Casterton School suffered '£535,000 loss', reveals Sedbergh School head as merger row continues

'URGENCY TO MERGE': Sedbergh School headmaster Andrew Fleck this week

'URGENCY TO MERGE': Sedbergh School headmaster Andrew Fleck this week

First published in News The Westmorland Gazette: Photograph of the Author Exclusive by , Senior Reporter

SEDBERGH School headmaster Andrew Fleck has robustly defended its merger with neighbouring Casterton, laying bare for the first time the reasons he claims the move was necessary.

Mr Fleck showed The Westmorland Gazette accounts which revealed Casterton School went from making a surplus of £400,000 between September 2010 and August 2011, to a loss of £535,000 by August 2012 - a ‘negative movement’ of nearly £1 million.

Mr Fleck said Casterton’s governors felt the 190-year-old boarding school, near Kirkby Lonsdale, had become ‘economically unviable’.

“It’s the unfortunate consequence of the recession and people choosing not to send their daughters to single-sex schools,” explained Mr Fleck.

Figures show the number of boarding pupils in the all-girl senior school has fallen by a quarter since 2011, senior school day pupils are down 19 per cent and the junior school head count has dropped 36 per cent.

This has led to a 14 per cent drop in income, a figure it was feared would fall a further 15 per cent by August.

The merger, which will see Casterton girls move to Sedbergh and Sedbergh Junior School relocate to a new preparatory school at Casterton, was met with anger when announced in February, when Casterton parents demanded a u-turn and said they should have been consulted.

Speaking as the accounts were due to be signed off this week, Mr Fleck said consultation could have ‘destabilised’ the school and potentially led to its closure.

“Given the financial situation, there was an urgency to merge the schools,” he explained.

“If parents had been told the school was considering merging with Sedbergh because of the finances and parents had left, the cashflow might not have been secure to enable the school to continue this academic year.”

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At least ten current Casterton pupils have withdrawn from the school, or plan to, ahead of September’s switchover.

The merger, which a group of campaigners is trying to overturn at a July court hearing, has resulted in 49 jobs being axed.

Forty-seven have been voluntary redundancies but two teachers have been made redundant through compulsory losses.

Keen to dispel rumours that mostly Sedbergh School staff had been retained, Mr Fleck said: “Of the new teaching staff in the senior school, two thirds of the academic department will have Casterton teachers. Overall, 24 per cent of the teachers will be from Casterton.

“When you look at the relative size of the school, if all the Casterton teachers had a job, that would have been 50 per cent of all staff.”

He said the staff process had been fair, adding: “I’m very excited about the calibre of staff for the future.”

Sedbergh headmaster since 2010, Mr Fleck accepted there was a ‘high degree of emotion’ over the merger and said he was ‘sympathetic’ to parents’ views.

But he insisted the move was the right one and said the planned legal challenge by opposition group Casterton Parents Limited to unwind the merger would be too late, as teachers and parents will have already made new arrangements.

“We have not been told who Casterton Parents Limited are, despite asking. I absolutely believe that, legally, it’s irreversible, and I am even more certain that practically it’s irreversible.

“It’s really important that pupils, families and staff focus on the future.

“I’m enormously excited that this part of Cumbria now has the opportunity to have truly one of the greatest schools in the country.”

A Casterton Parents Limited spokeswoman said the group had ‘no recollection’ of being approached by Mr Fleck but that it would be ‘delighted’ to meet with him.

She added that legal action would proceed as members felt ‘wrongs’ had taken place in the merger decision process.

Current Casterton School headmistress Maxine Lucas said: “The governors, as trustees of the school, believe that the merger with Sedbergh offers the best option for Casterton in the current economic climate.”

Comments (88)

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3:12pm Thu 2 May 13

estateagentlookingforbusiness says...

It is not a merger it is a take over!!!!!!!!!
Please Mr. Fleck look up the defintions of the two terms and then comment.
It is not a merger it is a take over!!!!!!!!! Please Mr. Fleck look up the defintions of the two terms and then comment. estateagentlookingforbusiness
  • Score: 0

3:20pm Thu 2 May 13

estateagentlookingforbusiness says...

The comments from Mr Fleck lack the sensitivity required at these times. Out of all the 'voluntary redundancies' very few (less than 5) put their hand up and said 'Me, please!'. They were forced.

The numbers of acadmic staff from Casterton with jobs are very few and as discussed on previous forums there was very little for Sedbergh employees to worry about as the biased and twisted criteria worked as planned.

Mr Fleck also strays into a debate which is not his area but since he has commented can he now please answer:

Why was Casterton allowed to get into this state?
What plans were put in place over the last 5 years to help Casterton?
What other options/mergers were discussed?
The comments from Mr Fleck lack the sensitivity required at these times. Out of all the 'voluntary redundancies' very few (less than 5) put their hand up and said 'Me, please!'. They were forced. The numbers of acadmic staff from Casterton with jobs are very few and as discussed on previous forums there was very little for Sedbergh employees to worry about as the biased and twisted criteria worked as planned. Mr Fleck also strays into a debate which is not his area but since he has commented can he now please answer: Why was Casterton allowed to get into this state? What plans were put in place over the last 5 years to help Casterton? What other options/mergers were discussed? estateagentlookingforbusiness
  • Score: 0

3:35pm Thu 2 May 13

estateagentlookingforbusiness says...

More questions for Fleck (some with answers supplied):

How much debt was Casterton in and how much debt is Sedbergh still in?
(Casterton = Nil and Sedbergh = 5m)

What percentage of Sedbergh staff have jobs? (Around 80%)

What part of 'fair' does Mr Fleck not understand?

How much does Sedbergh gain if the prep school didn't work out and they sold all the site? So in whose interest is this decision the 'right' one?

Why were Sedbergh struggling to recruit girls if its onle a sing sex school problem?

What strategies did Sedbergh put in place to attract Casterton girls? Why did they not work?

How many Casterton girls are going?
More questions for Fleck (some with answers supplied): How much debt was Casterton in and how much debt is Sedbergh still in? (Casterton = Nil and Sedbergh = 5m) What percentage of Sedbergh staff have jobs? (Around 80%) What part of 'fair' does Mr Fleck not understand? How much does Sedbergh gain if the prep school didn't work out and they sold all the site? So in whose interest is this decision the 'right' one? Why were Sedbergh struggling to recruit girls if its onle a sing sex school problem? What strategies did Sedbergh put in place to attract Casterton girls? Why did they not work? How many Casterton girls are going? estateagentlookingforbusiness
  • Score: 0

3:38pm Thu 2 May 13

zaney5 says...

If this is true, then how incompetent were the Casterton governors, to allow this to become the case and why would Sedbergh want the same governors onboard?

And how come The Westmorland Gazette got to see accounts, but when the Casterton parents (major stakeholders) asked for the accounts to become public it was denied.

The whole thing still stinks to high heaven.
If this is true, then how incompetent were the Casterton governors, to allow this to become the case and why would Sedbergh want the same governors onboard? And how come The Westmorland Gazette got to see accounts, but when the Casterton parents (major stakeholders) asked for the accounts to become public it was denied. The whole thing still stinks to high heaven. zaney5
  • Score: 0

3:40pm Thu 2 May 13

zaney5 says...

"Current Casterton School headmistress Maxine Lucas said: “The governors, as trustees of the school, believe that the merger with Sedbergh offers the best option for Casterton in the current economic climate.”

Considering the complete shambles the governors apparently got the school into in the first place, I wouldn't be believing a word any of them said!
"Current Casterton School headmistress Maxine Lucas said: “The governors, as trustees of the school, believe that the merger with Sedbergh offers the best option for Casterton in the current economic climate.” Considering the complete shambles the governors apparently got the school into in the first place, I wouldn't be believing a word any of them said! zaney5
  • Score: 0

3:54pm Thu 2 May 13

PHunter16 says...

I would be interesting to hear from someone within the Save Casterton group as to where they are up to with the merger fight. It all seems to have gone very quiet on this front, and I would be interested to see where teh land lies now.
I would be interesting to hear from someone within the Save Casterton group as to where they are up to with the merger fight. It all seems to have gone very quiet on this front, and I would be interested to see where teh land lies now. PHunter16
  • Score: 0

3:59pm Thu 2 May 13

Milkbutnosugarplease says...

Why does this newspaper always put the Sedburgh point of view and embellish it with a photo? We saw the two Sedburgh teachers quivering on a sofa due to the bogus fear of losing their jobs. Now we see Mr Fleck assuring us all that it's a saintly rescue mission. Can we hear from the Casterton campaigners in an article rather than in the comments? Can we hear from Casterton girls, anonymously if need be due to their young age? Ms Lucas' comment is so bland that I guess she is protecting her CV and references for future work. This is not balanced reporting and it brings the WG into disrepute.

I had no view either way until the smell of something dirty wafted out of this secret deal. Everything changes in life of course, but good things and good people deserve a fair crack of the whip (and of the press).
Why does this newspaper always put the Sedburgh point of view and embellish it with a photo? We saw the two Sedburgh teachers quivering on a sofa due to the bogus fear of losing their jobs. Now we see Mr Fleck assuring us all that it's a saintly rescue mission. Can we hear from the Casterton campaigners in an article rather than in the comments? Can we hear from Casterton girls, anonymously if need be due to their young age? Ms Lucas' comment is so bland that I guess she is protecting her CV and references for future work. This is not balanced reporting and it brings the WG into disrepute. I had no view either way until the smell of something dirty wafted out of this secret deal. Everything changes in life of course, but good things and good people deserve a fair crack of the whip (and of the press). Milkbutnosugarplease
  • Score: 0

4:13pm Thu 2 May 13

zaney5 says...

Milkbutnosugarplease wrote:
Why does this newspaper always put the Sedburgh point of view and embellish it with a photo? We saw the two Sedburgh teachers quivering on a sofa due to the bogus fear of losing their jobs. Now we see Mr Fleck assuring us all that it's a saintly rescue mission. Can we hear from the Casterton campaigners in an article rather than in the comments? Can we hear from Casterton girls, anonymously if need be due to their young age? Ms Lucas' comment is so bland that I guess she is protecting her CV and references for future work. This is not balanced reporting and it brings the WG into disrepute.

I had no view either way until the smell of something dirty wafted out of this secret deal. Everything changes in life of course, but good things and good people deserve a fair crack of the whip (and of the press).
Here here.

Time to stop this one-sided nonsense.
I noticed that the (small) piece regarding the legal action mounted by Casterton Parents Ltd was hidden away in the "Education" section of the paper some weeks ago. Yet this and the piece about the 2 Sedbergh teachers "fearing for their jobs" gained much more exposure.

Come on Steven Bell, sort it out.
[quote][p][bold]Milkbutnosugarplease[/bold] wrote: Why does this newspaper always put the Sedburgh point of view and embellish it with a photo? We saw the two Sedburgh teachers quivering on a sofa due to the bogus fear of losing their jobs. Now we see Mr Fleck assuring us all that it's a saintly rescue mission. Can we hear from the Casterton campaigners in an article rather than in the comments? Can we hear from Casterton girls, anonymously if need be due to their young age? Ms Lucas' comment is so bland that I guess she is protecting her CV and references for future work. This is not balanced reporting and it brings the WG into disrepute. I had no view either way until the smell of something dirty wafted out of this secret deal. Everything changes in life of course, but good things and good people deserve a fair crack of the whip (and of the press).[/p][/quote]Here here. Time to stop this one-sided nonsense. I noticed that the (small) piece regarding the legal action mounted by Casterton Parents Ltd was hidden away in the "Education" section of the paper some weeks ago. Yet this and the piece about the 2 Sedbergh teachers "fearing for their jobs" gained much more exposure. Come on Steven Bell, sort it out. zaney5
  • Score: 0

6:28pm Thu 2 May 13

xross9 says...

To be honest, I think the WG are a bit cute here, knowing that this a very provocative article, riddled with controversial items / comments and is looking forward to selling lots more newspapers on this running series.
To be honest, I think the WG are a bit cute here, knowing that this a very provocative article, riddled with controversial items / comments and is looking forward to selling lots more newspapers on this running series. xross9
  • Score: 0

8:54pm Thu 2 May 13

Lifeisstrangerthanfiction says...

Hi everyone - following up on some of the comments here..

1. Save Casterton has had its fair share of media coverage - 2 x 24hr news cycles on The Bay, Lakeland Radio, BBC Radio Cumbria. Plus TV on BBC Northwest. We've had three stories in the Westmorland Gazette, including a front page. We've also had hits on all the online news outlets such as Cumbria Crack and InCumbria. In fact if you're counting up column inches, Save Casterton has had significantly more coverage than Sedbergh School.

2. Regarding the Save Casterton and the legal action. I can assure you nothing has gone quiet there. It's just that we can't play out all the legal details via the media for obvious reasons. The legal work is labour intensive and time consuming and there's a team of people working around the clock, all, I may add on a pro bono basis. All the parents who have joined the Save Casterton campaign have access to a secure intranet site where all documentation, copies of legal letters from both sides are available to view. For any parents wishing to get involved, please let us know and you will be sent an invitation.

3. Just a personal point I want to make - I find it ironic that Mr Fleck was so willing to share 'numbers' with Steven Bell when all requests from Casterton Parents Limited/Save Casterton to see those numbers have been denied. In fact, if they had been willing to share from the start all of this fandango could have been avoided.
Hi everyone - following up on some of the comments here.. 1. Save Casterton has had its fair share of media coverage - 2 x 24hr news cycles on The Bay, Lakeland Radio, BBC Radio Cumbria. Plus TV on BBC Northwest. We've had three stories in the Westmorland Gazette, including a front page. We've also had hits on all the online news outlets such as Cumbria Crack and InCumbria. In fact if you're counting up column inches, Save Casterton has had significantly more coverage than Sedbergh School. 2. Regarding the Save Casterton and the legal action. I can assure you nothing has gone quiet there. It's just that we can't play out all the legal details via the media for obvious reasons. The legal work is labour intensive and time consuming and there's a team of people working around the clock, all, I may add on a pro bono basis. All the parents who have joined the Save Casterton campaign have access to a secure intranet site where all documentation, copies of legal letters from both sides are available to view. For any parents wishing to get involved, please let us know and you will be sent an invitation. 3. Just a personal point I want to make - I find it ironic that Mr Fleck was so willing to share 'numbers' with Steven Bell when all requests from Casterton Parents Limited/Save Casterton to see those numbers have been denied. In fact, if they had been willing to share from the start all of this fandango could have been avoided. Lifeisstrangerthanfiction
  • Score: 0

10:36pm Thu 2 May 13

brokenbanjo says...

Yawn.
Yawn. brokenbanjo
  • Score: 0

11:19pm Thu 2 May 13

Parent70 says...

Mr.Flecks comment ' at least 10 families have already withdrawn from Casterton school' is laughable!
I know of many families / girls that have already left Casterton at Easter, as Sedbergh School is not an option and numerous more Casterton girls and parents are making arrangements for their future schooling from September 2013 again, not choosing Sedbergh.
Obviously, some year groups have little option but to finish their education at Sedbergh but, for the other year groups there are alternatives, excellent ones at that (single sex and Co-ed).
Albeit, maybe a little further afield and out of our comfort zone, but think what's best for our daughters today and in the future world.
A great lesson, for the Casterton girls would be not to behave or treat people in life or business, the way the Governers and trustees of Casterton have, then left and walked away.
If you believe in something, see it through, don't walk away.
Mr.Flecks comment ' at least 10 families have already withdrawn from Casterton school' is laughable! I know of many families / girls that have already left Casterton at Easter, as Sedbergh School is not an option and numerous more Casterton girls and parents are making arrangements for their future schooling from September 2013 again, not choosing Sedbergh. Obviously, some year groups have little option but to finish their education at Sedbergh but, for the other year groups there are alternatives, excellent ones at that (single sex and Co-ed). Albeit, maybe a little further afield and out of our comfort zone, but think what's best for our daughters today and in the future world. A great lesson, for the Casterton girls would be not to behave or treat people in life or business, the way the Governers and trustees of Casterton have, then left and walked away. If you believe in something, see it through, don't walk away. Parent70
  • Score: 0

7:57am Fri 3 May 13

Chizzmic says...

Can someone please explain why the accounts have been shown to the newspaper, when all requests by Casterton parents to see this information has been refused.
Can someone please explain why the accounts have been shown to the newspaper, when all requests by Casterton parents to see this information has been refused. Chizzmic
  • Score: 0

8:07am Fri 3 May 13

binder45 says...

I think the answer to why this story has turned up now is in "Speaking as the accounts were due to be signed off this week" together with the staff negotiations.
I think the answer to why this story has turned up now is in "Speaking as the accounts were due to be signed off this week" together with the staff negotiations. binder45
  • Score: 0

8:53am Fri 3 May 13

parent789 says...

The problem here is the governors when Sedbergh made a loss 3 years running in 2009, 2008 and 2007, what did they do, give their school away, no rewrote there business plan, cut there cloth to fit there needs and in 2010 hey presto they made a proffit.
What a difference...
The problem here is the governors when Sedbergh made a loss 3 years running in 2009, 2008 and 2007, what did they do, give their school away, no rewrote there business plan, cut there cloth to fit there needs and in 2010 hey presto they made a proffit. What a difference... parent789
  • Score: 0

10:19am Fri 3 May 13

zaney5 says...

brokenbanjo wrote:
Yawn.
Sorry are we keeping you up?
[quote][p][bold]brokenbanjo[/bold] wrote: Yawn.[/p][/quote]Sorry are we keeping you up? zaney5
  • Score: 0

10:59am Fri 3 May 13

interestedparent says...

