Integration Update 7 – 14 June 2018
Integration is progressing well and is on track
With only two weeks to the end of Term 2, I am pleased to advise that all elements of the integration process are progressing well:
New Colours, Crest and Uniform
The design of the new school colours, crest and uniforms are on track to be presented to a combined parents’ forum in early Term 3.  I hope to announce the date of the Forum in next week’s Update.
Five Staff Integration Working Groups
Staff are working very well together in five different working groups:
1. Staff Collegiality Group – which is focusing on developing opportunities for staff collegiality across all disciplines, co-curricular and year groups during Terms 3 and 4.
2. Student Engagement Group – which is focusing on various formal and informal opportunities to get students from both schools in year groups together over the next two terms.
3. Year 11/12 Focus Group – which is working to ensure that the current Year 11 & 12 at both schools do not lose focus during this period of change through close collaboration and using staff resources at both schools.
4. Senior Learning Space/Library Upgrade at the Scots Campus – which has been formed to consider what needs to be done to upgrade the current Scots campus Library to a modern Learning Centre in readiness for next year.  The aim is to have all the work done during Term 4 so that all Year 12 students have appropriate study space and technology for their study periods next year.
5. New House Names Group – which has the task to resolve and recommend the names for the new competition Houses for Swimming, Athletics, Cross-Country, Music, Drama, Debating and any new competition we may choose to add to the new school. 
Mr John Weeks and Staff Appointments
This week, Mr Weeks has been chairing the panel to interview and appoint the Senior Executive Staff, with the new school’s Senior Executive positions expected to be announced before the end of Term.  Further leadership appointments will be made early in Term 3 for Heads of Department and Heads of House or Year Groups along with other senior responsibility positions. 
Mr David Gates Sabbatical Leave
As advised last week, Mr Gates will be taking sabbatical leave from 17 June until 13 July.  During this time he will visit two schools in the Northern Territory including the Ti Tree School 195 kms north of Alice Springs and St Phillips College in Alice Springs.  Progress on the integration process will continue unabated during this period.
Last Scheduled School Board Meetings this Saturday
The integration of the two schools is a period of great change in all aspects of the two schools, other than to the underlying core values and passion of everyone involved in the two schools to educate and develop children, adolescents and young people to their full potential in a safe and nurturing environment.   These core values and mission have been lived by every member of the two School Boards over the past six months since we announced the purchase of All Saints’ College in December 2017.  But, I know they are the humble but proud present-day holders of the great legacy passed to them by the many generations of previous board members of both The Scots School and All Saints’ College since the two schools were first established.
The combined Board meeting this Saturday will be the last scheduled Board meeting for both schools as we prepare for the General Assembly during the week of 9 July 2018.  At the rising of the Assembly a new School Board for the new merged school will be announced, with the baton passed to that new group of individuals.
The combined Board meeting this Saturday will be a time of reflection, praise and thanks for four members who have served diligently and faithfully, and contributed greatly and graciously to their respective School Boards.
They are Mr Michael Inwood, who joined The Scots School Board in 2012; Rev Tristan Merkel, who joined The Scots School Board in 2015 and Mr Allan Blanch, who joined the new All Saints’ Board at the beginning of this year.  On behalf of the Trustees, I would like to extend my sincere thanks for their service and contribution during this process.
The fourth member is Mr Adrian Lamrock, who will be stepping down as Chairman of The Scots School over the past five years.  Mr Lamrock is leaving an outstanding legacy of Christian leadership for the new school as, not only has he served as a Board Member since 2012 and Chairman since 2013, he was also a former Principal of The Scots School Bathurst from 1998 to 2003.
I am honoured to have worked with Adrian over the past several years, and look forward to keeping him informed of progress as he is a respected member of the General Assembly, and a good friend.
I will let Adrian speak in his words:
It has been a real privilege to work with the Board of Scots over the past six years. They are a hard-working group, absolutely committed to the future of Scots and, more recently, of the new school. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them personally for their hard work and tremendous support.
Living in Newcastle I have increasingly found the time taken by travel to Bathurst and the times spent in meetings at Scots have become more difficult to manage.
Nevertheless, it has been a difficult decision because I am absolutely committed to the integration of Scots and All Saints.  Some may remember that Dr Tim Wright (former Headmaster of All Saints) and I tried to achieve this integration around seventeen or eighteen years ago.  The fact that it is now about to become a reality is very exciting for me and I will watch the process with keen interest and support, although from a distance.  I am grateful for the chance to have been part of Scots, on and off, for more than twenty years and I also have a very strong respect for All Saints.  I look forward to them being built harmoniously into a new, single, school in the years ahead and certainly commit myself to praying for God’s blessing on the new school as it develops.”
Adrian will be honoured at a special Scots School assembly tomorrow afternoon.
Kind regards,
Jeof Falls


