Report of the Headmaster of the City of London School (copy attached).
The Board received a report of the Headmaster of the City of London School relative to various School matters including Oxbridge results, Outside Speakers, Learning Support and School Signage.
Oxford and Cambridge Results
The Headmaster reported that he was extremely pleased by the number of offers secured from Oxford and Cambridge for this year’s cohort. He went on, however, to state that there had recently been a worrying increase in the number of non-EU applications to Cambridge, particularly for subjects such as Engineering and Science which were traditionally popular subjects for CLS boys. He stated that this was now a concern for many and that the HMC would be making representations on this in the near future.
A Governor reported that he had recently attended a concert at which the student now offered a 2013 place at Christ Church, Oxford to study Music had played. He commented on the ‘phenomenal’ talent of the pupil and thanked all those involved, particularly the School’s Head of Music, Mr Harrison. Other Governors who had also attended the concert asked that their thanks and congratulations be passed to all involved.
Outside Speakers 2013
In response to questions, the Headmaster reported that this was a much shortened list of those speakers who had visited the School this term.
The Second Master added that, on average, an outside speaker visited the School each week and recent talks had been given by journalists, broadcasters, businessmen/women and engineers.
The Headmaster stated that he would be happy to circulate a full list of Outside speakers to all Governors who wished to see this information.
Sponsored Award (Bursary) Campaign
The Director of Finance reported that 5 sponsored awards had been offered and accepted at 11+ and that these pupils would be joining the School in September 2013.
He went on to inform the Board that a further 8 pupils would be joining the School at Sixth Form in September 2013 on full fee scholarships.
The School wished to place on record their thanks to PriceWaterhouseCooper, The Wolfson Foundation, the John Carpenter Club and all others who had made these awards possible.
The Headmaster invited the Director of Admissions, Mr Heminway, to update the Board on Admissions. During his presentation, Mr Heminway made the following points:
· 10+ - Governors were informed that demand for places at this level had considerably increased. 169 had sat the entrance examinations this year versus 110 in 2012. The Director of Admissions reported that the acceptance rate this year was 72% and that staff were confident about the academic ability at this entry point continuing to ‘hold up’ despite the increasing numbers.
Governors were informed that the more pupils accepting places at this level, the fewer places there would be available at 11+.
· 11+ - The Board were informed that the number of applications for sponsored awards at 11+ were down on 2012. 160 had applied via this route in 2013. These 160 applicants had been reduced down to just 46 using a screen based test and, from these 46, 5 offers had now been made and accepted for entry in September 2013.
The Director of Admissions went on to report that 420 had sat the entrance examinations for 46 full fee/scholarship places at 11+. Governors were informed that, although the School had spent less on scholarships this year by giving smaller awards to more boys, the take up rate of these had actually increased in 2013 versus 2012.
Governors were informed that an additional first form would be needed from next year as there would be 111 pupils in total – more than the original target.
· 13+ - The Board were informed that there were 48 places on offer at 13+ for 2013. The Director of Admissions reported that the take up rate for both Scholarships and full fee places had been very high and that the School were currently over-subscribed by 4 boys in this area.
· 13+ Pre-tests – The Director of Admissions reported that it was uncertain what the take-up for entry in 2015 would be given that a full term’s deposit was not required until September 2014 and only a refundable acceptance fee of £1,000 had been paid by parents to date.
· Sixth Form entry – The Board were informed that 10 full fee and 8 sponsored award places had been accepted for September 2013.
· General – Governors were informed that next year’s fee income was likely to be in excess of budget due to the high levels of recruitment; however, actual overall numbers would not be known until later in the year and depended, for example, upon Summer examination results. The Director of Admissions reported that there would, however, be some staffing and timetabling issues as a result of the additional first form boys joining the School this September. It was also noted that it would be physically difficult to accommodate any more boys within the existing School building. Governors were informed that no one from the reserve lists for entry at either 11 or 13+ had been accepted this year.
In response to questions, the Director of Admissions explained that there was a difference between sponsored awards and Academic Scholarships. He clarified that sponsored awards were funds raised by the Headmaster and that these were being utilised and directed to the correct areas/individuals. He added that Academic Scholarships were not means tested and were purely meritocratic and that funding for these came from the City of London Corporation.
The Director of Finance reported that funds for Academic Scholarships had been slightly overspent last year and that savings made this year therefore meant that these were now ‘back on track’.
In response to a further question, the Director of Admissions reported that the School were constrained by HMC rules as to when and how far in advance they could require deposits for entry.
Given the difficulties faced with the additional number of boys set to join the School in September 2013, Governors were supportive of the Headmaster being more cautious in the number of offers made to applicants in future years.
City of London School Travel Plan
The Headmaster tabled an updated version of the School Travel Plan which had recently been reviewed and amended by a group of 6th Form Geography students. Two of these students, Tom Ross and Jack Farkas, joined the meeting to present the new Plan to the Board and to summarise their main conclusions.
The presentation covered the following areas:
· Coach travel to the School playing fields;
· Bicycles – introducing cycle proficiency classes across the School and promoting a ‘Cycle Safety’ campaign;
· Public Transport;
· Road Safety;
· Signage and emergency access;
In response to a question regarding boat travel, the students stated that this was not hugely popular amongst the boys and was not as cost effective as other means of public transport.
In response to questions regarding cycling, the students reported that the parents of many boys were strongly opposed to them using this means of transport to get to and from school. Some Governors felt that it would be wrong to encourage cycling within the City given the many road safety and traffic issues.