I still don't understand why the Casterton governors who know that Sedbergh has been after the Casterton buildings for the last (probably) 190 years, would announce a merger that was so fast - with such devastating results.

Far from it being 10 girls who have left, 15 left before Easter and only 15% are actually going to transfer to Sedbergh, the majority of those being prep-school children to whom there will be little difference on a day-to-day basis as they will attend the same school.

The overwhelming majority of Casterton families have left, or are leaving. Mr Fleck said, in the meeting of March 1, recordings of which are available online at the Save Casterton Facebook page that Sedbergh were hoping to retain 50%+ of the Casterton pupils. He has retained less than 15%.

The handling of this merger reflects very badly upon Sedbergh. Other mergers (we all know it was a takeover, but I will play the game) have been handled really well. Pupils have been allowed to continue at their current school until important exam courses are finished - A levels in particular. I know of several lower 6th girls who will have to start their 6th form again, because their parents DO NOT want them to move to Sedbergh.

Colin Tomlinson said that the merger was in 'the best interests of the girls, the best interests of the teachers and the best interests of the school'. I would LOVE to hear any one of the governors of Casterton or Sedbergh to respond to this question: How is what has happened in the best interests of a) the girls, b) the teachers or c) the school?
I still don't understand why the Casterton governors who know that Sedbergh has been after the Casterton buildings for the last (probably) 190 years, would announce a merger that was so fast - with such devastating results. Far from it being 10 girls who have left, 15 left before Easter and only 15% are actually going to transfer to Sedbergh, the majority of those being prep-school children to whom there will be little difference on a day-to-day basis as they will attend the same school. The overwhelming majority of Casterton families have left, or are leaving. Mr Fleck said, in the meeting of March 1, recordings of which are available online at the Save Casterton Facebook page that Sedbergh were hoping to retain 50%+ of the Casterton pupils. He has retained less than 15%. The handling of this merger reflects very badly upon Sedbergh. Other mergers (we all know it was a takeover, but I will play the game) have been handled really well. Pupils have been allowed to continue at their current school until important exam courses are finished - A levels in particular. I know of several lower 6th girls who will have to start their 6th form again, because their parents DO NOT want them to move to Sedbergh. Colin Tomlinson said that the merger was in 'the best interests of the girls, the best interests of the teachers and the best interests of the school'. I would LOVE to hear any one of the governors of Casterton or Sedbergh to respond to this question: How is what has happened in the best interests of a) the girls, b) the teachers or c) the school? interestedparent
  • Score: 0

2:29pm Fri 3 May 13

stormin1 says...

I find it amazing that the failed governors from Casterton were allowed to join that body at Sedburgh. Maybe the same will happen at Sedburgh-big losses each year till the whole lot collapses like a pack of cards. Marketing seems to be a foreign word with no one at either school capable of boosting pupil numbers. I would get rid of the present governors and start again with a fresh team with brains and the skills to get things moving.
I find it amazing that the failed governors from Casterton were allowed to join that body at Sedburgh. Maybe the same will happen at Sedburgh-big losses each year till the whole lot collapses like a pack of cards. Marketing seems to be a foreign word with no one at either school capable of boosting pupil numbers. I would get rid of the present governors and start again with a fresh team with brains and the skills to get things moving. stormin1
  • Score: 0

2:37pm Fri 3 May 13

Loonyvalley says...

In fact, total numbers are down by over 30% since we left several years ago. It was apparently worse in September 2013.

Casterton had almost the same number of staff as Sedbergh for less than half the kids. What the Governors should have done is slashed staff numbers years ago, insisted on higher workloads etc.

They patently couldn't face it, but kept hoping for an upturn. It didn't work out. They should have been far tougher - a bit ironical considering the abuse heaped on them.

Sedbergh and Casterton have had close links for ever. Should Sedbergh have left it to collapse completely, with no offer of support for the current pupils?

Sedbergh could not in all conscience just subsidise Casterton at the expense of Sedbergh parents. There had to be some value for both sides. I think it is very unfortunate that the hysteria of some parents has denied their children a relatively painless conclusion to their studies in the company of their friends.

For those that think that Sedbergh will not make the Prep school work at Casterton, it is going to be very damaging to them if they don't. Unlike Casterton, they see the Prep school as vital to long-term survival.

Not sustaining the Prep school was a terminal mistake for Casterton - local parents walked, numbers plummeted. 20 girls a year used to go up - recently it was virtually none.
In fact, total numbers are down by over 30% since we left several years ago. It was apparently worse in September 2013. Casterton had almost the same number of staff as Sedbergh for less than half the kids. What the Governors should have done is slashed staff numbers years ago, insisted on higher workloads etc. They patently couldn't face it, but kept hoping for an upturn. It didn't work out. They should have been far tougher - a bit ironical considering the abuse heaped on them. Sedbergh and Casterton have had close links for ever. Should Sedbergh have left it to collapse completely, with no offer of support for the current pupils? Sedbergh could not in all conscience just subsidise Casterton at the expense of Sedbergh parents. There had to be some value for both sides. I think it is very unfortunate that the hysteria of some parents has denied their children a relatively painless conclusion to their studies in the company of their friends. For those that think that Sedbergh will not make the Prep school work at Casterton, it is going to be very damaging to them if they don't. Unlike Casterton, they see the Prep school as vital to long-term survival. Not sustaining the Prep school was a terminal mistake for Casterton - local parents walked, numbers plummeted. 20 girls a year used to go up - recently it was virtually none. Loonyvalley
  • Score: 0

2:49pm Fri 3 May 13

Loonyvalley says...

stormin1 wrote:
I find it amazing that the failed governors from Casterton were allowed to join that body at Sedburgh. Maybe the same will happen at Sedburgh-big losses each year till the whole lot collapses like a pack of cards. Marketing seems to be a foreign word with no one at either school capable of boosting pupil numbers. I would get rid of the present governors and start again with a fresh team with brains and the skills to get things moving.
Sedbergh is very successful in its marketing. Numbers have risen by nearly a third in the past few years.

And contrary to some very stubborn posters above, there is a waiting list for girls. Some parents told us they left Casterton for SJS to secure a place in the senior school given the lack of places. The new girls house will be used come what may. Up to you if you want to believe something else.

It also makes very good of the facilities in the summer, raking in millions of pounds over the past few years.
[quote][p][bold]stormin1[/bold] wrote: I find it amazing that the failed governors from Casterton were allowed to join that body at Sedburgh. Maybe the same will happen at Sedburgh-big losses each year till the whole lot collapses like a pack of cards. Marketing seems to be a foreign word with no one at either school capable of boosting pupil numbers. I would get rid of the present governors and start again with a fresh team with brains and the skills to get things moving.[/p][/quote]Sedbergh is very successful in its marketing. Numbers have risen by nearly a third in the past few years. And contrary to some very stubborn posters above, there is a waiting list for girls. Some parents told us they left Casterton for SJS to secure a place in the senior school given the lack of places. The new girls house will be used come what may. Up to you if you want to believe something else. It also makes very good of the facilities in the summer, raking in millions of pounds over the past few years. Loonyvalley
  • Score: 0

11:11pm Fri 3 May 13

stormin1 says...

Loonyvalley wrote:
stormin1 wrote:
I find it amazing that the failed governors from Casterton were allowed to join that body at Sedburgh. Maybe the same will happen at Sedburgh-big losses each year till the whole lot collapses like a pack of cards. Marketing seems to be a foreign word with no one at either school capable of boosting pupil numbers. I would get rid of the present governors and start again with a fresh team with brains and the skills to get things moving.
Sedbergh is very successful in its marketing. Numbers have risen by nearly a third in the past few years.

And contrary to some very stubborn posters above, there is a waiting list for girls. Some parents told us they left Casterton for SJS to secure a place in the senior school given the lack of places. The new girls house will be used come what may. Up to you if you want to believe something else.

It also makes very good of the facilities in the summer, raking in millions of pounds over the past few years.
If Casterton is £500k down I wonder just how Sedburgh is fairing. Lets have the figures. Maybe the sale of the Casterton site will boost Sedburgh funds.
[quote][p][bold]Loonyvalley[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]stormin1[/bold] wrote: I find it amazing that the failed governors from Casterton were allowed to join that body at Sedburgh. Maybe the same will happen at Sedburgh-big losses each year till the whole lot collapses like a pack of cards. Marketing seems to be a foreign word with no one at either school capable of boosting pupil numbers. I would get rid of the present governors and start again with a fresh team with brains and the skills to get things moving.[/p][/quote]Sedbergh is very successful in its marketing. Numbers have risen by nearly a third in the past few years. And contrary to some very stubborn posters above, there is a waiting list for girls. Some parents told us they left Casterton for SJS to secure a place in the senior school given the lack of places. The new girls house will be used come what may. Up to you if you want to believe something else. It also makes very good of the facilities in the summer, raking in millions of pounds over the past few years.[/p][/quote]If Casterton is £500k down I wonder just how Sedburgh is fairing. Lets have the figures. Maybe the sale of the Casterton site will boost Sedburgh funds. stormin1
  • Score: 0

3:58pm Sat 4 May 13

brokenbanjo says...

zaney5 wrote:
brokenbanjo wrote:
Yawn.
Sorry are we keeping you up?
Yeah. I don't understand the prominence it keeps getting. A business takes over another business. Children get taught the truth about life. Parent's spit dummies out. Talk about a first world problem. It's happened, get over it.
[quote][p][bold]zaney5[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]brokenbanjo[/bold] wrote: Yawn.[/p][/quote]Sorry are we keeping you up?[/p][/quote]Yeah. I don't understand the prominence it keeps getting. A business takes over another business. Children get taught the truth about life. Parent's spit dummies out. Talk about a first world problem. It's happened, get over it. brokenbanjo
  • Score: 0

4:44pm Sat 4 May 13

zaney5 says...

Well at least you used the appropriate word there - takeover.
Well at least you used the appropriate word there - takeover. zaney5
  • Score: 0

9:57pm Sat 4 May 13

xross9 says...

There is no documental evidence (that I know of) that a takeover / merger has taken place between Casterton and Sedbergh (paper talk is not in my opinion conclusive).

The latest mergers list (30/04/13) on the Charities Commission website does not include Casterton School / Sedbergh School.

In addition, the 2010 and 2011 Sedbergh School accounts have not been signed off by either the school or the independent auditors, according to the Charity Commission website.

The 2012 Sedbergh School accounts have, according to the Charities Commission, been signed off by Sedbergh Schools appointed independent auditors on 4th February 2013 - just days before days the merger bombshell.
Note: the Sedbergh School itself signed off its 2012 accounts (31st July 2012 being the final day of the related period) in October 2012 (despite the mumps epidemic) (and November 2012 was confirmed as the definite month for merger talks by the Casterton Chairman of Governors) - three months before the Sedbergh School appointed independent auditors signed the accounts off. This must have been what the Sedbergh and Casterton governors were waiting for, before breaking the merger news, late February 2013 to all of the unfortunate Casterton stakeholders (teachers, pupils. ancillary staff)

The Casterton School 2011 accounts were finally signed off in September 2012 (83 days late), after the Casterton Chairman of Governors confirmed at Speech day - June 2012 that there was no adverse future for Casterton School.

The Casterton School 2012 accounts have not appeared yet at the Charity Commission website. The current Casterton School Trustees, according to the Charity Commission are Hugh Blair, Dr Storey and Stuart Rink. The 'School Audit Committee!' may by now have signed these off (according to the local press) but the appointed independent auditor is likely to have to do this as well.

Note: it does not seem that the Charity Commission actually read the information posted to them e.g. the 2010 and 2011 unsigned accounts but it does claim to have a regulatory procedure in terms of perceived wrongdoing.
There is no documental evidence (that I know of) that a takeover / merger has taken place between Casterton and Sedbergh (paper talk is not in my opinion conclusive). The latest mergers list (30/04/13) on the Charities Commission website does not include Casterton School / Sedbergh School. In addition, the 2010 and 2011 Sedbergh School accounts have not been signed off by either the school or the independent auditors, according to the Charity Commission website. The 2012 Sedbergh School accounts have, according to the Charities Commission, been signed off by Sedbergh Schools appointed independent auditors on 4th February 2013 - just days before days the merger bombshell. Note: the Sedbergh School itself signed off its 2012 accounts (31st July 2012 being the final day of the related period) in October 2012 (despite the mumps epidemic) (and November 2012 was confirmed as the definite month for merger talks by the Casterton Chairman of Governors) - three months before the Sedbergh School appointed independent auditors signed the accounts off. This must have been what the Sedbergh and Casterton governors were waiting for, before breaking the merger news, late February 2013 to all of the unfortunate Casterton stakeholders (teachers, pupils. ancillary staff) The Casterton School 2011 accounts were finally signed off in September 2012 (83 days late), after the Casterton Chairman of Governors confirmed at Speech day - June 2012 that there was no adverse future for Casterton School. The Casterton School 2012 accounts have not appeared yet at the Charity Commission website. The current Casterton School Trustees, according to the Charity Commission are Hugh Blair, Dr Storey and Stuart Rink. The 'School Audit Committee!' may by now have signed these off (according to the local press) but the appointed independent auditor is likely to have to do this as well. Note: it does not seem that the Charity Commission actually read the information posted to them e.g. the 2010 and 2011 unsigned accounts but it does claim to have a regulatory procedure in terms of perceived wrongdoing. xross9
  • Score: 0

9:25am Sun 5 May 13

Oldcastertonian says...

I am so shocked and saddened to hear what has happened with the "merger" (closure) of Casterton.
Founded by charitable donations for the purpose of providing education to the daughters of aspirational but not wealthy families ( clergy daughters) I know that Casterton has weathered many financial storms in its history. It has never been at the very wealthy end if the independent sector. I remember that when I was at the school it was regularly listed in the Times "Top 100 Value for Money" independent schools I.e. some of the lowest fees, with highest satisfaction and best results. What a terrible shame for the school to come to such an end.
To the poster who commented that all children receiving private education are fortunate, so why all the fuss (or words to that effect) - yes, you are not wrong. I have worked my way up as a teacher in state education, and worked with many deprived children along the way. And that is in the UK, a wealthy country. And yes, none of these pupils are in danger of imminent death, starvation, exploitation. So all things in perspective.
However, please understand the strength of feeling about this school. Whilst I have worked with many deprived children so far in my career, I also work with many whose experience of "normality" is one I never shared - a stable, happy, secure family home, from which they emerge each morning and to which they return every day.
I do not say this as a comment on all boarders - and there can be as many reasons for choosing boarding education as their are children. But that is something I never experienced. Having essentially grown up in an institution instead of a family home - the closest approximation to this was my experience at Casterton. It was not only for publicity or as a manner of speech that the school was referred to as a family. The happy, carefree times I remember from my childhood happened with girls and staff at Casterton. The nurturing and guidance which enabled me to become the person I am today, was the nurturing and the guidance that I received at Casterton. I think that what I received from the staff at this school has always been the "template" to which I aspire - it has really been the driving force behind my work with charities and in the field of education - the remembrance of such role models, and the desire to give back some of what I received.
If only I were in a financial position to save the school now for future generations. As far as I am concerned, it would be no sooner said than done!
I am so shocked and saddened to hear what has happened with the "merger" (closure) of Casterton. Founded by charitable donations for the purpose of providing education to the daughters of aspirational but not wealthy families ( clergy daughters) I know that Casterton has weathered many financial storms in its history. It has never been at the very wealthy end if the independent sector. I remember that when I was at the school it was regularly listed in the Times "Top 100 Value for Money" independent schools I.e. some of the lowest fees, with highest satisfaction and best results. What a terrible shame for the school to come to such an end. To the poster who commented that all children receiving private education are fortunate, so why all the fuss (or words to that effect) - yes, you are not wrong. I have worked my way up as a teacher in state education, and worked with many deprived children along the way. And that is in the UK, a wealthy country. And yes, none of these pupils are in danger of imminent death, starvation, exploitation. So all things in perspective. However, please understand the strength of feeling about this school. Whilst I have worked with many deprived children so far in my career, I also work with many whose experience of "normality" is one I never shared - a stable, happy, secure family home, from which they emerge each morning and to which they return every day. I do not say this as a comment on all boarders - and there can be as many reasons for choosing boarding education as their are children. But that is something I never experienced. Having essentially grown up in an institution instead of a family home - the closest approximation to this was my experience at Casterton. It was not only for publicity or as a manner of speech that the school was referred to as a family. The happy, carefree times I remember from my childhood happened with girls and staff at Casterton. The nurturing and guidance which enabled me to become the person I am today, was the nurturing and the guidance that I received at Casterton. I think that what I received from the staff at this school has always been the "template" to which I aspire - it has really been the driving force behind my work with charities and in the field of education - the remembrance of such role models, and the desire to give back some of what I received. If only I were in a financial position to save the school now for future generations. As far as I am concerned, it would be no sooner said than done! Oldcastertonian
  • Score: 0

10:33am Sun 5 May 13

Loonyvalley says...

