Summer Governors' Forum, 16th June 2017
An update on the 2017 Summer Governors' Forum by Ginny Stephen
Governors’ Forum held on 16 June 2017 at Keswick hall, Roedean
by Ginny Stephen, Chairman, ORA.
The Governors’ Forums initiated by Anne Whitaker, Chairman of Council, and attended by Council members and the Headmaster, have become very popular. They are held alternately in London and at the School.
This Forum started with five pupils from Lower Sixth telling us how they settled into Roedean, what they thought of it and what their future plans were. All spoke fluently, and with great confidence and enthusiasm. An excellent example of the Roedean Girl.
The Headmaster, Oliver Blond, then gave us a presentation about recent events and future plans for the School.
We were delighted to hear that he and his team had been very successful in improving pupil numbers. In September, there are likely to be 570 at the School – this is the highest number ever – and indeed, some were having to be turned away. Of this number, there will be 300 boarders so it is excellent news that there is a swing back to majority boarding.
Future plans for the School being considered at this stage were exciting. They included sponsoring a state school, opening one or more satellite Roedean Schools in Abu Dhabi and China, and also spear-heading an International Academy to improve language skills for pupils wishing to integrate into the English educational system. In addition, there were plans to open or acquire a feeder Prep School, which is what many similar schools do. These options could mean the introduction of co-education off-site.
The Headmaster reported on his interesting findings from his trips to Asia and the Far East which he said had included meetings with backers and developers.
In order to proceed with some of these plans, the Council were exploring the possibility of amending the Royal Charter that was granted to Roedean in 1938. However, it was confirmed there was no intention to reduce Governors’ powers, nor to admit boys to Roedean, Brighton, and any such move would involve full consultation with the Governors first.
Any change to the Charter bye-laws would necessitate meetings with Governors, resolutions to be voted on at an EGM, and if passed, a presentation to the Privy Council. This would be an extensive piece of work so should not be done lightly or frequently.
It was a spirited and useful meeting with much engagement. I’m sure that all Governors are delighted at the excellent results and increase in numbers. We should thank the Headmaster and his team for their hard work which has produced such good news.