Integration Update 6 – 7 June 2018
New Uniform
We are very pleased to advise that we have commissioned a uniform designer to work with Australian Public Affairs (APA) and representatives from the two P&F Associations. We very much appreciate the involvement, offer of assistance, and suggestions from a number of parents from both school communities over the past few months about the Uniform Committee. However, after discussion with the designer and APA, we realised that to achieve the tight deadlines for design and manufacture, we needed to reduce the number of people involved. As a result, the Presidents of the two P&F Associations and two other representatives from each school met with the designer and APA this week to begin the process. For those who missed out, I would like to extend my sincere thanks for your enthusiasm and support and seek your understanding for the process proceeding with reduced numbers. I am advised that this working group collaborated very well on Tuesday and was able to create a list of the uniforms required and come to decisions quite easily. They believe that quite a lot of the uniform will be able to be stocked by current suppliers which hopefully will help with timeline and cost. The working group was a little unsure on all the sporting uniforms, especially as All Saints' has a lot of different uniforms for each sport.  As a result, the designer will meet with the Heads of Sport later this week to confirm needs and expectations. The designer is very excited about the opportunity, and the feedback that I have received from those involved this week is one of optimism and pride for the design and colours.  As the students are expected to join and collaborate with students from our other schools (“imagine a combined schools music spectacular with students from PLC Croydon and PLC Armidale”), the designer is ensuring that particularly the girls’ uniforms, while distinctly different, will be seen as part of one family.
Five New Sporting Houses
In consultation with APA and this working group, we have decided a different approach to Sporting Houses that we shared earlier this year. Consistent with our vision for a new school, all students will be intermingled into five new Sporting Houses in 2019, each with a new House name. Over the past two weeks, a committee of staff members from both schools reviewed 40 famous Australians as names for the new houses, and shortlisted 10 for further consideration. The following criteria is being applied to the decision on house names:
The five Houses which will be continuous from Kindergarten to Year 12.
Named after respected Australians with values we wish to develop and see reflected in our students and in the new school.
Each will be Christian in their belief and service to humanity.
At least two males and two females represented. 
The five House names to be representative of a range of fields of endeavour, for example - sport, education, the arts, service to humanity, Christian mission. 
None of the five Houses will have any direct link to either school, that is, not an old boy/girl or past Headmaster.
The final House names and colours will, together with the new School Board, school name, crest and uniform, be launched at a combined parent forum in early Term 3.
Question and Answer Sessions with Students
Mr David Gates is currently conducting Question and Answer sessions with all year groups from Year 7-11 separately at both schools. The session begins with an update on the integration process and key decisions for 10 minutes followed by 40 minutes to answer student questions. The sessions have been very positive and insightful and the students very positive in their approach. Mr Gates will do the same with Junior School students early next term.
Mr John Weeks and Staff Appointments
Mr Weeks will return from overseas next week and will chair the panel to interview and appoint the Senior Executive Staff. The following Senior Executive positions will be announced before the end of term:
Head of Campus at the All Saints’ Campus
Head of Campus at the Scots Campus
Director of Student Wellbeing
Director of Co-curricular
Director of Boarding
Further  leadership appointments will be made early in Term 3 for Heads of Department and Heads of House or Year Groups along with other senior responsibility positions. 
Mr David Gates Sabbatical Leave
Mr Gates will be taking a few weeks of sabbatical leave from 17 June until 13 July. During this time he will visit two schools in the Northern Territory including the Ti Tree School 195 kms north of Alice Springs and St Phillips College in Alice Springs. The Ti Tree School holds a special place for The Scots School due to a relationship built over the past six years, with three indigenous students enrolled from the community. During the last week of this term, 11 students from Years 8-11 and two staff will visit Ti Tree to build relationships with the school and community, assist in the classroom, do community service and enjoy learning more about the aboriginal culture. Mr and Mrs Gates are looking forward to the break from the busy schedule this year and to seeing the beauty of the Northern Territory before returning at the beginning of Term 3. We pray God’s richest blessings on them and the students in their travels.
Kind regards,
Jeof Falls