Oldcastertonian wrote:
I am so shocked and saddened to hear what has happened with the "merger" (closure) of Casterton.
Founded by charitable donations for the purpose of providing education to the daughters of aspirational but not wealthy families ( clergy daughters) I know that Casterton has weathered many financial storms in its history. It has never been at the very wealthy end if the independent sector. I remember that when I was at the school it was regularly listed in the Times "Top 100 Value for Money" independent schools I.e. some of the lowest fees, with highest satisfaction and best results. What a terrible shame for the school to come to such an end.
To the poster who commented that all children receiving private education are fortunate, so why all the fuss (or words to that effect) - yes, you are not wrong. I have worked my way up as a teacher in state education, and worked with many deprived children along the way. And that is in the UK, a wealthy country. And yes, none of these pupils are in danger of imminent death, starvation, exploitation. So all things in perspective.
However, please understand the strength of feeling about this school. Whilst I have worked with many deprived children so far in my career, I also work with many whose experience of "normality" is one I never shared - a stable, happy, secure family home, from which they emerge each morning and to which they return every day.
I do not say this as a comment on all boarders - and there can be as many reasons for choosing boarding education as their are children. But that is something I never experienced. Having essentially grown up in an institution instead of a family home - the closest approximation to this was my experience at Casterton. It was not only for publicity or as a manner of speech that the school was referred to as a family. The happy, carefree times I remember from my childhood happened with girls and staff at Casterton. The nurturing and guidance which enabled me to become the person I am today, was the nurturing and the guidance that I received at Casterton. I think that what I received from the staff at this school has always been the "template" to which I aspire - it has really been the driving force behind my work with charities and in the field of education - the remembrance of such role models, and the desire to give back some of what I received.
If only I were in a financial position to save the school now for future generations. As far as I am concerned, it would be no sooner said than done!
But is it really any different from Sedbergh or Giggleswick (the two nearest)?

One noticeable trend is that fewer girls want to be isolated from boys until 18. This has affected Casterton to quite some degree.

At co-ed schools you see girls who would, a generation ago, almost certainly have gone to a single-sex school. Now they don't. They don't need to be isolated from boys to gain confidence. Far from it from what I can see! Maybe (post?)-Feminism means single-sex schools have run their course?

Schools like Sedbergh have changed considerably in the last 10-15 years. They are much softer in most respects. I think some people are basing their views on decades-old experiences. I went to boarding school, and the school my children attend bears not the slightest resemblance - although it would have at the time.
[quote][p][bold]Oldcastertonian[/bold] wrote: I am so shocked and saddened to hear what has happened with the "merger" (closure) of Casterton. Founded by charitable donations for the purpose of providing education to the daughters of aspirational but not wealthy families ( clergy daughters) I know that Casterton has weathered many financial storms in its history. It has never been at the very wealthy end if the independent sector. I remember that when I was at the school it was regularly listed in the Times "Top 100 Value for Money" independent schools I.e. some of the lowest fees, with highest satisfaction and best results. What a terrible shame for the school to come to such an end. To the poster who commented that all children receiving private education are fortunate, so why all the fuss (or words to that effect) - yes, you are not wrong. I have worked my way up as a teacher in state education, and worked with many deprived children along the way. And that is in the UK, a wealthy country. And yes, none of these pupils are in danger of imminent death, starvation, exploitation. So all things in perspective. However, please understand the strength of feeling about this school. Whilst I have worked with many deprived children so far in my career, I also work with many whose experience of "normality" is one I never shared - a stable, happy, secure family home, from which they emerge each morning and to which they return every day. I do not say this as a comment on all boarders - and there can be as many reasons for choosing boarding education as their are children. But that is something I never experienced. Having essentially grown up in an institution instead of a family home - the closest approximation to this was my experience at Casterton. It was not only for publicity or as a manner of speech that the school was referred to as a family. The happy, carefree times I remember from my childhood happened with girls and staff at Casterton. The nurturing and guidance which enabled me to become the person I am today, was the nurturing and the guidance that I received at Casterton. I think that what I received from the staff at this school has always been the "template" to which I aspire - it has really been the driving force behind my work with charities and in the field of education - the remembrance of such role models, and the desire to give back some of what I received. If only I were in a financial position to save the school now for future generations. As far as I am concerned, it would be no sooner said than done![/p][/quote]But is it really any different from Sedbergh or Giggleswick (the two nearest)? One noticeable trend is that fewer girls want to be isolated from boys until 18. This has affected Casterton to quite some degree. At co-ed schools you see girls who would, a generation ago, almost certainly have gone to a single-sex school. Now they don't. They don't need to be isolated from boys to gain confidence. Far from it from what I can see! Maybe (post?)-Feminism means single-sex schools have run their course? Schools like Sedbergh have changed considerably in the last 10-15 years. They are much softer in most respects. I think some people are basing their views on decades-old experiences. I went to boarding school, and the school my children attend bears not the slightest resemblance - although it would have at the time. Loonyvalley
  • Score: 0

11:09am Sun 5 May 13

Oldcastertonian says...

Well, I don't have any experience to judge how similar or different it may be to other schools in the day-to-day experiences of the current pupils.
What I posted about was really to validate the strength of feeling behind the closure of the school.
Is one family better than another - well we only know first-hand about the one we grow up in.
The issues you raise are issues I would have liked to see addressed, vigorously, by the school senior management or governers before it came to this.
In my own time, I remember that Tony Thomas was only too aware if the single-sex /co-ed debate. He was always digging out and publicising the most recent research on the subject.
I'm not really commenting about whether Casterton is currently better or worse for any individual. More that I feel the institution and staff more or less "saved my life" in their time, and for that reason I wish the school could be saved now.
Well, I don't have any experience to judge how similar or different it may be to other schools in the day-to-day experiences of the current pupils. What I posted about was really to validate the strength of feeling behind the closure of the school. Is one family better than another - well we only know first-hand about the one we grow up in. The issues you raise are issues I would have liked to see addressed, vigorously, by the school senior management or governers before it came to this. In my own time, I remember that Tony Thomas was only too aware if the single-sex /co-ed debate. He was always digging out and publicising the most recent research on the subject. I'm not really commenting about whether Casterton is currently better or worse for any individual. More that I feel the institution and staff more or less "saved my life" in their time, and for that reason I wish the school could be saved now. Oldcastertonian
  • Score: 0

9:36am Mon 6 May 13

PHunter16 says...

stormin1 wrote:
Loonyvalley wrote:
stormin1 wrote:
I find it amazing that the failed governors from Casterton were allowed to join that body at Sedburgh. Maybe the same will happen at Sedburgh-big losses each year till the whole lot collapses like a pack of cards. Marketing seems to be a foreign word with no one at either school capable of boosting pupil numbers. I would get rid of the present governors and start again with a fresh team with brains and the skills to get things moving.
Sedbergh is very successful in its marketing. Numbers have risen by nearly a third in the past few years.

And contrary to some very stubborn posters above, there is a waiting list for girls. Some parents told us they left Casterton for SJS to secure a place in the senior school given the lack of places. The new girls house will be used come what may. Up to you if you want to believe something else.

It also makes very good of the facilities in the summer, raking in millions of pounds over the past few years.
If Casterton is £500k down I wonder just how Sedburgh is fairing. Lets have the figures. Maybe the sale of the Casterton site will boost Sedburgh funds.
Marketing at Sedbergh is exemplary, with pupil numbers bucking the national trend and rising year on year, I am not sure where stormin1 get these thoughts and figures, however i think your facts need to be checked before you post on here.
[quote][p][bold]stormin1[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Loonyvalley[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]stormin1[/bold] wrote: I find it amazing that the failed governors from Casterton were allowed to join that body at Sedburgh. Maybe the same will happen at Sedburgh-big losses each year till the whole lot collapses like a pack of cards. Marketing seems to be a foreign word with no one at either school capable of boosting pupil numbers. I would get rid of the present governors and start again with a fresh team with brains and the skills to get things moving.[/p][/quote]Sedbergh is very successful in its marketing. Numbers have risen by nearly a third in the past few years. And contrary to some very stubborn posters above, there is a waiting list for girls. Some parents told us they left Casterton for SJS to secure a place in the senior school given the lack of places. The new girls house will be used come what may. Up to you if you want to believe something else. It also makes very good of the facilities in the summer, raking in millions of pounds over the past few years.[/p][/quote]If Casterton is £500k down I wonder just how Sedburgh is fairing. Lets have the figures. Maybe the sale of the Casterton site will boost Sedburgh funds.[/p][/quote]Marketing at Sedbergh is exemplary, with pupil numbers bucking the national trend and rising year on year, I am not sure where stormin1 get these thoughts and figures, however i think your facts need to be checked before you post on here. PHunter16
  • Score: 0

6:32pm Mon 6 May 13

interestedparent says...

If the marketing at Sedbergh is so exemplary, why do they have to steal pupils from elsewhere? Both St Anne's and Casterton had girls poached by Sedbergh over the last few years and the nursery children from Casterton were offered extraordinary bursaries and inducements to get them to move to Sedbergh and not Casterton for their prep-school years.

Teachers at Sedbergh pay only £400 a term in fees for their children, allegedly. Probably explains the £5 million overdraft that Sedbergh has, although to be fair, I'm sure the £5 million of Casterton assets had been used to eliminate any danger.

If you are giving places away, you can attract many pupils - I suppose that could be constituted as 'exemplary marketing'?
If the marketing at Sedbergh is so exemplary, why do they have to steal pupils from elsewhere? Both St Anne's and Casterton had girls poached by Sedbergh over the last few years and the nursery children from Casterton were offered extraordinary bursaries and inducements to get them to move to Sedbergh and not Casterton for their prep-school years. Teachers at Sedbergh pay only £400 a term in fees for their children, allegedly. Probably explains the £5 million overdraft that Sedbergh has, although to be fair, I'm sure the £5 million of Casterton assets had been used to eliminate any danger. If you are giving places away, you can attract many pupils - I suppose that could be constituted as 'exemplary marketing'? interestedparent
  • Score: 0

9:19am Tue 7 May 13

PHunter16 says...

interestedparent wrote:
If the marketing at Sedbergh is so exemplary, why do they have to steal pupils from elsewhere? Both St Anne's and Casterton had girls poached by Sedbergh over the last few years and the nursery children from Casterton were offered extraordinary bursaries and inducements to get them to move to Sedbergh and not Casterton for their prep-school years.

Teachers at Sedbergh pay only £400 a term in fees for their children, allegedly. Probably explains the £5 million overdraft that Sedbergh has, although to be fair, I'm sure the £5 million of Casterton assets had been used to eliminate any danger.

If you are giving places away, you can attract many pupils - I suppose that could be constituted as 'exemplary marketing'?
No, I would say its called running a successful business.
[quote][p][bold]interestedparent[/bold] wrote: If the marketing at Sedbergh is so exemplary, why do they have to steal pupils from elsewhere? Both St Anne's and Casterton had girls poached by Sedbergh over the last few years and the nursery children from Casterton were offered extraordinary bursaries and inducements to get them to move to Sedbergh and not Casterton for their prep-school years. Teachers at Sedbergh pay only £400 a term in fees for their children, allegedly. Probably explains the £5 million overdraft that Sedbergh has, although to be fair, I'm sure the £5 million of Casterton assets had been used to eliminate any danger. If you are giving places away, you can attract many pupils - I suppose that could be constituted as 'exemplary marketing'?[/p][/quote]No, I would say its called running a successful business. PHunter16
  • Score: 0

3:28pm Tue 7 May 13

interestedparent says...

PHunter16 wrote:
interestedparent wrote:
If the marketing at Sedbergh is so exemplary, why do they have to steal pupils from elsewhere? Both St Anne's and Casterton had girls poached by Sedbergh over the last few years and the nursery children from Casterton were offered extraordinary bursaries and inducements to get them to move to Sedbergh and not Casterton for their prep-school years.

Teachers at Sedbergh pay only £400 a term in fees for their children, allegedly. Probably explains the £5 million overdraft that Sedbergh has, although to be fair, I'm sure the £5 million of Casterton assets had been used to eliminate any danger.

If you are giving places away, you can attract many pupils - I suppose that could be constituted as 'exemplary marketing'?
No, I would say its called running a successful business.
Really? I think it is absolutely disgraceful behaviour! Not at all 'good business'.

I think that the morals of a school show in the way it behaves towards others (including other schools) and those morals set a standard for the pupils. The morals of Sedbergh are questionable if they have to resort to poaching pupils by giving them free places.

Let's face it - any independent school can be full if it doesn't charge fees.
[quote][p][bold]PHunter16[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]interestedparent[/bold] wrote: If the marketing at Sedbergh is so exemplary, why do they have to steal pupils from elsewhere? Both St Anne's and Casterton had girls poached by Sedbergh over the last few years and the nursery children from Casterton were offered extraordinary bursaries and inducements to get them to move to Sedbergh and not Casterton for their prep-school years. Teachers at Sedbergh pay only £400 a term in fees for their children, allegedly. Probably explains the £5 million overdraft that Sedbergh has, although to be fair, I'm sure the £5 million of Casterton assets had been used to eliminate any danger. If you are giving places away, you can attract many pupils - I suppose that could be constituted as 'exemplary marketing'?[/p][/quote]No, I would say its called running a successful business.[/p][/quote]Really? I think it is absolutely disgraceful behaviour! Not at all 'good business'. I think that the morals of a school show in the way it behaves towards others (including other schools) and those morals set a standard for the pupils. The morals of Sedbergh are questionable if they have to resort to poaching pupils by giving them free places. Let's face it - any independent school can be full if it doesn't charge fees. interestedparent
  • Score: 0

4:16pm Tue 7 May 13

PHunter16 says...

interestedparent wrote:
PHunter16 wrote:
interestedparent wrote:
If the marketing at Sedbergh is so exemplary, why do they have to steal pupils from elsewhere? Both St Anne's and Casterton had girls poached by Sedbergh over the last few years and the nursery children from Casterton were offered extraordinary bursaries and inducements to get them to move to Sedbergh and not Casterton for their prep-school years.

Teachers at Sedbergh pay only £400 a term in fees for their children, allegedly. Probably explains the £5 million overdraft that Sedbergh has, although to be fair, I'm sure the £5 million of Casterton assets had been used to eliminate any danger.

If you are giving places away, you can attract many pupils - I suppose that could be constituted as 'exemplary marketing'?
No, I would say its called running a successful business.
Really? I think it is absolutely disgraceful behaviour! Not at all 'good business'.

I think that the morals of a school show in the way it behaves towards others (including other schools) and those morals set a standard for the pupils. The morals of Sedbergh are questionable if they have to resort to poaching pupils by giving them free places.

Let's face it - any independent school can be full if it doesn't charge fees.
It has nothing to do with morals, more with the desire to see their business succeed. Schools nowadays are businesses, and if Sedbergh incentivises certain families with large discounts then there are certain to be reasons behind that, be it they have younger children to yet come through the school, or they have exceptional ability in certain areas. No school (unless not being run well) would offer ultra cheap education unless there was some logical reasoning to make it worth their while in the long term.
[quote][p][bold]interestedparent[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]PHunter16[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]interestedparent[/bold] wrote: If the marketing at Sedbergh is so exemplary, why do they have to steal pupils from elsewhere? Both St Anne's and Casterton had girls poached by Sedbergh over the last few years and the nursery children from Casterton were offered extraordinary bursaries and inducements to get them to move to Sedbergh and not Casterton for their prep-school years. Teachers at Sedbergh pay only £400 a term in fees for their children, allegedly. Probably explains the £5 million overdraft that Sedbergh has, although to be fair, I'm sure the £5 million of Casterton assets had been used to eliminate any danger. If you are giving places away, you can attract many pupils - I suppose that could be constituted as 'exemplary marketing'?[/p][/quote]No, I would say its called running a successful business.[/p][/quote]Really? I think it is absolutely disgraceful behaviour! Not at all 'good business'. I think that the morals of a school show in the way it behaves towards others (including other schools) and those morals set a standard for the pupils. The morals of Sedbergh are questionable if they have to resort to poaching pupils by giving them free places. Let's face it - any independent school can be full if it doesn't charge fees.[/p][/quote]It has nothing to do with morals, more with the desire to see their business succeed. Schools nowadays are businesses, and if Sedbergh incentivises certain families with large discounts then there are certain to be reasons behind that, be it they have younger children to yet come through the school, or they have exceptional ability in certain areas. No school (unless not being run well) would offer ultra cheap education unless there was some logical reasoning to make it worth their while in the long term. PHunter16
  • Score: 0

5:21pm Tue 7 May 13

redandwhite_ says...

Having only just left Casterton myself I am still very much in contact with current pupils, and according to them only around 30-40 of the girls intend to stay on of an approximate 200.
So "at least ten current Casterton pupils" indeed.
Having only just left Casterton myself I am still very much in contact with current pupils, and according to them only around 30-40 of the girls intend to stay on of an approximate 200. So "at least ten current Casterton pupils" indeed. redandwhite_
  • Score: 0

9:18pm Tue 7 May 13

interestedparent says...

@PHunter16.

Of course, if a school had, say, £4 million left to them, specifically to be spent on bursaries AND no morals, then the temptation to just poach would be overwhelming? No?
@PHunter16. Of course, if a school had, say, £4 million left to them, specifically to be spent on bursaries AND no morals, then the temptation to just poach would be overwhelming? No? interestedparent
  • Score: 0

9:20pm Tue 7 May 13

interestedparent says...

Especially if what they really wanted was the property that belonged to that school.

In that case, offering astonishing discounts to nursery leavers to prevent the prep-school from surviving would be a great idea...
Especially if what they really wanted was the property that belonged to that school. In that case, offering astonishing discounts to nursery leavers to prevent the prep-school from surviving would be a great idea... interestedparent
  • Score: 0

9:22pm Tue 7 May 13

interestedparent says...

redandwhite_ wrote:
Having only just left Casterton myself I am still very much in contact with current pupils, and according to them only around 30-40 of the girls intend to stay on of an approximate 200.
So "at least ten current Casterton pupils" indeed.
You're right, but of those 30-40, several have given provisional notice. So they are being counted as staying, when in fact they are not.

