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 Post subject: Merging schools and logistics
PostPosted: 22 Jun 2020, 02:45 
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Playing up in prep
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I was wondering... when the Chalet School merged with the other two schools in its history, how were administrative issues handled?

The uniforms for the Saints were very different from the Chalet, and I imagine that they were not cheap. If a student had recently joined the school, or was in her last year, would she have had to get a whole new uniform? That would have been hard on the sixth formers who might have only had a couple of terms left. The Tanswick school joined partway through the year, making it more challenging, IMO.

Also, were the school fees the same? When St. Hilda (Feud arrived, were their fees paid to the Chalet or to St. Hilda? If there was a fee difference, would it be prorated for the first year?

Yes, I’ve got too much time on my hands...


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 Post subject: Re: Merging schools and logistics
PostPosted: 22 Jun 2020, 07:58 
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Rescuing a Junior from the lake
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In real life cases, pupils have been allowed to wear their old uniforms until they needed new ones, but EBD never mentions it. The only author I can think of who makes practical comments about the frequent uniform changes in books is Antonia Forest, who IIRC has got Nicola and Lawrie wearing old uniforms years after everyone else has got the new ones, because they inherited them from their older sisters. Or have I dreamt that?!

St Hilda's were only there temporarily, so they presumably paid their normal level of fees, and then the school paid an agreed figure to the Chalet School. With the permanent mergers, they presumably had to pay the CS fees, and hard luck if it was more!

None of these things are ever mentioned :lol: .

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 Post subject: Re: Merging schools and logistics
PostPosted: 22 Jun 2020, 12:55 
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Yes you are right about AF - Nicola and Lawrie are still wearing old navy tunics when the rest of the school are in red

Back to EBD, Tanswick uniform was similar to CS but in reverse, orange tunics I think, it's mentioned at the beginning of Wrong CS when Katherine is catching the train as they are also on the platform, think it gets mentioned elsewhere either in that book or another around that time, so maybe they just got new tunics, cardigans were probably already brown.

EBD also mentions changing uniforms when they switch to the blue dresses somewhere in the Swiss books, think it's Josette who says she wants one even though she is leaving soon, as it will do for Ailie, and someone who knows her parents won't be able to afford it is pleased to get one as a prize for something

Sorry bit vague, too lazy to go upstairs and check!


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 Post subject: Re: Merging schools and logistics
PostPosted: 22 Jun 2020, 15:02 
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It was Connie Winter. Odd choice of school prize :lol: .

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 Post subject: Re: Merging schools and logistics
PostPosted: 22 Jun 2020, 15:04 
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The other person who wrote about schools merging is Patricia Caldwell in the Vivians books. I think the girls from the school which closed down were allowed to wear their old uniforms, but they had to get new berets to make it easier for headcounts on outings.

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 Post subject: Re: Merging schools and logistics
PostPosted: 29 Jun 2020, 21:50 
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Alison H wrote:
It was Connie Winter. Odd choice of school prize :lol: .


But welcome, as you were supposed to wear your old uniform until you outgrew it, and get the new dress when you had - if Connie, for instance, had had a new skirt at the start of that term, she wasn't about to outgrow it very quickly, so to be one of the first into the new uniform would be a treat!

Also, there is that ghastly episode in Noel Streatfeild's "Saplings" where the girl is made to move schools from one where she is understood and allowed to merge in and be relatively inconspicuous, to another school where her uniform - it is wartime, so of course, wear your old uniform while you still can - makes her stand out like a sore thumb....


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 Post subject: Re: Merging schools and logistics
PostPosted: 30 Jun 2020, 05:59 
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Stumped by Lower Four's quiz
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I can't imaging the CS allowing girls to go around the school dressed in tacky brilliant orange tunics. :shock:

The Tanswick merger occurs incredibly fast, too - in the mid-year break between terms the two schools come to an agreement and manage to get the word out to all the Tanswick girls so they can buy new uniforms and show up at the right school. Given that this is pre internet and pre answering machine, I wouldn't be surprised if at least one girl showed up straight from holidays to find a closed school.

The St Hilda's girls would presumably keep their old uniforms and fee structure - the parents would have already paid the tuition, at least for the first term. For the others - maybe the old fees for the first term, so that parents had time to find a new school if they couldn't afford the CS fees.

The Tanswick merger makes no sense in general, though. They take in 39 new girls, all of whom are behind the Chalet girls by at least a couple of years, even without considering language issues, none of whom are used to steady discipline or hard work. They have to rearrange the form structure of the whole school to accommodate it, and the new girls are a definite disruption in classes. It might have made more sense to take only those girls who were within a year of their age appropriate form in work.

