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Changes at White Lodge

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Heard that there are big changes taking place at White Lodge and that the ballet principal/head of ballet has been made redundant as of yesterday and won't be replaced. Have also heard that a lot of other staff are leaving, both ballet and academic and all of the pastoral care staff as well. Feel sorry for the parents/children there at the moment who must be feeling very unsettled at the scale of these changes.

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Crikey. I guess the changes are taking place for a reason and hopefully if well managed should achieve whatever it is they aim to achieve. I have no knowledge of white lodge but know that organisational change in a high profile setting is a challenge!

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The new Artistic Director will head up dance for both White Lodge and Upper School - so no more separate WL vocational principal. Hope everyone settles into their new roles quickly and smoothly - this type of overhaul can be very stressful, but can also rejuvenate an organisation.

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My DD is going to White Lodge in September and reading these comments are quite unsettling!! I understand that things are changing, but do you know what, it might result in being the best thing!! Nothing is going to dull our excitement ???? x

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Congratulations Pirouette26 :D I think for those just starting thinks will be just as wonderful as any time.  I think it has been hard for those seeing staff leave but as you say, change can be good.  It would be lovely to know who is going to teach my DD when she goes into year 11 though!

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Having the same head for WL and the US may be a very good thing in the long run as there has been a feeling, at least by some, that there was a bit of a disconnect between the two. That does not explain the departure of all the pastoral staff and many academic members of staff though.

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Just seen in the new April edition of Dancing Times today that the Royal Ballet are advertising for an 'Artistic Teacher & Programme Manager' at Covent Garden - a new post to support the new Artistic Director! Salary £50,000.

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Oh I don't think you have anything to feel unsettled about Pirouette26 - just enjoy all the excitement!

 

This sort of change is always harder for those who are used to the old regime - because they have to adjust to a new way of doing things (even small changes can be unsettling) and say goodbye to much respected colleagues and teachers. But it will all be a new adventure for you and your DD! And I've heard nothing but good things about Christopher Powney.

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Thank you for your positivity everyone. I'm sure everything will be fine!! I guess things just need to settle into a new routine!! ???? Sometimes it's the fear of the unknown xx

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Hello Angel, can you explain what you mean by 'funding cuts ' ? Children are entitled to MDS via means testing. Also RBS have other privately funded scholarships via private individual contributions. What had changed?

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Good point Pictures. I don't think MDS funding has increased for about 4 years but costs have continued to rise e.g. food, electricity, staff wages etc, so I guess it has all come to crunch time. Also, they have very little opportunity to take on extra students as some schools have done as space is so limited.

 

Must be so difficult though as I don't think any of these schools are awash with spare staff and the work will still need to be done. I always think it must be difficult to run RBS as one school since there are two completely separate sites a long way apart. It won't be efficient for staff to be travelling between the two sites, getting stuck in London traffic etc.

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It's all due to funding cuts

 

Has there been any official public announcement regarding the changes?

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MDS funding covers the cost of the gap between

What the parents pay and what the school charges Pictures. If the school puts the fees up, the MDS still covers the gap, parent contributions can change too though. In effect MDS is a buffer against inflation if the school increase the fees. The cost of running premium property in Central London must be a massive commitment, as must the refurb costs of WL which would most probably explain the high cost of fees at RBS v Elmhurst for example. In any organisation a change in management at the top often results in other changes, which can be good for all. As others have said wishing all there the best as changes take place.

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Yes but like many areas of funding, the government has not increased the actual amount of MDS funding to schools for 4 years - it has remained flat at 2010 rates, and therefore so have the fees and the parent contribution. If the school put the fees up, the MDS funding would not go up and parents would have to pay the difference on top of what they already contribute and nobody could afford it.

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Yes but like many areas of funding, the government has not increased the actual amount of MDS funding to schools for 4 years - it has remained flat at 2010 rates, and therefore so have the fees and the parent contribution. If the school put the fees up, the MDS funding would not go up and parents would have to pay the difference on top of what they already contribute and nobody could afford it.

Oh I think there would be plenty of parents who could afford it Ribbons, the standard in the students might drop a touch though, as some of the most  talented young dancers don't have the wealthiest of parents. 

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There was that situation a year or two back when WL wanted to get permission to be used more for outside events to raise money, and locals objected, wasn't there?

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Yes I remember that. I think the Friends of Richmond Park objected as they said it would disturb the wildlife, so Richmond council wouldn't grant them a wedding licence.

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What a good idea Moomin!!

 

Actually I love wildlife etc but can't think that a few weddings at White Lodge would scare the deer too much!!

 

When would they have had these weddings though if the school is being used by the pupils most of the time?

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I may be wrong, but I think the boycotted event was a promo or ad for Range Rover, or something....

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There was that situation a year or two back when WL wanted to get permission to be used more for outside events to raise money, and locals objected, wasn't there?

 

I remember that too, and it made me wonder whether they were looking for new fundraising opportunities, and why that might be...

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