Integration Update 5 – 31 May 2018

Scots Parent Forum 30 May
I would like to thank all Scots parents who attended the Forum last night. Two sessions were facilitated: the first focused on the Junior School, and the second focused more on Middle and Senior School.

Please download a copy of the slides that were presented by clicking HERE.

It became clear in both sessions that, while parents appreciated these Integration Updates, they are looking for far greater detail about a number of matters, including bus transport to and from school; bus transport between campuses, including before and after school; and a number of concerns were expressed about the safety of so many cars picking up young children at All Saints’ College. As a result, we will immediately move to identify and engage a road traffic consultant to provide us advice on this important subject. 

As it is not possible in the timeframe this morning to expand on the questions and answers, David Gates and I will be preparing written answers over the next week for wider circulation. I affirmed last night that the Trustees have resolved that all elements of the school will be created new through a true merger of the two schools, built on the foundations of the history and values of both, weaved together into a new tapestry. A new school with a regionally unique Junior Middle Senior School structure; new sporting and welfare houses and expanded co-curricular activities; new and expanded educational programs; new school uniform; and a new school name and crest.  

After consideration of many appeals from parents, staff and other stakeholders, the Trustees have resolved to change the name of the new school that was announced in March. However, no announcement of the new name will be made until after it is considered and approved by the General Assembly in mid-July, at which time the Assembly will also be asked to approve the new Constitution and members of the new School Board.

The new Board comprises an excellent and balanced mix of skills and experience; parents and former parents and students from both schools; and gender. All live in Bathurst or regionally, and all are actively involved in their current school.

Uniforms and Committees
In association with the Presidents of both P&F Associations, I am progressing discussions with a prospective uniform designer over the next few days and hope to make a formal announcement about the uniforms next week.

I am also progressing discussions with local IT experts (who are also parents) to develop an Information Technology Strategic Plan for the new school, and hope to say more on this next week.
We continue discussion with the Executive teams of the two P&F Associations on the merger of the two associations, and with the proposed folding under the new P&F Association of some of the Integration Working Group Committees.  