22 staying was the 'guestimate' of staff.
[quote][p][bold]redandwhite_[/bold] wrote: Having only just left Casterton myself I am still very much in contact with current pupils, and according to them only around 30-40 of the girls intend to stay on of an approximate 200. So "at least ten current Casterton pupils" indeed.[/p][/quote]You're right, but of those 30-40, several have given provisional notice. So they are being counted as staying, when in fact they are not. 22 staying was the 'guestimate' of staff. interestedparent
  • Score: 0

9:34pm Tue 7 May 13

xross9 says...

PHunter16 wrote:
interestedparent wrote:
PHunter16 wrote:
interestedparent wrote:
If the marketing at Sedbergh is so exemplary, why do they have to steal pupils from elsewhere? Both St Anne's and Casterton had girls poached by Sedbergh over the last few years and the nursery children from Casterton were offered extraordinary bursaries and inducements to get them to move to Sedbergh and not Casterton for their prep-school years.

Teachers at Sedbergh pay only £400 a term in fees for their children, allegedly. Probably explains the £5 million overdraft that Sedbergh has, although to be fair, I'm sure the £5 million of Casterton assets had been used to eliminate any danger.

If you are giving places away, you can attract many pupils - I suppose that could be constituted as 'exemplary marketing'?
No, I would say its called running a successful business.
Really? I think it is absolutely disgraceful behaviour! Not at all 'good business'.

I think that the morals of a school show in the way it behaves towards others (including other schools) and those morals set a standard for the pupils. The morals of Sedbergh are questionable if they have to resort to poaching pupils by giving them free places.

Let's face it - any independent school can be full if it doesn't charge fees.
It has nothing to do with morals, more with the desire to see their business succeed. Schools nowadays are businesses, and if Sedbergh incentivises certain families with large discounts then there are certain to be reasons behind that, be it they have younger children to yet come through the school, or they have exceptional ability in certain areas. No school (unless not being run well) would offer ultra cheap education unless there was some logical reasoning to make it worth their while in the long term.
Well - Sedbergh School think Casterton parents are imbeciles? - quote in the above page 6 article ' If parents had been told the school was considering merging with Sedbergh because of the finances and parents had left, the cashflow might not have been secure to enable the school to continue this academic year'.

So the 'successful' Sedbergh School has attempted to 'rip off' the Casterton School parents to enable the 'mates rates' above.

Also, if the Casterton parents can subsidise Sedbergh School to the end of the Sedbergh School financial year (July 2013), then in the next year the Casterton School fixed assets can be sold off. Sedbergh School is saved.

What happened to education and who cares - it's the business that counts?
[quote][p][bold]PHunter16[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]interestedparent[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]PHunter16[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]interestedparent[/bold] wrote: If the marketing at Sedbergh is so exemplary, why do they have to steal pupils from elsewhere? Both St Anne's and Casterton had girls poached by Sedbergh over the last few years and the nursery children from Casterton were offered extraordinary bursaries and inducements to get them to move to Sedbergh and not Casterton for their prep-school years. Teachers at Sedbergh pay only £400 a term in fees for their children, allegedly. Probably explains the £5 million overdraft that Sedbergh has, although to be fair, I'm sure the £5 million of Casterton assets had been used to eliminate any danger. If you are giving places away, you can attract many pupils - I suppose that could be constituted as 'exemplary marketing'?[/p][/quote]No, I would say its called running a successful business.[/p][/quote]Really? I think it is absolutely disgraceful behaviour! Not at all 'good business'. I think that the morals of a school show in the way it behaves towards others (including other schools) and those morals set a standard for the pupils. The morals of Sedbergh are questionable if they have to resort to poaching pupils by giving them free places. Let's face it - any independent school can be full if it doesn't charge fees.[/p][/quote]It has nothing to do with morals, more with the desire to see their business succeed. Schools nowadays are businesses, and if Sedbergh incentivises certain families with large discounts then there are certain to be reasons behind that, be it they have younger children to yet come through the school, or they have exceptional ability in certain areas. No school (unless not being run well) would offer ultra cheap education unless there was some logical reasoning to make it worth their while in the long term.[/p][/quote]Well - Sedbergh School think Casterton parents are imbeciles? - quote in the above page 6 article ' If parents had been told the school was considering merging with Sedbergh because of the finances and parents had left, the cashflow might not have been secure to enable the school to continue this academic year'. So the 'successful' Sedbergh School has attempted to 'rip off' the Casterton School parents to enable the 'mates rates' above. Also, if the Casterton parents can subsidise Sedbergh School to the end of the Sedbergh School financial year (July 2013), then in the next year the Casterton School fixed assets can be sold off. Sedbergh School is saved. What happened to education and who cares - it's the business that counts? xross9
  • Score: 0

8:55am Wed 8 May 13

in loco parentis says...

PHunter 16 wrote' it has nothing to do with morals, more the desire to see their business succeed'
If morals and ethics are to be excluded from the educational shopping basket then I fear that we will all be facing a very bleak future.

Both of these schools were founded on Christian principles. You shall not covet, You shall not steal, and more importantly, Love your neighbour as yourself.

These schools are not businesses, they are and have been for decades Educational Charitable Trusts registered with the Charity Commission. Thus they are Charities which should be run in a business-like manner. There is a subtle difference even if they have in recent years registered as Limited Companies as well.

If these schools are to be run as mere businesses then they must have courage and relinquish the considerable perks which are given with their Charitable status. Only then can we see if they can survive in the business world. You cannot eat your cake and have it..

However, the golden rule of running a successful business is always to remember that the price of goodwill is unquantifiable. It is not until you have lost it that one begins to find out how much it was worth. Apart from the educational value this is also why morals and ethics are so important. What is also almost impossible to assess is how much goodwill has been lost in the 'long run'. It is easy to lose it; it is much more difficult to restore goodwill and trust after it has gone.

These Educational Charitable Trusts were set up to educate children. To show them how to live, to be concerned citizens of the world, to prepare them for life as adults. They were founded to encourage children to develop an inquiring mind, and also to care for their neighbours by living in a community setting. That is, to my mind, what education is all about. It is not merely to enable their 'customers' to make money, at the expense of others.

In my experience this new 'aggressive' business model has never been the hallmark of Sedbergh. If the ethos of the school has now changed to manage it as only a business, its very existence, seemingly dependent upon undermining and swallowing up other schools, then I believe that there will be many former Sedberghians who will be as dismayed, as I am, at the change the ethos and management of this formerly well respected
educational establishment.
PHunter 16 wrote' it has nothing to do with morals, more the desire to see their business succeed' If morals and ethics are to be excluded from the educational shopping basket then I fear that we will all be facing a very bleak future. Both of these schools were founded on Christian principles. You shall not covet, You shall not steal, and more importantly, Love your neighbour as yourself. These schools are not businesses, they are and have been for decades Educational Charitable Trusts registered with the Charity Commission. Thus they are Charities which should be run in a business-like manner. There is a subtle difference even if they have in recent years registered as Limited Companies as well. If these schools are to be run as mere businesses then they must have courage and relinquish the considerable perks which are given with their Charitable status. Only then can we see if they can survive in the business world. You cannot eat your cake and have it.. However, the golden rule of running a successful business is always to remember that the price of goodwill is unquantifiable. It is not until you have lost it that one begins to find out how much it was worth. Apart from the educational value this is also why morals and ethics are so important. What is also almost impossible to assess is how much goodwill has been lost in the 'long run'. It is easy to lose it; it is much more difficult to restore goodwill and trust after it has gone. These Educational Charitable Trusts were set up to educate children. To show them how to live, to be concerned citizens of the world, to prepare them for life as adults. They were founded to encourage children to develop an inquiring mind, and also to care for their neighbours by living in a community setting. That is, to my mind, what education is all about. It is not merely to enable their 'customers' to make money, at the expense of others. In my experience this new 'aggressive' business model has never been the hallmark of Sedbergh. If the ethos of the school has now changed to manage it as only a business, its very existence, seemingly dependent upon undermining and swallowing up other schools, then I believe that there will be many former Sedberghians who will be as dismayed, as I am, at the change the ethos and management of this formerly well respected educational establishment. in loco parentis
  • Score: 0

10:35am Wed 8 May 13

Loonyvalley says...

xross9 wrote:
PHunter16 wrote:
interestedparent wrote:
PHunter16 wrote:
interestedparent wrote: If the marketing at Sedbergh is so exemplary, why do they have to steal pupils from elsewhere? Both St Anne's and Casterton had girls poached by Sedbergh over the last few years and the nursery children from Casterton were offered extraordinary bursaries and inducements to get them to move to Sedbergh and not Casterton for their prep-school years. Teachers at Sedbergh pay only £400 a term in fees for their children, allegedly. Probably explains the £5 million overdraft that Sedbergh has, although to be fair, I'm sure the £5 million of Casterton assets had been used to eliminate any danger. If you are giving places away, you can attract many pupils - I suppose that could be constituted as 'exemplary marketing'?
No, I would say its called running a successful business.
Really? I think it is absolutely disgraceful behaviour! Not at all 'good business'. I think that the morals of a school show in the way it behaves towards others (including other schools) and those morals set a standard for the pupils. The morals of Sedbergh are questionable if they have to resort to poaching pupils by giving them free places. Let's face it - any independent school can be full if it doesn't charge fees.
It has nothing to do with morals, more with the desire to see their business succeed. Schools nowadays are businesses, and if Sedbergh incentivises certain families with large discounts then there are certain to be reasons behind that, be it they have younger children to yet come through the school, or they have exceptional ability in certain areas. No school (unless not being run well) would offer ultra cheap education unless there was some logical reasoning to make it worth their while in the long term.
Well - Sedbergh School think Casterton parents are imbeciles? - quote in the above page 6 article ' If parents had been told the school was considering merging with Sedbergh because of the finances and parents had left, the cashflow might not have been secure to enable the school to continue this academic year'. So the 'successful' Sedbergh School has attempted to 'rip off' the Casterton School parents to enable the 'mates rates' above. Also, if the Casterton parents can subsidise Sedbergh School to the end of the Sedbergh School financial year (July 2013), then in the next year the Casterton School fixed assets can be sold off. Sedbergh School is saved. What happened to education and who cares - it's the business that counts?
Thats a long tract to base on a "fact" from a poster higher up.

Would it pop your bubble to discover it is not actually true?

I suspect you don't care, do you? Never let the truth get in the way of a good rant.
[quote][p][bold]xross9[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]PHunter16[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]interestedparent[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]PHunter16[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]interestedparent[/bold] wrote: If the marketing at Sedbergh is so exemplary, why do they have to steal pupils from elsewhere? Both St Anne's and Casterton had girls poached by Sedbergh over the last few years and the nursery children from Casterton were offered extraordinary bursaries and inducements to get them to move to Sedbergh and not Casterton for their prep-school years. Teachers at Sedbergh pay only £400 a term in fees for their children, allegedly. Probably explains the £5 million overdraft that Sedbergh has, although to be fair, I'm sure the £5 million of Casterton assets had been used to eliminate any danger. If you are giving places away, you can attract many pupils - I suppose that could be constituted as 'exemplary marketing'?[/p][/quote]No, I would say its called running a successful business.[/p][/quote]Really? I think it is absolutely disgraceful behaviour! Not at all 'good business'. I think that the morals of a school show in the way it behaves towards others (including other schools) and those morals set a standard for the pupils. The morals of Sedbergh are questionable if they have to resort to poaching pupils by giving them free places. Let's face it - any independent school can be full if it doesn't charge fees.[/p][/quote]It has nothing to do with morals, more with the desire to see their business succeed. Schools nowadays are businesses, and if Sedbergh incentivises certain families with large discounts then there are certain to be reasons behind that, be it they have younger children to yet come through the school, or they have exceptional ability in certain areas. No school (unless not being run well) would offer ultra cheap education unless there was some logical reasoning to make it worth their while in the long term.[/p][/quote]Well - Sedbergh School think Casterton parents are imbeciles? - quote in the above page 6 article ' If parents had been told the school was considering merging with Sedbergh because of the finances and parents had left, the cashflow might not have been secure to enable the school to continue this academic year'. So the 'successful' Sedbergh School has attempted to 'rip off' the Casterton School parents to enable the 'mates rates' above. Also, if the Casterton parents can subsidise Sedbergh School to the end of the Sedbergh School financial year (July 2013), then in the next year the Casterton School fixed assets can be sold off. Sedbergh School is saved. What happened to education and who cares - it's the business that counts?[/p][/quote]Thats a long tract to base on a "fact" from a poster higher up. Would it pop your bubble to discover it is not actually true? I suspect you don't care, do you? Never let the truth get in the way of a good rant. Loonyvalley
  • Score: 0

11:50am Wed 8 May 13

Loonyvalley says...

in loco parentis wrote:
PHunter 16 wrote' it has nothing to do with morals, more the desire to see their business succeed'
If morals and ethics are to be excluded from the educational shopping basket then I fear that we will all be facing a very bleak future.

Both of these schools were founded on Christian principles. You shall not covet, You shall not steal, and more importantly, Love your neighbour as yourself.

These schools are not businesses, they are and have been for decades Educational Charitable Trusts registered with the Charity Commission. Thus they are Charities which should be run in a business-like manner. There is a subtle difference even if they have in recent years registered as Limited Companies as well.

If these schools are to be run as mere businesses then they must have courage and relinquish the considerable perks which are given with their Charitable status. Only then can we see if they can survive in the business world. You cannot eat your cake and have it..

However, the golden rule of running a successful business is always to remember that the price of goodwill is unquantifiable. It is not until you have lost it that one begins to find out how much it was worth. Apart from the educational value this is also why morals and ethics are so important. What is also almost impossible to assess is how much goodwill has been lost in the 'long run'. It is easy to lose it; it is much more difficult to restore goodwill and trust after it has gone.

These Educational Charitable Trusts were set up to educate children. To show them how to live, to be concerned citizens of the world, to prepare them for life as adults. They were founded to encourage children to develop an inquiring mind, and also to care for their neighbours by living in a community setting. That is, to my mind, what education is all about. It is not merely to enable their 'customers' to make money, at the expense of others.

In my experience this new 'aggressive' business model has never been the hallmark of Sedbergh. If the ethos of the school has now changed to manage it as only a business, its very existence, seemingly dependent upon undermining and swallowing up other schools, then I believe that there will be many former Sedberghians who will be as dismayed, as I am, at the change the ethos and management of this formerly well respected
educational establishment.
I labour under the advantage of having had kids at both schools in recent years.

People did not leave Casterton prep because they were "induced". They left because it was not very good.

You talk about Sedbergh's "aggressive" business model at great length. You obviously have considerable personal experience of this. Could you maybe give a list of specific examples?
[quote][p][bold]in loco parentis[/bold] wrote: PHunter 16 wrote' it has nothing to do with morals, more the desire to see their business succeed' If morals and ethics are to be excluded from the educational shopping basket then I fear that we will all be facing a very bleak future. Both of these schools were founded on Christian principles. You shall not covet, You shall not steal, and more importantly, Love your neighbour as yourself. These schools are not businesses, they are and have been for decades Educational Charitable Trusts registered with the Charity Commission. Thus they are Charities which should be run in a business-like manner. There is a subtle difference even if they have in recent years registered as Limited Companies as well. If these schools are to be run as mere businesses then they must have courage and relinquish the considerable perks which are given with their Charitable status. Only then can we see if they can survive in the business world. You cannot eat your cake and have it.. However, the golden rule of running a successful business is always to remember that the price of goodwill is unquantifiable. It is not until you have lost it that one begins to find out how much it was worth. Apart from the educational value this is also why morals and ethics are so important. What is also almost impossible to assess is how much goodwill has been lost in the 'long run'. It is easy to lose it; it is much more difficult to restore goodwill and trust after it has gone. These Educational Charitable Trusts were set up to educate children. To show them how to live, to be concerned citizens of the world, to prepare them for life as adults. They were founded to encourage children to develop an inquiring mind, and also to care for their neighbours by living in a community setting. That is, to my mind, what education is all about. It is not merely to enable their 'customers' to make money, at the expense of others. In my experience this new 'aggressive' business model has never been the hallmark of Sedbergh. If the ethos of the school has now changed to manage it as only a business, its very existence, seemingly dependent upon undermining and swallowing up other schools, then I believe that there will be many former Sedberghians who will be as dismayed, as I am, at the change the ethos and management of this formerly well respected educational establishment.[/p][/quote]I labour under the advantage of having had kids at both schools in recent years. People did not leave Casterton prep because they were "induced". They left because it was not very good. You talk about Sedbergh's "aggressive" business model at great length. You obviously have considerable personal experience of this. Could you maybe give a list of specific examples? Loonyvalley
  • Score: 0

1:41pm Wed 8 May 13

in loco parentis says...

Dear Loonyvalley

I write with a long association and considerable first hand experience of both schools and have seen the way in which the management has changed over the last few years.

By the way, I am somewhat perplexed as to why you have quoted me as using the word 'induced' in my post.

It is not a word I would have used either in this context or on this forum.
Dear Loonyvalley I write with a long association and considerable first hand experience of both schools and have seen the way in which the management has changed over the last few years. By the way, I am somewhat perplexed as to why you have quoted me as using the word 'induced' in my post. It is not a word I would have used either in this context or on this forum. in loco parentis
  • Score: 0

6:32pm Wed 8 May 13

interestedparent says...

