife and daughters attended Casterton, why oh why can't they make him see sense."

Are you serious? So you think a governor should just ask his family what they think before making a decision. And all this emotive language aimed at Mr Tomlinson is disgraceful.
Those who worship at the feet of private education and the free market somehow don't seem to understand the consequences. It has bitten you back, oh dear.
Appalled by some of the comments above?? There are many, many things to be appalled about in this sorry affair, from the disgraceful manner in which the Casterton governors have arrived at, communicated their decision to the pupils and parents, and then their subsequent refusal to listen to their views, but i hardly think that a few people being emotive is hardly appalling given the circumstances which prevail at the moment. Mr T deserves all the flack he is getting, although i am at a loss as to why his fellow governors aren't being given the same. Perhaps Tiffany feels that his wife and daughters may have an emotional attachment to a school where i am sure they like many others will remember for happier times.
[quote][p][bold]JBean2[/bold] wrote: As an observer with no connection to either school, I am appalled by some of the comments above. Tiffany22 says, "Old girl 83, I agree. Mr Tomlinsons wife and daughters attended Casterton, why oh why can't they make him see sense." Are you serious? So you think a governor should just ask his family what they think before making a decision. And all this emotive language aimed at Mr Tomlinson is disgraceful. Those who worship at the feet of private education and the free market somehow don't seem to understand the consequences. It has bitten you back, oh dear.[/p][/quote]Appalled by some of the comments above?? There are many, many things to be appalled about in this sorry affair, from the disgraceful manner in which the Casterton governors have arrived at, communicated their decision to the pupils and parents, and then their subsequent refusal to listen to their views, but i hardly think that a few people being emotive is hardly appalling given the circumstances which prevail at the moment. Mr T deserves all the flack he is getting, although i am at a loss as to why his fellow governors aren't being given the same. Perhaps Tiffany feels that his wife and daughters may have an emotional attachment to a school where i am sure they like many others will remember for happier times. mike21up
  • Score: 0

6:04pm Sat 9 Mar 13

mike21up says...

JBean2 wrote:
As an observer with no connection to either school, I am appalled by some of the comments above.

Tiffany22 says,
"Old girl 83, I agree. Mr Tomlinsons wife and daughters attended Casterton, why oh why can't they make him see sense."

Are you serious? So you think a governor should just ask his family what they think before making a decision. And all this emotive language aimed at Mr Tomlinson is disgraceful.
Those who worship at the feet of private education and the free market somehow don't seem to understand the consequences. It has bitten you back, oh dear.
Appalled by some of the comments above?? There are many, many things to be appalled about in this sorry affair, from the disgraceful manner in which the Casterton governors have arrived at, communicated their decision to the pupils and parents, and then their subsequent refusal to listen to their views, but i hardly think that a few people being emotive is hardly appalling given the circumstances which prevail at the moment. Mr T deserves all the flack he is getting, although i am at a loss as to why his fellow governors aren't being given the same. Perhaps Tiffany feels that his wife and daughters may have an emotional attachment to a school where i am sure they like many others will remember for happier times.
[quote][p][bold]JBean2[/bold] wrote: As an observer with no connection to either school, I am appalled by some of the comments above. Tiffany22 says, "Old girl 83, I agree. Mr Tomlinsons wife and daughters attended Casterton, why oh why can't they make him see sense." Are you serious? So you think a governor should just ask his family what they think before making a decision. And all this emotive language aimed at Mr Tomlinson is disgraceful. Those who worship at the feet of private education and the free market somehow don't seem to understand the consequences. It has bitten you back, oh dear.[/p][/quote]Appalled by some of the comments above?? There are many, many things to be appalled about in this sorry affair, from the disgraceful manner in which the Casterton governors have arrived at, communicated their decision to the pupils and parents, and then their subsequent refusal to listen to their views, but i hardly think that a few people being emotive is hardly appalling given the circumstances which prevail at the moment. Mr T deserves all the flack he is getting, although i am at a loss as to why his fellow governors aren't being given the same. Perhaps Tiffany feels that his wife and daughters may have an emotional attachment to a school where i am sure they like many others will remember for happier times. mike21up
  • Score: 0

6:11pm Sat 9 Mar 13

zaney5 says...

JBean2 wrote:
As an observer with no connection to either school, I am appalled by some of the comments above.

Tiffany22 says,
"Old girl 83, I agree. Mr Tomlinsons wife and daughters attended Casterton, why oh why can't they make him see sense."

Are you serious? So you think a governor should just ask his family what they think before making a decision. And all this emotive language aimed at Mr Tomlinson is disgraceful.
Those who worship at the feet of private education and the free market somehow don't seem to understand the consequences. It has bitten you back, oh dear.
The way Mr Tomlinson has behaved is disgraceful.
[quote][p][bold]JBean2[/bold] wrote: As an observer with no connection to either school, I am appalled by some of the comments above. Tiffany22 says, "Old girl 83, I agree. Mr Tomlinsons wife and daughters attended Casterton, why oh why can't they make him see sense." Are you serious? So you think a governor should just ask his family what they think before making a decision. And all this emotive language aimed at Mr Tomlinson is disgraceful. Those who worship at the feet of private education and the free market somehow don't seem to understand the consequences. It has bitten you back, oh dear.[/p][/quote]The way Mr Tomlinson has behaved is disgraceful. zaney5
  • Score: 0

6:39pm Sat 9 Mar 13

PeterMThornber says...

+JBean2
As an OG I, too, am an impartial observer.

''appalled''
''emotive'''
''disgraceful''
''Are you serious?''
''Those who worship at the feet of private education and the free market somehow don't seem to understand the consequences. It has bitten you back, oh dear.”
All this, too, is strong language and, indeed, emotive where it is not ironic.

I'm sure Tiffany is serious, and it does nobody any service to question this.

I would have thought that, with his Castertonian household and family, Mr. Tomlinson would be ideally placed to receive ''customer feedback''.

If it is not his actual duty to consult the Casterton community ~ pupils, staff and OCs (including former staff) and to canvass and receive feedback, it is, given his Casterton ''them indoors'', his advantage. Thus he would be more fully informed and better placed to make an ''informed decision''.

Maybe he has widely consulted. In any case I think the principle of ''informed decision'' needed spelling out.
+JBean2 As an OG I, too, am an impartial observer. ''appalled'' ''emotive''' ''disgraceful'' ''Are you serious?'' ''Those who worship at the feet of private education and the free market somehow don't seem to understand the consequences. It has bitten you back, oh dear.” All this, too, is strong language and, indeed, emotive where it is not ironic. I'm sure Tiffany is serious, and it does nobody any service to question this. I would have thought that, with his Castertonian household and family, Mr. Tomlinson would be ideally placed to receive ''customer feedback''. If it is not his actual duty to consult the Casterton community ~ pupils, staff and OCs (including former staff) and to canvass and receive feedback, it is, given his Casterton ''them indoors'', his advantage. Thus he would be more fully informed and better placed to make an ''informed decision''. Maybe he has widely consulted. In any case I think the principle of ''informed decision'' needed spelling out. PeterMThornber
  • Score: 0

7:05pm Sat 9 Mar 13

sibbetson says...

If Mr Tomlinson were in a state school then he would have a legal obligation to consult because the powers that be consider it an important part of the decision making process.

This is good practice but because it is a private school the Governors are not obliged to follow best practice guidelines, and Casterton's guidelines were laid down by Victorian clerics.

The current Governing body seems to have taken advantage of that situation. Anybody who has listened to the recording of the meeting last week will know that he did not consult anybody. He explained this himself, telling parents it was because he had no legal obligation to do so.

Perhaps a different sort of individual would have considered it their responsibility to follow best practice, not just what they could get away with.

A responsible governor might well even have considered that it was their responsibility to include good practice guidelines in their own constitution.

If you are to make in informed decision you need to draw your information from a variety of sources, including, in the case of school governors, parents. Otherwise you are very much at the mercy of individuals who stand to gain a very great deal from your capitulation.

Pause it for a few days, Mr Tomlinson, and we will support you to the absolute hilt in finding an alternative. You could go down in history as the governor who steered Casterton to safety, not as the one who wiped it out.
If Mr Tomlinson were in a state school then he would have a legal obligation to consult because the powers that be consider it an important part of the decision making process. This is good practice but because it is a private school the Governors are not obliged to follow best practice guidelines, and Casterton's guidelines were laid down by Victorian clerics. The current Governing body seems to have taken advantage of that situation. Anybody who has listened to the recording of the meeting last week will know that he did not consult anybody. He explained this himself, telling parents it was because he had no legal obligation to do so. Perhaps a different sort of individual would have considered it their responsibility to follow best practice, not just what they could get away with. A responsible governor might well even have considered that it was their responsibility to include good practice guidelines in their own constitution. If you are to make in informed decision you need to draw your information from a variety of sources, including, in the case of school governors, parents. Otherwise you are very much at the mercy of individuals who stand to gain a very great deal from your capitulation. Pause it for a few days, Mr Tomlinson, and we will support you to the absolute hilt in finding an alternative. You could go down in history as the governor who steered Casterton to safety, not as the one who wiped it out. sibbetson
  • Score: 0

7:24pm Sat 9 Mar 13

sibbetson says...

Whilst we are considering how things could have been done better, let us not forget Sedbergh does not have a blameless history when it comes to misdeeds done to parents. We all know by now what happened to Bentham school which had the misfortune to merge with Casterton some years ago (broken up and sold for property development), but who remembers the 2005 scandal?

In 2005 Sedbergh was one of several big public schools prosecuted for being part of a price fixing cartel, its aims being to make sure parents seeking this type of education for their children paid the maximum price possible.

Hardly reassuring, is it, potential Sedbergh parents? Be very careful. They are presenting themselves as being benevolent and supportive now: but there can be such a thing as a wolf in sheep's clothing.
Whilst we are considering how things could have been done better, let us not forget Sedbergh does not have a blameless history when it comes to misdeeds done to parents. We all know by now what happened to Bentham school which had the misfortune to merge with Casterton some years ago (broken up and sold for property development), but who remembers the 2005 scandal? In 2005 Sedbergh was one of several big public schools prosecuted for being part of a price fixing cartel, its aims being to make sure parents seeking this type of education for their children paid the maximum price possible. Hardly reassuring, is it, potential Sedbergh parents? Be very careful. They are presenting themselves as being benevolent and supportive now: but there can be such a thing as a wolf in sheep's clothing. sibbetson
  • Score: 0

7:27pm Sat 9 Mar 13

sibbetson says...

Sorry...Bentham merged with Sedbergh not Casterton...should read: had the
misfortune to merge with Sedbergh.
Sorry...Bentham merged with Sedbergh not Casterton...should read: had the misfortune to merge with Sedbergh. sibbetson
  • Score: 0

7:36pm Sat 9 Mar 13

PeterMThornber says...

+
PeterMThornber wrote:

+JBean2 As an OG I, too, am an impartial observer.

''appalled''
''emotive'''
''disgraceful''
''Are you serious?''
''Those who worship at the feet of private education and the free market somehow don't seem to understand the consequences. It has bitten you back, oh dear.”

All this, too, is strong language and, indeed, emotive where it is not ironic. I'm sure Tiffany is serious, and it does nobody any service to question this. I would have thought that, with his Castertonian household and family, Mr. Tomlinson would be ideally placed to receive ''customer feedback''.

If it is not his actual duty to consult the Casterton community ~ pupils, staff and OCs (including former staff) ~ and to canvass and receive feedback, it is, given his Casterton ''them indoors'', his advantage. Thus he would be more fully informed and better placed to make an ''informed decision''.

Maybe he has widely consulted. In any case I think the principle of ''informed decision'' needed spelling out.
+ PeterMThornber wrote: +JBean2 As an OG I, too, am an impartial observer. ''appalled'' ''emotive''' ''disgraceful'' ''Are you serious?'' ''Those who worship at the feet of private education and the free market somehow don't seem to understand the consequences. It has bitten you back, oh dear.” All this, too, is strong language and, indeed, emotive where it is not ironic. I'm sure Tiffany is serious, and it does nobody any service to question this. I would have thought that, with his Castertonian household and family, Mr. Tomlinson would be ideally placed to receive ''customer feedback''. If it is not his actual duty to consult the Casterton community ~ pupils, staff and OCs (including former staff) ~ and to canvass and receive feedback, it is, given his Casterton ''them indoors'', his advantage. Thus he would be more fully informed and better placed to make an ''informed decision''. Maybe he has widely consulted. In any case I think the principle of ''informed decision'' needed spelling out. PeterMThornber
  • Score: 0

7:53pm Sat 9 Mar 13

JBean2 says...

zaney5 wrote:
JBean2 wrote:
As an observer with no connection to either school, I am appalled by some of the comments above.

Tiffany22 says,
"Old girl 83, I agree. Mr Tomlinsons wife and daughters attended Casterton, why oh why can't they make him see sense."

Are you serious? So you think a governor should just ask his family what they think before making a decision. And all this emotive language aimed at Mr Tomlinson is disgraceful.
Those who worship at the feet of private education and the free market somehow don't seem to understand the consequences. It has bitten you back, oh dear.
The way Mr Tomlinson has behaved is disgraceful.
sibbetson says;

"If Mr Tomlinson were in a state school then he would have a legal obligation to consult because the powers that be consider it an important part of the decision making process.

This is good practice but because it is a private school the Governors are not obliged to follow best practice guidelines, and Casterton's guidelines were laid down by Victorian clerics."

This then must be one of the reasons why state schools are a much better choice. The parents commenting here seem to have cared little about the roles and responsibilities of the school's governors before this happened. Even to the point of not knowing who all the governors were.
I know that in state schools, governors give freely of their time, often many hours of hard work, because they wish to serve the community. Is this not true in independent schools? Also minutes of all governor's meetings in state schools are made public.

The system that has allowed parents to buy what they see as a better education for their child will only work if there are enough parents available to finance the luxury of all those lovely old buildings and playing fields in such an idyllic setting. Parents with girls at Casterton now, are obviously and understandably thinking of the next few years whilst their own children will be there. But others have to look to the long term future and maybe without the merger Casterton would just close down and not be a school at all.
[quote][p][bold]zaney5[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]JBean2[/bold] wrote: As an observer with no connection to either school, I am appalled by some of the comments above. Tiffany22 says, "Old girl 83, I agree. Mr Tomlinsons wife and daughters attended Casterton, why oh why can't they make him see sense." Are you serious? So you think a governor should just ask his family what they think before making a decision. And all this emotive language aimed at Mr Tomlinson is disgraceful. Those who worship at the feet of private education and the free market somehow don't seem to understand the consequences. It has bitten you back, oh dear.[/p][/quote]The way Mr Tomlinson has behaved is disgraceful.[/p][/quote]sibbetson says; "If Mr Tomlinson were in a state school then he would have a legal obligation to consult because the powers that be consider it an important part of the decision making process. This is good practice but because it is a private school the Governors are not obliged to follow best practice guidelines, and Casterton's guidelines were laid down by Victorian clerics." This then must be one of the reasons why state schools are a much better choice. The parents commenting here seem to have cared little about the roles and responsibilities of the school's governors before this happened. Even to the point of not knowing who all the governors were. I know that in state schools, governors give freely of their time, often many hours of hard work, because they wish to serve the community. Is this not true in independent schools? Also minutes of all governor's meetings in state schools are made public. The system that has allowed parents to buy what they see as a better education for their child will only work if there are enough parents available to finance the luxury of all those lovely old buildings and playing fields in such an idyllic setting. Parents with girls at Casterton now, are obviously and understandably thinking of the next few years whilst their own children will be there. But others have to look to the long term future and maybe without the merger Casterton would just close down and not be a school at all. JBean2
  • Score: 0

9:22pm Sat 9 Mar 13

Eco Pods says...

I believe most of us will agree ‘Casterton School’ is this place Mr Tomlinson has governed, which is the place we all wish the best for, this is a compliment to the governors of ‘Casterton School’.
The Bronte history needs to be allowed to continue albeit with new vision. I would ask Mr Tomlinson to give visionaries the chance to save ‘Casterton School’ as an individual school. It is for this single reason ‘Casterton School’ has to become a destination; boarding houses will need to be filled out of term time with residential academies.
There are a lot of under used premises within the prep school alone, this in the short term could be consolidated into a more streamline facility, leaving the ability to realise equity to raise around £1.5m from real estate. This single motion would remove the urgency of a merger, allowing a school with vision to change it course.
Diverse means of income could be sort, such as a Biomass district heating system installed from raised capital; this principal alone, under the present government pay back scheme would earn the school around £140k p.a for 20 years, with heating and hot water bills for the school reduced to zero.
New facilities could be introduced with capital to attract new children. A new facility with architectural merit is absolute free publicity; I designed and constructed the ‘Windermere School’ Pod Classroom project, this brought a great deal of attention to the school and along with other measures has proven to increase pupil numbers. http://www.dezeen.co
m/2009/11/10/forest-
school-by-robert-gau
kroger/
‘Casterton School’ doesn’t need to become a cartelist for Sedbergh; with the right input the school can retain its own status, something the Chairman of the board of Governors should allow by employing the principals of his own professional code of conduct of the RICS:- • Proportionality • Accountability • Consistency • Targeting and Transparency.
I believe most of us will agree ‘Casterton School’ is this place Mr Tomlinson has governed, which is the place we all wish the best for, this is a compliment to the governors of ‘Casterton School’. The Bronte history needs to be allowed to continue albeit with new vision. I would ask Mr Tomlinson to give visionaries the chance to save ‘Casterton School’ as an individual school. It is for this single reason ‘Casterton School’ has to become a destination; boarding houses will need to be filled out of term time with residential academies. There are a lot of under used premises within the prep school alone, this in the short term could be consolidated into a more streamline facility, leaving the ability to realise equity to raise around £1.5m from real estate. This single motion would remove the urgency of a merger, allowing a school with vision to change it course. Diverse means of income could be sort, such as a Biomass district heating system installed from raised capital; this principal alone, under the present government pay back scheme would earn the school around £140k p.a for 20 years, with heating and hot water bills for the school reduced to zero. New facilities could be introduced with capital to attract new children. A new facility with architectural merit is absolute free publicity; I designed and constructed the ‘Windermere School’ Pod Classroom project, this brought a great deal of attention to the school and along with other measures has proven to increase pupil numbers. http://www.dezeen.co m/2009/11/10/forest- school-by-robert-gau kroger/ ‘Casterton School’ doesn’t need to become a cartelist for Sedbergh; with the right input the school can retain its own status, something the Chairman of the board of Governors should allow by employing the principals of his own professional code of conduct of the RICS:- • Proportionality • Accountability • Consistency • Targeting and Transparency. Eco Pods
  • Score: 0

9:58am Sun 10 Mar 13

zaney5 says...

