St Bees School Trust Website July Newsletter

Newsletter July 2017

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Welcome to the latest newsletter from St Bees School Trustees. We want to keep everyone up to date with latest developments as we head towards the school reopening next year. Here is information on latest appointments, and also a summary of our position and income generation plans. To download a version of this newsletter in PDF, please click this link:

St Bees School Newsletter July 2017 Final Version

The Joint Venture

The St Bees School Trust and Full Circle continue to work together effectively, with the target reopening date of September 2018 being maintained. The two organisations have now established a long term partnership in the form of a joint venture agreement. Under this agreement they have established a private limited company, and it is this which will operate and manage the school on a day to day basis. All academic and support staff will work for this company.

Accordingly, St Bees School Management Company Limited was formed in June 2017 and this company’s board of directors consists of three directors from each of the partners.

Trustee Directors: Full Circle Directors:
Mark George (Chairman), Peter Lever (OSB), Harry Strong Danny Wang (Managing Director), Roger Sinnett, Frank Lu
Secretary: Laurence Gribble (OSB)

However, a safe, successful and sustainable school requires a huge range of skills and capabilities, and by combining the diverse skills and dedication of all the Trustees and Full Circle staff we have formed the School Governing Body as below:-

Sara Calvin Mark George Laurence Gribble Tom Kelly Shaun Kelso Robin Lacey
Peter Lever Alastair Lord Frank Lu Helen Miller Rob Miller Mark Robert
Adrian Simper Roger Sinnett Harry Strong Danny Wang Kate Wilson

Investment by the parent companies into the St Bees School Management Company started in June and they will continue to support the reopening programme throughout. We continue to complete those activities necessary to support the September 2018 reopening date. Primary amongst these activities was the establishment of the School Lead Team.

The School Lead Team

The goal of the Management Company is to deliver high quality education via high quality teaching staff in high quality teaching facilities.

The appointment of Jeremy Hallows as Headmaster started the process of delivery against that goal, and further recent appointments of the Director of Finance and Operations and the Director of Marketing and Admissions continue that trend.

Jayne Scott, previously of Dulwich College International and Austin Friars, will lead our financial team and be accountable for all operational and infrastructure activities across the campus. Jackie Walkom, previously of Sedbergh School, will lead the critical task of marketing and admissions.

These appointments complete the school’s leadership team and the Trustees welcomes Jeremy, Jayne and Jackie, wishing them every success for the future.

The Investment

Our business plan shows the school reopening in 2018/19 with 105 students. Student numbers will continue to rise until we reach steady state – at which point there will be 437 students in the school.

A refurbishment plan will see each of the school’s buildings and facilities brought up to specification in alignment with our reopening schedule. Refurbishment will then continue, with outlying facilities such as Abbots Court being updated for use by the school.

Whilst Full Circle are making a significant investment into this refurbishment and other reopening costs, the school Trust’s portion of the investment costs is in excess of £1,000,000.

By committing financially towards the reopening programme to this degree, an appropriate balance is maintained for the future – a strong partnership with Full Circle and continued governance for St Bees School.

Our Plan for Generating our Investment Costs

Since its closure in 2015 the Trustees have managed the school’s assets and increased the use of its facilities, whilst maintaining a positive balance on the school’s bank accounts. The Trust does have routine income and we will continue to maximise this for the benefit of the school. Significant additional income is however required to cover the cost of investment and the Trust has developed a three point action plan to maximise the income from its assets.

The St Bees School Trust will always retain ownership of the assets needed for school activities and the Trustees will in addition:-

  1. Fully optimise our present revenue generating assets and activities. These include agricultural land rental, income from external sources e.g.. Sandstone quarry and the rental of our facilities.
  2. Work with the relevant authorities to develop several small parcels of land within St Bees. This is, if successful, likely to result in the sale of a number of minor housing development plots in the village.
  3. Start the process of the development of the land to the west of Abbey Road.

We will continue to work closely with the Parish Council and Copeland Borough Council, and maintain communication through School Trust newsletters.

Our Request for Support

Whilst execution of the revenue generation plan may cover the long term costs of investment, it is unlikely to deliver the income needed in the short term to support the reopening in September 2018. Throughout the history of the school the Old St Beghian society has given support in times of great need. Since the school’s closure in 2015 the OSBs have worked tirelessly to support this group of Trustees, providing much needed income and financial assurance when needed.

To this end the OSBs are launching a giving scheme to be named ‘The Edmund Grindal Society’. Details of this scheme will be announced at the AGM on St Beghian’s Day on Saturday September 23rd 2017. The Trustees are as always greatly appreciative of this support.

Throughout the closure the Trustees have received tremendous support from a broad range of individuals and enterprises. The Trustees have opened an additional giving scheme which allows routine or one off payments to the Trust in support of the reopening programme. Giving to this scheme will attract gift aid if you are a UK Tax payer.

To find out more, or to discuss supporting us at this critical time, please contact us via email at giving@stbeesschool.co.uk.  This will be responded to by Trustees, so please do mention if you have a wish to contact one of us in particular.

Thank you so much again for your continued support.

The Trustees 

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