Minutes of the (KHA) Kingham Hillians’ 24/01/2015


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Patron: Lord Adonis of Camden

 Subject to retification

Minutes of the meeting of the Kingham Hillians’ Committee held on Saturday 24January 2015 in the Veritas Building seminar room.


Present: Harriet Dearden (Chairman), Simon Briggs, Brian Dean, John Hughes, Mike Kent, Jennifer Robinson (acting Development Officer), Ken Wingfield, Nick Seward (Headmaster), Malcolm Brecht, Mark Foley, Jan Sindhar.

  1. 1.     Apologies

            Jon Montgomerie, Eddie White, Leo Smith.

  1. 2.     Approval of the minutes from September 27th meeting

NS made a request for an amendment to the future figures of pupils attending the school. The current future target is 322 pupils, not 400.

  1. 3.     Matters Arising from the minutes.
    1. a.   Kingham Church Plaque

MK reported that he had liaised with JR and the Kingham Church Vicar and had produced the wording, but wanted NS and the Development Office to decide on the design and layout of the wooden plaque to be put up in the school chapel.

Action: JR said she would liaise with Dug, the woodwork instructor, to submit his design for the next meeting.

 MK talked about the costs of a possible Kingham Church Plaque. In conversation with the local vicar, the plaque would have to be in stone or marble with very high costs involved to be placed in the church. MF asked if the grave stones in the churchyard could be repaired. MK stated they were in a terrible condition and the cost would be excessive.

 It was agreed that a wooden plaque for the school chapel was currently the most viable option. The Kingham Church plaque would be put aside unless specific funds allow for it. Bursaries continue to be the main focus and commitment for the next few years. The Committee thought it was important that the school had a record of all pupils and staff who are buried in Kingham Church yard by being remembered in the school chapel. HD asked for design ideas for the Committee to approve by the next meeting in March.

  1. 4.     Headmaster

NS said that the school was well on track with wanting to stay faithful to the Founder’s vision for Kingham Hill. The completion of The Veritas building was a thrilling accomplishment for the school. It enhances the three main components of the school’s 2020 Vision for the future:

1. Growing in numbers

2. Development of pupils and standards of achievement

3.  Development of appropriate facilities

NS spoke about the new building being a great example of the forward thinking and academic opportunities that Kingham Hill School offers both to pupils and parents.  He was thankful for all those in making this building a reality through their hard work and dedication to KHS. The second stage of Phase One is the expansion and refurbishment of the library which will to be a great benefit to the school. This is due to start this year.

The numbers of pupils at present this term were 297 with an aim to raise that throughout the year. Currently the pupil ration is 65% boarders and 35% day pupils. 16% of the pupil body are international. There is a small amount of weekly boarders. The mix of the School population is 60% and 40% girls. The aim for the future is to have this equal.

Over the past few days there were a number of opening events that welcomed different groups to view the new building. It made an excellent impact on parents, media and heads of local prep schools.

Just before Christmas term finished the School received a short amount of notice that there would be a full Independent School Inspection (ISI).  The final results have not been disclosed yet, but the School gained positive feedback in regards to the spiritual education and personal development amongst pupils. The school achieved good results for the areas of teaching and boarding and the inspection team were impressed with the house parents in their roles of looking after the pupils’ boarding needs. The inspection team took a thorough look at all aspects of the school, including reports and paperwork concerning the everyday routines of KHS. Overall NS was very pleased with the inspector’s good report.

NS said that the four fully funded bursary pupils, 2- LEA and 2 by the Buttle Trust, were doing very well and thanked the KH Committee in supporting five other pupils at the school. MB asked the head about the bursary status of KHS. NS said that the school remained faithful to its charitable aims as set by the Founder. By liaising with the Buttle Trust and other trusts there is the hope for more pupils to be selected for further bursary places at KHS. MK asked the head about Year 7 boarders. NS replied that the aim was for longer term pupils and the interest was good from parents at that age level.

NS stated the governor’s target was to have at least 60% boarding and the remainder day pupils. SB asked how international matters affected the 16% of overseas pupils coming to KHS. NS replied that the School was monitoring this area, but there was a healthy interest and that the School carefully monitored the selection of awarded places. MB said he would be happy to support the Headmaster with his influence in the Armed Forces, and could give advice in this area.

The Committee thanked the Headmaster for his report.

  1. 5.     Communications

KW mentioned that the September 27TH meeting had gone off line on the Kingham Hill Schooldays web site, and he had sent an email to JR and Simon Howlett reporting the matter. SH has now put the September minutes both on the home page and KH Area on the KHSD site. KW told the committee the procedure of the minutes; that once the Chairman and Committee were happy with the reported minutes, then the school would inform SH, the manager of KHSD, to publish it on the web site.