The governors have had rescue plans handed to them on a plate and STILL they refuse to listen to reason.

Who is really benefiting from this transaction? Makes you wonder.....
The governors have had rescue plans handed to them on a plate and STILL they refuse to listen to reason. Who is really benefiting from this transaction? Makes you wonder..... zaney5
  • Score: 0

10:24am Sun 10 Mar 13

hongkongparent says...

Diffrrent ways to rescue the school are proposed just a few ways. Clearly if if they are willing to discuss (don't use the term "consult"), I believe the most viable option could be concluded and accepted by most of the people concerned.

They hold the 'power' for running a charity, but not a private business, RIGHT?

Who earn the best interests in this move?
Diffrrent ways to rescue the school are proposed just a few ways. Clearly if if they are willing to discuss (don't use the term "consult"), I believe the most viable option could be concluded and accepted by most of the people concerned. They hold the 'power' for running a charity, but not a private business, RIGHT? Who earn the best interests in this move? hongkongparent
  • Score: 0

11:27am Sun 10 Mar 13

Munrobagger says...

I have every sympathy for Casterton parents for the way in which "the solution" has been imposed on them in an extremely arrogant and high-handed way.

Whilst, it may be legally possible for the governors to act in this way, is it really advisable? Somebody seems to have overlooked the importance of winning hearts and minds. On the not unreasonable assumption that the governers are intelligent people, then it suggests an ulterior motive. For this union to work the governors cannot afford for there to be lingering suspicion and ill-feeling. It threatens to undermine their publicly-stated aims.

Sadly, some form of rationalisation is inevitable in these difficult times. The reality is that the domestic market for expensive private education is bound to shrink, which is why public schools are increasingly courting overseas students. Without them the future is a bit bleak.

Public schools have traditionally drawn heavily on military and diplomatic families for its intake, largely because they have been the only ones who can afford it, what with the massive subsidies they get from the taxpayer - for senior officers and diplomats this can be as much as 90% of fees being paid for them.

However, now that the halcyon days of a far flung empire are long gone and the UK economy struggles to compete with the BRIC economies, the armed forces and FCO are not only having to reduce their overseas presence, but are also facing demands for a cutback in perks. The latest attempt to reduce the fee subsidy was defeated in 2011 but it won't be long before its back on the agenda. The next generation of young professionals will have greater priorities than the luxury of private schooling.

Overseas intake will really only benefit the 13-18 category, so its hard to see where Casterton will be getting its prep school intake from in a few years.

Don't be surprised if Casterton goes the way of Bentham insay 4-5 years time.
I have every sympathy for Casterton parents for the way in which "the solution" has been imposed on them in an extremely arrogant and high-handed way. Whilst, it may be legally possible for the governors to act in this way, is it really advisable? Somebody seems to have overlooked the importance of winning hearts and minds. On the not unreasonable assumption that the governers are intelligent people, then it suggests an ulterior motive. For this union to work the governors cannot afford for there to be lingering suspicion and ill-feeling. It threatens to undermine their publicly-stated aims. Sadly, some form of rationalisation is inevitable in these difficult times. The reality is that the domestic market for expensive private education is bound to shrink, which is why public schools are increasingly courting overseas students. Without them the future is a bit bleak. Public schools have traditionally drawn heavily on military and diplomatic families for its intake, largely because they have been the only ones who can afford it, what with the massive subsidies they get from the taxpayer - for senior officers and diplomats this can be as much as 90% of fees being paid for them. However, now that the halcyon days of a far flung empire are long gone and the UK economy struggles to compete with the BRIC economies, the armed forces and FCO are not only having to reduce their overseas presence, but are also facing demands for a cutback in perks. The latest attempt to reduce the fee subsidy was defeated in 2011 but it won't be long before its back on the agenda. The next generation of young professionals will have greater priorities than the luxury of private schooling. Overseas intake will really only benefit the 13-18 category, so its hard to see where Casterton will be getting its prep school intake from in a few years. Don't be surprised if Casterton goes the way of Bentham insay 4-5 years time. Munrobagger
  • Score: 0

2:30pm Sun 10 Mar 13

PeterRogerson says...

And so it continues, most of these comments are so over the top it makes me laugh. Your children are lucky to have the opportunity to be educated at Sedbergh, but to be honest Sedbergh would be better off without you all. The Open Day yesterday I am told was a roaring success, so for those of you who can't see the wood for the trees, I suggest you find a different second rate school for your daughters, Sedbergh can well do without you.
And so it continues, most of these comments are so over the top it makes me laugh. Your children are lucky to have the opportunity to be educated at Sedbergh, but to be honest Sedbergh would be better off without you all. The Open Day yesterday I am told was a roaring success, so for those of you who can't see the wood for the trees, I suggest you find a different second rate school for your daughters, Sedbergh can well do without you. PeterRogerson
  • Score: 0

3:21pm Sun 10 Mar 13

mike21up says...

PeterRogerson wrote:
And so it continues, most of these comments are so over the top it makes me laugh. Your children are lucky to have the opportunity to be educated at Sedbergh, but to be honest Sedbergh would be better off without you all. The Open Day yesterday I am told was a roaring success, so for those of you who can't see the wood for the trees, I suggest you find a different second rate school for your daughters, Sedbergh can well do without you.
Well done Mr Rogerson. At least youcan see the wood for the trees. Don't know what your connection is with sedbergh but at least you admit that Sedbergh is a second rate school and it would be better without Casterton girls. So why not pass that message on to your school and let them struggle on mired in debt, poor exam results, and with ill-mannered, ill disciplined boys. Casterton is a fine school with lovely girls who are a pleasure to meet unlike the rabble from Sedbergh. Bentham had a very good reputation till Sedbergh got hold of it and we all know what happened there. Come on Casterton governors, last minute meeting to reverse your stupid decision please!!
[quote][p][bold]PeterRogerson[/bold] wrote: And so it continues, most of these comments are so over the top it makes me laugh. Your children are lucky to have the opportunity to be educated at Sedbergh, but to be honest Sedbergh would be better off without you all. The Open Day yesterday I am told was a roaring success, so for those of you who can't see the wood for the trees, I suggest you find a different second rate school for your daughters, Sedbergh can well do without you.[/p][/quote]Well done Mr Rogerson. At least youcan see the wood for the trees. Don't know what your connection is with sedbergh but at least you admit that Sedbergh is a second rate school and it would be better without Casterton girls. So why not pass that message on to your school and let them struggle on mired in debt, poor exam results, and with ill-mannered, ill disciplined boys. Casterton is a fine school with lovely girls who are a pleasure to meet unlike the rabble from Sedbergh. Bentham had a very good reputation till Sedbergh got hold of it and we all know what happened there. Come on Casterton governors, last minute meeting to reverse your stupid decision please!! mike21up
  • Score: 0

3:21pm Sun 10 Mar 13

zaney5 says...

PeterRogerson wrote:
And so it continues, most of these comments are so over the top it makes me laugh. Your children are lucky to have the opportunity to be educated at Sedbergh, but to be honest Sedbergh would be better off without you all. The Open Day yesterday I am told was a roaring success, so for those of you who can't see the wood for the trees, I suggest you find a different second rate school for your daughters, Sedbergh can well do without you.
And I suggest that this thread can well do without you if those are the kind of comments you continue to post.
These parents aren't lucky at all. It's so easy to criticise when it's not you thats having to deal with it.
If you are the kind of person that Sedbergh produces then maybe they are better sending their children elsewhere.
[quote][p][bold]PeterRogerson[/bold] wrote: And so it continues, most of these comments are so over the top it makes me laugh. Your children are lucky to have the opportunity to be educated at Sedbergh, but to be honest Sedbergh would be better off without you all. The Open Day yesterday I am told was a roaring success, so for those of you who can't see the wood for the trees, I suggest you find a different second rate school for your daughters, Sedbergh can well do without you.[/p][/quote]And I suggest that this thread can well do without you if those are the kind of comments you continue to post. These parents aren't lucky at all. It's so easy to criticise when it's not you thats having to deal with it. If you are the kind of person that Sedbergh produces then maybe they are better sending their children elsewhere. zaney5
  • Score: 0

3:26pm Sun 10 Mar 13

Rubydubdub says...

Munrobagger wrote:
I have every sympathy for Casterton parents for the way in which "the solution" has been imposed on them in an extremely arrogant and high-handed way.

Whilst, it may be legally possible for the governors to act in this way, is it really advisable? Somebody seems to have overlooked the importance of winning hearts and minds. On the not unreasonable assumption that the governers are intelligent people, then it suggests an ulterior motive. For this union to work the governors cannot afford for there to be lingering suspicion and ill-feeling. It threatens to undermine their publicly-stated aims.

Sadly, some form of rationalisation is inevitable in these difficult times. The reality is that the domestic market for expensive private education is bound to shrink, which is why public schools are increasingly courting overseas students. Without them the future is a bit bleak.

Public schools have traditionally drawn heavily on military and diplomatic families for its intake, largely because they have been the only ones who can afford it, what with the massive subsidies they get from the taxpayer - for senior officers and diplomats this can be as much as 90% of fees being paid for them.

However, now that the halcyon days of a far flung empire are long gone and the UK economy struggles to compete with the BRIC economies, the armed forces and FCO are not only having to reduce their overseas presence, but are also facing demands for a cutback in perks. The latest attempt to reduce the fee subsidy was defeated in 2011 but it won't be long before its back on the agenda. The next generation of young professionals will have greater priorities than the luxury of private schooling.

Overseas intake will really only benefit the 13-18 category, so its hard to see where Casterton will be getting its prep school intake from in a few years.

Don't be surprised if Casterton goes the way of Bentham insay 4-5 years time.
Your statement that independent schools rely heavily on HM Forces children isn't quite true. In some schools that is the case but Casterton is not one of them. There are over 600,000 children who attend fee paying schools in the UK, of those 600,000 only 7,000 are forces children who use the
Continuity of Education Allowance. And please don't suggest that it's just senior officers who take advantage of CEA, it's open to every member of HMF so long as they are mobile, irrespective of whether or not they are posted overseas.

Casterton will never be seen as a viable option for most Forces families due to the fact that it is far too far north.

That aside, as a Casterton old girl, my heart goes out to the girls, parents and staff who are going through such upheaval. I hope that everyone who was involved in coming to this decision are very, very sure that it's the right thing to do for the children, present and future, as opposed to the most financially lucrative.
[quote][p][bold]Munrobagger[/bold] wrote: I have every sympathy for Casterton parents for the way in which "the solution" has been imposed on them in an extremely arrogant and high-handed way. Whilst, it may be legally possible for the governors to act in this way, is it really advisable? Somebody seems to have overlooked the importance of winning hearts and minds. On the not unreasonable assumption that the governers are intelligent people, then it suggests an ulterior motive. For this union to work the governors cannot afford for there to be lingering suspicion and ill-feeling. It threatens to undermine their publicly-stated aims. Sadly, some form of rationalisation is inevitable in these difficult times. The reality is that the domestic market for expensive private education is bound to shrink, which is why public schools are increasingly courting overseas students. Without them the future is a bit bleak. Public schools have traditionally drawn heavily on military and diplomatic families for its intake, largely because they have been the only ones who can afford it, what with the massive subsidies they get from the taxpayer - for senior officers and diplomats this can be as much as 90% of fees being paid for them. However, now that the halcyon days of a far flung empire are long gone and the UK economy struggles to compete with the BRIC economies, the armed forces and FCO are not only having to reduce their overseas presence, but are also facing demands for a cutback in perks. The latest attempt to reduce the fee subsidy was defeated in 2011 but it won't be long before its back on the agenda. The next generation of young professionals will have greater priorities than the luxury of private schooling. Overseas intake will really only benefit the 13-18 category, so its hard to see where Casterton will be getting its prep school intake from in a few years. Don't be surprised if Casterton goes the way of Bentham insay 4-5 years time.[/p][/quote]Your statement that independent schools rely heavily on HM Forces children isn't quite true. In some schools that is the case but Casterton is not one of them. There are over 600,000 children who attend fee paying schools in the UK, of those 600,000 only 7,000 are forces children who use the Continuity of Education Allowance. And please don't suggest that it's just senior officers who take advantage of CEA, it's open to every member of HMF so long as they are mobile, irrespective of whether or not they are posted overseas. Casterton will never be seen as a viable option for most Forces families due to the fact that it is far too far north. That aside, as a Casterton old girl, my heart goes out to the girls, parents and staff who are going through such upheaval. I hope that everyone who was involved in coming to this decision are very, very sure that it's the right thing to do for the children, present and future, as opposed to the most financially lucrative. Rubydubdub
  • Score: 0

3:35pm Sun 10 Mar 13

Rubydubdub says...

PeterRogerson wrote:
And so it continues, most of these comments are so over the top it makes me laugh. Your children are lucky to have the opportunity to be educated at Sedbergh, but to be honest Sedbergh would be better off without you all. The Open Day yesterday I am told was a roaring success, so for those of you who can't see the wood for the trees, I suggest you find a different second rate school for your daughters, Sedbergh can well do without you.
That statement right there has done absolutely nothing for the image of Sedbergh. If parents weren't worried about the change in ethos of Casterton at the end of this take over they would be after reading that.

And open days are rarely unsuccessful; they're generally chocablock with 'sightseers' so isn't the greatest indicator of a good school.
[quote][p][bold]PeterRogerson[/bold] wrote: And so it continues, most of these comments are so over the top it makes me laugh. Your children are lucky to have the opportunity to be educated at Sedbergh, but to be honest Sedbergh would be better off without you all. The Open Day yesterday I am told was a roaring success, so for those of you who can't see the wood for the trees, I suggest you find a different second rate school for your daughters, Sedbergh can well do without you.[/p][/quote]That statement right there has done absolutely nothing for the image of Sedbergh. If parents weren't worried about the change in ethos of Casterton at the end of this take over they would be after reading that. And open days are rarely unsuccessful; they're generally chocablock with 'sightseers' so isn't the greatest indicator of a good school. Rubydubdub
  • Score: 0

3:42pm Sun 10 Mar 13

Egg1985 says...

The above comment very true. However as a 'scaly brat' and now currently in the RAF, Casterton could advertise themselves a lot better to the Military. The school ran a 'school taxi' to and from airports like Manchester, Liverpool and sometimes further afield for those on long haul flights; train stations like Oxenholme (on a main line), making it extremely viable for forces families. If I was ever to have children, Casterton would have been ideal-away from the hussle and bustle of a city and military life. Such a beautiful area with a lot to offer on its door step.

But the above comment is true it hasn't had a huge influx of military children ever, but it could have been another avenue to check to maybe gain some numbers...all they had to do was ask-plenty of old girls are in the military and could have freely advertised it!

Hope the parents get a successful outcome, if not a better one than having to send their daughters to Sedbergh. On that note maybe a joint prep school would be no different? Then it could be a feeder to both schools, depending on where the parents wanted to send their children. Probably would have been a better stepping stone for the parents with an explanation-I'm sure it won't have been as hostile!!
The above comment very true. However as a 'scaly brat' and now currently in the RAF, Casterton could advertise themselves a lot better to the Military. The school ran a 'school taxi' to and from airports like Manchester, Liverpool and sometimes further afield for those on long haul flights; train stations like Oxenholme (on a main line), making it extremely viable for forces families. If I was ever to have children, Casterton would have been ideal-away from the hussle and bustle of a city and military life. Such a beautiful area with a lot to offer on its door step. But the above comment is true it hasn't had a huge influx of military children ever, but it could have been another avenue to check to maybe gain some numbers...all they had to do was ask-plenty of old girls are in the military and could have freely advertised it! Hope the parents get a successful outcome, if not a better one than having to send their daughters to Sedbergh. On that note maybe a joint prep school would be no different? Then it could be a feeder to both schools, depending on where the parents wanted to send their children. Probably would have been a better stepping stone for the parents with an explanation-I'm sure it won't have been as hostile!! Egg1985
  • Score: 0

3:50pm Sun 10 Mar 13

drixhen says...

please Casterton parents admit
defeat and move on
please Casterton parents admit defeat and move on drixhen
  • Score: 0

3:53pm Sun 10 Mar 13

zaney5 says...

drixhen wrote:
please Casterton parents admit
defeat and move on
Why should they?
[quote][p][bold]drixhen[/bold] wrote: please Casterton parents admit defeat and move on[/p][/quote]Why should they? zaney5
  • Score: 0

4:05pm Sun 10 Mar 13

Munrobagger says...

