One school and one future

BIG PLANS: The Scots School headmaster David Gates and All Saints' head of college Steven O'Connor are looking forward to working together on a new combined school. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK
BIG PLANS: The Scots School headmaster David Gates and All Saints' head of college Steven O'Connor are looking forward to working together on a new combined school. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK

SEPARATE junior school and senior school campuses will be one of the options put under the microscope as The Scots School and All Saints’ College start planning their merged future together.

The Presbyterian Church of NSW, the owner of The Scots School, was announced as the buyer of All Saints’ College on Tuesday after the school spent more than a year on the market.

The schools will continue operating as separate entities in 2018 before it’s expected they will come together in 2019.

A working party will meet within weeks to begin the change management process with the school name, fee structure, school crest, uniform and structures all up for discussion.

The new owners have already indicated they plan to retain both school properties and The Scots School headmaster David Gates conceded a junior school and senior school campus was one option to be considered.

“It’s all about maximising the quality facilities we have across the two schools,” Mr Gates said.

“There are a number of structures we can look at and the possibility of a junior and senior school model is one.”

Boarding arrangements will also be reviewed, with the boys all housed at one campus and the girls at the other a possibility.

Mr Gates said news of the merger had been well received by The Scots School community who saw great benefits in the deal.

“It’s a chance to enhance the academic and co-curricular programs and the strengths of both schools will be even greater,” he said.

Fees at All Saints’ College are likely to be reduced next year to bring them in line with Scots, which announced a 30 per cent fee drop at the end of last year.

Mr O’Connor said he expected a lower fee structure would attract new students to the merged school and further build on its strength.

“If we maintain our current enrolments until the start of 2019 we will start the new school with around 750 kids which is a good size school,” he said.

“But with our commitment to educational excellence along with strong music, sport and co-curricular programs, we hope that would be an attractive offering to parents.

“I would anticipate in five years’ time those numbers could grow from 750 to 900 or even 1000. I’m very optimistic about what this could mean five years down the track.”

The Central West’s largest independent school, Kinross-Wolaroi at Orange, currently has more than 1100 students.

A spokesperson for the school said on Wednesday there were no plans to reduce fees at Kinross in response to the merger of All Saints’ and Scots.