NS stated while KHSD has been a well frequented site, the intention was now to bring the alumni website under the School’s direct control.  This would be discussed further with SH and the Schooldays team. JR confirmed she had informed SH of this step.

HD asked JS to give his views, having left KHS three years ago, regarding better communication with recent leavers. JS said he thought the KH tie was good for the boys but there wasn’t much on offer for girls. A leaving book with comments and contacts was a good way of keeping in touch and remembering school days. He also mentioned that facebook and social media was his best way of communicating with old friends. He said something like a KHS calendar might help keep school leavers in touch.

HD suggested perhaps a yearly calendar would be a good idea as it could display events for that month as well as images of the Hill. The Committee agreed to pool ideas and get some costs of producing a calendar in the future.

MF said that when people revisited the school for an event they tended to look out for old those from their own years at school. He thought the decade dinners were a good idea and using the web/social media were good tools to re-establish contacts.

HD informed the visitors to the meeting the details of the alumni events booklet and the Cairn Magazine which keeps Hillians and parents updated with news and progress from the School and Development Office.

  1. 6.     Chairperson

JR was invited by HD to speak on her work over the past few months in the development office. JR said that there had been a number of events over the last term for parents and alumni. This included a parents’ wine tasting evening, clay shooting morning, Music on the Hill concert and Christmas craft fair. The events were successful with good attendance. The Rohilla Day and reunion also went very well with a good number of Hillians in attendance.  

Recently organising the opening events for the new Veritas Building had been the main focus for the Development Office. The events for parents and VIPs went well with very positive feedback about the new building. JR stated that the Annual Fund from this current school year stood at over £2,000. MB commented that including parents was very important and a potentially strong area which could influence the development of the School.

HD asked the general question to the Committee about how they had kept in touch with classmates after leaving KHS. Various areas were discussed. Facebook, emails, sports events and Speech Day.

JS made the observation that work experience was important, especially in final years, and he valued Mike Tadman’s effort when he took him to London to get work experience. MK agreed, he had set up a careers day with offers for work experience places. He suggested more could be done to ensure positive contacts are implemented between Hillians in different businesses and current pupils.

  1. 7.     Treasurer

MK informed the Committee that five pupils are currently part supported with bursaries from the CTF fund at £9,000 per term. The funds to support them throughout their time at KHS are available.

BD re-emphasised an earlier Committee agreement.  In order to avoid competition on fundraising, the CTF has ceased to actively solicit donations. All active fundraising is now the responsibility of the KHS Development Office. Unsolicited donations continue to be accepted by the Centenary Fund which will support pupil bursaries while sufficient funds remain.

MK has stated that a few former pupils prefer to give directly to the CTF rather than the School and clarified that it will continue to remain independent and carry on as long as there are funds.

HD explained to the new visitors at the meeting the guidelines that the Development Office have in liaising with the KH Committee and the Headmaster on bursary support applications.

MK was thanked for arranging a wreath for Bob Hughes funeral. KW said he would be doing a tribute to Bob who had been a committee member all his life, and served as KHA President from 2008 to 2015.  

MK produced his financial report see Appendix 1 attached. MK was thanked for his continual hard work in the accounts for the KH Committee.


  1. 8.     Schooldays

HD said she and JR would liaise with SH on recent Web issues, but wanted to record our thanks for the web site as a well-used resource.

  1. 9.      Archives

HD thanked Tony Middleton for his continued hard work. Tony has asked alumni to take part in his Archive survey. He hopes that their experiences will make very interesting reading. HD stated that eventually the Archive records will be moved to a new storage place.

  1. 10.    Events

After clashes with the School production the date of the Quiz night was changed from 21 March 2015 to 6 June 2015, to combine with the KH AGM and reunion.

  1. 11.   A.O.B.
  • HD asked SB about memorabilia. SB said he had sold little but the ties to school leavers had been done. He was a little concerned for the future of this area and the 200 Club. He was thanked for his continued work and the Committee fully supported SB in any new funds for stock if needed. MF said as well as calendars for the alumni, book marks could also be an option.

Action: HD and JR intend to follow up some of the ideas that were given in the meeting. They finished by thanking everyone for attending the meeting especially the visitors MF, MB, and JS, all former heads of school.

  1. 12.  Date of next meetings: Saturday 21 March 2015, Saturday 6 June 2015 (AGM)

The meeting closed at 12.50pm


Minutes prepared by Ken Wingfield MBE

Signed …………………………………………………………….           Date ……………………………………………………


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