Rubydubdub wrote:
Munrobagger wrote:
I have every sympathy for Casterton parents for the way in which "the solution" has been imposed on them in an extremely arrogant and high-handed way.

Whilst, it may be legally possible for the governors to act in this way, is it really advisable? Somebody seems to have overlooked the importance of winning hearts and minds. On the not unreasonable assumption that the governers are intelligent people, then it suggests an ulterior motive. For this union to work the governors cannot afford for there to be lingering suspicion and ill-feeling. It threatens to undermine their publicly-stated aims.

Sadly, some form of rationalisation is inevitable in these difficult times. The reality is that the domestic market for expensive private education is bound to shrink, which is why public schools are increasingly courting overseas students. Without them the future is a bit bleak.

Public schools have traditionally drawn heavily on military and diplomatic families for its intake, largely because they have been the only ones who can afford it, what with the massive subsidies they get from the taxpayer - for senior officers and diplomats this can be as much as 90% of fees being paid for them.

However, now that the halcyon days of a far flung empire are long gone and the UK economy struggles to compete with the BRIC economies, the armed forces and FCO are not only having to reduce their overseas presence, but are also facing demands for a cutback in perks. The latest attempt to reduce the fee subsidy was defeated in 2011 but it won't be long before its back on the agenda. The next generation of young professionals will have greater priorities than the luxury of private schooling.

Overseas intake will really only benefit the 13-18 category, so its hard to see where Casterton will be getting its prep school intake from in a few years.

Don't be surprised if Casterton goes the way of Bentham insay 4-5 years time.
Your statement that independent schools rely heavily on HM Forces children isn't quite true. In some schools that is the case but Casterton is not one of them. There are over 600,000 children who attend fee paying schools in the UK, of those 600,000 only 7,000 are forces children who use the
Continuity of Education Allowance. And please don't suggest that it's just senior officers who take advantage of CEA, it's open to every member of HMF so long as they are mobile, irrespective of whether or not they are posted overseas.

Casterton will never be seen as a viable option for most Forces families due to the fact that it is far too far north.

That aside, as a Casterton old girl, my heart goes out to the girls, parents and staff who are going through such upheaval. I hope that everyone who was involved in coming to this decision are very, very sure that it's the right thing to do for the children, present and future, as opposed to the most financially lucrative.
I wasn't trying to suggest that it is only senior officers; simply giving an example of the size of the subsidy that is available to them. Whilst you are quite correct in saying that it is open to all HMF, the reality is that take up of this option declines as one drops down the pecking order ; a middle ranking FCO officer probably gets about 70 -75% paid, so I doubt very much if anyone below that rank could really afford to fund private education even with a bit of help from the taxpayer. As for being too far north, don't forget that the Army has its largest (I think) barracks at Catterick, North Yorkshire.
[quote][p][bold]Rubydubdub[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Munrobagger[/bold] wrote: I have every sympathy for Casterton parents for the way in which "the solution" has been imposed on them in an extremely arrogant and high-handed way. Whilst, it may be legally possible for the governors to act in this way, is it really advisable? Somebody seems to have overlooked the importance of winning hearts and minds. On the not unreasonable assumption that the governers are intelligent people, then it suggests an ulterior motive. For this union to work the governors cannot afford for there to be lingering suspicion and ill-feeling. It threatens to undermine their publicly-stated aims. Sadly, some form of rationalisation is inevitable in these difficult times. The reality is that the domestic market for expensive private education is bound to shrink, which is why public schools are increasingly courting overseas students. Without them the future is a bit bleak. Public schools have traditionally drawn heavily on military and diplomatic families for its intake, largely because they have been the only ones who can afford it, what with the massive subsidies they get from the taxpayer - for senior officers and diplomats this can be as much as 90% of fees being paid for them. However, now that the halcyon days of a far flung empire are long gone and the UK economy struggles to compete with the BRIC economies, the armed forces and FCO are not only having to reduce their overseas presence, but are also facing demands for a cutback in perks. The latest attempt to reduce the fee subsidy was defeated in 2011 but it won't be long before its back on the agenda. The next generation of young professionals will have greater priorities than the luxury of private schooling. Overseas intake will really only benefit the 13-18 category, so its hard to see where Casterton will be getting its prep school intake from in a few years. Don't be surprised if Casterton goes the way of Bentham insay 4-5 years time.[/p][/quote]Your statement that independent schools rely heavily on HM Forces children isn't quite true. In some schools that is the case but Casterton is not one of them. There are over 600,000 children who attend fee paying schools in the UK, of those 600,000 only 7,000 are forces children who use the Continuity of Education Allowance. And please don't suggest that it's just senior officers who take advantage of CEA, it's open to every member of HMF so long as they are mobile, irrespective of whether or not they are posted overseas. Casterton will never be seen as a viable option for most Forces families due to the fact that it is far too far north. That aside, as a Casterton old girl, my heart goes out to the girls, parents and staff who are going through such upheaval. I hope that everyone who was involved in coming to this decision are very, very sure that it's the right thing to do for the children, present and future, as opposed to the most financially lucrative.[/p][/quote]I wasn't trying to suggest that it is only senior officers; simply giving an example of the size of the subsidy that is available to them. Whilst you are quite correct in saying that it is open to all HMF, the reality is that take up of this option declines as one drops down the pecking order ; a middle ranking FCO officer probably gets about 70 -75% paid, so I doubt very much if anyone below that rank could really afford to fund private education even with a bit of help from the taxpayer. As for being too far north, don't forget that the Army has its largest (I think) barracks at Catterick, North Yorkshire. Munrobagger
  • Score: 0

4:05pm Sun 10 Mar 13

Rubydubdub says...

drixhen wrote:
please Casterton parents admit
defeat and move on
Casterton girls (and probably their parents) don't just roll over when the going gets tough.
[quote][p][bold]drixhen[/bold] wrote: please Casterton parents admit defeat and move on[/p][/quote]Casterton girls (and probably their parents) don't just roll over when the going gets tough. Rubydubdub
  • Score: 0

4:17pm Sun 10 Mar 13

Overseas Parent says...

Eco Pods wrote:
I believe most of us will agree ‘Casterton School’ is this place Mr Tomlinson has governed, which is the place we all wish the best for, this is a compliment to the governors of ‘Casterton School’.
The Bronte history needs to be allowed to continue albeit with new vision. I would ask Mr Tomlinson to give visionaries the chance to save ‘Casterton School’ as an individual school. It is for this single reason ‘Casterton School’ has to become a destination; boarding houses will need to be filled out of term time with residential academies.
There are a lot of under used premises within the prep school alone, this in the short term could be consolidated into a more streamline facility, leaving the ability to realise equity to raise around £1.5m from real estate. This single motion would remove the urgency of a merger, allowing a school with vision to change it course.
Diverse means of income could be sort, such as a Biomass district heating system installed from raised capital; this principal alone, under the present government pay back scheme would earn the school around £140k p.a for 20 years, with heating and hot water bills for the school reduced to zero.
New facilities could be introduced with capital to attract new children. A new facility with architectural merit is absolute free publicity; I designed and constructed the ‘Windermere School’ Pod Classroom project, this brought a great deal of attention to the school and along with other measures has proven to increase pupil numbers. http://www.dezeen.co

m/2009/11/10/forest-

school-by-robert-gau

kroger/
‘Casterton School’ doesn’t need to become a cartelist for Sedbergh; with the right input the school can retain its own status, something the Chairman of the board of Governors should allow by employing the principals of his own professional code of conduct of the RICS:- • Proportionality • Accountability • Consistency • Targeting and Transparency.
Some very eloquent and balanced views from those with no connection to Casterton yet the Governors continue to refuse to engage, with the arrogance that they know best!

I wonder what lines the Governors have given to Sedbergh with regards the likely take up of places in the new school? Like many parents we looked at Sedbergh yesterday and other alternatives (and there is no shortage of others schools who are happy to take Casterton girls and bending over backwards to host visits!) While Mr Rogerson may have heard (second hand) that the Open Day was a great success, I can report that the promises made regarding the facilities for boarders do not appear to be quite as they seem and inferior to those that Sedbergh boarders enjoy. Coupled with the prospect that Casterton governors (and CT in particular) will be involved in the school, means our daughters will not be going there; I know we are not alone in this assessment. Yet again I ask, how can the Board of Governors be convinced that is the best for Casterton when they have no idea of the parental response to the changes? Bigger is not always better – ask someone with a large overdraft!

We are now within hours of this decision being irreversible (or so we are told!) Without wishing to appear defeatist, I have already drafted a letter to send tomorrow, giving notice of my intention to withdraw my two daughters. I know others re doing likewise and not waiting around until the end of the academic year to move them. I fear that Casterton really will go into decline after Easter.

While the Board of Governors may have succeeded in thwarting the Save Casterton campaign by getting their lawyers to bully the parents with a £1.6M liability for legal action, the cost of pursuing each of the individual Governors is much more modest and a fund to which I for one will be happy to contribute! (Not a threat but a fact!)

Each and everyone will need to be held to account for the damage they have done, ending 190 years of a proud and distinguished Casterton heritage if they do not intercede now. I appeal to the Governors to show some moral courage and pause the process to allow a proper assessment of the potential impact of this change!
[quote][p][bold]Eco Pods[/bold] wrote: I believe most of us will agree ‘Casterton School’ is this place Mr Tomlinson has governed, which is the place we all wish the best for, this is a compliment to the governors of ‘Casterton School’. The Bronte history needs to be allowed to continue albeit with new vision. I would ask Mr Tomlinson to give visionaries the chance to save ‘Casterton School’ as an individual school. It is for this single reason ‘Casterton School’ has to become a destination; boarding houses will need to be filled out of term time with residential academies. There are a lot of under used premises within the prep school alone, this in the short term could be consolidated into a more streamline facility, leaving the ability to realise equity to raise around £1.5m from real estate. This single motion would remove the urgency of a merger, allowing a school with vision to change it course. Diverse means of income could be sort, such as a Biomass district heating system installed from raised capital; this principal alone, under the present government pay back scheme would earn the school around £140k p.a for 20 years, with heating and hot water bills for the school reduced to zero. New facilities could be introduced with capital to attract new children. A new facility with architectural merit is absolute free publicity; I designed and constructed the ‘Windermere School’ Pod Classroom project, this brought a great deal of attention to the school and along with other measures has proven to increase pupil numbers. http://www.dezeen.co m/2009/11/10/forest- school-by-robert-gau kroger/ ‘Casterton School’ doesn’t need to become a cartelist for Sedbergh; with the right input the school can retain its own status, something the Chairman of the board of Governors should allow by employing the principals of his own professional code of conduct of the RICS:- • Proportionality • Accountability • Consistency • Targeting and Transparency.[/p][/quote]Some very eloquent and balanced views from those with no connection to Casterton yet the Governors continue to refuse to engage, with the arrogance that they know best! I wonder what lines the Governors have given to Sedbergh with regards the likely take up of places in the new school? Like many parents we looked at Sedbergh yesterday and other alternatives (and there is no shortage of others schools who are happy to take Casterton girls and bending over backwards to host visits!) While Mr Rogerson may have heard (second hand) that the Open Day was a great success, I can report that the promises made regarding the facilities for boarders do not appear to be quite as they seem and inferior to those that Sedbergh boarders enjoy. Coupled with the prospect that Casterton governors (and CT in particular) will be involved in the school, means our daughters will not be going there; I know we are not alone in this assessment. Yet again I ask, how can the Board of Governors be convinced that is the best for Casterton when they have no idea of the parental response to the changes? Bigger is not always better – ask someone with a large overdraft! We are now within hours of this decision being irreversible (or so we are told!) Without wishing to appear defeatist, I have already drafted a letter to send tomorrow, giving notice of my intention to withdraw my two daughters. I know others re doing likewise and not waiting around until the end of the academic year to move them. I fear that Casterton really will go into decline after Easter. While the Board of Governors may have succeeded in thwarting the Save Casterton campaign by getting their lawyers to bully the parents with a £1.6M liability for legal action, the cost of pursuing each of the individual Governors is much more modest and a fund to which I for one will be happy to contribute! (Not a threat but a fact!) Each and everyone will need to be held to account for the damage they have done, ending 190 years of a proud and distinguished Casterton heritage if they do not intercede now. I appeal to the Governors to show some moral courage and pause the process to allow a proper assessment of the potential impact of this change! Overseas Parent
  • Score: 0

4:22pm Sun 10 Mar 13

Rubydubdub says...

Munrobagger wrote:
Rubydubdub wrote:
Munrobagger wrote:
I have every sympathy for Casterton parents for the way in which "the solution" has been imposed on them in an extremely arrogant and high-handed way.

Whilst, it may be legally possible for the governors to act in this way, is it really advisable? Somebody seems to have overlooked the importance of winning hearts and minds. On the not unreasonable assumption that the governers are intelligent people, then it suggests an ulterior motive. For this union to work the governors cannot afford for there to be lingering suspicion and ill-feeling. It threatens to undermine their publicly-stated aims.

Sadly, some form of rationalisation is inevitable in these difficult times. The reality is that the domestic market for expensive private education is bound to shrink, which is why public schools are increasingly courting overseas students. Without them the future is a bit bleak.

Public schools have traditionally drawn heavily on military and diplomatic families for its intake, largely because they have been the only ones who can afford it, what with the massive subsidies they get from the taxpayer - for senior officers and diplomats this can be as much as 90% of fees being paid for them.

However, now that the halcyon days of a far flung empire are long gone and the UK economy struggles to compete with the BRIC economies, the armed forces and FCO are not only having to reduce their overseas presence, but are also facing demands for a cutback in perks. The latest attempt to reduce the fee subsidy was defeated in 2011 but it won't be long before its back on the agenda. The next generation of young professionals will have greater priorities than the luxury of private schooling.

Overseas intake will really only benefit the 13-18 category, so its hard to see where Casterton will be getting its prep school intake from in a few years.

Don't be surprised if Casterton goes the way of Bentham insay 4-5 years time.
Your statement that independent schools rely heavily on HM Forces children isn't quite true. In some schools that is the case but Casterton is not one of them. There are over 600,000 children who attend fee paying schools in the UK, of those 600,000 only 7,000 are forces children who use the
Continuity of Education Allowance. And please don't suggest that it's just senior officers who take advantage of CEA, it's open to every member of HMF so long as they are mobile, irrespective of whether or not they are posted overseas.

Casterton will never be seen as a viable option for most Forces families due to the fact that it is far too far north.

That aside, as a Casterton old girl, my heart goes out to the girls, parents and staff who are going through such upheaval. I hope that everyone who was involved in coming to this decision are very, very sure that it's the right thing to do for the children, present and future, as opposed to the most financially lucrative.
I wasn't trying to suggest that it is only senior officers; simply giving an example of the size of the subsidy that is available to them. Whilst you are quite correct in saying that it is open to all HMF, the reality is that take up of this option declines as one drops down the pecking order ; a middle ranking FCO officer probably gets about 70 -75% paid, so I doubt very much if anyone below that rank could really afford to fund private education even with a bit of help from the taxpayer. As for being too far north, don't forget that the Army has its largest (I think) barracks at Catterick, North Yorkshire.
To quote Munrobagger 'I wasn't trying to suggest that it is only senior officers; simply giving an example of the size of the subsidy that is available to them. Whilst you are quite correct in saying that it is open to all HMF, the reality is that take up of this option declines as one drops down the pecking order ; a middle ranking FCO officer probably gets about 70 -75% paid, so I doubt very much if anyone below that rank could really afford to fund private education even with a bit of help from the taxpayer. As for being too far north, don't forget that the Army has its largest (I think) barracks at Catterick, North Yorkshire.'

I have no direct experience of what FCO do regarding school fees for their overseas personnel (I was under the impression that they paid 100% of the fees), but I do so far as HM Forces is concerned. The allowance is not on a sliding scale depending on rank. MOD will pay 90% (I thought it was 80% but could be wrong) of the school fees up to a certain amount, anything over that and the service person pays the difference. But everyone, regardless of rank, will pay at least 10% of the fees. Also, the main reason why there are very few Private's children in boarding school is generally because they don't have children old enough to attend.

