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Perthshire Schools Announce Pioneering Partnership and Merger Plans

Two of Scotland’s leading independent schools have  announced exciting plans to merge on the 1st of August 2024, following the formation of a strategic partnership.

The partnership between Glenalmond College and Craigclowan School and Nursery has been forged following a robust strategic review by the governing bodies of both long-established schools, to ensure they are very strongly positioned for the future.

In addition to building on the values, vision and ethos embodied by the two schools, the merger will see pupils and staff benefit from shared facilities and specialist resources for development and creativity, across academic, co-curricular and support teams. Glenalmond and Craigclowan will remain in their respective locations and retain their current identities - names, ethos and values, crests, uniforms - as well as their day-to-day operational autonomy. The schools will also continue to operate under the guidance and regulatory framework of their respective governing boards.

As well as offering an outstanding education, the schools employ a total of around 250 staff and make a significant contribution to the Perthshire economy. They will continue to foster and nurture positive relationships with other junior and senior schools, and Craigclowan families will continue to have the opportunity to consider a full range of senior schools, along with Glenalmond, for pupils to move to when they complete their preparatory education.

Mark Mortimer, Warden at Glenalmond, described the partnership between Glenalmond and Craigclowan as both exciting and ambitious. “One of the encouraging developments in our sector in recent years has been an increase in collaboration between schools. This move will enhance and enrich the educational provision and experience for the pupils at both schools, not just in terms of access to facilities and staff but also the collaboration between older and younger pupils. At a staff level, the merger will also enable greater opportunities for sharing best practice and professional development. "Enhanced facilities, a shared philosophy, a shared belief in children and childhood and the sharing of ideas, expertise and resources mean we are stronger together."

Welcoming the announcement, Liz Henderson, Craigclowan Head, said: “The establishment of this new partnership is underpinned by values - such as respect, integrity, kindness and resilience - shared by Craigclowan and Glenalmond. “The two schools also share a keen sense of family and community with staff who are 100% committed and dedicated to delivering an outstanding education experience. Collectively this augers very well for the future of both schools.”

Ian Gray, Chair of the Board of Governors at Glenalmond, added: “Glenalmond and Craigclowan have enjoyed a close relationship for many years, and this merger formalises that position. It has never been more important to provide young people with an educational experience which allows them to develop as individuals and as valuable members of the community, ready for the challenges and opportunities that life will present. “While the autonomy of Craigclowan will be preserved, we look forward to sharing best practice, and the many benefits and enhancements this will bring. We hope the merger will also offer greater protection to both schools from ongoing political and economic challenges.”

Bill Farrar, Chair of the Board of Governors at Craigclowan, said: “Our respective governing bodies, together with the Heads and their leadership teams, are unanimous that the merger represents an exciting new era for both schools. “Building on the excellent all-round education on offer at each school, coming together will further enrich the experience for all pupils. The formation of the partnership will provide our pupils at Craigclowan with greatly enhanced opportunities to explore, develop, grow and push themselves further together and individually while continuing to benefit from our commitment to academic achievement and pastoral care.”