Kind regards,
Jeof Falls



Integration Update 4 – 24 May 2018
Preparing for the General Assembly
Although not visible to parents, we have been very busy behind the scenes over the past few weeks preparing for our General Assembly during the week of 9th July. This includes developing the report to the Assembly on the merger of the two schools; a new Constitution for the new school; and nominations to the new school’s first Board. Thank you to all those parents and friends who have nominated from both schools to join the new School Board. Nominations have now closed. I will be advising those who missed out on their name going forward to the Assembly by the end of next week following next week’s Trustees’ meeting.
School Facilities
1. Boarding 
Plans and contracts are progressing well to upgrade the boarding facilities by the beginning of 2019.  This will include the upgrading of Thompson House for girls, including single rooms for all Year 12 girls. It will also include upgrading some of the boys’ facilities to provide individual rooms for all Year 12 boys.
2. Senior School Learning Centre
An architect is being commissioned to undertake the planning to renovate and upgrade the Library and Science facilities. Renovating and expanding the Library will be a priority so that next year’s Year 12 are provided available learning spaces in their Study Periods. We expect to have the plans for the Library finalised by the middle of term 3 and construction happening in Term 4 and over Christmas.  The ASC Head of Library Services, Cate Mitchell, is extremely experienced in this area having planned the new library at St Edmund’s College in Canberra. Cate was also instrumental in the early planning and design for the MLC Croydon Library before moving to All Saints’ College. We look forward to her wise counsel in redesigning and expanding the Library on The Scots School Campus.
The plans and upgrading of the science facilities may take a little longer, and may indeed roll into 2019. We believe it is very important to ensure that the Science facilities are designed well, including engaging with those teachers most involved in using them. As part of the Government’s educational strategic focus on STEM/STEAM curriculum, government grants to assist the construction of the Science facilities may also be possible. As teachers and many parents would be aware, STEAM is an educational approach to learning that uses Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics as access points for guiding student inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking. Our plan for the Senior School Learning Centre is to provide the best facilities possible, and we will be guided by our architect and teachers to ensure that we do it well.
3. Junior and Middle School
Our vision for the new Junior and Middle School includes reviewing the best way to fully utilise the available grounds, Library and classrooms that will be freed up by the move of Years 9-12 students from the All Saints’ Campus. As part of this plan, we are looking at removing the current demountable buildings in Term 4 and landscaping the area with lawn, gardens and seating for students so that it will be ready for student use from Day 1 2019. We are also looking at installing a COLA (Covered Outdoor Learning Area), which will serve many purposes in terms of the learning space and educational experience of students. The new Junior and Middle School will be a wonderful learning space for all students and teachers.
David Gates is progressing with the formation of the staff groups that were referred to by John Weeks at the combined parent forum last week:
Staff Collegiality Group
Student Integration Group
Year 11/12 Focus Group
I would like to sincerely thank those staff members who have nominated for one or other of the groups, and we look forward to hearing how they progress.
Questions and Answers
David and I continue to develop answers to all the questions sent to us from the two P&F Associations and from individual parents and friends, and will circulate those as soon as they are ready.  Some questions have been the subject of past Integration Updates, but there are many more.  
Over the next week
My wife, Jan, and I are looking forward to joining All Saints’ College Year 11 students, teachers and parents at the Presentation Ball on Saturday night.
I look forward to meeting with The Scots School parents next Wednesday night. This forum follows my meeting with the All Saints’ College parents at the end of last term.
We are continuing discussion with a uniform designer, and with local IT experts (who are also parents) to develop an Information Technology Strategic Plan for the new school.
We are continuing discussion with the Executive teams of the two P&F Associations on the merger of the two associations, and with the proposed folding under the new P&F Association of some of the Integration Working Group Committees.  
I will provide a full update next week on the Integration Working Group Committees.
Kind regards,
Jeof Falls