There is a large Garrison at Catterick, however, people don't stay there very long and as soon as the posting ends they're more than likely going to end up in the South of England. Most parents looking for schools will think years in advance and opt for a school which is central to all the main posting options. Catterick, by and large, will not feature.
[quote][p][bold]Munrobagger[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Rubydubdub[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Munrobagger[/bold] wrote: I have every sympathy for Casterton parents for the way in which "the solution" has been imposed on them in an extremely arrogant and high-handed way. Whilst, it may be legally possible for the governors to act in this way, is it really advisable? Somebody seems to have overlooked the importance of winning hearts and minds. On the not unreasonable assumption that the governers are intelligent people, then it suggests an ulterior motive. For this union to work the governors cannot afford for there to be lingering suspicion and ill-feeling. It threatens to undermine their publicly-stated aims. Sadly, some form of rationalisation is inevitable in these difficult times. The reality is that the domestic market for expensive private education is bound to shrink, which is why public schools are increasingly courting overseas students. Without them the future is a bit bleak. Public schools have traditionally drawn heavily on military and diplomatic families for its intake, largely because they have been the only ones who can afford it, what with the massive subsidies they get from the taxpayer - for senior officers and diplomats this can be as much as 90% of fees being paid for them. However, now that the halcyon days of a far flung empire are long gone and the UK economy struggles to compete with the BRIC economies, the armed forces and FCO are not only having to reduce their overseas presence, but are also facing demands for a cutback in perks. The latest attempt to reduce the fee subsidy was defeated in 2011 but it won't be long before its back on the agenda. The next generation of young professionals will have greater priorities than the luxury of private schooling. Overseas intake will really only benefit the 13-18 category, so its hard to see where Casterton will be getting its prep school intake from in a few years. Don't be surprised if Casterton goes the way of Bentham insay 4-5 years time.[/p][/quote]Your statement that independent schools rely heavily on HM Forces children isn't quite true. In some schools that is the case but Casterton is not one of them. There are over 600,000 children who attend fee paying schools in the UK, of those 600,000 only 7,000 are forces children who use the Continuity of Education Allowance. And please don't suggest that it's just senior officers who take advantage of CEA, it's open to every member of HMF so long as they are mobile, irrespective of whether or not they are posted overseas. Casterton will never be seen as a viable option for most Forces families due to the fact that it is far too far north. That aside, as a Casterton old girl, my heart goes out to the girls, parents and staff who are going through such upheaval. I hope that everyone who was involved in coming to this decision are very, very sure that it's the right thing to do for the children, present and future, as opposed to the most financially lucrative.[/p][/quote]I wasn't trying to suggest that it is only senior officers; simply giving an example of the size of the subsidy that is available to them. Whilst you are quite correct in saying that it is open to all HMF, the reality is that take up of this option declines as one drops down the pecking order ; a middle ranking FCO officer probably gets about 70 -75% paid, so I doubt very much if anyone below that rank could really afford to fund private education even with a bit of help from the taxpayer. As for being too far north, don't forget that the Army has its largest (I think) barracks at Catterick, North Yorkshire.[/p][/quote]To quote Munrobagger 'I wasn't trying to suggest that it is only senior officers; simply giving an example of the size of the subsidy that is available to them. Whilst you are quite correct in saying that it is open to all HMF, the reality is that take up of this option declines as one drops down the pecking order ; a middle ranking FCO officer probably gets about 70 -75% paid, so I doubt very much if anyone below that rank could really afford to fund private education even with a bit of help from the taxpayer. As for being too far north, don't forget that the Army has its largest (I think) barracks at Catterick, North Yorkshire.' I have no direct experience of what FCO do regarding school fees for their overseas personnel (I was under the impression that they paid 100% of the fees), but I do so far as HM Forces is concerned. The allowance is not on a sliding scale depending on rank. MOD will pay 90% (I thought it was 80% but could be wrong) of the school fees up to a certain amount, anything over that and the service person pays the difference. But everyone, regardless of rank, will pay at least 10% of the fees. Also, the main reason why there are very few Private's children in boarding school is generally because they don't have children old enough to attend. There is a large Garrison at Catterick, however, people don't stay there very long and as soon as the posting ends they're more than likely going to end up in the South of England. Most parents looking for schools will think years in advance and opt for a school which is central to all the main posting options. Catterick, by and large, will not feature. Rubydubdub
  • Score: 0

4:55pm Sun 10 Mar 13

Fellonmyfeet says...

Rubydubdub wrote:
Munrobagger wrote:
Rubydubdub wrote:
Munrobagger wrote: I have every sympathy for Casterton parents for the way in which "the solution" has been imposed on them in an extremely arrogant and high-handed way. Whilst, it may be legally possible for the governors to act in this way, is it really advisable? Somebody seems to have overlooked the importance of winning hearts and minds. On the not unreasonable assumption that the governers are intelligent people, then it suggests an ulterior motive. For this union to work the governors cannot afford for there to be lingering suspicion and ill-feeling. It threatens to undermine their publicly-stated aims. Sadly, some form of rationalisation is inevitable in these difficult times. The reality is that the domestic market for expensive private education is bound to shrink, which is why public schools are increasingly courting overseas students. Without them the future is a bit bleak. Public schools have traditionally drawn heavily on military and diplomatic families for its intake, largely because they have been the only ones who can afford it, what with the massive subsidies they get from the taxpayer - for senior officers and diplomats this can be as much as 90% of fees being paid for them. However, now that the halcyon days of a far flung empire are long gone and the UK economy struggles to compete with the BRIC economies, the armed forces and FCO are not only having to reduce their overseas presence, but are also facing demands for a cutback in perks. The latest attempt to reduce the fee subsidy was defeated in 2011 but it won't be long before its back on the agenda. The next generation of young professionals will have greater priorities than the luxury of private schooling. Overseas intake will really only benefit the 13-18 category, so its hard to see where Casterton will be getting its prep school intake from in a few years. Don't be surprised if Casterton goes the way of Bentham insay 4-5 years time.
Your statement that independent schools rely heavily on HM Forces children isn't quite true. In some schools that is the case but Casterton is not one of them. There are over 600,000 children who attend fee paying schools in the UK, of those 600,000 only 7,000 are forces children who use the Continuity of Education Allowance. And please don't suggest that it's just senior officers who take advantage of CEA, it's open to every member of HMF so long as they are mobile, irrespective of whether or not they are posted overseas. Casterton will never be seen as a viable option for most Forces families due to the fact that it is far too far north. That aside, as a Casterton old girl, my heart goes out to the girls, parents and staff who are going through such upheaval. I hope that everyone who was involved in coming to this decision are very, very sure that it's the right thing to do for the children, present and future, as opposed to the most financially lucrative.
I wasn't trying to suggest that it is only senior officers; simply giving an example of the size of the subsidy that is available to them. Whilst you are quite correct in saying that it is open to all HMF, the reality is that take up of this option declines as one drops down the pecking order ; a middle ranking FCO officer probably gets about 70 -75% paid, so I doubt very much if anyone below that rank could really afford to fund private education even with a bit of help from the taxpayer. As for being too far north, don't forget that the Army has its largest (I think) barracks at Catterick, North Yorkshire.
To quote Munrobagger 'I wasn't trying to suggest that it is only senior officers; simply giving an example of the size of the subsidy that is available to them. Whilst you are quite correct in saying that it is open to all HMF, the reality is that take up of this option declines as one drops down the pecking order ; a middle ranking FCO officer probably gets about 70 -75% paid, so I doubt very much if anyone below that rank could really afford to fund private education even with a bit of help from the taxpayer. As for being too far north, don't forget that the Army has its largest (I think) barracks at Catterick, North Yorkshire.' I have no direct experience of what FCO do regarding school fees for their overseas personnel (I was under the impression that they paid 100% of the fees), but I do so far as HM Forces is concerned. The allowance is not on a sliding scale depending on rank. MOD will pay 90% (I thought it was 80% but could be wrong) of the school fees up to a certain amount, anything over that and the service person pays the difference. But everyone, regardless of rank, will pay at least 10% of the fees. Also, the main reason why there are very few Private's children in boarding school is generally because they don't have children old enough to attend. There is a large Garrison at Catterick, however, people don't stay there very long and as soon as the posting ends they're more than likely going to end up in the South of England. Most parents looking for schools will think years in advance and opt for a school which is central to all the main posting options. Catterick, by and large, will not feature.
Further to the above, Munrobagger appears to be envious of the "taxpayer funded perk" that is Continuity of Education Allowance. Get your facts straight; it is one of a service person's terms and conditions to compensate for the disruptive lifestyle required. If you are prepared to enjoy your child attending 7 schools across the globe before the age of 11 and had she not then attended boarding school would have attended a further 4 before graduation, then, Munrobagger, sign up and enlist and you will be well rewarded with the "taxpayer's perk". I'll throw in the 20 plus house moves and 5 wars for free. Failing that stick to the thread rather than trying to cloud the issue with ill informed "politics of envy"; this is about 200 children who have had their world turned upside down without consultation or warning.
[quote][p][bold]Rubydubdub[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Munrobagger[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Rubydubdub[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Munrobagger[/bold] wrote: I have every sympathy for Casterton parents for the way in which "the solution" has been imposed on them in an extremely arrogant and high-handed way. Whilst, it may be legally possible for the governors to act in this way, is it really advisable? Somebody seems to have overlooked the importance of winning hearts and minds. On the not unreasonable assumption that the governers are intelligent people, then it suggests an ulterior motive. For this union to work the governors cannot afford for there to be lingering suspicion and ill-feeling. It threatens to undermine their publicly-stated aims. Sadly, some form of rationalisation is inevitable in these difficult times. The reality is that the domestic market for expensive private education is bound to shrink, which is why public schools are increasingly courting overseas students. Without them the future is a bit bleak. Public schools have traditionally drawn heavily on military and diplomatic families for its intake, largely because they have been the only ones who can afford it, what with the massive subsidies they get from the taxpayer - for senior officers and diplomats this can be as much as 90% of fees being paid for them. However, now that the halcyon days of a far flung empire are long gone and the UK economy struggles to compete with the BRIC economies, the armed forces and FCO are not only having to reduce their overseas presence, but are also facing demands for a cutback in perks. The latest attempt to reduce the fee subsidy was defeated in 2011 but it won't be long before its back on the agenda. The next generation of young professionals will have greater priorities than the luxury of private schooling. Overseas intake will really only benefit the 13-18 category, so its hard to see where Casterton will be getting its prep school intake from in a few years. Don't be surprised if Casterton goes the way of Bentham insay 4-5 years time.[/p][/quote]Your statement that independent schools rely heavily on HM Forces children isn't quite true. In some schools that is the case but Casterton is not one of them. There are over 600,000 children who attend fee paying schools in the UK, of those 600,000 only 7,000 are forces children who use the Continuity of Education Allowance. And please don't suggest that it's just senior officers who take advantage of CEA, it's open to every member of HMF so long as they are mobile, irrespective of whether or not they are posted overseas. Casterton will never be seen as a viable option for most Forces families due to the fact that it is far too far north. That aside, as a Casterton old girl, my heart goes out to the girls, parents and staff who are going through such upheaval. I hope that everyone who was involved in coming to this decision are very, very sure that it's the right thing to do for the children, present and future, as opposed to the most financially lucrative.[/p][/quote]I wasn't trying to suggest that it is only senior officers; simply giving an example of the size of the subsidy that is available to them. Whilst you are quite correct in saying that it is open to all HMF, the reality is that take up of this option declines as one drops down the pecking order ; a middle ranking FCO officer probably gets about 70 -75% paid, so I doubt very much if anyone below that rank could really afford to fund private education even with a bit of help from the taxpayer. As for being too far north, don't forget that the Army has its largest (I think) barracks at Catterick, North Yorkshire.[/p][/quote]To quote Munrobagger 'I wasn't trying to suggest that it is only senior officers; simply giving an example of the size of the subsidy that is available to them. Whilst you are quite correct in saying that it is open to all HMF, the reality is that take up of this option declines as one drops down the pecking order ; a middle ranking FCO officer probably gets about 70 -75% paid, so I doubt very much if anyone below that rank could really afford to fund private education even with a bit of help from the taxpayer. As for being too far north, don't forget that the Army has its largest (I think) barracks at Catterick, North Yorkshire.' I have no direct experience of what FCO do regarding school fees for their overseas personnel (I was under the impression that they paid 100% of the fees), but I do so far as HM Forces is concerned. The allowance is not on a sliding scale depending on rank. MOD will pay 90% (I thought it was 80% but could be wrong) of the school fees up to a certain amount, anything over that and the service person pays the difference. But everyone, regardless of rank, will pay at least 10% of the fees. Also, the main reason why there are very few Private's children in boarding school is generally because they don't have children old enough to attend. There is a large Garrison at Catterick, however, people don't stay there very long and as soon as the posting ends they're more than likely going to end up in the South of England. Most parents looking for schools will think years in advance and opt for a school which is central to all the main posting options. Catterick, by and large, will not feature.[/p][/quote]Further to the above, Munrobagger appears to be envious of the "taxpayer funded perk" that is Continuity of Education Allowance. Get your facts straight; it is one of a service person's terms and conditions to compensate for the disruptive lifestyle required. If you are prepared to enjoy your child attending 7 schools across the globe before the age of 11 and had she not then attended boarding school would have attended a further 4 before graduation, then, Munrobagger, sign up and enlist and you will be well rewarded with the "taxpayer's perk". I'll throw in the 20 plus house moves and 5 wars for free. Failing that stick to the thread rather than trying to cloud the issue with ill informed "politics of envy"; this is about 200 children who have had their world turned upside down without consultation or warning. Fellonmyfeet
  • Score: 0

6:02pm Sun 10 Mar 13

Munrobagger says...

Fellonmyfeet wrote:
Rubydubdub wrote:
Munrobagger wrote:
Rubydubdub wrote:
Munrobagger wrote: I have every sympathy for Casterton parents for the way in which "the solution" has been imposed on them in an extremely arrogant and high-handed way. Whilst, it may be legally possible for the governors to act in this way, is it really advisable? Somebody seems to have overlooked the importance of winning hearts and minds. On the not unreasonable assumption that the governers are intelligent people, then it suggests an ulterior motive. For this union to work the governors cannot afford for there to be lingering suspicion and ill-feeling. It threatens to undermine their publicly-stated aims. Sadly, some form of rationalisation is inevitable in these difficult times. The reality is that the domestic market for expensive private education is bound to shrink, which is why public schools are increasingly courting overseas students. Without them the future is a bit bleak. Public schools have traditionally drawn heavily on military and diplomatic families for its intake, largely because they have been the only ones who can afford it, what with the massive subsidies they get from the taxpayer - for senior officers and diplomats this can be as much as 90% of fees being paid for them. However, now that the halcyon days of a far flung empire are long gone and the UK economy struggles to compete with the BRIC economies, the armed forces and FCO are not only having to reduce their overseas presence, but are also facing demands for a cutback in perks. The latest attempt to reduce the fee subsidy was defeated in 2011 but it won't be long before its back on the agenda. The next generation of young professionals will have greater priorities than the luxury of private schooling. Overseas intake will really only benefit the 13-18 category, so its hard to see where Casterton will be getting its prep school intake from in a few years. Don't be surprised if Casterton goes the way of Bentham insay 4-5 years time.
Your statement that independent schools rely heavily on HM Forces children isn't quite true. In some schools that is the case but Casterton is not one of them. There are over 600,000 children who attend fee paying schools in the UK, of those 600,000 only 7,000 are forces children who use the Continuity of Education Allowance. And please don't suggest that it's just senior officers who take advantage of CEA, it's open to every member of HMF so long as they are mobile, irrespective of whether or not they are posted overseas. Casterton will never be seen as a viable option for most Forces families due to the fact that it is far too far north. That aside, as a Casterton old girl, my heart goes out to the girls, parents and staff who are going through such upheaval. I hope that everyone who was involved in coming to this decision are very, very sure that it's the right thing to do for the children, present and future, as opposed to the most financially lucrative.
I wasn't trying to suggest that it is only senior officers; simply giving an example of the size of the subsidy that is available to them. Whilst you are quite correct in saying that it is open to all HMF, the reality is that take up of this option declines as one drops down the pecking order ; a middle ranking FCO officer probably gets about 70 -75% paid, so I doubt very much if anyone below that rank could really afford to fund private education even with a bit of help from the taxpayer. As for being too far north, don't forget that the Army has its largest (I think) barracks at Catterick, North Yorkshire.
To quote Munrobagger 'I wasn't trying to suggest that it is only senior officers; simply giving an example of the size of the subsidy that is available to them. Whilst you are quite correct in saying that it is open to all HMF, the reality is that take up of this option declines as one drops down the pecking order ; a middle ranking FCO officer probably gets about 70 -75% paid, so I doubt very much if anyone below that rank could really afford to fund private education even with a bit of help from the taxpayer. As for being too far north, don't forget that the Army has its largest (I think) barracks at Catterick, North Yorkshire.' I have no direct experience of what FCO do regarding school fees for their overseas personnel (I was under the impression that they paid 100% of the fees), but I do so far as HM Forces is concerned. The allowance is not on a sliding scale depending on rank. MOD will pay 90% (I thought it was 80% but could be wrong) of the school fees up to a certain amount, anything over that and the service person pays the difference. But everyone, regardless of rank, will pay at least 10% of the fees. Also, the main reason why there are very few Private's children in boarding school is generally because they don't have children old enough to attend. There is a large Garrison at Catterick, however, people don't stay there very long and as soon as the posting ends they're more than likely going to end up in the South of England. Most parents looking for schools will think years in advance and opt for a school which is central to all the main posting options. Catterick, by and large, will not feature.
Further to the above, Munrobagger appears to be envious of the "taxpayer funded perk" that is Continuity of Education Allowance. Get your facts straight; it is one of a service person's terms and conditions to compensate for the disruptive lifestyle required. If you are prepared to enjoy your child attending 7 schools across the globe before the age of 11 and had she not then attended boarding school would have attended a further 4 before graduation, then, Munrobagger, sign up and enlist and you will be well rewarded with the "taxpayer's perk". I'll throw in the 20 plus house moves and 5 wars for free. Failing that stick to the thread rather than trying to cloud the issue with ill informed "politics of envy"; this is about 200 children who have had their world turned upside down without consultation or warning.
Fellonmyfeet appears to have mis-understood the point I was making. At what point did I say that service personnel didn't deserve this perk ?

I was merely making the point that a significant number of places at public school depend on a subsidy ( a subsidy that I happen to think is justified for what service people have to endure) from the taxpayer, and if that subsidy is reduced or removed it must by definition impact on the affordability of private education.

You also seem to have missed the fact that right at the very beginning of my post I expressed sympathy for Casterton parents.


