Our father John went to the School in the 50s and was doing rather well with a fast-growing computer business, so we were sent to Ipswich Prep School. Our father also bought a farm which was great for us as boys and for the family.
Unfortunately, when we were still at the School, dad was killed in an accident. We lost the farm, and life immediately became financially tough. We moved to a practical semi-detached house in central Ipswich.
The initial challenge was our mother was a full-time teacher and not an expert in how to deal with the family’s financial future, including how we could stay at the School. The School and its connections helped, with the advice of Geoffrey Barnard, the Chairman of Governors and a lawyer. He helped tremendously. Although the School couldn’t financially assist us, he advised our mother on where to invest our father’s life insurance, thereby covering our school fees – which was all consumed by the end of Sixth Form. Matt also got an academic scholarship which helped.
“We can’t overstate how important the continuity of being able to stay on at the School was during the turmoil and change of the first months and years after we lost our dad.”
The behavioural and emotional support the School continued to give us contributed positively in many, many ways. We can’t mention them all of course but Barry Hoskins was key, an amazing Housemaster and teacher of non-formal education and pastoral care.
Also, fantastic events like the annual ski trip run by Derek Chapman (Derek passed away on 12 January this year and will be sorely missed, our thoughts and best wishes to Gary and the Chapman family). Our mother also helped run the girls High School ski trips, these trips were unpaid for teachers and quite a challenge with thirty plus children going mad on a mountain all day and a lot of the night. The holiday companies needed teachers, so gave their children subsidised rates. Mum kindly helped with these so we could go too.
Finally, the School gave us the support and confidence to gain academic and non-academic qualifications that led both of us to Durham University and then a string of post-graduate qualifications in Chartered Accountancy and Business School, etc. As a result, one of us has a banking career in the City and the other his own Management Consultancy firm operating around the world, both amazing opportunities.
“So, we’ve ended up with lovely wives and successful children all through, at, or about to go to university, with fantastic values. We’ve also managed to help a lot of people on our journey in all sorts of ways, thanks to the values the School instilled in us.”
About ten years ago, to recognise what had been done for us, we approached the School to help others in the same situation. We know what the School does to help people achieve their potential and wanted to specifically help pupils at School who lose a parent at a critical time in their education. A couple of years later we found a specific fund for this was running alongside it and so it made sense to move into that, the Phoenix Fund.
We don’t know who we’ve helped and don’t want to, but the School updates us that the fund has been allocated, used and continues to be needed. Wonderful.
I hope we can grow the support for the fund, to help more children through times of crisis.
Thank you.Colin and Matt Scott