14 August 2017

Headmaster's Reflections

The next couple of weeks will be very important for our College. On September 10 we will be hosting a school re-registration panel from the Department of Educational Services. This visit is part of the accountability process that all independent schools in WA must go through every five years or on a more regular basis if deemed necessary. The purpose of the visit is to ensure our pastoral care, curriculum, co-curricular, facilities and financial underpinning meet the required standards for a school in Western Australia. Such visits are also very useful to obtain feedback on matters that we do well and areas upon which we may be able to improve. As I have said many times the most dangerous thing for any organisation is to operate in a vacuum of complacency; this is something I will never allow to set in at Scotch. We are driven by an agenda of continual improvement both at the Governance and operational levels.

We often refer to our College's positioning line of "Preparing Boys for Life". Likewise our Old Scotch Collegians now have their own "A Community for Life". Over the last couple of weeks I was fortunate to experience three events which yet again highlight why our boys need to understand the value that being an OSC in later years can bring.

On August 18 I hosted a combined parent and OSC function in Edinburgh, Scotland. It was great to meet some OSCs now living and working in this city. To hear their stories and memories of our College was truly enlightening. Likewise, on August 20 a similar function was held for the OSC in London. Once again the evening was a great celebration and opportunity for graduates from as recent as 2000 through to one who graduated in 1942 to get together and share their memories of Scotch College. Finally, last Friday there was a 30 year reunion for students who graduated in 1985. The attendees included ex teachers and over 70 OSCs including one of our current staff, Mr Hindle, who is still teaching at Scotch and was the Head Boy in that year and Bill Hutton our successful First VIII rowing coach. The group was certainly very vibrant and the most encouraging part of the evening for me was the number of OSCs who now had boys either currently enrolled at Scotch or coming to Scotch in the future.

Over the last couple of weeks we have had our highly successful Inter-House Athletic Carnivals run and won. Congratulations to Bruce House in Junior School, Andrew House in the Middle School and Keys in the Senior School. These days take an enormous amount of planning and work both before and during the actual day. Congratulations and thanks to all staff, parents and of course our sensational participants the students. These events are so special and highlight the internal spirit that exists within our College. Well done to everyone.

Finally it is great to be back in situ at College. The last two weeks provided me with experiences and opportunities I will remember for the rest of my life. It is not possible to be able to do such a trip without having confidence in the staff who ensured that the day to day running of the College was maintained. Thanks to those staff who stepped up to assist in my absence.

Have a great fortnight

Dr Alec O'Connell

Headmaster