Finally, I am a member of a service family, with a nephew who is currently doing his bit in Afghanistan as a junior officer. He is the third generation to serve and the third generation to go to public school but from what he tells me the terms on which he was offered a short-term commission means that he is unlikely to be able to send his children to public school.
[quote][p][bold]Fellonmyfeet[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Rubydubdub[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Munrobagger[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Rubydubdub[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Munrobagger[/bold] wrote: I have every sympathy for Casterton parents for the way in which "the solution" has been imposed on them in an extremely arrogant and high-handed way. Whilst, it may be legally possible for the governors to act in this way, is it really advisable? Somebody seems to have overlooked the importance of winning hearts and minds. On the not unreasonable assumption that the governers are intelligent people, then it suggests an ulterior motive. For this union to work the governors cannot afford for there to be lingering suspicion and ill-feeling. It threatens to undermine their publicly-stated aims. Sadly, some form of rationalisation is inevitable in these difficult times. The reality is that the domestic market for expensive private education is bound to shrink, which is why public schools are increasingly courting overseas students. Without them the future is a bit bleak. Public schools have traditionally drawn heavily on military and diplomatic families for its intake, largely because they have been the only ones who can afford it, what with the massive subsidies they get from the taxpayer - for senior officers and diplomats this can be as much as 90% of fees being paid for them. However, now that the halcyon days of a far flung empire are long gone and the UK economy struggles to compete with the BRIC economies, the armed forces and FCO are not only having to reduce their overseas presence, but are also facing demands for a cutback in perks. The latest attempt to reduce the fee subsidy was defeated in 2011 but it won't be long before its back on the agenda. The next generation of young professionals will have greater priorities than the luxury of private schooling. Overseas intake will really only benefit the 13-18 category, so its hard to see where Casterton will be getting its prep school intake from in a few years. Don't be surprised if Casterton goes the way of Bentham insay 4-5 years time.[/p][/quote]Your statement that independent schools rely heavily on HM Forces children isn't quite true. In some schools that is the case but Casterton is not one of them. There are over 600,000 children who attend fee paying schools in the UK, of those 600,000 only 7,000 are forces children who use the Continuity of Education Allowance. And please don't suggest that it's just senior officers who take advantage of CEA, it's open to every member of HMF so long as they are mobile, irrespective of whether or not they are posted overseas. Casterton will never be seen as a viable option for most Forces families due to the fact that it is far too far north. That aside, as a Casterton old girl, my heart goes out to the girls, parents and staff who are going through such upheaval. I hope that everyone who was involved in coming to this decision are very, very sure that it's the right thing to do for the children, present and future, as opposed to the most financially lucrative.[/p][/quote]I wasn't trying to suggest that it is only senior officers; simply giving an example of the size of the subsidy that is available to them. Whilst you are quite correct in saying that it is open to all HMF, the reality is that take up of this option declines as one drops down the pecking order ; a middle ranking FCO officer probably gets about 70 -75% paid, so I doubt very much if anyone below that rank could really afford to fund private education even with a bit of help from the taxpayer. As for being too far north, don't forget that the Army has its largest (I think) barracks at Catterick, North Yorkshire.[/p][/quote]To quote Munrobagger 'I wasn't trying to suggest that it is only senior officers; simply giving an example of the size of the subsidy that is available to them. Whilst you are quite correct in saying that it is open to all HMF, the reality is that take up of this option declines as one drops down the pecking order ; a middle ranking FCO officer probably gets about 70 -75% paid, so I doubt very much if anyone below that rank could really afford to fund private education even with a bit of help from the taxpayer. As for being too far north, don't forget that the Army has its largest (I think) barracks at Catterick, North Yorkshire.' I have no direct experience of what FCO do regarding school fees for their overseas personnel (I was under the impression that they paid 100% of the fees), but I do so far as HM Forces is concerned. The allowance is not on a sliding scale depending on rank. MOD will pay 90% (I thought it was 80% but could be wrong) of the school fees up to a certain amount, anything over that and the service person pays the difference. But everyone, regardless of rank, will pay at least 10% of the fees. Also, the main reason why there are very few Private's children in boarding school is generally because they don't have children old enough to attend. There is a large Garrison at Catterick, however, people don't stay there very long and as soon as the posting ends they're more than likely going to end up in the South of England. Most parents looking for schools will think years in advance and opt for a school which is central to all the main posting options. Catterick, by and large, will not feature.[/p][/quote]Further to the above, Munrobagger appears to be envious of the "taxpayer funded perk" that is Continuity of Education Allowance. Get your facts straight; it is one of a service person's terms and conditions to compensate for the disruptive lifestyle required. If you are prepared to enjoy your child attending 7 schools across the globe before the age of 11 and had she not then attended boarding school would have attended a further 4 before graduation, then, Munrobagger, sign up and enlist and you will be well rewarded with the "taxpayer's perk". I'll throw in the 20 plus house moves and 5 wars for free. Failing that stick to the thread rather than trying to cloud the issue with ill informed "politics of envy"; this is about 200 children who have had their world turned upside down without consultation or warning.[/p][/quote]Fellonmyfeet appears to have mis-understood the point I was making. At what point did I say that service personnel didn't deserve this perk ? I was merely making the point that a significant number of places at public school depend on a subsidy ( a subsidy that I happen to think is justified for what service people have to endure) from the taxpayer, and if that subsidy is reduced or removed it must by definition impact on the affordability of private education. You also seem to have missed the fact that right at the very beginning of my post I expressed sympathy for Casterton parents. Finally, I am a member of a service family, with a nephew who is currently doing his bit in Afghanistan as a junior officer. He is the third generation to serve and the third generation to go to public school but from what he tells me the terms on which he was offered a short-term commission means that he is unlikely to be able to send his children to public school. Munrobagger
  • Score: 0

6:54pm Sun 10 Mar 13

Rubydubdub says...

Munrobagger: CEA is not there to provide a private education, it's there to ensure continuity. The clue is in the name of the allowance. Personally, I don't consider it a perk. I would rather not have to pay for my children's education.

Sorry for hijacking the Casterton thread, I just can't sit and read misinformation!
Munrobagger: CEA is not there to provide a private education, it's there to ensure continuity. The clue is in the name of the allowance. Personally, I don't consider it a perk. I would rather not have to pay for my children's education. Sorry for hijacking the Casterton thread, I just can't sit and read misinformation! Rubydubdub
  • Score: 0

7:11pm Sun 10 Mar 13

Fellonmyfeet says...

Munrobagger wrote:
Fellonmyfeet wrote:
Rubydubdub wrote:
Munrobagger wrote:
Rubydubdub wrote:
Munrobagger wrote: I have every sympathy for Casterton parents for the way in which "the solution" has been imposed on them in an extremely arrogant and high-handed way. Whilst, it may be legally possible for the governors to act in this way, is it really advisable? Somebody seems to have overlooked the importance of winning hearts and minds. On the not unreasonable assumption that the governers are intelligent people, then it suggests an ulterior motive. For this union to work the governors cannot afford for there to be lingering suspicion and ill-feeling. It threatens to undermine their publicly-stated aims. Sadly, some form of rationalisation is inevitable in these difficult times. The reality is that the domestic market for expensive private education is bound to shrink, which is why public schools are increasingly courting overseas students. Without them the future is a bit bleak. Public schools have traditionally drawn heavily on military and diplomatic families for its intake, largely because they have been the only ones who can afford it, what with the massive subsidies they get from the taxpayer - for senior officers and diplomats this can be as much as 90% of fees being paid for them. However, now that the halcyon days of a far flung empire are long gone and the UK economy struggles to compete with the BRIC economies, the armed forces and FCO are not only having to reduce their overseas presence, but are also facing demands for a cutback in perks. The latest attempt to reduce the fee subsidy was defeated in 2011 but it won't be long before its back on the agenda. The next generation of young professionals will have greater priorities than the luxury of private schooling. Overseas intake will really only benefit the 13-18 category, so its hard to see where Casterton will be getting its prep school intake from in a few years. Don't be surprised if Casterton goes the way of Bentham insay 4-5 years time.
Your statement that independent schools rely heavily on HM Forces children isn't quite true. In some schools that is the case but Casterton is not one of them. There are over 600,000 children who attend fee paying schools in the UK, of those 600,000 only 7,000 are forces children who use the Continuity of Education Allowance. And please don't suggest that it's just senior officers who take advantage of CEA, it's open to every member of HMF so long as they are mobile, irrespective of whether or not they are posted overseas. Casterton will never be seen as a viable option for most Forces families due to the fact that it is far too far north. That aside, as a Casterton old girl, my heart goes out to the girls, parents and staff who are going through such upheaval. I hope that everyone who was involved in coming to this decision are very, very sure that it's the right thing to do for the children, present and future, as opposed to the most financially lucrative.
I wasn't trying to suggest that it is only senior officers; simply giving an example of the size of the subsidy that is available to them. Whilst you are quite correct in saying that it is open to all HMF, the reality is that take up of this option declines as one drops down the pecking order ; a middle ranking FCO officer probably gets about 70 -75% paid, so I doubt very much if anyone below that rank could really afford to fund private education even with a bit of help from the taxpayer. As for being too far north, don't forget that the Army has its largest (I think) barracks at Catterick, North Yorkshire.
To quote Munrobagger 'I wasn't trying to suggest that it is only senior officers; simply giving an example of the size of the subsidy that is available to them. Whilst you are quite correct in saying that it is open to all HMF, the reality is that take up of this option declines as one drops down the pecking order ; a middle ranking FCO officer probably gets about 70 -75% paid, so I doubt very much if anyone below that rank could really afford to fund private education even with a bit of help from the taxpayer. As for being too far north, don't forget that the Army has its largest (I think) barracks at Catterick, North Yorkshire.' I have no direct experience of what FCO do regarding school fees for their overseas personnel (I was under the impression that they paid 100% of the fees), but I do so far as HM Forces is concerned. The allowance is not on a sliding scale depending on rank. MOD will pay 90% (I thought it was 80% but could be wrong) of the school fees up to a certain amount, anything over that and the service person pays the difference. But everyone, regardless of rank, will pay at least 10% of the fees. Also, the main reason why there are very few Private's children in boarding school is generally because they don't have children old enough to attend. There is a large Garrison at Catterick, however, people don't stay there very long and as soon as the posting ends they're more than likely going to end up in the South of England. Most parents looking for schools will think years in advance and opt for a school which is central to all the main posting options. Catterick, by and large, will not feature.
Further to the above, Munrobagger appears to be envious of the "taxpayer funded perk" that is Continuity of Education Allowance. Get your facts straight; it is one of a service person's terms and conditions to compensate for the disruptive lifestyle required. If you are prepared to enjoy your child attending 7 schools across the globe before the age of 11 and had she not then attended boarding school would have attended a further 4 before graduation, then, Munrobagger, sign up and enlist and you will be well rewarded with the "taxpayer's perk". I'll throw in the 20 plus house moves and 5 wars for free. Failing that stick to the thread rather than trying to cloud the issue with ill informed "politics of envy"; this is about 200 children who have had their world turned upside down without consultation or warning.
Fellonmyfeet appears to have mis-understood the point I was making. At what point did I say that service personnel didn't deserve this perk ? I was merely making the point that a significant number of places at public school depend on a subsidy ( a subsidy that I happen to think is justified for what service people have to endure) from the taxpayer, and if that subsidy is reduced or removed it must by definition impact on the affordability of private education. You also seem to have missed the fact that right at the very beginning of my post I expressed sympathy for Casterton parents. Finally, I am a member of a service family, with a nephew who is currently doing his bit in Afghanistan as a junior officer. He is the third generation to serve and the third generation to go to public school but from what he tells me the terms on which he was offered a short-term commission means that he is unlikely to be able to send his children to public school.
Munrobagger, thank you for your clarifications. Indeed thank you for your sympathetic comments towards the plight of the Casterton pupils. However your continued use of the derogatory term "perk" undermines your clarified position on this allowance as it is not a perk it is a necessary compensation to try and give service children some form of stability whatever the exigencies of the parental military career. Your introduction of it into the debate about Casterton is misjudged; only some 3% of Casterton pupils are from service families. May I wish your nephew a safe return from his duty overseas..
[quote][p][bold]Munrobagger[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Fellonmyfeet[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Rubydubdub[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Munrobagger[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Rubydubdub[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Munrobagger[/bold] wrote: I have every sympathy for Casterton parents for the way in which "the solution" has been imposed on them in an extremely arrogant and high-handed way. Whilst, it may be legally possible for the governors to act in this way, is it really advisable? Somebody seems to have overlooked the importance of winning hearts and minds. On the not unreasonable assumption that the governers are intelligent people, then it suggests an ulterior motive. For this union to work the governors cannot afford for there to be lingering suspicion and ill-feeling. It threatens to undermine their publicly-stated aims. Sadly, some form of rationalisation is inevitable in these difficult times. The reality is that the domestic market for expensive private education is bound to shrink, which is why public schools are increasingly courting overseas students. Without them the future is a bit bleak. Public schools have traditionally drawn heavily on military and diplomatic families for its intake, largely because they have been the only ones who can afford it, what with the massive subsidies they get from the taxpayer - for senior officers and diplomats this can be as much as 90% of fees being paid for them. However, now that the halcyon days of a far flung empire are long gone and the UK economy struggles to compete with the BRIC economies, the armed forces and FCO are not only having to reduce their overseas presence, but are also facing demands for a cutback in perks. The latest attempt to reduce the fee subsidy was defeated in 2011 but it won't be long before its back on the agenda. The next generation of young professionals will have greater priorities than the luxury of private schooling. Overseas intake will really only benefit the 13-18 category, so its hard to see where Casterton will be getting its prep school intake from in a few years. Don't be surprised if Casterton goes the way of Bentham insay 4-5 years time.[/p][/quote]Your statement that independent schools rely heavily on HM Forces children isn't quite true. In some schools that is the case but Casterton is not one of them. There are over 600,000 children who attend fee paying schools in the UK, of those 600,000 only 7,000 are forces children who use the Continuity of Education Allowance. And please don't suggest that it's just senior officers who take advantage of CEA, it's open to every member of HMF so long as they are mobile, irrespective of whether or not they are posted overseas. Casterton will never be seen as a viable option for most Forces families due to the fact that it is far too far north. That aside, as a Casterton old girl, my heart goes out to the girls, parents and staff who are going through such upheaval. I hope that everyone who was involved in coming to this decision are very, very sure that it's the right thing to do for the children, present and future, as opposed to the most financially lucrative.[/p][/quote]I wasn't trying to suggest that it is only senior officers; simply giving an example of the size of the subsidy that is available to them. Whilst you are quite correct in saying that it is open to all HMF, the reality is that take up of this option declines as one drops down the pecking order ; a middle ranking FCO officer probably gets about 70 -75% paid, so I doubt very much if anyone below that rank could really afford to fund private education even with a bit of help from the taxpayer. As for being too far north, don't forget that the Army has its largest (I think) barracks at Catterick, North Yorkshire.[/p][/quote]To quote Munrobagger 'I wasn't trying to suggest that it is only senior officers; simply giving an example of the size of the subsidy that is available to them. Whilst you are quite correct in saying that it is open to all HMF, the reality is that take up of this option declines as one drops down the pecking order ; a middle ranking FCO officer probably gets about 70 -75% paid, so I doubt very much if anyone below that rank could really afford to fund private education even with a bit of help from the taxpayer. As for being too far north, don't forget that the Army has its largest (I think) barracks at Catterick, North Yorkshire.' I have no direct experience of what FCO do regarding school fees for their overseas personnel (I was under the impression that they paid 100% of the fees), but I do so far as HM Forces is concerned. The allowance is not on a sliding scale depending on rank. MOD will pay 90% (I thought it was 80% but could be wrong) of the school fees up to a certain amount, anything over that and the service person pays the difference. But everyone, regardless of rank, will pay at least 10% of the fees. Also, the main reason why there are very few Private's children in boarding school is generally because they don't have children old enough to attend. There is a large Garrison at Catterick, however, people don't stay there very long and as soon as the posting ends they're more than likely going to end up in the South of England. Most parents looking for schools will think years in advance and opt for a school which is central to all the main posting options. Catterick, by and large, will not feature.[/p][/quote]Further to the above, Munrobagger appears to be envious of the "taxpayer funded perk" that is Continuity of Education Allowance. Get your facts straight; it is one of a service person's terms and conditions to compensate for the disruptive lifestyle required. If you are prepared to enjoy your child attending 7 schools across the globe before the age of 11 and had she not then attended boarding school would have attended a further 4 before graduation, then, Munrobagger, sign up and enlist and you will be well rewarded with the "taxpayer's perk". I'll throw in the 20 plus house moves and 5 wars for free. Failing that stick to the thread rather than trying to cloud the issue with ill informed "politics of envy"; this is about 200 children who have had their world turned upside down without consultation or warning.[/p][/quote]Fellonmyfeet appears to have mis-understood the point I was making. At what point did I say that service personnel didn't deserve this perk ? I was merely making the point that a significant number of places at public school depend on a subsidy ( a subsidy that I happen to think is justified for what service people have to endure) from the taxpayer, and if that subsidy is reduced or removed it must by definition impact on the affordability of private education. You also seem to have missed the fact that right at the very beginning of my post I expressed sympathy for Casterton parents. Finally, I am a member of a service family, with a nephew who is currently doing his bit in Afghanistan as a junior officer. He is the third generation to serve and the third generation to go to public school but from what he tells me the terms on which he was offered a short-term commission means that he is unlikely to be able to send his children to public school.[/p][/quote]Munrobagger, thank you for your clarifications. Indeed thank you for your sympathetic comments towards the plight of the Casterton pupils. However your continued use of the derogatory term "perk" undermines your clarified position on this allowance as it is not a perk it is a necessary compensation to try and give service children some form of stability whatever the exigencies of the parental military career. Your introduction of it into the debate about Casterton is misjudged; only some 3% of Casterton pupils are from service families. May I wish your nephew a safe return from his duty overseas.. Fellonmyfeet
  • Score: 0

7:12pm Sun 10 Mar 13

Fellonmyfeet says...