Integration Update Week 3 - 17 May 2018
Mr John Weeks
Despite it being a cold night last Thursday, a number of parents and staff participated in a Parent Forum to listen to Mr John Weeks, the recently retired Headmaster of Knox Grammar School. John will be working with us on a continuing part-time basis over the next six months as a key member of the Integration Team. Feedback received has been particularly positive, and I encourage parents who were unable to attend the Forum to download the talk (unedited) from the below links:
Parent Forum Part 1:
Parent Forum Part 2:
Parent Forum Part 3:
Parent Forum Part 4:
His talk was inspiring as he spoke about the educational vision for the new school through the eyes of the teachers and their passion to teach and support every one of their students. As he explained to parents, he will:
Assist in determining the structure and staffing of the new school;
Chair the selection panel for all roles of responsibility determined for the new school;
Assist the new Leadership team into their appointed roles;
Meet with parents of the Education Excellence Committee to gather views and insights; and
Work closely with the Headmaster, Mr David Gates, during the transition period. 
He and his wife, Denise, are now enjoying a relaxing holiday overseas and will be returning to Bathurst in mid-June.
Questions and Answers
The two Parents and Friends Associations have developed a number of questions, to which we are preparing detailed answers for circulation to all. I expect this process may take another week or two to complete.
In the meantime, I would like to address three questions that a number of parents and community members have asked:
1. Bus transport between campuses.
We are planning to provide regular bus transport between campuses. We are committed to make it as convenient as possible for parents to drop their children at either the Scots or All Saints’ campus and for their children to be safely bussed to the other campus.  This includes working with local bus companies bringing students from regional centres. We will be providing full information on this as the timetabling and relevant bus contracts are settled over the next few months.
2. An inclusive culture.
The new school will be an inclusive school, as All Saints’ College and The Scots School have always been. All children and their parents are, and will always be welcome to join, what we believe, will be an outstanding school of excellence in all respects, built on the values and traditions of two great schools coming together. This includes students and parents from different faiths, beliefs and backgrounds. Once enrolled, we have an educational and moral responsibility and obligation to care for all students in our schools. I can assure all current and potential future parents that we will do our utmost to ensure that all students are valued, protected, supported and free from bullying and any form of alienation. We have very clear board and school policies that have been very recently reviewed and approved by NESA (NSW Education Standards Authority), which underpin a fully inclusive school culture for all students. As a Presbyterian school, the Headmaster and Senior Executive will be Christian in their faith and practice. Recruitment of new teachers is based on the applicant’s qualifications and ability to do the job; although wherever possible and without compromising educational standards, priority will be given to applicants with a Christian faith. The mission for all our schools, and for the new school, is to develop the whole child, adolescent and young person within a Christian worldview.  
3. School Uniforms.
We are currently identifying a professional designer of school uniforms to work with us and the Uniform Committee to design the new school uniform. We are particularly sensitive to the time needed to design, approve and order new uniforms for the start of 2019, and are endeavouring to ensure that this timetable is met. Having said this, we do not want to rush this design process. We are planning for a two year transition period for the new uniforms. We will work on a solution for incoming students to the School in 2019 to make available a suitable uniform to start the school year. This may take the form of a ‘clothing pool’ to tide families over and save unnecessary costs to new parents and those who have outgrown and worn out uniforms. Of course, we understand that sports uniforms will be needed by a number of sports teams by the beginning of Term 4 this year.  We will be working with the designer and uniform manufacturer to ensure that these uniforms will be able to be ordered and delivered by that time. We will update parents as soon as more information comes to hand after speaking with the designer and determine production and manufacturing timelines.
Kind regards,
Jeof Falls


Integration Update 2 - 10 May 2018

To all parents,

David Gates and I have the pleasure of introducing John Weeks to the combined parent forum tonight.  John will be speaking on the educational benefits and opportunities of the two schools coming together in 2019.

He is an impassioned educational leader, having just retired as the Headmaster of Knox Grammar School. John is thrilled to be working with us through the integration process, starting with a review of the new school’s staffing structure and chairing the independent panel appointing the key leadership roles. He will also be meeting with the Integration Working Committee on Educational Excellence, which will be organised on his return from leave in late June. Having just stepped down from Knox, John and his wife, Denise, will be taking planned extended leave travelling overseas.  However, John is committed to continue to work with us on his return as we plan for the start of the new school in 2019.

Tonight’s forum will be videoed so that those parents unable to attend tonight will be able to see the presentation and discussion.

We have received a comprehensive list of questions from the Scots Parents and Friends meeting last week. While a number have been addressed at different forums, we are currently collating them all with a number of others received from All Saints’ parents, from which written answers will be provided to all parents. I expect that some questions and answers will also be expanded upon in future weekly updates.

I look forward to meeting with the Executive teams of the two P&F Associations this afternoon ahead of the parent forum. Topics include the planned merger of the two Associations and the opportunity of reforming some of the Integration Working Group Committees as committees of the new combined P&F. This will provide the P&F a strong consultative voice on behalf of all parents.

David, John and I look forward to meeting parents tonight.