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 Post subject: Re: Merging schools and logistics
PostPosted: 30 Jun 2020, 18:15 
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jennifer wrote:
I can't imaging the CS allowing girls to go around the school dressed in tacky brilliant orange tunics. :shock:

The Tanswick merger occurs incredibly fast, too - in the mid-year break between terms the two schools come to an agreement and manage to get the word out to all the Tanswick girls so they can buy new uniforms and show up at the right school. Given that this is pre internet and pre answering machine, I wouldn't be surprised if at least one girl showed up straight from holidays to find a closed school.


I’ve just been rereading a selection of Abbey connectors from the 1920-1930 era, and people are sending telegrams left and right, about really very last minute arrangements - almost like we would send emails or texts. And, same day letter delivery was still a thing in cities, anyway. And, people wrote vast quantites of letters to each other on a weekly basis.

Probably not a cheap exercise, but a telegram per family with a letter to follow sounds feasible. Presumably they’d have to be touch over the holidays anyway if e.g. travel arrangements for next term changed.

I agree that they might not have caught everyone, though - would there have been a obligation to tell the school where a girl / her family was spending the Christmas holidays, if away from home?


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 Post subject: Re: Merging schools and logistics
PostPosted: 01 Jul 2020, 16:22 
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Stumped by Lower Four's quiz
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The School seem to be able to alter holiday times and arrangements at very short notice. I can see that's feasible when you have a small number of pupils most of whom live locally but it becomes a nonsense when everyone's a boarder often from another country.

The logistics of many of the story elements do not bear investigation. Re-opening the CS in the CI and the move to Switzerland in the way they do - neither makes practical or economic sense.


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 Post subject: Re: Merging schools and logistics
PostPosted: 02 Jul 2020, 04:49 
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Victoria wrote:
The School seem to be able to alter holiday times and arrangements at very short notice. I can see that's feasible when you have a small number of pupils most of whom live locally but it becomes a nonsense when everyone's a boarder often from another country.

The logistics of many of the story elements do not bear investigation. Re-opening the CS in the CI and the move to Switzerland in the way they do - neither makes practical or economic sense.


A good part of this is EBD's habit of not foreshadowing events, so each book is complete. Obviously a move to Switzerland wasn't achieved just within a summer term and the succeeding holidays. But she's writing from the girls' point of view, not the staff or parents, who would have been informed much, much earlier.

I don't think the Channel Islands move was so bad - the islands were supposed to be healthy places. But the events of WW2 played havoc with EBD's plans.


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 Post subject: Re: Merging schools and logistics
PostPosted: 02 Jul 2020, 21:06 
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bythebrook wrote:
I don't think the Channel Islands move was so bad - the islands were supposed to be healthy places. But the events of WW2 played havoc with EBD's plans.


The problem was not moving to the CI if the CS has moved as a whole (in, say, the manner of schools evacuating to buildings in the countryside). The problem was with: why re-open a school whose original purpose is gone (to provide a living for the Bettanys and schooling for Joey) and which has been closed for a year (so will have lost its staff and pupil base)?

It's not as if the School would have provide Madge or Joey with something to do. Neither of them taught and both might be regarded as having their hands full of other things.


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 Post subject: Re: Merging schools and logistics
PostPosted: 02 Jul 2020, 22:27 
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It had been a successful business, and they'd presumably put feelers out and been told that a lot of their British pupils'd come back, plus we're told that some of the staff had written to ask about reopening.

But I think mostly because Madge had a strong emotional attachment to the school she'd built up - she had that discussion with Jem in which she said that "It's my school ... and it's a good one," and then said that she didn't see why she should lose it because of a few madmen.

She might even have felt that, in a small way, reopening it was one in the eye for the Nazis. It was a huge undertaking, though. After the IRA bomb here in 1996, there was very much a feeling of we will not be beaten and we will rebuild, but it's easier to say that when you're reopening in the same location and you can realistically hope that your customers will stay loyal. I'm not sure it was very realistic that some of the staff left secure jobs to come back to a newly-reopened school with very few pupils, or that pupils who'd only changed schools a year earlier then changed schools again, but never mind :lol: . And what did Robin and Daisy do for a whole academic year whilst the school was closed?!

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 Post subject: Re: Merging schools and logistics
PostPosted: 03 Jul 2020, 01:33 
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Stumped by Lower Four's quiz
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And really, Madge could have shut down the school or sold it off after she married Jem, as she didn't need to support herself after that. But I can see her having pride in the business she founded, and wanting to keep up with it. I don't think it was all that realistic to have so many families willing to uproot their kids' education for the second time in two years, though.

The move I find the most unrealistic is moving the main school to Switzerland. At that point the students almost all from the UK, with parents in the country, who chose the CS as a good balanced education for their children. It doesn't even have much connection with the San anymore. So I doubt that many of the parents would think "Move my kids to boarding school abroad, at significantly higher expense? Great!"

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