Munrobagger wrote:
Fellonmyfeet wrote:
Rubydubdub wrote:
Munrobagger wrote:
Rubydubdub wrote:
Munrobagger wrote: I have every sympathy for Casterton parents for the way in which "the solution" has been imposed on them in an extremely arrogant and high-handed way. Whilst, it may be legally possible for the governors to act in this way, is it really advisable? Somebody seems to have overlooked the importance of winning hearts and minds. On the not unreasonable assumption that the governers are intelligent people, then it suggests an ulterior motive. For this union to work the governors cannot afford for there to be lingering suspicion and ill-feeling. It threatens to undermine their publicly-stated aims. Sadly, some form of rationalisation is inevitable in these difficult times. The reality is that the domestic market for expensive private education is bound to shrink, which is why public schools are increasingly courting overseas students. Without them the future is a bit bleak. Public schools have traditionally drawn heavily on military and diplomatic families for its intake, largely because they have been the only ones who can afford it, what with the massive subsidies they get from the taxpayer - for senior officers and diplomats this can be as much as 90% of fees being paid for them. However, now that the halcyon days of a far flung empire are long gone and the UK economy struggles to compete with the BRIC economies, the armed forces and FCO are not only having to reduce their overseas presence, but are also facing demands for a cutback in perks. The latest attempt to reduce the fee subsidy was defeated in 2011 but it won't be long before its back on the agenda. The next generation of young professionals will have greater priorities than the luxury of private schooling. Overseas intake will really only benefit the 13-18 category, so its hard to see where Casterton will be getting its prep school intake from in a few years. Don't be surprised if Casterton goes the way of Bentham insay 4-5 years time.
Your statement that independent schools rely heavily on HM Forces children isn't quite true. In some schools that is the case but Casterton is not one of them. There are over 600,000 children who attend fee paying schools in the UK, of those 600,000 only 7,000 are forces children who use the Continuity of Education Allowance. And please don't suggest that it's just senior officers who take advantage of CEA, it's open to every member of HMF so long as they are mobile, irrespective of whether or not they are posted overseas. Casterton will never be seen as a viable option for most Forces families due to the fact that it is far too far north. That aside, as a Casterton old girl, my heart goes out to the girls, parents and staff who are going through such upheaval. I hope that everyone who was involved in coming to this decision are very, very sure that it's the right thing to do for the children, present and future, as opposed to the most financially lucrative.
I wasn't trying to suggest that it is only senior officers; simply giving an example of the size of the subsidy that is available to them. Whilst you are quite correct in saying that it is open to all HMF, the reality is that take up of this option declines as one drops down the pecking order ; a middle ranking FCO officer probably gets about 70 -75% paid, so I doubt very much if anyone below that rank could really afford to fund private education even with a bit of help from the taxpayer. As for being too far north, don't forget that the Army has its largest (I think) barracks at Catterick, North Yorkshire.
To quote Munrobagger 'I wasn't trying to suggest that it is only senior officers; simply giving an example of the size of the subsidy that is available to them. Whilst you are quite correct in saying that it is open to all HMF, the reality is that take up of this option declines as one drops down the pecking order ; a middle ranking FCO officer probably gets about 70 -75% paid, so I doubt very much if anyone below that rank could really afford to fund private education even with a bit of help from the taxpayer. As for being too far north, don't forget that the Army has its largest (I think) barracks at Catterick, North Yorkshire.' I have no direct experience of what FCO do regarding school fees for their overseas personnel (I was under the impression that they paid 100% of the fees), but I do so far as HM Forces is concerned. The allowance is not on a sliding scale depending on rank. MOD will pay 90% (I thought it was 80% but could be wrong) of the school fees up to a certain amount, anything over that and the service person pays the difference. But everyone, regardless of rank, will pay at least 10% of the fees. Also, the main reason why there are very few Private's children in boarding school is generally because they don't have children old enough to attend. There is a large Garrison at Catterick, however, people don't stay there very long and as soon as the posting ends they're more than likely going to end up in the South of England. Most parents looking for schools will think years in advance and opt for a school which is central to all the main posting options. Catterick, by and large, will not feature.
Further to the above, Munrobagger appears to be envious of the "taxpayer funded perk" that is Continuity of Education Allowance. Get your facts straight; it is one of a service person's terms and conditions to compensate for the disruptive lifestyle required. If you are prepared to enjoy your child attending 7 schools across the globe before the age of 11 and had she not then attended boarding school would have attended a further 4 before graduation, then, Munrobagger, sign up and enlist and you will be well rewarded with the "taxpayer's perk". I'll throw in the 20 plus house moves and 5 wars for free. Failing that stick to the thread rather than trying to cloud the issue with ill informed "politics of envy"; this is about 200 children who have had their world turned upside down without consultation or warning.
Fellonmyfeet appears to have mis-understood the point I was making. At what point did I say that service personnel didn't deserve this perk ? I was merely making the point that a significant number of places at public school depend on a subsidy ( a subsidy that I happen to think is justified for what service people have to endure) from the taxpayer, and if that subsidy is reduced or removed it must by definition impact on the affordability of private education. You also seem to have missed the fact that right at the very beginning of my post I expressed sympathy for Casterton parents. Finally, I am a member of a service family, with a nephew who is currently doing his bit in Afghanistan as a junior officer. He is the third generation to serve and the third generation to go to public school but from what he tells me the terms on which he was offered a short-term commission means that he is unlikely to be able to send his children to public school.
Munrobagger, thank you for your clarifications. Indeed thank you for your sympathetic comments towards the plight of the Casterton pupils. However your continued use of the derogatory term "perk" undermines your clarified position on this allowance as it is not a perk it is a necessary compensation to try and give service children some form of stability whatever the exigencies of the parental military career. Your introduction of it into the debate about Casterton is misjudged; only some 3% of Casterton pupils are from service families. May I wish your nephew a safe return from his duty overseas..
[quote][p][bold]Munrobagger[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Fellonmyfeet[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Rubydubdub[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Munrobagger[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Rubydubdub[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Munrobagger[/bold] wrote: I have every sympathy for Casterton parents for the way in which "the solution" has been imposed on them in an extremely arrogant and high-handed way. Whilst, it may be legally possible for the governors to act in this way, is it really advisable? Somebody seems to have overlooked the importance of winning hearts and minds. On the not unreasonable assumption that the governers are intelligent people, then it suggests an ulterior motive. For this union to work the governors cannot afford for there to be lingering suspicion and ill-feeling. It threatens to undermine their publicly-stated aims. Sadly, some form of rationalisation is inevitable in these difficult times. The reality is that the domestic market for expensive private education is bound to shrink, which is why public schools are increasingly courting overseas students. Without them the future is a bit bleak. Public schools have traditionally drawn heavily on military and diplomatic families for its intake, largely because they have been the only ones who can afford it, what with the massive subsidies they get from the taxpayer - for senior officers and diplomats this can be as much as 90% of fees being paid for them. However, now that the halcyon days of a far flung empire are long gone and the UK economy struggles to compete with the BRIC economies, the armed forces and FCO are not only having to reduce their overseas presence, but are also facing demands for a cutback in perks. The latest attempt to reduce the fee subsidy was defeated in 2011 but it won't be long before its back on the agenda. The next generation of young professionals will have greater priorities than the luxury of private schooling. Overseas intake will really only benefit the 13-18 category, so its hard to see where Casterton will be getting its prep school intake from in a few years. Don't be surprised if Casterton goes the way of Bentham insay 4-5 years time.[/p][/quote]Your statement that independent schools rely heavily on HM Forces children isn't quite true. In some schools that is the case but Casterton is not one of them. There are over 600,000 children who attend fee paying schools in the UK, of those 600,000 only 7,000 are forces children who use the Continuity of Education Allowance. And please don't suggest that it's just senior officers who take advantage of CEA, it's open to every member of HMF so long as they are mobile, irrespective of whether or not they are posted overseas. Casterton will never be seen as a viable option for most Forces families due to the fact that it is far too far north. That aside, as a Casterton old girl, my heart goes out to the girls, parents and staff who are going through such upheaval. I hope that everyone who was involved in coming to this decision are very, very sure that it's the right thing to do for the children, present and future, as opposed to the most financially lucrative.[/p][/quote]I wasn't trying to suggest that it is only senior officers; simply giving an example of the size of the subsidy that is available to them. Whilst you are quite correct in saying that it is open to all HMF, the reality is that take up of this option declines as one drops down the pecking order ; a middle ranking FCO officer probably gets about 70 -75% paid, so I doubt very much if anyone below that rank could really afford to fund private education even with a bit of help from the taxpayer. As for being too far north, don't forget that the Army has its largest (I think) barracks at Catterick, North Yorkshire.[/p][/quote]To quote Munrobagger 'I wasn't trying to suggest that it is only senior officers; simply giving an example of the size of the subsidy that is available to them. Whilst you are quite correct in saying that it is open to all HMF, the reality is that take up of this option declines as one drops down the pecking order ; a middle ranking FCO officer probably gets about 70 -75% paid, so I doubt very much if anyone below that rank could really afford to fund private education even with a bit of help from the taxpayer. As for being too far north, don't forget that the Army has its largest (I think) barracks at Catterick, North Yorkshire.' I have no direct experience of what FCO do regarding school fees for their overseas personnel (I was under the impression that they paid 100% of the fees), but I do so far as HM Forces is concerned. The allowance is not on a sliding scale depending on rank. MOD will pay 90% (I thought it was 80% but could be wrong) of the school fees up to a certain amount, anything over that and the service person pays the difference. But everyone, regardless of rank, will pay at least 10% of the fees. Also, the main reason why there are very few Private's children in boarding school is generally because they don't have children old enough to attend. There is a large Garrison at Catterick, however, people don't stay there very long and as soon as the posting ends they're more than likely going to end up in the South of England. Most parents looking for schools will think years in advance and opt for a school which is central to all the main posting options. Catterick, by and large, will not feature.[/p][/quote]Further to the above, Munrobagger appears to be envious of the "taxpayer funded perk" that is Continuity of Education Allowance. Get your facts straight; it is one of a service person's terms and conditions to compensate for the disruptive lifestyle required. If you are prepared to enjoy your child attending 7 schools across the globe before the age of 11 and had she not then attended boarding school would have attended a further 4 before graduation, then, Munrobagger, sign up and enlist and you will be well rewarded with the "taxpayer's perk". I'll throw in the 20 plus house moves and 5 wars for free. Failing that stick to the thread rather than trying to cloud the issue with ill informed "politics of envy"; this is about 200 children who have had their world turned upside down without consultation or warning.[/p][/quote]Fellonmyfeet appears to have mis-understood the point I was making. At what point did I say that service personnel didn't deserve this perk ? I was merely making the point that a significant number of places at public school depend on a subsidy ( a subsidy that I happen to think is justified for what service people have to endure) from the taxpayer, and if that subsidy is reduced or removed it must by definition impact on the affordability of private education. You also seem to have missed the fact that right at the very beginning of my post I expressed sympathy for Casterton parents. Finally, I am a member of a service family, with a nephew who is currently doing his bit in Afghanistan as a junior officer. He is the third generation to serve and the third generation to go to public school but from what he tells me the terms on which he was offered a short-term commission means that he is unlikely to be able to send his children to public school.[/p][/quote]Munrobagger, thank you for your clarifications. Indeed thank you for your sympathetic comments towards the plight of the Casterton pupils. However your continued use of the derogatory term "perk" undermines your clarified position on this allowance as it is not a perk it is a necessary compensation to try and give service children some form of stability whatever the exigencies of the parental military career. Your introduction of it into the debate about Casterton is misjudged; only some 3% of Casterton pupils are from service families. May I wish your nephew a safe return from his duty overseas.. Fellonmyfeet
  • Score: 0

7:24pm Sun 10 Mar 13

CumbrianBornAndBred2 says...

I am a fairly recent leaver and as a former pupil of both schools, I can happily advise any current Castertonians to avoid Sedbergh. I made the move from Casterton to Sedbergh and I have never regretted anything more.

Their teaching is average (see exam results), the pastoral care is very limited and as for sport..sport is all, but not all sport. Surprise surprise - the only sport that counts is, of course, Rugby. What about all the sports that Castertonions excel at? Lacrosse in particular. What will become of the girls who show real promise in lacrosse? Precisely nothing if they attend Sedbergh. Does Sedbergh offer riding? No.
When I had moved to Sedbergh, in my first term in 3rd form, I was asked by my housemistress (also a teacher) what I would like to become. I answered with 'Neurosurgeon' and she laughed in my face rather than asking me if I had looked at how I would achieve this. I would have to say that about sums up the 'inspirational' teaching at Sedbergh. As a fan of reading I was regularly told to put my book away and go and watch the rugby teams play. Yet another wonderful example of how superb Sedbergh is at broadening the horizons of its pupils!

Bullying was rife while I attended Sedbergh. It was absolutely disgusting some of the things people had to face, both male and female. Being locked in wardrobes, people weeing in others beds, black eyes just to name a few..along with a vast quantity of verbal abuse. And all of that bullying happened if you were deemed 'a freak' if you had other than mainstream interests.

All I would say to parents considering letting your daughters attend Sedbergh "Beware of Greeks bearing gifts"!
I am a fairly recent leaver and as a former pupil of both schools, I can happily advise any current Castertonians to avoid Sedbergh. I made the move from Casterton to Sedbergh and I have never regretted anything more. Their teaching is average (see exam results), the pastoral care is very limited and as for sport..sport is all, but not all sport. Surprise surprise - the only sport that counts is, of course, Rugby. What about all the sports that Castertonions excel at? Lacrosse in particular. What will become of the girls who show real promise in lacrosse? Precisely nothing if they attend Sedbergh. Does Sedbergh offer riding? No. When I had moved to Sedbergh, in my first term in 3rd form, I was asked by my housemistress (also a teacher) what I would like to become. I answered with 'Neurosurgeon' and she laughed in my face rather than asking me if I had looked at how I would achieve this. I would have to say that about sums up the 'inspirational' teaching at Sedbergh. As a fan of reading I was regularly told to put my book away and go and watch the rugby teams play. Yet another wonderful example of how superb Sedbergh is at broadening the horizons of its pupils! Bullying was rife while I attended Sedbergh. It was absolutely disgusting some of the things people had to face, both male and female. Being locked in wardrobes, people weeing in others beds, black eyes just to name a few..along with a vast quantity of verbal abuse. And all of that bullying happened if you were deemed 'a freak' if you had other than mainstream interests. All I would say to parents considering letting your daughters attend Sedbergh "Beware of Greeks bearing gifts"! CumbrianBornAndBred2
  • Score: 0

7:50pm Sun 10 Mar 13

tomo2561 says...

There are many countries were children don't even get a chance to attend school, many children don't even have parents to make decisions for them on matters such as education.
If parents have so much time to spend taking the Casterton & Sedbergh school merger to the high court then maybe they should be putting this time to more important matters in life, no one is forcing you to choose those schools, what a bunch pathetic individuals.
There are many countries were children don't even get a chance to attend school, many children don't even have parents to make decisions for them on matters such as education. If parents have so much time to spend taking the Casterton & Sedbergh school merger to the high court then maybe they should be putting this time to more important matters in life, no one is forcing you to choose those schools, what a bunch pathetic individuals. tomo2561
  • Score: 0

8:02pm Sun 10 Mar 13

sibbetson says...

Dear everybody,

We had a hearing tonight for an injunction to pause the merger. The injunction was denied, because Sedbergh's solicitors did not show up and the judge felt he could not grant an injunction without hearing both sides of the story.

Sarah and Steven have worked so very hard for this. We are very sad indeed.
Dear everybody, We had a hearing tonight for an injunction to pause the merger. The injunction was denied, because Sedbergh's solicitors did not show up and the judge felt he could not grant an injunction without hearing both sides of the story. Sarah and Steven have worked so very hard for this. We are very sad indeed. sibbetson
  • Score: 0

8:19pm Sun 10 Mar 13

getonwithlife says...

Now that this is sorted, can we all get on with life.
By the way: "well said tomo2561"
Now that this is sorted, can we all get on with life. By the way: "well said tomo2561" getonwithlife
  • Score: 0

8:23pm Sun 10 Mar 13

zaney5 says...

getonwithlife wrote:
Now that this is sorted, can we all get on with life.
By the way: "well said tomo2561"
Way to go with the compassion. You obviously have no comprehension of how this is affecting people.
I seriously pity people like you.
[quote][p][bold]getonwithlife[/bold] wrote: Now that this is sorted, can we all get on with life. By the way: "well said tomo2561"[/p][/quote]Way to go with the compassion. You obviously have no comprehension of how this is affecting people. I seriously pity people like you. zaney5
  • Score: 0

8:23pm Sun 10 Mar 13

zaney5 says...

getonwithlife wrote:
Now that this is sorted, can we all get on with life.
By the way: "well said tomo2561"
Way to go with the compassion. You obviously have no comprehension of how this is affecting people.
I seriously pity people like you.
[quote][p][bold]getonwithlife[/bold] wrote: Now that this is sorted, can we all get on with life. By the way: "well said tomo2561"[/p][/quote]Way to go with the compassion. You obviously have no comprehension of how this is affecting people. I seriously pity people like you. zaney5
  • Score: 0

8:31pm Sun 10 Mar 13

Overseas Parent says...

getonwithlife wrote:
Now that this is sorted, can we all get on with life.
By the way: "well said tomo2561"
I suspect a Sedbergh connection; need I say more?
[quote][p][bold]getonwithlife[/bold] wrote: Now that this is sorted, can we all get on with life. By the way: "well said tomo2561"[/p][/quote]I suspect a Sedbergh connection; need I say more? Overseas Parent
  • Score: 0

8:33pm Sun 10 Mar 13

getonwithlife says...