@Loonyvalley

You are mistaken when you say that Casterton 'wasn't very good'. It is excellent.

It has been let down by governors who are inadequate. Unfortunately, we parents have to take responsibility for not realising earlier what a spineless, self-interested bunch of individuals they are.
@Loonyvalley You are mistaken when you say that Casterton 'wasn't very good'. It is excellent. It has been let down by governors who are inadequate. Unfortunately, we parents have to take responsibility for not realising earlier what a spineless, self-interested bunch of individuals they are. interestedparent
  • Score: 0

8:01pm Wed 8 May 13

Tiffany22 says...

interestedparent wrote:
@Loonyvalley You are mistaken when you say that Casterton 'wasn't very good'. It is excellent. It has been let down by governors who are inadequate. Unfortunately, we parents have to take responsibility for not realising earlier what a spineless, self-interested bunch of individuals they are.
I agree. I just can't believe one man -we all know who - can cause so much upset. The rest of them were a bunch of spineless nodding dogs.
[quote][p][bold]interestedparent[/bold] wrote: @Loonyvalley You are mistaken when you say that Casterton 'wasn't very good'. It is excellent. It has been let down by governors who are inadequate. Unfortunately, we parents have to take responsibility for not realising earlier what a spineless, self-interested bunch of individuals they are.[/p][/quote]I agree. I just can't believe one man -we all know who - can cause so much upset. The rest of them were a bunch of spineless nodding dogs. Tiffany22
  • Score: 0

5:57am Thu 9 May 13

estateagentlookingforbusiness says...

Just heard that Mr and Mrs Cooper Colliander from the previous article were both given jobs at Sedbergh!! Whoop! Whoop! I know that they were very concerned about not being able to walk to school together hand in hand. Three cheers for Mr Fleck who saved the day!! Hip hip hooray!
The vast majority of staff at Casterton who lost their jobs will be struggling to pay mortgages and feed children. A pity they didn't have anyone on their side from Casterton senior management or from Sedbergh's when the dubious selection criteria was being created.
So a previous poster beleives that there are hordes of young girls on a waiting list for Sedbergh. FACT: there is not. Mr Fleck addressed the Casterton staff at the beginning of the process and showed figures and graphs illustrating that the number of girls at Sedbergh were in decline and that he was struggling to keep them.
So he bought the £7m worth of assests from a 'reputable estate agent' and with it 300 young girls for his school. All he had to do was get them to sign a letter. How many did he manage to attract? To date: ELEVEN. There was no marketing starategy just an arrogance that the girls would duly follow. Unfortunately 21st century girls have their own independent minds which got in the way.
Hey ho! The £7m assest are in good hands with a management who have serious debts and there will be plenty of room for all those girls on this massive waiting list.
Just heard that Mr and Mrs Cooper Colliander from the previous article were both given jobs at Sedbergh!! Whoop! Whoop! I know that they were very concerned about not being able to walk to school together hand in hand. Three cheers for Mr Fleck who saved the day!! Hip hip hooray! The vast majority of staff at Casterton who lost their jobs will be struggling to pay mortgages and feed children. A pity they didn't have anyone on their side from Casterton senior management or from Sedbergh's when the dubious selection criteria was being created. So a previous poster beleives that there are hordes of young girls on a waiting list for Sedbergh. FACT: there is not. Mr Fleck addressed the Casterton staff at the beginning of the process and showed figures and graphs illustrating that the number of girls at Sedbergh were in decline and that he was struggling to keep them. So he bought the £7m worth of assests from a 'reputable estate agent' and with it 300 young girls for his school. All he had to do was get them to sign a letter. How many did he manage to attract? To date: ELEVEN. There was no marketing starategy just an arrogance that the girls would duly follow. Unfortunately 21st century girls have their own independent minds which got in the way. Hey ho! The £7m assest are in good hands with a management who have serious debts and there will be plenty of room for all those girls on this massive waiting list. estateagentlookingforbusiness
  • Score: 0

12:59pm Thu 9 May 13

PeterRogerson says...

estateagentlookingfo
rbusiness
wrote:
Just heard that Mr and Mrs Cooper Colliander from the previous article were both given jobs at Sedbergh!! Whoop! Whoop! I know that they were very concerned about not being able to walk to school together hand in hand. Three cheers for Mr Fleck who saved the day!! Hip hip hooray!
The vast majority of staff at Casterton who lost their jobs will be struggling to pay mortgages and feed children. A pity they didn't have anyone on their side from Casterton senior management or from Sedbergh's when the dubious selection criteria was being created.
So a previous poster beleives that there are hordes of young girls on a waiting list for Sedbergh. FACT: there is not. Mr Fleck addressed the Casterton staff at the beginning of the process and showed figures and graphs illustrating that the number of girls at Sedbergh were in decline and that he was struggling to keep them.
So he bought the £7m worth of assests from a 'reputable estate agent' and with it 300 young girls for his school. All he had to do was get them to sign a letter. How many did he manage to attract? To date: ELEVEN. There was no marketing starategy just an arrogance that the girls would duly follow. Unfortunately 21st century girls have their own independent minds which got in the way.
Hey ho! The £7m assest are in good hands with a management who have serious debts and there will be plenty of room for all those girls on this massive waiting list.
I suppose the fact that both of the girls boarding houses at Sedbergh are full to bursting at present is irrelelivant to your argument?
[quote][p][bold]estateagentlookingfo rbusiness[/bold] wrote: Just heard that Mr and Mrs Cooper Colliander from the previous article were both given jobs at Sedbergh!! Whoop! Whoop! I know that they were very concerned about not being able to walk to school together hand in hand. Three cheers for Mr Fleck who saved the day!! Hip hip hooray! The vast majority of staff at Casterton who lost their jobs will be struggling to pay mortgages and feed children. A pity they didn't have anyone on their side from Casterton senior management or from Sedbergh's when the dubious selection criteria was being created. So a previous poster beleives that there are hordes of young girls on a waiting list for Sedbergh. FACT: there is not. Mr Fleck addressed the Casterton staff at the beginning of the process and showed figures and graphs illustrating that the number of girls at Sedbergh were in decline and that he was struggling to keep them. So he bought the £7m worth of assests from a 'reputable estate agent' and with it 300 young girls for his school. All he had to do was get them to sign a letter. How many did he manage to attract? To date: ELEVEN. There was no marketing starategy just an arrogance that the girls would duly follow. Unfortunately 21st century girls have their own independent minds which got in the way. Hey ho! The £7m assest are in good hands with a management who have serious debts and there will be plenty of room for all those girls on this massive waiting list.[/p][/quote]I suppose the fact that both of the girls boarding houses at Sedbergh are full to bursting at present is irrelelivant to your argument? PeterRogerson
  • Score: 0

1:36pm Thu 9 May 13

estateagentlookingforbusiness says...

It is not irrelevant at all. Thank you for raising the issue. Firstly, If all the houses are bursting to full then where were Sedbergh going to house the huge anticipated influx from Casterton? Secondly, it is a fact that numbers of girls have declined at Sedbergh. It is also a fact that Mr Fleck said to Casterton staff that they were struggling to attract girls. There was no mention of a list. Quite the opposite. Thirdly if Sedbergh were not so massively in debt they would have been able to purchase/build new property to accommodate this long list of girls who are waiting to go. Maybe Sedbergh were only interested in killing of the competition, gaining financial security and using Casterton to market its expansion.
IF Sedbergh were as successful as some people argue they could have accommodated these hordes of girls who are knocking on the door. They have chosen NOT to accommodate them.
It is not irrelevant at all. Thank you for raising the issue. Firstly, If all the houses are bursting to full then where were Sedbergh going to house the huge anticipated influx from Casterton? Secondly, it is a fact that numbers of girls have declined at Sedbergh. It is also a fact that Mr Fleck said to Casterton staff that they were struggling to attract girls. There was no mention of a list. Quite the opposite. Thirdly if Sedbergh were not so massively in debt they would have been able to purchase/build new property to accommodate this long list of girls who are waiting to go. Maybe Sedbergh were only interested in killing of the competition, gaining financial security and using Casterton to market its expansion. IF Sedbergh were as successful as some people argue they could have accommodated these hordes of girls who are knocking on the door. They have chosen NOT to accommodate them. estateagentlookingforbusiness
  • Score: 0

1:50pm Thu 9 May 13

PeterRogerson says...

estateagentlookingfo
rbusiness
wrote:
It is not irrelevant at all. Thank you for raising the issue. Firstly, If all the houses are bursting to full then where were Sedbergh going to house the huge anticipated influx from Casterton? Secondly, it is a fact that numbers of girls have declined at Sedbergh. It is also a fact that Mr Fleck said to Casterton staff that they were struggling to attract girls. There was no mention of a list. Quite the opposite. Thirdly if Sedbergh were not so massively in debt they would have been able to purchase/build new property to accommodate this long list of girls who are waiting to go. Maybe Sedbergh were only interested in killing of the competition, gaining financial security and using Casterton to market its expansion.
IF Sedbergh were as successful as some people argue they could have accommodated these hordes of girls who are knocking on the door. They have chosen NOT to accommodate them.
The information freely available to all clearly states that the Casteron girls are to be housed in a 9th house here at Sedbergh, so obviously Mr Fleck is fully expecting the Casterton girls to come, however like you i wouldn't be expecting a huge influx. The house is being renovated at present and will be ready for the new school year. There is a waiting list for girls, this I can confirm, and the school are confident that from september all 3 girls houses will be full. And to finish, there are plenty more than 11 girls from Casterton so far, you might like to treble that!
[quote][p][bold]estateagentlookingfo rbusiness[/bold] wrote: It is not irrelevant at all. Thank you for raising the issue. Firstly, If all the houses are bursting to full then where were Sedbergh going to house the huge anticipated influx from Casterton? Secondly, it is a fact that numbers of girls have declined at Sedbergh. It is also a fact that Mr Fleck said to Casterton staff that they were struggling to attract girls. There was no mention of a list. Quite the opposite. Thirdly if Sedbergh were not so massively in debt they would have been able to purchase/build new property to accommodate this long list of girls who are waiting to go. Maybe Sedbergh were only interested in killing of the competition, gaining financial security and using Casterton to market its expansion. IF Sedbergh were as successful as some people argue they could have accommodated these hordes of girls who are knocking on the door. They have chosen NOT to accommodate them.[/p][/quote]The information freely available to all clearly states that the Casteron girls are to be housed in a 9th house here at Sedbergh, so obviously Mr Fleck is fully expecting the Casterton girls to come, however like you i wouldn't be expecting a huge influx. The house is being renovated at present and will be ready for the new school year. There is a waiting list for girls, this I can confirm, and the school are confident that from september all 3 girls houses will be full. And to finish, there are plenty more than 11 girls from Casterton so far, you might like to treble that! PeterRogerson
  • Score: 0

3:20pm Thu 9 May 13

estateagentlookingforbusiness says...

I dispute your figures. But even 10% by any stretch of the imagination is a disaster. Mr Fleck when asked by Casterton staff 2 months ago how many Casterton girls does he expect replied 'about 60 -70%'
I dispute your figures. But even 10% by any stretch of the imagination is a disaster. Mr Fleck when asked by Casterton staff 2 months ago how many Casterton girls does he expect replied 'about 60 -70%' estateagentlookingforbusiness
  • Score: 0

4:10pm Thu 9 May 13

Tiffany22 says...

PeterRogerson wrote:
estateagentlookingfo rbusiness wrote: It is not irrelevant at all. Thank you for raising the issue. Firstly, If all the houses are bursting to full then where were Sedbergh going to house the huge anticipated influx from Casterton? Secondly, it is a fact that numbers of girls have declined at Sedbergh. It is also a fact that Mr Fleck said to Casterton staff that they were struggling to attract girls. There was no mention of a list. Quite the opposite. Thirdly if Sedbergh were not so massively in debt they would have been able to purchase/build new property to accommodate this long list of girls who are waiting to go. Maybe Sedbergh were only interested in killing of the competition, gaining financial security and using Casterton to market its expansion. IF Sedbergh were as successful as some people argue they could have accommodated these hordes of girls who are knocking on the door. They have chosen NOT to accommodate them.
The information freely available to all clearly states that the Casteron girls are to be housed in a 9th house here at Sedbergh, so obviously Mr Fleck is fully expecting the Casterton girls to come, however like you i wouldn't be expecting a huge influx. The house is being renovated at present and will be ready for the new school year. There is a waiting list for girls, this I can confirm, and the school are confident that from september all 3 girls houses will be full. And to finish, there are plenty more than 11 girls from Casterton so far, you might like to treble that!
although they have given formal notice, many parents have recived bills from Sedbergh for next term. Perhaps this is why you are expecting more than 11 girls from Casterton Mr Rogerson?
[quote][p][bold]PeterRogerson[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]estateagentlookingfo rbusiness[/bold] wrote: It is not irrelevant at all. Thank you for raising the issue. Firstly, If all the houses are bursting to full then where were Sedbergh going to house the huge anticipated influx from Casterton? Secondly, it is a fact that numbers of girls have declined at Sedbergh. It is also a fact that Mr Fleck said to Casterton staff that they were struggling to attract girls. There was no mention of a list. Quite the opposite. Thirdly if Sedbergh were not so massively in debt they would have been able to purchase/build new property to accommodate this long list of girls who are waiting to go. Maybe Sedbergh were only interested in killing of the competition, gaining financial security and using Casterton to market its expansion. IF Sedbergh were as successful as some people argue they could have accommodated these hordes of girls who are knocking on the door. They have chosen NOT to accommodate them.[/p][/quote]The information freely available to all clearly states that the Casteron girls are to be housed in a 9th house here at Sedbergh, so obviously Mr Fleck is fully expecting the Casterton girls to come, however like you i wouldn't be expecting a huge influx. The house is being renovated at present and will be ready for the new school year. There is a waiting list for girls, this I can confirm, and the school are confident that from september all 3 girls houses will be full. And to finish, there are plenty more than 11 girls from Casterton so far, you might like to treble that![/p][/quote]although they have given formal notice, many parents have recived bills from Sedbergh for next term. Perhaps this is why you are expecting more than 11 girls from Casterton Mr Rogerson? Tiffany22
  • Score: 0

7:38pm Thu 9 May 13

Loonyvalley says...

Tiffany22 wrote:
PeterRogerson wrote:
estateagentlookingfo rbusiness wrote: It is not irrelevant at all. Thank you for raising the issue. Firstly, If all the houses are bursting to full then where were Sedbergh going to house the huge anticipated influx from Casterton? Secondly, it is a fact that numbers of girls have declined at Sedbergh. It is also a fact that Mr Fleck said to Casterton staff that they were struggling to attract girls. There was no mention of a list. Quite the opposite. Thirdly if Sedbergh were not so massively in debt they would have been able to purchase/build new property to accommodate this long list of girls who are waiting to go. Maybe Sedbergh were only interested in killing of the competition, gaining financial security and using Casterton to market its expansion. IF Sedbergh were as successful as some people argue they could have accommodated these hordes of girls who are knocking on the door. They have chosen NOT to accommodate them.
The information freely available to all clearly states that the Casteron girls are to be housed in a 9th house here at Sedbergh, so obviously Mr Fleck is fully expecting the Casterton girls to come, however like you i wouldn't be expecting a huge influx. The house is being renovated at present and will be ready for the new school year. There is a waiting list for girls, this I can confirm, and the school are confident that from september all 3 girls houses will be full. And to finish, there are plenty more than 11 girls from Casterton so far, you might like to treble that!
although they have given formal notice, many parents have recived bills from Sedbergh for next term. Perhaps this is why you are expecting more than 11 girls from Casterton Mr Rogerson?
If you read the not-so-small print of your contact it says you have to give a terms notice. So giving notice last term means not being there in September. I paid a terms fees once in similar circumstances when I wanted to move for the next term.

Sedbergh has effectively decided to start to overturn its previous policy of not having more than one girl for every two boys in the senior school. This dates back to going co-ed, which caused just as much angst as the current merger apparently.

A lot of girls want to come to Sedbergh, it is a big growth area for them that was going begging. This Casterton thing seems to have taken them over the edge, and I suspect the school will move closer to a 50:50 ratio quite quickly. Moving the Prep school out frees up space to do this without needing protracted planning permission for a major new building.

