Baker’s Beacon Blog – Week 4

29 September 2023

Dear Parents,

At the start of this week I was in Liverpool for the annual IAPS Heads’ Conference.  Many interesting speakers and seminars regarding current trends in education but the main takeaway is always to catch up with colleagues and converse informally about the prep school scene at a local and national level.  With independent schools in the news with potential loss of charitable status and additional levy of VAT, there is a very real threat to our sector but with time to plan and the collegiate nature of our collective thinking, there are many creative and pragmatic ways that are being considered and shared to mitigate any negative impact on schools, their pupils and of course, fee paying parents.  A very useful few days indeed.

The last time I was in Liverpool was on an ISI inspection last year and I only saw the inside of a hotel room and Birkenhead School, so it was good to get a better impression of the city with the conference taking place at Albert Dock and evening functions at the Cavern Club and the incredibly impressive Liverpool Cathedral.  The togetherness of that city and their pride in ‘The Beatles’, which seems to be present on practically every street corner, is clear to see and great to experience.  Liverpool was not on Patrick’s (my) list of potential University destinations for next year but for me it looks like a great city to study in and is now up for consideration…as long he comes back to the South Bucks nest after his three years of course…

I look forward to seeing many of you at our ‘Senior Schools’ Information Evening’ next Thursday.  We have a whole range of schools – day, single sex, co-ed, boarding – mostly local but some from further afield, in attendance.  Not only does it give you an opportunity to speak to admissions and find out about a variety of schools, it give the senior schools themselves an opportunity see how impressive our school is and how nice our parents are – a mutually beneficial process.  Though aimed principally at our parent community, this is a public event so please feel free to invite friends from other schools if they are interested in attending.  To give us an idea of numbers of adults attending, please RSVP with a simple ‘yes / no / maybe’ – I hope to see you there.

As I write, Europe are 4-0 up after the morning foursomes and ahead in three of the four fourballs.  I was planning to miss Watford’s game against Middlesbrough tomorrow to watch the Ryder Cup, but at this rate it could all be over by the end of our Open Morning tomorrow – come on the Europeans!

Have a good weekend,

Nick Baker

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