Just for once Overseas Parents you are wrong
Just for once Overseas Parents you are wrong getonwithlife
  • Score: 0

8:47pm Sun 10 Mar 13

tomo2561 says...

I have no connection with either of the schools, i just believe that there are more important things in life, you obviously have no comprehension of how children are affected by having no parents, how they are affected by having to spend life on the streets selling themselves or if they are lucky spending days on the streets selling cheap goods to tourists, you obviously have no comprehension of how the people who selflessly spend there time trying to help these children are affected by witnessing it.
Send your children to a school, any school,they will get an education. then spend your time thinking of others, and stop making an issue/headline news item out of something that is not important in this world.
I have no connection with either of the schools, i just believe that there are more important things in life, you obviously have no comprehension of how children are affected by having no parents, how they are affected by having to spend life on the streets selling themselves or if they are lucky spending days on the streets selling cheap goods to tourists, you obviously have no comprehension of how the people who selflessly spend there time trying to help these children are affected by witnessing it. Send your children to a school, any school,they will get an education. then spend your time thinking of others, and stop making an issue/headline news item out of something that is not important in this world. tomo2561
  • Score: 0

8:51pm Sun 10 Mar 13

sibbetson says...

Dear Getonwithlife, you may not realise how insensitive your comments are. I am sure you did not intend to be rude or oafish.

Dear Tomo2561, you are right, it is horrible that some children don't have parents, I very much admire people like you who are clearly working hard to protect and support them.

My daughter has parents, however, and we have worked really hard to put her into a school where she is happy.That school is being taken away from her and she and her friends are to be scattered to the four winds. I feel my role as her parent and protector is to try and rescue and preserve the school, for her, for her friends, and for future generations of little girls.

I am not sure why somebody would consider that to be pathetic, and suppose that ultimately they may not have given the matter a great deal of thought.
Dear Getonwithlife, you may not realise how insensitive your comments are. I am sure you did not intend to be rude or oafish. Dear Tomo2561, you are right, it is horrible that some children don't have parents, I very much admire people like you who are clearly working hard to protect and support them. My daughter has parents, however, and we have worked really hard to put her into a school where she is happy.That school is being taken away from her and she and her friends are to be scattered to the four winds. I feel my role as her parent and protector is to try and rescue and preserve the school, for her, for her friends, and for future generations of little girls. I am not sure why somebody would consider that to be pathetic, and suppose that ultimately they may not have given the matter a great deal of thought. sibbetson
  • Score: 0

8:52pm Sun 10 Mar 13

zaney5 says...

tomo2561 wrote:
I have no connection with either of the schools, i just believe that there are more important things in life, you obviously have no comprehension of how children are affected by having no parents, how they are affected by having to spend life on the streets selling themselves or if they are lucky spending days on the streets selling cheap goods to tourists, you obviously have no comprehension of how the people who selflessly spend there time trying to help these children are affected by witnessing it.
Send your children to a school, any school,they will get an education. then spend your time thinking of others, and stop making an issue/headline news item out of something that is not important in this world.
You are making comparisons that have nothing to do with each other. You don't think it's important? Fine, then don't get involved. Go and troll somewhere else,
[quote][p][bold]tomo2561[/bold] wrote: I have no connection with either of the schools, i just believe that there are more important things in life, you obviously have no comprehension of how children are affected by having no parents, how they are affected by having to spend life on the streets selling themselves or if they are lucky spending days on the streets selling cheap goods to tourists, you obviously have no comprehension of how the people who selflessly spend there time trying to help these children are affected by witnessing it. Send your children to a school, any school,they will get an education. then spend your time thinking of others, and stop making an issue/headline news item out of something that is not important in this world.[/p][/quote]You are making comparisons that have nothing to do with each other. You don't think it's important? Fine, then don't get involved. Go and troll somewhere else, zaney5
  • Score: 0

8:56pm Sun 10 Mar 13

Overseas Parent says...

getonwithlife wrote:
Just for once Overseas Parents you are wrong
Apologies if I have been unjust in my post but emotions are running high.

While you and tomo2561 can be dismissive and say how lucky we all are compared to others, I suggest you reflect and consider where the world would be if we all sat back and allowed others to tell us that they know best and that those affected by decisions do not matter!

I am afraid to say, the Casterton Governors have got this wrong and without meaningful dialogue with those affected, they demonstrate an arrogance and disdain which totally undermines the Casterton values which they are supposed to represent!
[quote][p][bold]getonwithlife[/bold] wrote: Just for once Overseas Parents you are wrong[/p][/quote]Apologies if I have been unjust in my post but emotions are running high. While you and tomo2561 can be dismissive and say how lucky we all are compared to others, I suggest you reflect and consider where the world would be if we all sat back and allowed others to tell us that they know best and that those affected by decisions do not matter! I am afraid to say, the Casterton Governors have got this wrong and without meaningful dialogue with those affected, they demonstrate an arrogance and disdain which totally undermines the Casterton values which they are supposed to represent! Overseas Parent
  • Score: 0

9:06pm Sun 10 Mar 13

Overseas Parent says...

tomo2561 wrote:
I have no connection with either of the schools, i just believe that there are more important things in life, you obviously have no comprehension of how children are affected by having no parents, how they are affected by having to spend life on the streets selling themselves or if they are lucky spending days on the streets selling cheap goods to tourists, you obviously have no comprehension of how the people who selflessly spend there time trying to help these children are affected by witnessing it.
Send your children to a school, any school,they will get an education. then spend your time thinking of others, and stop making an issue/headline news item out of something that is not important in this world.
I beg to differ! I am overseas trying to make a difference in countries where such disadvantages are common place. If we all adopted your philosophy of looking after No1 and not taking a stand against injustices where would the world be?

If this is such an insignificant issue and you are not connected to either school, why are you wasting your time contributing to this thread and not sorting out bigger issues overseas!
[quote][p][bold]tomo2561[/bold] wrote: I have no connection with either of the schools, i just believe that there are more important things in life, you obviously have no comprehension of how children are affected by having no parents, how they are affected by having to spend life on the streets selling themselves or if they are lucky spending days on the streets selling cheap goods to tourists, you obviously have no comprehension of how the people who selflessly spend there time trying to help these children are affected by witnessing it. Send your children to a school, any school,they will get an education. then spend your time thinking of others, and stop making an issue/headline news item out of something that is not important in this world.[/p][/quote]I beg to differ! I am overseas trying to make a difference in countries where such disadvantages are common place. If we all adopted your philosophy of looking after No1 and not taking a stand against injustices where would the world be? If this is such an insignificant issue and you are not connected to either school, why are you wasting your time contributing to this thread and not sorting out bigger issues overseas! Overseas Parent
  • Score: 0

10:27pm Sun 10 Mar 13

Casterton 1 says...

Just listened to the audio of last Friday`s meeting, Andrew Fleck sounded most impressive although is it just me or does he sound and talk like Boris Johnson ?
Casterton was faced with closure or merger, i had heard thatb the expected roll from Sept 2013 was 170-180 which is 100 below break even. Also even at break even there is no money left to invest in facilities.
Just listened to the audio of last Friday`s meeting, Andrew Fleck sounded most impressive although is it just me or does he sound and talk like Boris Johnson ? Casterton was faced with closure or merger, i had heard thatb the expected roll from Sept 2013 was 170-180 which is 100 below break even. Also even at break even there is no money left to invest in facilities. Casterton 1
  • Score: 0

10:46pm Sun 10 Mar 13

Moonbase says...

CumbrianBornAndBred2 wrote:
I am a fairly recent leaver and as a former pupil of both schools, I can happily advise any current Castertonians to avoid Sedbergh. I made the move from Casterton to Sedbergh and I have never regretted anything more.

Their teaching is average (see exam results), the pastoral care is very limited and as for sport..sport is all, but not all sport. Surprise surprise - the only sport that counts is, of course, Rugby. What about all the sports that Castertonions excel at? Lacrosse in particular. What will become of the girls who show real promise in lacrosse? Precisely nothing if they attend Sedbergh. Does Sedbergh offer riding? No.
When I had moved to Sedbergh, in my first term in 3rd form, I was asked by my housemistress (also a teacher) what I would like to become. I answered with 'Neurosurgeon' and she laughed in my face rather than asking me if I had looked at how I would achieve this. I would have to say that about sums up the 'inspirational' teaching at Sedbergh. As a fan of reading I was regularly told to put my book away and go and watch the rugby teams play. Yet another wonderful example of how superb Sedbergh is at broadening the horizons of its pupils!

Bullying was rife while I attended Sedbergh. It was absolutely disgusting some of the things people had to face, both male and female. Being locked in wardrobes, people weeing in others beds, black eyes just to name a few..along with a vast quantity of verbal abuse. And all of that bullying happened if you were deemed 'a freak' if you had other than mainstream interests.

All I would say to parents considering letting your daughters attend Sedbergh "Beware of Greeks bearing gifts"!
Sounds like you were just short of a priest.
You sound well balanced now and the future, is the future.
Forget them.
Good Luck.
[quote][p][bold]CumbrianBornAndBred2[/bold] wrote: I am a fairly recent leaver and as a former pupil of both schools, I can happily advise any current Castertonians to avoid Sedbergh. I made the move from Casterton to Sedbergh and I have never regretted anything more. Their teaching is average (see exam results), the pastoral care is very limited and as for sport..sport is all, but not all sport. Surprise surprise - the only sport that counts is, of course, Rugby. What about all the sports that Castertonions excel at? Lacrosse in particular. What will become of the girls who show real promise in lacrosse? Precisely nothing if they attend Sedbergh. Does Sedbergh offer riding? No. When I had moved to Sedbergh, in my first term in 3rd form, I was asked by my housemistress (also a teacher) what I would like to become. I answered with 'Neurosurgeon' and she laughed in my face rather than asking me if I had looked at how I would achieve this. I would have to say that about sums up the 'inspirational' teaching at Sedbergh. As a fan of reading I was regularly told to put my book away and go and watch the rugby teams play. Yet another wonderful example of how superb Sedbergh is at broadening the horizons of its pupils! Bullying was rife while I attended Sedbergh. It was absolutely disgusting some of the things people had to face, both male and female. Being locked in wardrobes, people weeing in others beds, black eyes just to name a few..along with a vast quantity of verbal abuse. And all of that bullying happened if you were deemed 'a freak' if you had other than mainstream interests. All I would say to parents considering letting your daughters attend Sedbergh "Beware of Greeks bearing gifts"![/p][/quote]Sounds like you were just short of a priest. You sound well balanced now and the future, is the future. Forget them. Good Luck. Moonbase
  • Score: 0

11:13pm Sun 10 Mar 13

MrsLawyer says...

sibbetson wrote:
Dear everybody, We had a hearing tonight for an injunction to pause the merger. The injunction was denied, because Sedbergh's solicitors did not show up and the judge felt he could not grant an injunction without hearing both sides of the story. Sarah and Steven have worked so very hard for this. We are very sad indeed.
Well, not sure how to respond to this. Civil Case held on a Sunday, other side not present, urgency (not child protection etc) chances of a hearing if both parties not there '0' who offered the advice? Two private companies merging, no public interest test, no satutory requirements to consult, forgone conclusion no hearing.
[quote][p][bold]sibbetson[/bold] wrote: Dear everybody, We had a hearing tonight for an injunction to pause the merger. The injunction was denied, because Sedbergh's solicitors did not show up and the judge felt he could not grant an injunction without hearing both sides of the story. Sarah and Steven have worked so very hard for this. We are very sad indeed.[/p][/quote]Well, not sure how to respond to this. Civil Case held on a Sunday, other side not present, urgency (not child protection etc) chances of a hearing if both parties not there '0' who offered the advice? Two private companies merging, no public interest test, no satutory requirements to consult, forgone conclusion no hearing. MrsLawyer
  • Score: 0

7:00am Mon 11 Mar 13

sibbetson says...

Indeed yes, unfortunately we needed a great deal of money in a deposit account (as you know Sedbergh asked for £1.6 million) in order to challenge.

We did not manage to raise enough until Friday night. We tried to get a hearing as soon as we had funds to do it but by then it was weekend and Sedbergh's solicitors would not attend a hearing.
Indeed yes, unfortunately we needed a great deal of money in a deposit account (as you know Sedbergh asked for £1.6 million) in order to challenge. We did not manage to raise enough until Friday night. We tried to get a hearing as soon as we had funds to do it but by then it was weekend and Sedbergh's solicitors would not attend a hearing. sibbetson
  • Score: 0

3:13pm Mon 11 Mar 13

Joan Martin says...

I have no direct involvement with either school but live in Casterton and have always had much respect for the ethos and heritage of Casterton School. I have great sympathy with the staff, the girls and everone who has tried so hard to fight for this decision to be overturned. Mr Tomlinson may originally have taken what he believed to be the best way forward for the girls - I just don't know, but surely after seeing the passion and determination to save this great school he must now have his doubts. I believe he has handled the whole situation very badly and as a result has faced a torrent of adverse publicity. He is an estate agent and will have many other contacts within that profession. This has added much fuel to the fire and he must surely now see that to accept the position of joint Chairman of the governing body of Sedbergh School (a position in which he would have much influence in the eventual selling of the Casterton legacy) would be ethically very wrong.
I have no direct involvement with either school but live in Casterton and have always had much respect for the ethos and heritage of Casterton School. I have great sympathy with the staff, the girls and everone who has tried so hard to fight for this decision to be overturned. Mr Tomlinson may originally have taken what he believed to be the best way forward for the girls - I just don't know, but surely after seeing the passion and determination to save this great school he must now have his doubts. I believe he has handled the whole situation very badly and as a result has faced a torrent of adverse publicity. He is an estate agent and will have many other contacts within that profession. This has added much fuel to the fire and he must surely now see that to accept the position of joint Chairman of the governing body of Sedbergh School (a position in which he would have much influence in the eventual selling of the Casterton legacy) would be ethically very wrong. Joan Martin
  • Score: 0

10:21am Tue 12 Mar 13

Kendmoor says...

I assume the chruch of england are flexing their muscles on this one?
Having watched from the sidelines on previous school closures and mergers the amount of secret goings on and contract/land agreements the chruch have often play the biggest role in the goings on.
I assume the chruch of england are flexing their muscles on this one? Having watched from the sidelines on previous school closures and mergers the amount of secret goings on and contract/land agreements the chruch have often play the biggest role in the goings on. Kendmoor
  • Score: 0

11:09am Tue 12 Mar 13

formerbenthamparent says...

Look less to Mr Tomlinson and more to the track record of Sedbergh and their takeover/merger history. Bentham children were told at the same time of year, in the same manner during an assembly; parents found out later as we got calls from crying children.

We too tried to save our sweet little Benthan Grammar, but to no avail. Where is it now? Gone, sold -money pocketed despite all that was said about Sedbergh 'saving' it and needing a junior school! It was an asset stripping exercise.

The similarities are alarming and I think that the theory that Sedbergh will asset strip the Casterton site very soon is absolutely bang on!

Did I send my children to Sedbergh -NO CHANCE!! I went to have a look and found it to be far from adequate for our ideals. As others have said -if we had wanted Sedbergh and its 'traditions' we would have gone there in the first place. Hardly any of the children from Bentham chose to go to Sedbergh.

Find your daughters another school -don't be afraid of the local state schools as these are amongst the best in the country! My children went to different schools -one state and one independent and they both thrived. Once the takeover was definite most children were moved immediately just leaving those finishing exams after Easter. Why leave children in a closing school when they can start their new life straight away. It was just too sad to stay!

The children will forget much quicker than the parents. Life will go on and while you won't want to hear this -in the long run I think my children did better than they would have at a small shrinking school. As one door closes another opens.

When Sedbergh does start asset stripping do write letters to the Gazette! Remind people -make Sedbergh accountable.
Look less to Mr Tomlinson and more to the track record of Sedbergh and their takeover/merger history. Bentham children were told at the same time of year, in the same manner during an assembly; parents found out later as we got calls from crying children. We too tried to save our sweet little Benthan Grammar, but to no avail. Where is it now? Gone, sold -money pocketed despite all that was said about Sedbergh 'saving' it and needing a junior school! It was an asset stripping exercise. The similarities are alarming and I think that the theory that Sedbergh will asset strip the Casterton site very soon is absolutely bang on! Did I send my children to Sedbergh -NO CHANCE!! I went to have a look and found it to be far from adequate for our ideals. As others have said -if we had wanted Sedbergh and its 'traditions' we would have gone there in the first place. Hardly any of the children from Bentham chose to go to Sedbergh. Find your daughters another school -don't be afraid of the local state schools as these are amongst the best in the country! My children went to different schools -one state and one independent and they both thrived. Once the takeover was definite most children were moved immediately just leaving those finishing exams after Easter. Why leave children in a closing school when they can start their new life straight away. It was just too sad to stay! The children will forget much quicker than the parents. Life will go on and while you won't want to hear this -in the long run I think my children did better than they would have at a small shrinking school. As one door closes another opens. When Sedbergh does start asset stripping do write letters to the Gazette! Remind people -make Sedbergh accountable. formerbenthamparent
  • Score: 0

11:27am Tue 12 Mar 13

sibbetson says...

