Dunottar School - saved, secure and now welcoming boys
An update from Dunottar voice.
Many of you have been deeply involved in the escapades of the last seven weeks, many others have offer support from afar, and some may not be aware of all the excitement!
The roller-coaster ride started on 15 January when the Board of Dunottar School wrote to parents to announce a consultation on the school's closure. Immediately an action group, Dunottar Voice (comprising parents, pupils, alumni, teachers and local friends of the school), was formed and quickly developed plans to give Dunottar a viable future and raised funds to underpin those plans with expert educational and legal advice. Events that brought to mind for many a similar crisis in the 1950s when the school was taken from private ownership into charitable status!
We have a fantastic update for you.
Just one month later, on Saturday 15 February, as the school community enjoyed Love Dunottar Day, a celebration of the school’s 87 year history, the Board of Governors debated the options for Dunottar’s future. The conclusion of the marathon meeting was the selection of United Learning as the school’s new owner. On Friday 28 January, Dunottar officially became a member of United Learning and as we write the legal work to make this final is being done.
United Learning is a long-established, single charity that runs a large group of schools, including include Guildford High School, Surbiton High School and Caterham School.
The leader of Dunottar Voice, John Godden, commented: “We are of course delighted. It has been a very intense few weeks. We have spent an amount of time with United Learning and are very confident of their ability to bring our school back to its full strength.”
United Learning has made a ten-year guaranteed commitment to Dunottar as a co-educational school for 11 to 18 year olds that is true to the school’s ethos. The key messages from recent market research were that parents are very attracted by the school’s focus on each child’s potential and its academically non-selective admissions policy. And that they believe that boys as well as girls should benefit from it. From September this year Dunottar will welcome boys into years 7, 9 and the Sixth Form.
United Learning, Group Chief Executive Jon Coles said: “We are so proud to welcome Dunottar School into our group. It is a wonderful independent school with significant potential. As well as being academically excellent, the value its education adds in improving the performance and ability of all its pupils is truly exceptional.
“Over the past few weeks we have been hugely impressed by the remarkable achievements of the school’s community in rallying round to save it.”
Thank you to all the alumni members who have supported the efforts to find a way forward in any way, be that spreading the word, attending Love Dunottar Day, working within Dunottar Voice or any other support. Many members of Dunottar Voice have commented that the alumni's strong support was wonderful evidence of the importance of the school, and the need to preserve it.
Many alumni came to the school and enjoyed a musical afternoon tea on Love Dunottar Day. There were over 300 people there and all nine decades of Dunottar’s existence were represented!
On that day alone £4,500.00 was raised! Thank you.
Any surplus funds remaining, after Dunottar Voice has achieved its objective of securing the long-term future of Dunottar School, will be used to support Dunottar School’s community and to promote the school’s ethos of providing an excellent education and supporting environment.
The Dunottar Voice alumni team