The Casterton site will give a lot more space to the Prep school to grow. It could easily exceed 200 on its own. Not everyone is happy about not being at Sedbergh, as quite a few like the iconic sporting venues at the senior school, but they will get used to it eventually. Nearly half the staff are from Casterton, so hopefully the combination will be quite strong.
[quote][p][bold]Tiffany22[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]PeterRogerson[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]estateagentlookingfo rbusiness[/bold] wrote: It is not irrelevant at all. Thank you for raising the issue. Firstly, If all the houses are bursting to full then where were Sedbergh going to house the huge anticipated influx from Casterton? Secondly, it is a fact that numbers of girls have declined at Sedbergh. It is also a fact that Mr Fleck said to Casterton staff that they were struggling to attract girls. There was no mention of a list. Quite the opposite. Thirdly if Sedbergh were not so massively in debt they would have been able to purchase/build new property to accommodate this long list of girls who are waiting to go. Maybe Sedbergh were only interested in killing of the competition, gaining financial security and using Casterton to market its expansion. IF Sedbergh were as successful as some people argue they could have accommodated these hordes of girls who are knocking on the door. They have chosen NOT to accommodate them.[/p][/quote]The information freely available to all clearly states that the Casteron girls are to be housed in a 9th house here at Sedbergh, so obviously Mr Fleck is fully expecting the Casterton girls to come, however like you i wouldn't be expecting a huge influx. The house is being renovated at present and will be ready for the new school year. There is a waiting list for girls, this I can confirm, and the school are confident that from september all 3 girls houses will be full. And to finish, there are plenty more than 11 girls from Casterton so far, you might like to treble that![/p][/quote]although they have given formal notice, many parents have recived bills from Sedbergh for next term. Perhaps this is why you are expecting more than 11 girls from Casterton Mr Rogerson?[/p][/quote]If you read the not-so-small print of your contact it says you have to give a terms notice. So giving notice last term means not being there in September. I paid a terms fees once in similar circumstances when I wanted to move for the next term. Sedbergh has effectively decided to start to overturn its previous policy of not having more than one girl for every two boys in the senior school. This dates back to going co-ed, which caused just as much angst as the current merger apparently. A lot of girls want to come to Sedbergh, it is a big growth area for them that was going begging. This Casterton thing seems to have taken them over the edge, and I suspect the school will move closer to a 50:50 ratio quite quickly. Moving the Prep school out frees up space to do this without needing protracted planning permission for a major new building. The Casterton site will give a lot more space to the Prep school to grow. It could easily exceed 200 on its own. Not everyone is happy about not being at Sedbergh, as quite a few like the iconic sporting venues at the senior school, but they will get used to it eventually. Nearly half the staff are from Casterton, so hopefully the combination will be quite strong. Loonyvalley
  • Score: 0

9:08pm Thu 9 May 13

xross9 says...

'Looney' - the people in white coats are coming to get you -)
'Looney' - the people in white coats are coming to get you -) xross9
  • Score: 0

9:37pm Thu 9 May 13

Tiffany22 says...

xross9 wrote:
'Looney' - the people in white coats are coming to get you -)
Haha! Bonkers!
[quote][p][bold]xross9[/bold] wrote: 'Looney' - the people in white coats are coming to get you -)[/p][/quote]Haha! Bonkers! Tiffany22
  • Score: 0

9:39pm Thu 9 May 13

Tiffany22 says...

Tiffany22 wrote:
xross9 wrote: 'Looney' - the people in white coats are coming to get you -)
Haha! Bonkers!
As if we haven't read the 'not so small print'
[quote][p][bold]Tiffany22[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]xross9[/bold] wrote: 'Looney' - the people in white coats are coming to get you -)[/p][/quote]Haha! Bonkers![/p][/quote]As if we haven't read the 'not so small print' Tiffany22
  • Score: 0

11:12pm Thu 9 May 13

xross9 says...

Tiffany22 wrote:
Tiffany22 wrote:
xross9 wrote: 'Looney' - the people in white coats are coming to get you -)
Haha! Bonkers!
As if we haven't read the 'not so small print'
Loony - I have no idea whether you are in charge of Sedbergh School or not and at the risk of 'popping your bubble' you can't be serious about your last post - can you?
[quote][p][bold]Tiffany22[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Tiffany22[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]xross9[/bold] wrote: 'Looney' - the people in white coats are coming to get you -)[/p][/quote]Haha! Bonkers![/p][/quote]As if we haven't read the 'not so small print'[/p][/quote]Loony - I have no idea whether you are in charge of Sedbergh School or not and at the risk of 'popping your bubble' you can't be serious about your last post - can you? xross9
  • Score: 0

5:57am Fri 10 May 13

Loonyvalley says...

xross9 wrote:
Tiffany22 wrote:
Tiffany22 wrote:
xross9 wrote: 'Looney' - the people in white coats are coming to get you -)
Haha! Bonkers!
As if we haven't read the 'not so small print'
Loony - I have no idea whether you are in charge of Sedbergh School or not and at the risk of 'popping your bubble' you can't be serious about your last post - can you?
Your position is that some vast Machiavellian plot has unfolded involving dark forces and rank corruption.

Others think Casterton had a poor strategy for many years and got hit by the recession and falling interest in single-sex schools.

Having been at Casterton I plump for the latter - it is vastly more probable, no? Exactly the same thing happened to Sedbergh years ago, but they pulled out of it by going co-ed. It is quite obvious that you would not have supported this either (and the governors knew this).

All that matters now is making a success of the combined school (for my kids and others). Are you opposed to it being a success? If so, why?
[quote][p][bold]xross9[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Tiffany22[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Tiffany22[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]xross9[/bold] wrote: 'Looney' - the people in white coats are coming to get you -)[/p][/quote]Haha! Bonkers![/p][/quote]As if we haven't read the 'not so small print'[/p][/quote]Loony - I have no idea whether you are in charge of Sedbergh School or not and at the risk of 'popping your bubble' you can't be serious about your last post - can you?[/p][/quote]Your position is that some vast Machiavellian plot has unfolded involving dark forces and rank corruption. Others think Casterton had a poor strategy for many years and got hit by the recession and falling interest in single-sex schools. Having been at Casterton I plump for the latter - it is vastly more probable, no? Exactly the same thing happened to Sedbergh years ago, but they pulled out of it by going co-ed. It is quite obvious that you would not have supported this either (and the governors knew this). All that matters now is making a success of the combined school (for my kids and others). Are you opposed to it being a success? If so, why? Loonyvalley
  • Score: 0

3:32pm Sat 11 May 13

mike21up says...

Bentham school anyone? Wasn't that renamed Sedbergh Junior Scholl once upon a day? How long did that last? How much went into Sedbergh's coffers when they sold it? Similaries me thinks!!
Bentham school anyone? Wasn't that renamed Sedbergh Junior Scholl once upon a day? How long did that last? How much went into Sedbergh's coffers when they sold it? Similaries me thinks!! mike21up
  • Score: 0

4:56pm Sat 11 May 13

xross9 says...

My position is that I am in a vast Mushroom farm, kept in the dark, and being fed rank manure - as per the Sedbergh School plan
My position is that I am in a vast Mushroom farm, kept in the dark, and being fed rank manure - as per the Sedbergh School plan xross9
  • Score: 0

8:07pm Sat 11 May 13

xross9 says...

xross9 wrote:
My position is that I am in a vast Mushroom farm, kept in the dark, and being fed rank manure - as per the Sedbergh School plan
My very first post, on another thread, referred to the Charities Commission top tips and particularly the one about making sure that all stakeholders are on board at an early stage prior to a 'successful' merger between charitable trusts.
Foul - ref.?

Obviously, a successful merger was not intended. So what role have the Charities Commission played in this debacle? The accounts for Sedbergh School for 2010 and 2011 are not shown on its website as audited (and yet the 2012 accounts are) - why?
That's it - the Charities Commission is either complicit in turning a 'blind eye' or it is incompetent. Either way - this must give a 'rogue' charitable trust great confidence to behave in the way that suits its aims.
[quote][p][bold]xross9[/bold] wrote: My position is that I am in a vast Mushroom farm, kept in the dark, and being fed rank manure - as per the Sedbergh School plan[/p][/quote]My very first post, on another thread, referred to the Charities Commission top tips and particularly the one about making sure that all stakeholders are on board at an early stage prior to a 'successful' merger between charitable trusts. Foul - ref.? Obviously, a successful merger was not intended. So what role have the Charities Commission played in this debacle? The accounts for Sedbergh School for 2010 and 2011 are not shown on its website as audited (and yet the 2012 accounts are) - why? That's it - the Charities Commission is either complicit in turning a 'blind eye' or it is incompetent. Either way - this must give a 'rogue' charitable trust great confidence to behave in the way that suits its aims. xross9
  • Score: 0

12:25am Sun 12 May 13

xross9 says...

Plus - I do not understand how the Cooper - Collianders (no offence) can keep their jobs (when they have deviated from the Sedbergh School strict rules not to speak to the press) and the Casterton teachers applying for the same jobs (adhering to the same school rules) get relieved of their duties. There is definitely something wrong there.
As I have said before, in this day and age - 'The Equality Act' has to be a vehicle for preventing the behaviour of the school in question i.e. Sedbergh School. There appears to be no one applying it.
Plus - I do not understand how the Cooper - Collianders (no offence) can keep their jobs (when they have deviated from the Sedbergh School strict rules not to speak to the press) and the Casterton teachers applying for the same jobs (adhering to the same school rules) get relieved of their duties. There is definitely something wrong there. As I have said before, in this day and age - 'The Equality Act' has to be a vehicle for preventing the behaviour of the school in question i.e. Sedbergh School. There appears to be no one applying it. xross9
  • Score: 0

2:31am Sun 12 May 13

Loonyvalley says...

xross9 wrote:
xross9 wrote:
My position is that I am in a vast Mushroom farm, kept in the dark, and being fed rank manure - as per the Sedbergh School plan
My very first post, on another thread, referred to the Charities Commission top tips and particularly the one about making sure that all stakeholders are on board at an early stage prior to a 'successful' merger between charitable trusts.
Foul - ref.?

Obviously, a successful merger was not intended. So what role have the Charities Commission played in this debacle? The accounts for Sedbergh School for 2010 and 2011 are not shown on its website as audited (and yet the 2012 accounts are) - why?
That's it - the Charities Commission is either complicit in turning a 'blind eye' or it is incompetent. Either way - this must give a 'rogue' charitable trust great confidence to behave in the way that suits its aims.
You appear to base this on the electronic copy of the accounts uploaded to the website. Rather than a scanned version with signatures. Think a bit more about it.

If you look at how the Commission operates, it posts a public notice for any charity that is late in presenting audited accounts. Casterton was late last year. Sedbergh was not, and has not been.
[quote][p][bold]xross9[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]xross9[/bold] wrote: My position is that I am in a vast Mushroom farm, kept in the dark, and being fed rank manure - as per the Sedbergh School plan[/p][/quote]My very first post, on another thread, referred to the Charities Commission top tips and particularly the one about making sure that all stakeholders are on board at an early stage prior to a 'successful' merger between charitable trusts. Foul - ref.? Obviously, a successful merger was not intended. So what role have the Charities Commission played in this debacle? The accounts for Sedbergh School for 2010 and 2011 are not shown on its website as audited (and yet the 2012 accounts are) - why? That's it - the Charities Commission is either complicit in turning a 'blind eye' or it is incompetent. Either way - this must give a 'rogue' charitable trust great confidence to behave in the way that suits its aims.[/p][/quote]You appear to base this on the electronic copy of the accounts uploaded to the website. Rather than a scanned version with signatures. Think a bit more about it. If you look at how the Commission operates, it posts a public notice for any charity that is late in presenting audited accounts. Casterton was late last year. Sedbergh was not, and has not been. Loonyvalley
  • Score: 0

9:00am Sun 12 May 13

in loco parentis says...

xross9 wrote:
Plus - I do not understand how the Cooper - Collianders (no offence) can keep their jobs (when they have deviated from the Sedbergh School strict rules not to speak to the press) and the Casterton teachers applying for the same jobs (adhering to the same school rules) get relieved of their duties. There is definitely something wrong there.
As I have said before, in this day and age - 'The Equality Act' has to be a vehicle for preventing the behaviour of the school in question i.e. Sedbergh School. There appears to be no one applying it.
Leaving the Cooper-Collianders to one side for the moment; Has anyone else wondered if Mr Fleck went on his own initiative to give a detailed interview to the press about the finances of Casterton School ( 2010 to 2012) before the accounts were signed off, (see article above) or was he given authorisation from above? Contrast that with the 'guarded' quote given by the Headmistress of Casterton - 'the governors, as Trustees of the school believe that the merger with Sedbergh offers the best option for Casterton in the current economic climate.'

It begs the question as to why Mr Fleck was allowed to give an interview to the press and discuss the finances, as he saw them, of a neighbouring school.

Goose and Gander indeed.
[quote][p][bold]xross9[/bold] wrote: Plus - I do not understand how the Cooper - Collianders (no offence) can keep their jobs (when they have deviated from the Sedbergh School strict rules not to speak to the press) and the Casterton teachers applying for the same jobs (adhering to the same school rules) get relieved of their duties. There is definitely something wrong there. As I have said before, in this day and age - 'The Equality Act' has to be a vehicle for preventing the behaviour of the school in question i.e. Sedbergh School. There appears to be no one applying it.[/p][/quote]Leaving the Cooper-Collianders to one side for the moment; Has anyone else wondered if Mr Fleck went on his own initiative to give a detailed interview to the press about the finances of Casterton School ( 2010 to 2012) before the accounts were signed off, (see article above) or was he given authorisation from above? Contrast that with the 'guarded' quote given by the Headmistress of Casterton - 'the governors, as Trustees of the school believe that the merger with Sedbergh offers the best option for Casterton in the current economic climate.' It begs the question as to why Mr Fleck was allowed to give an interview to the press and discuss the finances, as he saw them, of a neighbouring school. Goose and Gander indeed. in loco parentis
  • Score: 0

12:04pm Mon 13 May 13

lookingon says...

There is a lot of interest in girls' education- ask the very popular girl's schools in the south. It was just a question of tapping this interest/ marketing to it. The governors did not do this, they did not restructure the staff properly or reduce the numbers of staff, They did not fund raise, they did not give enough generous scholarships
as other schools do for more numbers. they did no consultation in any decisions at all! They did not take up offer of any help from any quarter. If this is not incompetent arrogance it will need re-defining in the dictionary
There is a lot of interest in girls' education- ask the very popular girl's schools in the south. It was just a question of tapping this interest/ marketing to it. The governors did not do this, they did not restructure the staff properly or reduce the numbers of staff, They did not fund raise, they did not give enough generous scholarships as other schools do for more numbers. they did no consultation in any decisions at all! They did not take up offer of any help from any quarter. If this is not incompetent arrogance it will need re-defining in the dictionary lookingon
  • Score: 0

12:40pm Mon 13 May 13

Loonyvalley says...

lookingon wrote:
There is a lot of interest in girls' education- ask the very popular girl's schools in the south. It was just a question of tapping this interest/ marketing to it. The governors did not do this, they did not restructure the staff properly or reduce the numbers of staff, They did not fund raise, they did not give enough generous scholarships
as other schools do for more numbers. they did no consultation in any decisions at all! They did not take up offer of any help from any quarter. If this is not incompetent arrogance it will need re-defining in the dictionary
All very true. To which I would add letting the Prep go, which has been serious in the local market situation.

Add that to the recession and the shift to vertically integrated co-ed. Swimming uphill.

For example:

http://www.telegraph
.co.uk/education/edu
cationnews/8298317/B
oys-schools-decline-
in-shift-towards-mix
ed-classrooms.html
[quote][p][bold]lookingon[/bold] wrote: There is a lot of interest in girls' education- ask the very popular girl's schools in the south. It was just a question of tapping this interest/ marketing to it. The governors did not do this, they did not restructure the staff properly or reduce the numbers of staff, They did not fund raise, they did not give enough generous scholarships as other schools do for more numbers. they did no consultation in any decisions at all! They did not take up offer of any help from any quarter. If this is not incompetent arrogance it will need re-defining in the dictionary[/p][/quote]All very true. To which I would add letting the Prep go, which has been serious in the local market situation. Add that to the recession and the shift to vertically integrated co-ed. Swimming uphill. For example: http://www.telegraph .co.uk/education/edu cationnews/8298317/B oys-schools-decline- in-shift-towards-mix ed-classrooms.html Loonyvalley
  • Score: 0

11:37pm Mon 13 May 13

carolineholgate says...

The real mystery is what the dickens was going on at Casterton in 2011-12. How could a school go from healthy profit to extreme loss in a year?

Mr Fleck's answers - a lack of interest in single-sex education, and the recession - are dubious.

The former is a long-term trend that could not have caused a sudden drop. (And a trend being soundly bucked by the successful girls' schools in the south).

The latter is also a medium-term problem that arguably reached its nadir in 2008-9. Casterton remained in profit for 2 years afterwards, despite the economic climate.

So come on Mr Fleck, and come on Steven Bell - more clarity needed!
The real mystery is what the dickens was going on at Casterton in 2011-12. How could a school go from healthy profit to extreme loss in a year? Mr Fleck's answers - a lack of interest in single-sex education, and the recession - are dubious. The former is a long-term trend that could not have caused a sudden drop. (And a trend being soundly bucked by the successful girls' schools in the south). The latter is also a medium-term problem that arguably reached its nadir in 2008-9. Casterton remained in profit for 2 years afterwards, despite the economic climate. So come on Mr Fleck, and come on Steven Bell - more clarity needed! carolineholgate
  • Score: 0

10:05am Tue 14 May 13

Logitech says...

carolineholgate wrote:
The real mystery is what the dickens was going on at Casterton in 2011-12. How could a school go from healthy profit to extreme loss in a year?

Mr Fleck's answers - a lack of interest in single-sex education, and the recession - are dubious.

The former is a long-term trend that could not have caused a sudden drop. (And a trend being soundly bucked by the successful girls' schools in the south).

The latter is also a medium-term problem that arguably reached its nadir in 2008-9. Casterton remained in profit for 2 years afterwards, despite the economic climate.

So come on Mr Fleck, and come on Steven Bell - more clarity needed!
The full accounts for Casterton are available from the Companies House website at the cost of £1.

It includes the statement from the governors and also the profit/ loss accounts and gives an indication of what has been going on.

These accounts are much more detailed than the information you can access on the Charities Commission website so they are well worth a look.