I am not planning to send my daughter to Sedbergh. However we must now do something since it appears plain that this board of Governors is not open to discussion and has no wish whatsoever to hear rescue plans no matter how much money and weight is behind them.

I suggest that all Casterton parents sharer their ideas and discoveries on the Casterton Parents website so at least we can keep in touch with one another about schools we have looked at and possible choices for our girls. Several schools I have spoken to have offered to arrange transport for girls from this area if enough of us come across. I have posted the things I have learned on the Casterton Parents website and would be interested to hear what other people have been doing.

In the meantime, Mr Tomlinson I would very much rather she stayed where she is, we would much prefer this not to go ahead and you have had rescue proposals backed up by finance put in front of you. If you feel like reconsidering (not that I suppose you can now, I expect you have stitched yourself into Sedbergh too tightly for that) - we would be very pleased.
I am not planning to send my daughter to Sedbergh. However we must now do something since it appears plain that this board of Governors is not open to discussion and has no wish whatsoever to hear rescue plans no matter how much money and weight is behind them. I suggest that all Casterton parents sharer their ideas and discoveries on the Casterton Parents website so at least we can keep in touch with one another about schools we have looked at and possible choices for our girls. Several schools I have spoken to have offered to arrange transport for girls from this area if enough of us come across. I have posted the things I have learned on the Casterton Parents website and would be interested to hear what other people have been doing. In the meantime, Mr Tomlinson I would very much rather she stayed where she is, we would much prefer this not to go ahead and you have had rescue proposals backed up by finance put in front of you. If you feel like reconsidering (not that I suppose you can now, I expect you have stitched yourself into Sedbergh too tightly for that) - we would be very pleased. sibbetson
  • Score: 0

4:57pm Wed 13 Mar 13

stormin1 says...

Looks like the end of the line for Casterton. If I had a choice I would not send my daughter to Sedburgh with its reliance on rugby to the detriment of education.RIP
Looks like the end of the line for Casterton. If I had a choice I would not send my daughter to Sedburgh with its reliance on rugby to the detriment of education.RIP stormin1
  • Score: 0

8:36am Thu 14 Mar 13

Rosie/liberty says...

Of course you have a choice !! This is exactly the attitude that has led Casterton to its present dilemma . Why not try to be a little more PROACTIVE ?
Of course you have a choice !! This is exactly the attitude that has led Casterton to its present dilemma . Why not try to be a little more PROACTIVE ? Rosie/liberty
  • Score: 0

9:09am Thu 14 Mar 13

PeterRogerson says...

stormin1 wrote:
Looks like the end of the line for Casterton. If I had a choice I would not send my daughter to Sedburgh with its reliance on rugby to the detriment of education.RIP
You thoughts on Sedbergh are so outdated it maked me smile, perhaps you ought to find out a littlemore before you post on here again.
[quote][p][bold]stormin1[/bold] wrote: Looks like the end of the line for Casterton. If I had a choice I would not send my daughter to Sedburgh with its reliance on rugby to the detriment of education.RIP[/p][/quote]You thoughts on Sedbergh are so outdated it maked me smile, perhaps you ought to find out a littlemore before you post on here again. PeterRogerson
  • Score: 0

10:47am Thu 14 Mar 13

sibbetson says...

For any Casterton parents still reading this, we have been looking at Queen Mary's (girls only) in Thirsk and found it very nice. It is a long way away, she would have to board: but they are kind and gentle and it is small, quiet and very like Casterton in its ethos. Worth a look, we are thinking about it very seriously.
For any Casterton parents still reading this, we have been looking at Queen Mary's (girls only) in Thirsk and found it very nice. It is a long way away, she would have to board: but they are kind and gentle and it is small, quiet and very like Casterton in its ethos. Worth a look, we are thinking about it very seriously. sibbetson
  • Score: 1

12:47pm Thu 14 Mar 13

CastertonY8Parent says...

I am still reading this (still hoping for a miracle) and I've had a look at Queen Mary's. It does look lovely, unfortunately boarding is not an option in my daughter's case. Shame there is nothing closer like this. Oh wait there is..................
... Casterton!!!
Still very sad and angry at the injustice of how this has been handled. I intend to follow up with Tim Farron, there are very many questions still unanswered.
I am still reading this (still hoping for a miracle) and I've had a look at Queen Mary's. It does look lovely, unfortunately boarding is not an option in my daughter's case. Shame there is nothing closer like this. Oh wait there is.................. ... Casterton!!! Still very sad and angry at the injustice of how this has been handled. I intend to follow up with Tim Farron, there are very many questions still unanswered. CastertonY8Parent
  • Score: 0

1:05pm Thu 14 Mar 13

sibbetson says...

Dear Casterton Y8Parent, there are a few I think, looking, we could share lifts. Boarding isn't very expensive either. We spoke to Tim Farron he made lots of sympathetic noises but once it was plain we weren't going to win he just stopped returning our calls. There wouldn't be anything he could do anyway. Two private companies, nothing to do with anybody even if they are charities.
Dear Casterton Y8Parent, there are a few I think, looking, we could share lifts. Boarding isn't very expensive either. We spoke to Tim Farron he made lots of sympathetic noises but once it was plain we weren't going to win he just stopped returning our calls. There wouldn't be anything he could do anyway. Two private companies, nothing to do with anybody even if they are charities. sibbetson
  • Score: 0

3:52pm Thu 14 Mar 13

Blowin says...

I have friends who are staff at both schools and there is no doubt that both schools are entirely different so difficult to convince me that the Casterton ethos and academic standards will remain. The Casterton Governors have handled this appallingly!

There have been assurances that staff at both schools will compete on equal terms for the various posts, however in reality I do not feel that is the case. I am told that they are being scored against competencies which include CCF experience, sports team involvement or teaching staff involvement as house masters - nothing seems to be focused towards academic performance and does not take into account the different construct of Casterton. The Casterton staff are being treated shabbily and the Governors have failed to look after them! Having visited the school recently, it is clear that moral in the school has been shattered - is that really what the Governors intended?

What has happened at Casterton is scandalous and the Governors should hold their heads in shame!
I have friends who are staff at both schools and there is no doubt that both schools are entirely different so difficult to convince me that the Casterton ethos and academic standards will remain. The Casterton Governors have handled this appallingly! There have been assurances that staff at both schools will compete on equal terms for the various posts, however in reality I do not feel that is the case. I am told that they are being scored against competencies which include CCF experience, sports team involvement or teaching staff involvement as house masters - nothing seems to be focused towards academic performance and does not take into account the different construct of Casterton. The Casterton staff are being treated shabbily and the Governors have failed to look after them! Having visited the school recently, it is clear that moral in the school has been shattered - is that really what the Governors intended? What has happened at Casterton is scandalous and the Governors should hold their heads in shame! Blowin
  • Score: 0

5:48pm Thu 14 Mar 13

Rosie/liberty says...

Have you visited Sedbergh school recently ? If you have friends at Sedbergh you will surely know that the staff there are of equally low moral. Perhaps Casterton staff saw the writing on the whiteboard , they certainly should have done. Sedbergh staff , on the other hand , believed their school to be thriving and their jobs secure. Another point, how can you say Casterton staff have been treated shabbily when not one redundancy notice has been handed out yet.? it is more likely that Sedbergh staff will lose out as jobs are doled out to Casterton in order to appease the remaining parents and the new governors . If you think that Casterton parents pupils and staff are the only ones to be badly affected by this merger you are mistaken.
Have you visited Sedbergh school recently ? If you have friends at Sedbergh you will surely know that the staff there are of equally low moral. Perhaps Casterton staff saw the writing on the whiteboard , they certainly should have done. Sedbergh staff , on the other hand , believed their school to be thriving and their jobs secure. Another point, how can you say Casterton staff have been treated shabbily when not one redundancy notice has been handed out yet.? it is more likely that Sedbergh staff will lose out as jobs are doled out to Casterton in order to appease the remaining parents and the new governors . If you think that Casterton parents pupils and staff are the only ones to be badly affected by this merger you are mistaken. Rosie/liberty
  • Score: 0

8:47pm Thu 14 Mar 13

zaney5 says...

PeterRogerson wrote:
stormin1 wrote:
Looks like the end of the line for Casterton. If I had a choice I would not send my daughter to Sedburgh with its reliance on rugby to the detriment of education.RIP
You thoughts on Sedbergh are so outdated it maked me smile, perhaps you ought to find out a littlemore before you post on here again.
Well come on then Peter, you seem to know so much about this whole thing. Why don't YOU tell us exactly what is going on. After all, you come across as the expert on the whole thing.

Your pathetic attempts to ridicule anyone on here who has a different opinion to yours make ME smile.
[quote][p][bold]PeterRogerson[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]stormin1[/bold] wrote: Looks like the end of the line for Casterton. If I had a choice I would not send my daughter to Sedburgh with its reliance on rugby to the detriment of education.RIP[/p][/quote]You thoughts on Sedbergh are so outdated it maked me smile, perhaps you ought to find out a littlemore before you post on here again.[/p][/quote]Well come on then Peter, you seem to know so much about this whole thing. Why don't YOU tell us exactly what is going on. After all, you come across as the expert on the whole thing. Your pathetic attempts to ridicule anyone on here who has a different opinion to yours make ME smile. zaney5
  • Score: 0

9:16pm Thu 14 Mar 13

Tiffany22 says...

zaney5 wrote:
PeterRogerson wrote:
stormin1 wrote: Looks like the end of the line for Casterton. If I had a choice I would not send my daughter to Sedburgh with its reliance on rugby to the detriment of education.RIP
You thoughts on Sedbergh are so outdated it maked me smile, perhaps you ought to find out a littlemore before you post on here again.
Well come on then Peter, you seem to know so much about this whole thing. Why don't YOU tell us exactly what is going on. After all, you come across as the expert on the whole thing. Your pathetic attempts to ridicule anyone on here who has a different opinion to yours make ME smile.
Or is that 'maked' me smile ;)
I seem to remember Mr Peter Rogerson ridiculing someone on punctuation in a previous post....those in glass houses.....
[quote][p][bold]zaney5[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]PeterRogerson[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]stormin1[/bold] wrote: Looks like the end of the line for Casterton. If I had a choice I would not send my daughter to Sedburgh with its reliance on rugby to the detriment of education.RIP[/p][/quote]You thoughts on Sedbergh are so outdated it maked me smile, perhaps you ought to find out a littlemore before you post on here again.[/p][/quote]Well come on then Peter, you seem to know so much about this whole thing. Why don't YOU tell us exactly what is going on. After all, you come across as the expert on the whole thing. Your pathetic attempts to ridicule anyone on here who has a different opinion to yours make ME smile.[/p][/quote]Or is that 'maked' me smile ;) I seem to remember Mr Peter Rogerson ridiculing someone on punctuation in a previous post....those in glass houses..... Tiffany22
  • Score: 0

9:54pm Thu 14 Mar 13

PeterMThornber says...

A an OG I'd like to see Casterton survive and I'm sad at Bentham's demise. I've unhappy memories of mergers and consequent closuresin another, business' sector.
I've just tweeted on CastertonParents page:
1 Anyone in touch with Founder's kin? What's stance of DoE?
2 Four Casterton govs also Sedbergh govs ~ conflict of interest?
A an OG I'd like to see Casterton survive and I'm sad at Bentham's demise. I've unhappy memories of mergers and consequent closuresin another, business' sector. I've just tweeted on CastertonParents page: 1 Anyone in touch with Founder's kin? What's stance of DoE? 2 Four Casterton govs [not CT] also Sedbergh govs ~ conflict of interest? PeterMThornber
  • Score: 0

8:34pm Thu 21 Mar 13

sibbetson says...

All interested note this. Part of the Casterton site is already up for sale at the bargain price of £895K (it was mortgaged for £250K we believe according to the last set of figures we had)

It is being sold by Fisher Wrathall.

Fisher Wrathall used to be Wrathall Hodgson

Colin Tomlinson owns 90% of Michael Hodgson estate agent.

I have no idea if there is a connection or not.
All interested note this. Part of the Casterton site is already up for sale at the bargain price of £895K (it was mortgaged for £250K we believe according to the last set of figures we had) It is being sold by Fisher Wrathall. Fisher Wrathall used to be Wrathall Hodgson Colin Tomlinson owns 90% of Michael Hodgson estate agent. I have no idea if there is a connection or not. sibbetson
  • Score: 0

8:32am Fri 22 Mar 13

CastertonY8Parent says...

I cannot believe this! We were categorically told at the meeting for parents on the Friday after the "merger" that they could not sell any more parts of the school. This is scandalous!
I cannot believe this! We were categorically told at the meeting for parents on the Friday after the "merger" that they could not sell any more parts of the school. This is scandalous! CastertonY8Parent
  • Score: 0

11:26am Sun 24 Mar 13

hongkongparent says...

What a SHAME!

If they intend to sell the property, why didn't they sell it before the merger to raise the fund to resolve their so called 'Financial problem' if school. Getting this £895K after sale if property are much more than the cash injection by Sedbergh according to the merger plan!

Definitely all of these governors are selfish business people! They are not qualified to do Education. Their action clearly demaged the whole UK education system! Oversea parents lose confidence to send their children to UK.

Each oversea parents spent more than £30-40K annually in a UK boarding school. Do you know how many oversea boarders in Casterton? Lets say fifty, that's means £1.5m was spent annually as they trust UK is one of the best education system in the world.

Then what kind of protection for oversea parents?

Fair Legal protection? ---- NONE

Reliable authority / control on independent school governance? ---- NONE

Any assistance / support to oversea parents? ----NONE

Even I have send letters to MP personally, I even didn't receive a returned mail after three weeks! Am I naive?

When I shared this uncivil merger incident to others in my home country, they are all shocked and puzzle why such uncivil event could be happened in UK. Some of them originally plan to send their children to UK need second and clear thoughts before decision. They all afraid their chosen school will become next 'Casterson'! Who knows? Who can guarantee?
What a SHAME! If they intend to sell the property, why didn't they sell it before the merger to raise the fund to resolve their so called 'Financial problem' if school. Getting this £895K after sale if property are much more than the cash injection by Sedbergh according to the merger plan! Definitely all of these governors are selfish business people! They are not qualified to do Education. Their action clearly demaged the whole UK education system! Oversea parents lose confidence to send their children to UK. Each oversea parents spent more than £30-40K annually in a UK boarding school. Do you know how many oversea boarders in Casterton? Lets say fifty, that's means £1.5m was spent annually as they trust UK is one of the best education system in the world. Then what kind of protection for oversea parents? Fair Legal protection? ---- NONE Reliable authority / control on independent school governance? ---- NONE Any assistance / support to oversea parents? ----NONE Even I have send letters to MP personally, I even didn't receive a returned mail after three weeks! Am I naive? When I shared this uncivil merger incident to others in my home country, they are all shocked and puzzle why such uncivil event could be happened in UK. Some of them originally plan to send their children to UK need second and clear thoughts before decision. They all afraid their chosen school will become next 'Casterson'! Who knows? Who can guarantee? hongkongparent
  • Score: 0

11:34am Sun 24 Mar 13

hongkongparent says...

What a SHAME!

If they intend to sell the property, why didn't they sell it before the merger to raise the fund to resolve their so called 'Financial problem' of school. Getting this £895K after sale of property are much more than the cash injection by Sedbergh according to the merger plan!

Definitely all of these governors are selfish business people! They are not qualified to do Education. Their action clearly demaged the whole UK education system! Oversea parents lose confidence to send their children to UK.

Each oversea parents spent more than £30-40K annually in a UK boarding school. Do you know how many oversea boarders in Casterton? Lets say fifty, that's means £1.5m was spent annually as they trust UK is one of the best education system in the world.

Then what kind of protection for oversea parents?

Fair Legal protection? ---- NONE

Reliable authority / control on independent school governance? ---- NONE

Any assistance / support to oversea parents? ----NONE

Even I have send letters to MP personally, I even didn't receive a returned mail after three weeks! Am I naive?

When I shared this uncivil merger incident to others in my home country, they are all shocked and puzzle why such uncivil event could be happened in UK. Some of them originally plan to send their children to UK need second and clear thoughts before decision. They all afraid their chosen school will become next 'Casterson'! Who knows? Who can guarantee?

I have no idea why UK MPs and UK education authority can allow these selfish persons to do such uncivil action to destroy UK image and interest!
What a SHAME! If they intend to sell the property, why didn't they sell it before the merger to raise the fund to resolve their so called 'Financial problem' of school. Getting this £895K after sale of property are much more than the cash injection by Sedbergh according to the merger plan! Definitely all of these governors are selfish business people! They are not qualified to do Education. Their action clearly demaged the whole UK education system! Oversea parents lose confidence to send their children to UK. Each oversea parents spent more than £30-40K annually in a UK boarding school. Do you know how many oversea boarders in Casterton? Lets say fifty, that's means £1.5m was spent annually as they trust UK is one of the best education system in the world. Then what kind of protection for oversea parents? Fair Legal protection? ---- NONE Reliable authority / control on independent school governance? ---- NONE Any assistance / support to oversea parents? ----NONE Even I have send letters to MP personally, I even didn't receive a returned mail after three weeks! Am I naive? When I shared this uncivil merger incident to others in my home country, they are all shocked and puzzle why such uncivil event could be happened in UK. Some of them originally plan to send their children to UK need second and clear thoughts before decision. They all afraid their chosen school will become next 'Casterson'! Who knows? Who can guarantee? I have no idea why UK MPs and UK education authority can allow these selfish persons to do such uncivil action to destroy UK image and interest! hongkongparent
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