Fee Restructure Update
In August 2018 the College made a bold and significant announcement, we were going to restructure the fees in 2019, a restructure that would have a significant positive impact for families of students in Prep to Year 8, leading to a freeze on fees in Years 11 and 12 for 2019. As stated at the time, College Leadership and the Board recognised that the fees at the younger year levels had grown disproportionately, compared to those at the senior end of the College and therefore out of reach of some families. This restructure of the fees was able to be made due to many years of prudent financial management of the College while simultaneously investing in educational programs and facilities.
During the planning for the restructure, a key element was the imperative that the quality of the educational programs that are a hallmark of Scotch Oakburn were maintained. In addition to affordability for our community, a second goal was to ensure the College maintains a ‘healthy’ enrolment, one that is below the theoretical or absolute maximum capacity our facilities can cater for but is at a level that ensures educational, social and financial sustainability well into the future.
The fee restructure has been a courageous decision by the Board and College Leadership but one that has resonated strongly with our community and been well supported. The combined effects of the integrated marketing campaign in the 2nd half of 2018 and the fee restructure have led to an above average enrolment in 2019. Whereas in recent years we have enrolled, on average, 78 new students across Prep to Year 12, this year we enrolled 134 – a 72% increase. When distributed across the thirteen year levels from Prep to Year 12, this is an increase of just over 4 additional students per year level. Hence, although an increase on previous years, there is capacity for a similar enrolment in 2020 without going anywhere near our theoretical maximum student capacity. In the meantime, Early Learning has maintained its usual excellent enrolment numbers of our youngest students.
The strong position that this strategic action has placed the College in, has enabled us to continue with two major projects that will improve safety around the College:
(i) an upgraded fire retardant systems in the Boarding House, and
(ii) improved access to Scotch Oakburn Park with a two lane roadway entering off Penquite Road. In the classroom, we have put in place a structured Literacy Program, led by a Literacy Coordinator and Teaching Team, at Elphin to assist our students to grow their learning, ability and confidence in this foundation area.
This is truly an exciting time for Scotch Oakburn and the College will continue to flourish due to the support of our community, quality of our holistic education and foresight of those who are responsible for its strategic direction.
I trust that your family’s start to the 2019 academic year has been a smooth one and on behalf of the College, I look forward to the continued involvement, support and enjoyment of all Scotch Oakburn community members in the future.