Ambition, Opportunity & Community
I recently wrote to parents sharing exciting news of further ambitious infrastructure developments, intended to increase and improve the curricular and co-curricular opportunities on offer and I explained the rationale behind the following projects:
- The new Sixth Form Centre, which is well underway.
- The redevelopment and redeployment of School House (to include a new ICT hub and Lower and Middle School social space) when the Sixth Form and Psychology Department move to the new Sixth Form Centre. Economics and Business Studies will also move to the Centre.
- A second artificial pitch.
- The purchase of several Steinway Grand Pianos as we join the ‘All Steinway School Initiative’.
- The Redevelopment of our Chapel Forecourt, to include a magnificent sculpture which will pay tribute to our Christian foundation and choral tradition.
- Better accommodation for staff, notably the Senior School and Junior School Common Rooms and the grounds staff ‘huts’ adjacent to the current artificial pitch.
Turning to the main purpose of this blog, members of the School community might be wondering how we intend to finance these investments. Well, we are fortunate to have two distinct sources of income.
Firstly, we set fees annually so as to cover the day to day running costs and to achieve a modest operating surplus. The accumulated operating surpluses are potentially available for investment in new initiatives and new or improved facilities.
Secondly, as a result of wise governance over the past fifty years or so, we have built up significant endowment funds which are invested for the longer term in physical and financial assets, in order to generate an income stream to finance scholarships and assisted places. These funds are topped up each year through the generosity of the Old Silhillians’ Association and the Parents’ Association, as well as the quickly flourishing activities of the School’s Development and Alumni Relations Office. Occasionally, the endowment benefits from an exceptional gain and is used to top up the kitty to accelerate our investment plans, without prejudicing the longer term objectives of the endowment. This last happened approximately ten years ago when a contribution was made to the construction of the George Hill Building. Fortunately, a further gain has recently come from this source and will contribute significantly to the projects detailed above.
Like the Governors, I am particularly proud of the School’s commitment to the broader community and the importance we attach to the prospect of as many local and talented boys and girls as possible being able to access the excellent education we offer.