Elite school refutes “church takeover” claims

by Brett Henebery24 Feb 2016

An elite Sydney school has rejected claims that its entire governing council has been dismissed.
Today, Fairfax Media reported that the Presbyterian Church of Australia in NSW had “taken over” The Scots College, located in Bellevue Hill.

In a statement attained by The Educator, the general manager of the Presbyterian Church of Australia, Jeoffrey Falls, said: “to be clear, there are no plans to change the ownership or governance by the trustees or the operations of the college”.

“A recent media story has incorrectly suggested that the Presbyterian Church of Australia in NSW has ‘taken over’ The Scots College, Sydney. This inference is incorrect.

“The Presbyterian Church has always owned, governed and operated The Scots College,” read the statement.
Last week, the trustees of the Presbyterian Church made a change to the internal governance arrangements, which prompted the latest media report.

Falls said that while an interim management committee had been appointed by the trustees until the church’s next general assembly in July, the school’s council had not been “dismissed” as the Fairfax article claimed. 

The trustees believed that the governance model being pursued by the council was resulting in “corporate objectives outweighing the educational mission” of the school.

Staff, parents and Old Boys were informed of the change last Friday after a staff meeting. However, day-to-day operations at the school remain unaffected. 

Falls also denied the trustees decision was connected to disquiet over fee increases.

“Regardless the fee increase for this year has been held to just 2.5% while the education CPI is 5.5%,” he said.

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