Anne Everest - Head's Message 06-02
It is at this time of year that parents all over the country are considering options for their children's education; the question of whether to pay for an independent education or stay in the state sector is a particularly pressing one. An independent education is expensive; it requires a long term commitment to invest in education, when a free alternative is available. We are frequently asked how such an expense can be justified.
Most independent schools in Scotland are charities: they have no share-holders and they make no profit; any surplus at the end of each financial year is reinvested in the school. The cost of fees is directly related to the cost of providing an education, and our accounts are audited and open to public scrutiny.
Most independent schools in Scotland can demonstrate examination results that are far better than average; they all invest in their facilities and provide extensive co-curricular clubs and activities; many of them - like us - provide "wrap-around" care and various holiday clubs. We all recognise too the sacrifice that many parents make in order to afford the school fees; we also recognise the need to provide value for money.
As independent schools we derive benefit from our parents: they are highly motivated people who believe that their children's future is worth the financial sacrifice. Our students too are motivated to do their best: they want to make their parents and their school proud - and they do!
We respect the fact that our parents have chosen St George's rather than our competitors. We know we are privileged to have so many girls learning with us. But why did they choose St George's?
We are the only all-through girls' school in Edinburgh. That makes us different. We specialise in girls' education and can focus on girls exclusively inside the classroom and out of it. We are not distracted by the need to consider boys - and neither are our students! The arguments for single sex schooling are rehearsed elsewhere on this website and deserve consideration. We know that the girls who leave us at the end of Sixth Form do so with enviable results and, more importantly perhaps, with a confidence in themselves which allows them to take on the world.
We offer a flexible and dynamic but supportive learning environment. We are big enough at the top of the school to offer a wide range of subjects and various qualifications at different levels; we remain small enough to maintain the family atmosphere and attention to detail that are features of education at St George's from Nursery to Sixth Form. We are skilled at making transition seamless at different stages and we take a pride in the coherence and progression of our curriculum and its delivery throughout the school. Above all, we are passionate about education - and we think it shows!
Anne C Everest
Head, St George's School for Girls