It's also worth having a look at Sedbergh's a comparison.

Good luck!
[quote][p][bold]carolineholgate[/bold] wrote: The real mystery is what the dickens was going on at Casterton in 2011-12. How could a school go from healthy profit to extreme loss in a year? Mr Fleck's answers - a lack of interest in single-sex education, and the recession - are dubious. The former is a long-term trend that could not have caused a sudden drop. (And a trend being soundly bucked by the successful girls' schools in the south). The latter is also a medium-term problem that arguably reached its nadir in 2008-9. Casterton remained in profit for 2 years afterwards, despite the economic climate. So come on Mr Fleck, and come on Steven Bell - more clarity needed![/p][/quote]The full accounts for Casterton are available from the Companies House website at the cost of £1. It includes the statement from the governors and also the profit/ loss accounts and gives an indication of what has been going on. These accounts are much more detailed than the information you can access on the Charities Commission website so they are well worth a look. It's also worth having a look at Sedbergh's a comparison. Good luck! Logitech
  • Score: 0

11:45am Tue 14 May 13

in loco parentis says...

carolineholgate wrote:
The real mystery is what the dickens was going on at Casterton in 2011-12. How could a school go from healthy profit to extreme loss in a year?

Mr Fleck's answers - a lack of interest in single-sex education, and the recession - are dubious.

The former is a long-term trend that could not have caused a sudden drop. (And a trend being soundly bucked by the successful girls' schools in the south).

The latter is also a medium-term problem that arguably reached its nadir in 2008-9. Casterton remained in profit for 2 years afterwards, despite the economic climate.

So come on Mr Fleck, and come on Steven Bell - more clarity needed!
I totally agree that there needs to be an explanation as to how Casterton lost so much in one year. However it is not up to Mr Fleck, the Headmaster of Sedbergh to explain how this happened.
It is surely up to the Casterton School governors to explain to the parents how this debacle came about. This is what the Casterton parents have been asking for since the announcement of the 'merger' in February and they are still waiting. It matters not that the Chairman finally stepped down; all the members of the governing body were trustees and directors of Casterton School and share the responsibility.

Come on Steven Bell...It is time to ask the real decision makers not the Head of the neighbouring school.
[quote][p][bold]carolineholgate[/bold] wrote: The real mystery is what the dickens was going on at Casterton in 2011-12. How could a school go from healthy profit to extreme loss in a year? Mr Fleck's answers - a lack of interest in single-sex education, and the recession - are dubious. The former is a long-term trend that could not have caused a sudden drop. (And a trend being soundly bucked by the successful girls' schools in the south). The latter is also a medium-term problem that arguably reached its nadir in 2008-9. Casterton remained in profit for 2 years afterwards, despite the economic climate. So come on Mr Fleck, and come on Steven Bell - more clarity needed![/p][/quote]I totally agree that there needs to be an explanation as to how Casterton lost so much in one year. However it is not up to Mr Fleck, the Headmaster of Sedbergh to explain how this happened. It is surely up to the Casterton School governors to explain to the parents how this debacle came about. This is what the Casterton parents have been asking for since the announcement of the 'merger' in February and they are still waiting. It matters not that the Chairman finally stepped down; all the members of the governing body were trustees and directors of Casterton School and share the responsibility. Come on Steven Bell...It is time to ask the real decision makers not the Head of the neighbouring school. in loco parentis
  • Score: 0

10:19am Wed 15 May 13

stormin1 says...

Lppks like the battle is over. Just waiting for the announcement that Casteton grounds are up for sale. Nice bonus for Sedburgh School.
Lppks like the battle is over. Just waiting for the announcement that Casteton grounds are up for sale. Nice bonus for Sedburgh School. stormin1
  • Score: 0

5:01pm Wed 15 May 13

interestedparent says...

The battle is not over. We are most definitely taking legal action.

I for one, cannot sit back and let the arrogance of the governors be allowed to go unchecked.
The battle is not over. We are most definitely taking legal action. I for one, cannot sit back and let the arrogance of the governors be allowed to go unchecked. interestedparent
  • Score: 0

10:59pm Wed 15 May 13

xross9 says...

Loonyvalley wrote:
xross9 wrote:
xross9 wrote:
My position is that I am in a vast Mushroom farm, kept in the dark, and being fed rank manure - as per the Sedbergh School plan
My very first post, on another thread, referred to the Charities Commission top tips and particularly the one about making sure that all stakeholders are on board at an early stage prior to a 'successful' merger between charitable trusts.
Foul - ref.?

Obviously, a successful merger was not intended. So what role have the Charities Commission played in this debacle? The accounts for Sedbergh School for 2010 and 2011 are not shown on its website as audited (and yet the 2012 accounts are) - why?
That's it - the Charities Commission is either complicit in turning a 'blind eye' or it is incompetent. Either way - this must give a 'rogue' charitable trust great confidence to behave in the way that suits its aims.
You appear to base this on the electronic copy of the accounts uploaded to the website. Rather than a scanned version with signatures. Think a bit more about it.

If you look at how the Commission operates, it posts a public notice for any charity that is late in presenting audited accounts. Casterton was late last year. Sedbergh was not, and has not been.
Looney - I have thought about it - why not put the signed audited accounts for Sedbergh School on the Charities Commission website
[quote][p][bold]Loonyvalley[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]xross9[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]xross9[/bold] wrote: My position is that I am in a vast Mushroom farm, kept in the dark, and being fed rank manure - as per the Sedbergh School plan[/p][/quote]My very first post, on another thread, referred to the Charities Commission top tips and particularly the one about making sure that all stakeholders are on board at an early stage prior to a 'successful' merger between charitable trusts. Foul - ref.? Obviously, a successful merger was not intended. So what role have the Charities Commission played in this debacle? The accounts for Sedbergh School for 2010 and 2011 are not shown on its website as audited (and yet the 2012 accounts are) - why? That's it - the Charities Commission is either complicit in turning a 'blind eye' or it is incompetent. Either way - this must give a 'rogue' charitable trust great confidence to behave in the way that suits its aims.[/p][/quote]You appear to base this on the electronic copy of the accounts uploaded to the website. Rather than a scanned version with signatures. Think a bit more about it. If you look at how the Commission operates, it posts a public notice for any charity that is late in presenting audited accounts. Casterton was late last year. Sedbergh was not, and has not been.[/p][/quote]Looney - I have thought about it - why not put the signed audited accounts for Sedbergh School on the Charities Commission website xross9
  • Score: 0

11:27pm Wed 15 May 13

xross9 says...

interestedparent wrote:
The battle is not over. We are most definitely taking legal action.

I for one, cannot sit back and let the arrogance of the governors be allowed to go unchecked.
Can't disagree - hopefully at some point, the Members of Parliament in the area will recognise the value in supporting 'the hidden jewels' in the area before it is too late 'if it isn't already' - talking to you Tim .
[quote][p][bold]interestedparent[/bold] wrote: The battle is not over. We are most definitely taking legal action. I for one, cannot sit back and let the arrogance of the governors be allowed to go unchecked.[/p][/quote]Can't disagree - hopefully at some point, the Members of Parliament in the area will recognise the value in supporting 'the hidden jewels' in the area before it is too late 'if it isn't already' - talking to you Tim . xross9
  • Score: 0

12:02am Thu 16 May 13

xross9 says...

in loco parentis wrote:
carolineholgate wrote:
The real mystery is what the dickens was going on at Casterton in 2011-12. How could a school go from healthy profit to extreme loss in a year?

Mr Fleck's answers - a lack of interest in single-sex education, and the recession - are dubious.

The former is a long-term trend that could not have caused a sudden drop. (And a trend being soundly bucked by the successful girls' schools in the south).

The latter is also a medium-term problem that arguably reached its nadir in 2008-9. Casterton remained in profit for 2 years afterwards, despite the economic climate.

So come on Mr Fleck, and come on Steven Bell - more clarity needed!
I totally agree that there needs to be an explanation as to how Casterton lost so much in one year. However it is not up to Mr Fleck, the Headmaster of Sedbergh to explain how this happened.
It is surely up to the Casterton School governors to explain to the parents how this debacle came about. This is what the Casterton parents have been asking for since the announcement of the 'merger' in February and they are still waiting. It matters not that the Chairman finally stepped down; all the members of the governing body were trustees and directors of Casterton School and share the responsibility.

Come on Steven Bell...It is time to ask the real decision makers not the Head of the neighbouring school.
Looking forward to the truth of this story Steven - it needs closure in some form.
[quote][p][bold]in loco parentis[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]carolineholgate[/bold] wrote: The real mystery is what the dickens was going on at Casterton in 2011-12. How could a school go from healthy profit to extreme loss in a year? Mr Fleck's answers - a lack of interest in single-sex education, and the recession - are dubious. The former is a long-term trend that could not have caused a sudden drop. (And a trend being soundly bucked by the successful girls' schools in the south). The latter is also a medium-term problem that arguably reached its nadir in 2008-9. Casterton remained in profit for 2 years afterwards, despite the economic climate. So come on Mr Fleck, and come on Steven Bell - more clarity needed![/p][/quote]I totally agree that there needs to be an explanation as to how Casterton lost so much in one year. However it is not up to Mr Fleck, the Headmaster of Sedbergh to explain how this happened. It is surely up to the Casterton School governors to explain to the parents how this debacle came about. This is what the Casterton parents have been asking for since the announcement of the 'merger' in February and they are still waiting. It matters not that the Chairman finally stepped down; all the members of the governing body were trustees and directors of Casterton School and share the responsibility. Come on Steven Bell...It is time to ask the real decision makers not the Head of the neighbouring school.[/p][/quote]Looking forward to the truth of this story Steven - it needs closure in some form. xross9
  • Score: 0

6:02pm Fri 17 May 13

Loonyvalley says...

xross9 wrote:
interestedparent wrote:
The battle is not over. We are most definitely taking legal action.

I for one, cannot sit back and let the arrogance of the governors be allowed to go unchecked.
Can't disagree - hopefully at some point, the Members of Parliament in the area will recognise the value in supporting 'the hidden jewels' in the area before it is too late 'if it isn't already' - talking to you Tim .
Tim Farron is leader of the what passes for the Lib Dem militant wing (they are known to sometimes get mildly cross about things). Not an obvious starting point for a campaign to keep open an exclusive girls school.

The old Etonian to the north might be a better bet, but he is rarely home from the wars.

Anyway, to lighten the mood, and if you want an example of truly outstanding journalistic rigour, try this:

http://www.tatler.co
m/guides/schools-gui
de/2013/public/sedbe
rgh
[quote][p][bold]xross9[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]interestedparent[/bold] wrote: The battle is not over. We are most definitely taking legal action. I for one, cannot sit back and let the arrogance of the governors be allowed to go unchecked.[/p][/quote]Can't disagree - hopefully at some point, the Members of Parliament in the area will recognise the value in supporting 'the hidden jewels' in the area before it is too late 'if it isn't already' - talking to you Tim .[/p][/quote]Tim Farron is leader of the what passes for the Lib Dem militant wing (they are known to sometimes get mildly cross about things). Not an obvious starting point for a campaign to keep open an exclusive girls school. The old Etonian to the north might be a better bet, but he is rarely home from the wars. Anyway, to lighten the mood, and if you want an example of truly outstanding journalistic rigour, try this: http://www.tatler.co m/guides/schools-gui de/2013/public/sedbe rgh Loonyvalley
  • Score: 0

9:59am Sat 18 May 13

in loco parentis says...

LoonyValley:

Thank you so much for the Tatler website link. Splendid creative writing!

The only omission is an annual tiger hunt in India! However, now that Sedbergh has the horses and stables at Casterton they can attend to the challenge of producing a competitive Polo team.

It is odd though, when you look up Eton on the Tatler site it doesn't state 'Eton, often compared with Sedbergh'

Thank you so much for cheering me up.
LoonyValley: Thank you so much for the Tatler website link. Splendid creative writing! The only omission is an annual tiger hunt in India! However, now that Sedbergh has the horses and stables at Casterton they can attend to the challenge of producing a competitive Polo team. It is odd though, when you look up Eton on the Tatler site it doesn't state 'Eton, often compared with Sedbergh' Thank you so much for cheering me up. in loco parentis
  • Score: 0

9:46pm Mon 20 May 13

xross9 says...

I see what you are saying 'in loco'. We noticed a lot of new horse jumps in the paddock at Casterton last week, plus a general tidy up of that area, which seemed to go against the grain of outing circa 145 young girls plus dispensing with a volume of excellent teachers. Watch this space!
I see what you are saying 'in loco'. We noticed a lot of new horse jumps in the paddock at Casterton last week, plus a general tidy up of that area, which seemed to go against the grain of outing circa 145 young girls plus dispensing with a volume of excellent teachers. Watch this space! xross9
  • Score: 0

8:45pm Thu 23 May 13

xross9 says...

This morning - it looks like a lot of horses / ponies have arrived.
This morning - it looks like a lot of horses / ponies have arrived. xross9
  • Score: 0

4:13pm Sat 25 May 13

xross9 says...

“If parents had been told the school was considering merging with Sedbergh because of the finances and parents had left, the cashflow might not have been secure to enable the school to continue this academic year.”

“We have not been told who Casterton Parents Limited are, despite asking. I absolutely believe that, legally, it’s irreversible, and I am even more certain that practically it’s irreversible'

A 'dicky blaird' has confirmed that Sedbergh School has met Casterton Parents Limited - 'without prejudice to the threat of litigation' and 'a number of matters were discussed in a positive manner'.
“If parents had been told the school was considering merging with Sedbergh because of the finances and parents had left, the cashflow might not have been secure to enable the school to continue this academic year.” “We have not been told who Casterton Parents Limited are, despite asking. I absolutely believe that, legally, it’s irreversible, and I am even more certain that practically it’s irreversible' A 'dicky blaird' has confirmed that Sedbergh School has met Casterton Parents Limited - 'without prejudice to the threat of litigation' and 'a number of matters were discussed in a positive manner'. xross9
  • Score: 0

10:15pm Sat 25 May 13

parent789 says...

Had a letter today from Hugh Blair. Sedbergh keep telling us they have done nothing wrong and the takeover was best for casterton. If Sedbergh are so confident why don't they release the papers like they have been asked all along?

Or have they got something to hide?

I get the feeling that they need to go on the attack as they can't show the papers because of what they contain!
Had a letter today from Hugh Blair. Sedbergh keep telling us they have done nothing wrong and the takeover was best for casterton. If Sedbergh are so confident why don't they release the papers like they have been asked all along? Or have they got something to hide? I get the feeling that they need to go on the attack as they can't show the papers because of what they contain! parent789
  • Score: 0

9:47am Sun 26 May 13

parent789 says...

Dear Mr Blair,

I have slept on your letter and now wonder why your solictor didn't write it.
Or are they unwilling?

I understand that Mr Ellis has insurance to persue the claim. I am sure that an insurance company are only init to make money so they must believe there are damages out there to win.

I also note in the last pargraphy of your letter that you seam still to try to pursady me to trust you with the care of my daughter, and I can honestly say that any organization that thinks telling children on mass before they tell parents that their school is closing, with the tears and upset it caused doesn't know how to provide pastrol care, and that you are treating the number of children are pound signs on your cash flow, which now doesn't meet your bussiness plan because we have decided to send our children to other schools. I believe this because you still chase us when have handed our notice in.

Regards
Dear Mr Blair, I have slept on your letter and now wonder why your solictor didn't write it. Or are they unwilling? I understand that Mr Ellis has insurance to persue the claim. I am sure that an insurance company are only init to make money so they must believe there are damages out there to win. I also note in the last pargraphy of your letter that you seam still to try to pursady me to trust you with the care of my daughter, and I can honestly say that any organization that thinks telling children on mass before they tell parents that their school is closing, with the tears and upset it caused doesn't know how to provide pastrol care, and that you are treating the number of children are pound signs on your cash flow, which now doesn't meet your bussiness plan because we have decided to send our children to other schools. I believe this because you still chase us when have handed our notice in. Regards parent789
  • Score: 0

3:55pm Sun 26 May 13

interestedparent says...

xross9 wrote:
“If parents had been told the school was considering merging with Sedbergh because of the finances and parents had left, the cashflow might not have been secure to enable the school to continue this academic year.” “We have not been told who Casterton Parents Limited are, despite asking. I absolutely believe that, legally, it’s irreversible, and I am even more certain that practically it’s irreversible' A 'dicky blaird' has confirmed that Sedbergh School has met Casterton Parents Limited - 'without prejudice to the threat of litigation' and 'a number of matters were discussed in a positive manner'.
I didn't believe that Blair would have told a soul if he had had a 'without prejudice' meeting with Casterton Parents Ltd, or any of their representatives. The reason that I didn't believe it, is because it is not allowed to ever be referred to - that is what 'without prejudice' means. The information/communic
ation that happens in a without prejudice meeting can never be revealed by either side, nor referred to in court.

However, Mr Blair feels it appropriate not only to mention it, and also to refer to the discussions therein as 'positive', but to do so in response to a letter from a solicitor to his clients - ie a confidential letter - to which he was not privy.

