From the Principal
Following our amazing success at the Australian Education Awards last year, where we received an excellence Award in the Boarding School of the Year category, I wanted to provide an update to the Scots community in this newsletter about some of the exciting things happening in boarding this year.
And although boarding families already will be aware, I wanted to share the information to our broader community.
Boarding at The Scots School Albury has increased by 55% in 2021, bucking a national trend of decline in 2021 as reported in the Australian Boarding Schools Association census.
Scots also has more girls than boys, in a phenomenon contrary to the overall State and national trend. All states, except Tasmania, reported greater numbers of boys than girls in their boarding houses in 2021.
This is not by accident. The Board and Executive recognise we have a duty to ensure boarding continues to underpin all that we do at the school. We are, after all, the oldest regional boarding school in NSW with a strong, proud tradition in boarding. We significantly renovated dormitories and bathrooms over the 2020 Summer holidays which was the final step to renovating the entire residential sections of both houses. All students regardless of their year level now have a single room.
We also commissioned a Boarding Review in late 2020 to assist in the formulation of a new strategic plan for our sector which is now in draft phase. We complemented our School core values of Respect, Curiosity, Determination and Connect with three additional boarding values - Safety, Inclusion and Engagement and developed five action plan areas.
These include growth, building strong connections with our families, increasing boarding student engagement in all areas of the school, implementing a new staffing structure and fostering an even stronger positive boarding culture.
At Scots boarding, we have been extremely fortunate to have a Director of Boarding of the calibre of Neale Poole, whose balance between care and discipline never ceases to amaze me. When Neale leaves us later this year, he will leave a positive culture that is based on inclusiveness and volunteerism. Students know where they stand because there are rules, and there are consequences for breaking them, but there is also compassion and understanding.
What is heartening from a Scots point of view, is knowing that the culture that Neale has worked so hard to achieve will be continued by the good work of Tom Mewett, who has been appointed Head of Boys Boarding, along with our new Director of Boarding, Jeremy Holt.
See the next sections of the newsletter for a sneak peek at an article about Neale and Tom that will feature in the mid-year edition of The Drum.