Kind regards,

Jeof Falls



Integration Update 1 - 3 May 2018

To all parents,

This is the first weekly update on the journey that we are travelling in establishing a new independent school in Bathurst and the Central West – a new school; with a new name; a new educational structure; a new staffing structure; and a unique and exciting new vision for a unique educational experience that builds on the qualities and reputations of both schools. This first update is lengthy, but I wanted to do justice to the activities that have led to this point for those who may have not been actively involved in the conversations and information shared to date.
Key information includes:
John Weeks appointment to integration team
Facility upgrades to Boarding & Science
Name of school
Parent Forums
P&F and Integration Committee Updates
The Trustees of the Presbyterian Church (NSW) Property Trust, who purchased All Saints’ College in December 2017, did so knowing that the journey of integrating the two schools would not be easy.  
We have not and will not rush into decisions, but will continue to facilitate close working relationships with the two school communities as we plan for the future. The new school will arise from a true merger of both, with a regionally unique school structure, a new staffing structure and new educational and academic programs that will be afforded through the benefits of scale.
John Weeks
I am pleased to welcome John Weeks, who has just retired as the Headmaster of Knox Grammar School, as a member of the integration team. I have mentioned John’s proposed involvement to several working group and parent forums. John was introduced to all staff on Monday this week, during which I am advised that he inspired and lifted the spirits of everyone who heard him with his wisdom and experience in leading and growing highly successful schools. John is a passionate and erudite educational leader, who will be working with us in several capacities over the coming months:
To meet with most if not all staff over this week and next to gain a deep understanding of the gifts and insights of the teaching staff and pedagogies of both schools;
To advise us on the staffing structure for the new school, which will also include engaging with the staff union, an important and respected stakeholder representing staff interests;
To chair the independent panel that will receive applications for all duplicated and new positions, conduct interviews and recommend appointments.  With the agreement of the staff union, new positions will also be open to applications from our other Presbyterian schools;
To chair the Educational Excellence Consultative Committee that was formed through the last Integration Working Group forums; and
To provide ongoing educational advice and support to the Headmaster and the new executive leadership team when it is appointed, as an integral member of the transition team.
Plans are progressing to upgrade the boarding facilities at the Scots campus so that we can welcome all boarding students from the beginning of Term 1 in 2019.  We are also planning to upgrade the Science and other facilities at the Scots campus before the start of 2019 so that Years 9 to 12 Senior School students will benefit immediately from the merger.
School Name
The Presbyterian Church governance structure facilitates decision making through committees.  As anyone who has been involved in a committee will know, decision making by committee is problematic at the best of times.  Having said this, we truly believe that better long-term sustainable decisions are made through open and transparent consultative processes that leverage the diverse gifts and experience of all participants.  In respect of the name for the new school, the challenge has been to coalesce the many alternate views from widely divergent stakeholder groups that respect all stakeholders as well as reflects the heritage and a core mission of the Presbyterian Church to educate children, adolescents and young people.  Merely mixing the letters of the two schools to create a new name does not reflect either that core mission or our vision for the new school as an integral member of our group of Presbyterian schools. However, the Trustees have received the appeals of many parents, friends and staff from both schools, and are seriously considering them.  No decision had been made, and may not be finally made until the Presbyterian General Assembly approves the merger of the two schools in July.  In the meantime, Scots ASC, which has been the working group name used in the email address for all correspondence,, will continue as the reference name for the new school.
Parent Forums
Following the parent forum held at All Saints’ College at the end of last term, I invited all Scots parents to a Scots parent forum to be held next week on Thursday evening 10 May. In light of the very positive feedback over the past three days from staff about John Week’s engagement in this process, it would be inopportune not to invite John to speak to parents at that forum next week, and also opportune to invite all All Saints’ College parents to join the forum.  To that end, we will be sending invitations to all parents to join us at the Scots campus for a general information session on the new school structure and expected educational opportunities for all students in the new school.  It will be held in the Aikman Hall at 7:00 pm.  Please join us. As a consequence of this change, I will be rescheduling the Scots parent forum to occur as soon as possible after next week’s combined forum, in consultation with the Scots P&F Executive. 
Integration Committee and P&F
Next week, I will be meeting with the P&F Association executives from both schools to discuss how best to bring the two P&F Associations together as a combined representative voice for all parents and friends.  We will also be discussing whether we could possibly reform some of the current Integration Working Group Consultative Committees as subcommittees of the new P&F Association, as a better means of providing a consultative voice for parents and friends.  I know that many parents are eagerly waiting for the next meetings of their respective committees, which we very much appreciate.  But, we want to ensure that we are considered in our approach.  We ask if you could please be patient for another week or so as we consult on the best and most effective way of forming these committees on a sustained basis going forward into the new school. I look forward to keeping you in the loop over the coming weekly Integration Updates, and to seeing many of you next week at the combined parent forum.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me on or at the central information email
Kind regards,
Jeof Falls
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