Blimey Blair - is your middle name Tomlinson?
[quote][p][bold]xross9[/bold] wrote: “If parents had been told the school was considering merging with Sedbergh because of the finances and parents had left, the cashflow might not have been secure to enable the school to continue this academic year.” “We have not been told who Casterton Parents Limited are, despite asking. I absolutely believe that, legally, it’s irreversible, and I am even more certain that practically it’s irreversible' A 'dicky blaird' has confirmed that Sedbergh School has met Casterton Parents Limited - 'without prejudice to the threat of litigation' and 'a number of matters were discussed in a positive manner'.[/p][/quote]I didn't believe that Blair would have told a soul if he had had a 'without prejudice' meeting with Casterton Parents Ltd, or any of their representatives. The reason that I didn't believe it, is because it is not allowed to ever be referred to - that is what 'without prejudice' means. The information/communic ation that happens in a without prejudice meeting can never be revealed by either side, nor referred to in court. However, Mr Blair feels it appropriate not only to mention it, and also to refer to the discussions therein as 'positive', but to do so in response to a letter from a solicitor to his clients - ie a confidential letter - to which he was not privy. Blimey Blair - is your middle name Tomlinson? interestedparent
  • Score: 0

1:25pm Tue 28 May 13

frangipani says...

Blair's letter stated that '....whilst firmly stated in the past...will move with times......adopt modern teaching practices...' - looking how it's been handled, I think he's still stuck in the past, steam-rolling and put up or shut up practices and attitude are just draconian and warped.
Blair's letter stated that '....whilst firmly stated in the past...will move with times......adopt modern teaching practices...' - looking how it's been handled, I think he's still stuck in the past, steam-rolling and put up or shut up practices and attitude are just draconian and warped. frangipani
  • Score: 0

10:38pm Tue 28 May 13

xross9 says...

parent789 wrote:
Had a letter today from Hugh Blair. Sedbergh keep telling us they have done nothing wrong and the takeover was best for casterton. If Sedbergh are so confident why don't they release the papers like they have been asked all along?

Or have they got something to hide?

I get the feeling that they need to go on the attack as they can't show the papers because of what they contain!
Surely, all that Sedbergh School (being totally confident of its actions) needs to do is publicly display the merger documents between the 2 schools - this would be a wonderful opportunity to put all of the angst of the last 3 months to bed and give reassurance to prospective parents looking for a great school for their child / children.
[quote][p][bold]parent789[/bold] wrote: Had a letter today from Hugh Blair. Sedbergh keep telling us they have done nothing wrong and the takeover was best for casterton. If Sedbergh are so confident why don't they release the papers like they have been asked all along? Or have they got something to hide? I get the feeling that they need to go on the attack as they can't show the papers because of what they contain![/p][/quote]Surely, all that Sedbergh School (being totally confident of its actions) needs to do is publicly display the merger documents between the 2 schools - this would be a wonderful opportunity to put all of the angst of the last 3 months to bed and give reassurance to prospective parents looking for a great school for their child / children. xross9
  • Score: 0

11:58pm Tue 28 May 13

parent789 says...

xross9 wrote:
parent789 wrote:
Had a letter today from Hugh Blair. Sedbergh keep telling us they have done nothing wrong and the takeover was best for casterton. If Sedbergh are so confident why don't they release the papers like they have been asked all along?

Or have they got something to hide?

I get the feeling that they need to go on the attack as they can't show the papers because of what they contain!
Surely, all that Sedbergh School (being totally confident of its actions) needs to do is publicly display the merger documents between the 2 schools - this would be a wonderful opportunity to put all of the angst of the last 3 months to bed and give reassurance to prospective parents looking for a great school for their child / children.
Hear hear...
[quote][p][bold]xross9[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]parent789[/bold] wrote: Had a letter today from Hugh Blair. Sedbergh keep telling us they have done nothing wrong and the takeover was best for casterton. If Sedbergh are so confident why don't they release the papers like they have been asked all along? Or have they got something to hide? I get the feeling that they need to go on the attack as they can't show the papers because of what they contain![/p][/quote]Surely, all that Sedbergh School (being totally confident of its actions) needs to do is publicly display the merger documents between the 2 schools - this would be a wonderful opportunity to put all of the angst of the last 3 months to bed and give reassurance to prospective parents looking for a great school for their child / children.[/p][/quote]Hear hear... parent789
  • Score: 0

10:52am Wed 29 May 13

lookingon says...

I wish Mr Fleck would stop spinning on staff issues. I have spoken to people who should jknow- voluntary redundancy means they lost their jobs but will receive bigger payouts and have to sign a no action document. Moreover the jobs at Sedbergh were created or were to replace their own staff who took VR, were leaving anyway or took retirement. In no way were Casterton staff a level playing field on which to compete for jobs. Can he give us evidence of his side instead of just -statements.
I wish Mr Fleck would stop spinning on staff issues. I have spoken to people who should jknow- voluntary redundancy means they lost their jobs but will receive bigger payouts and have to sign a no action document. Moreover the jobs at Sedbergh were created or were to replace their own staff who took VR, were leaving anyway or took retirement. In no way were Casterton staff a level playing field on which to compete for jobs. Can he give us evidence of his side instead of just -statements. lookingon
  • Score: 0

12:06pm Thu 30 May 13

Loonyvalley says...

parent789 wrote:
Had a letter today from Hugh Blair. Sedbergh keep telling us they have done nothing wrong and the takeover was best for casterton. If Sedbergh are so confident why don't they release the papers like they have been asked all along?

Or have they got something to hide?

I get the feeling that they need to go on the attack as they can't show the papers because of what they contain!
Since some parents appear to be keen to take legal action regardless, I can well imagine nothing is going to released about anything.

Instead of trying to engage with the reality of the situation, some parents went legal within days in March. When you do that, you place the whole matter in the hands of lawyers on all sides, and they don't do transparency in my experience.

It seemed fairly obvious that there was little or no legal case against what happened - just a lot of understandable angst. So all that achieved was killing off any chance of open discussion of alternatives or modifications.

If most of Casterton had said they were moving over, they would have had a strong position to negotiate directly with the school, and I'm sure things would have happened.

Pity really.
[quote][p][bold]parent789[/bold] wrote: Had a letter today from Hugh Blair. Sedbergh keep telling us they have done nothing wrong and the takeover was best for casterton. If Sedbergh are so confident why don't they release the papers like they have been asked all along? Or have they got something to hide? I get the feeling that they need to go on the attack as they can't show the papers because of what they contain![/p][/quote]Since some parents appear to be keen to take legal action regardless, I can well imagine nothing is going to released about anything. Instead of trying to engage with the reality of the situation, some parents went legal within days in March. When you do that, you place the whole matter in the hands of lawyers on all sides, and they don't do transparency in my experience. It seemed fairly obvious that there was little or no legal case against what happened - just a lot of understandable angst. So all that achieved was killing off any chance of open discussion of alternatives or modifications. If most of Casterton had said they were moving over, they would have had a strong position to negotiate directly with the school, and I'm sure things would have happened. Pity really. Loonyvalley
  • Score: 0

12:12pm Thu 30 May 13

CastertonY8Parent says...

If you'd attended the first meeting held at Casterton, following the "merger" announcement, you would have been under no illusion that most of Casterton parents would be "moving on." Let's face it, the governors on both sides were never ever going to negotiate. We did try every kind of approach!
If you'd attended the first meeting held at Casterton, following the "merger" announcement, you would have been under no illusion that most of Casterton parents would be "moving on." Let's face it, the governors on both sides were never ever going to negotiate. We did try every kind of approach! CastertonY8Parent
  • Score: 0

1:00pm Thu 30 May 13

Loonyvalley says...

CastertonY8Parent wrote:
If you'd attended the first meeting held at Casterton, following the "merger" announcement, you would have been under no illusion that most of Casterton parents would be "moving on." Let's face it, the governors on both sides were never ever going to negotiate. We did try every kind of approach!
Most of the discussion was about not merging because the school was "clearly" viable. That misconception has coloured the whole thing. The bursar said the school was short of 100 kids - no-one seemed to take that on board. You can be **** off finding out too late, but ask they school why they did that.

If 200 girls had turned up on the doorstep for September, that being 3-4 million pounds a year in fees, I think you could have got whatever you wanted in the short term. It was obviously going to be girls-only boarding and they were already offering single sex classes. What's the difference?

Sedbergh wanted to move the Prep because it is popping out of its current site, and had already decided on another girls house. This is getting a bit difficult to do entirely at Sedbergh - it is in the National Park. Blair has been quite clear about how the Casterton approach fitted with their plans - bit hard to turn it down, and not really fair on the Sedbergh governors to blame them for what happened at Casterton.

There is an advert in the Gazette for St Bees offering free weekly boarding. Chetwyde is to become a free school. Others have surprising numbers of empty places at very short notice. Some of the preps in the Vale of York are rumoured to be struggling. Its a trend. Consolidate or die.

Nationally there are something like 150,000 fewer 11 year-olds than 18 year-olds (800k down to 650k). It will go up again, but the next 5 years is going to be tough.
[quote][p][bold]CastertonY8Parent[/bold] wrote: If you'd attended the first meeting held at Casterton, following the "merger" announcement, you would have been under no illusion that most of Casterton parents would be "moving on." Let's face it, the governors on both sides were never ever going to negotiate. We did try every kind of approach![/p][/quote]Most of the discussion was about not merging because the school was "clearly" viable. That misconception has coloured the whole thing. The bursar said the school was short of 100 kids - no-one seemed to take that on board. You can be **** off finding out too late, but ask they school why they did that. If 200 girls had turned up on the doorstep for September, that being 3-4 million pounds a year in fees, I think you could have got whatever you wanted in the short term. It was obviously going to be girls-only boarding and they were already offering single sex classes. What's the difference? Sedbergh wanted to move the Prep because it is popping out of its current site, and had already decided on another girls house. This is getting a bit difficult to do entirely at Sedbergh - it is in the National Park. Blair has been quite clear about how the Casterton approach fitted with their plans - bit hard to turn it down, and not really fair on the Sedbergh governors to blame them for what happened at Casterton. There is an advert in the Gazette for St Bees offering free weekly boarding. Chetwyde is to become a free school. Others have surprising numbers of empty places at very short notice. Some of the preps in the Vale of York are rumoured to be struggling. Its a trend. Consolidate or die. Nationally there are something like 150,000 fewer 11 year-olds than 18 year-olds (800k down to 650k). It will go up again, but the next 5 years is going to be tough. Loonyvalley
  • Score: 0

1:27pm Thu 30 May 13

parent789 says...

Loonyvalley wrote:
parent789 wrote:
Had a letter today from Hugh Blair. Sedbergh keep telling us they have done nothing wrong and the takeover was best for casterton. If Sedbergh are so confident why don't they release the papers like they have been asked all along?

Or have they got something to hide?

I get the feeling that they need to go on the attack as they can't show the papers because of what they contain!
Since some parents appear to be keen to take legal action regardless, I can well imagine nothing is going to released about anything.

Instead of trying to engage with the reality of the situation, some parents went legal within days in March. When you do that, you place the whole matter in the hands of lawyers on all sides, and they don't do transparency in my experience.

It seemed fairly obvious that there was little or no legal case against what happened - just a lot of understandable angst. So all that achieved was killing off any chance of open discussion of alternatives or modifications.

If most of Casterton had said they were moving over, they would have had a strong position to negotiate directly with the school, and I'm sure things would have happened.

Pity really.
The original legal action was to a two week injunction. A pause for want of a better word and the releases of the papers so people could see what had happened.

Talk is what we wanted to do, but they said that a two week delay would cost the two schools £1.6 million. As we didn't have 1.6 million to put up for these losses we where unable to progress, even though as far as I am aware the two school never stated what would cause such loss.

I think that if they had been more open and and talked to the parents rather than telling them more children would be moving over to Sedbergh. But because of the heavy handed way in which we have been told and are still being told what is best for us and our children, along with the manner in which our children where told before the parents, I just cant see many Casterton mums and dads wanting these people to care for their girls.

You are right though it is a real pity..
[quote][p][bold]Loonyvalley[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]parent789[/bold] wrote: Had a letter today from Hugh Blair. Sedbergh keep telling us they have done nothing wrong and the takeover was best for casterton. If Sedbergh are so confident why don't they release the papers like they have been asked all along? Or have they got something to hide? I get the feeling that they need to go on the attack as they can't show the papers because of what they contain![/p][/quote]Since some parents appear to be keen to take legal action regardless, I can well imagine nothing is going to released about anything. Instead of trying to engage with the reality of the situation, some parents went legal within days in March. When you do that, you place the whole matter in the hands of lawyers on all sides, and they don't do transparency in my experience. It seemed fairly obvious that there was little or no legal case against what happened - just a lot of understandable angst. So all that achieved was killing off any chance of open discussion of alternatives or modifications. If most of Casterton had said they were moving over, they would have had a strong position to negotiate directly with the school, and I'm sure things would have happened. Pity really.[/p][/quote]The original legal action was to a two week injunction. A pause for want of a better word and the releases of the papers so people could see what had happened. Talk is what we wanted to do, but they said that a two week delay would cost the two schools £1.6 million. As we didn't have 1.6 million to put up for these losses we where unable to progress, even though as far as I am aware the two school never stated what would cause such loss. I think that if they had been more open and and talked to the parents rather than telling them more children would be moving over to Sedbergh. But because of the heavy handed way in which we have been told and are still being told what is best for us and our children, along with the manner in which our children where told before the parents, I just cant see many Casterton mums and dads wanting these people to care for their girls. You are right though it is a real pity.. parent789
  • Score: 0

4:50pm Thu 30 May 13

Loonyvalley says...

parent789 wrote:
Loonyvalley wrote:
parent789 wrote:
Had a letter today from Hugh Blair. Sedbergh keep telling us they have done nothing wrong and the takeover was best for casterton. If Sedbergh are so confident why don't they release the papers like they have been asked all along?

Or have they got something to hide?

I get the feeling that they need to go on the attack as they can't show the papers because of what they contain!
Since some parents appear to be keen to take legal action regardless, I can well imagine nothing is going to released about anything.

Instead of trying to engage with the reality of the situation, some parents went legal within days in March. When you do that, you place the whole matter in the hands of lawyers on all sides, and they don't do transparency in my experience.

It seemed fairly obvious that there was little or no legal case against what happened - just a lot of understandable angst. So all that achieved was killing off any chance of open discussion of alternatives or modifications.

If most of Casterton had said they were moving over, they would have had a strong position to negotiate directly with the school, and I'm sure things would have happened.

Pity really.
The original legal action was to a two week injunction. A pause for want of a better word and the releases of the papers so people could see what had happened.

Talk is what we wanted to do, but they said that a two week delay would cost the two schools £1.6 million. As we didn't have 1.6 million to put up for these losses we where unable to progress, even though as far as I am aware the two school never stated what would cause such loss.

I think that if they had been more open and and talked to the parents rather than telling them more children would be moving over to Sedbergh. But because of the heavy handed way in which we have been told and are still being told what is best for us and our children, along with the manner in which our children where told before the parents, I just cant see many Casterton mums and dads wanting these people to care for their girls.

You are right though it is a real pity..
There is a real deadline I am told in the teacher job timeline, which is the end of April for most teaching posts for September. I suspect they were right up against this to get the process completed in time to be fair to staff. How much would it have cost to keep all the staff another year?

Let alone the fact that parents had to really get their finger out to move to a new school. Most schools have completed their roll by March, and entry for scholarships is probably past at popular schools.

It should have been earlier. Something for the Casterton governors to explain.

I got an email on the merger at 0830 on the 26th Feb. That was the first we knew. I can imagine the whole school knew about 5 minutes later knowing how it works round here. Bit hard to manage I suspect in the online age.
[quote][p][bold]parent789[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Loonyvalley[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]parent789[/bold] wrote: Had a letter today from Hugh Blair. Sedbergh keep telling us they have done nothing wrong and the takeover was best for casterton. If Sedbergh are so confident why don't they release the papers like they have been asked all along? Or have they got something to hide? I get the feeling that they need to go on the attack as they can't show the papers because of what they contain![/p][/quote]Since some parents appear to be keen to take legal action regardless, I can well imagine nothing is going to released about anything. Instead of trying to engage with the reality of the situation, some parents went legal within days in March. When you do that, you place the whole matter in the hands of lawyers on all sides, and they don't do transparency in my experience. It seemed fairly obvious that there was little or no legal case against what happened - just a lot of understandable angst. So all that achieved was killing off any chance of open discussion of alternatives or modifications. If most of Casterton had said they were moving over, they would have had a strong position to negotiate directly with the school, and I'm sure things would have happened. Pity really.[/p][/quote]The original legal action was to a two week injunction. A pause for want of a better word and the releases of the papers so people could see what had happened. Talk is what we wanted to do, but they said that a two week delay would cost the two schools £1.6 million. As we didn't have 1.6 million to put up for these losses we where unable to progress, even though as far as I am aware the two school never stated what would cause such loss. I think that if they had been more open and and talked to the parents rather than telling them more children would be moving over to Sedbergh. But because of the heavy handed way in which we have been told and are still being told what is best for us and our children, along with the manner in which our children where told before the parents, I just cant see many Casterton mums and dads wanting these people to care for their girls. You are right though it is a real pity..[/p][/quote]There is a real deadline I am told in the teacher job timeline, which is the end of April for most teaching posts for September. I suspect they were right up against this to get the process completed in time to be fair to staff. How much would it have cost to keep all the staff another year? Let alone the fact that parents had to really get their finger out to move to a new school. Most schools have completed their roll by March, and entry for scholarships is probably past at popular schools. It should have been earlier. Something for the Casterton governors to explain. I got an email on the merger at 0830 on the 26th Feb. That was the first we knew. I can imagine the whole school knew about 5 minutes later knowing how it works round here. Bit hard to manage I suspect in the online age. Loonyvalley
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