Friday, October 16, 2009

The Armidale School (TAS) changes its organisational structure

I see from the Armidale Express (14 October 2009) that the Armidale School, one of NSW's nine GPS schools, has changed its structure.

The school was founded in 1894 as a private company by a number of shareholders who invested capital to provide buildings and operating funds. This company structure was common at the time. Totally dependant on fees and contributions from parents and old boys, the school struggled at several points in its history to meet student needs  and sometimes just to survive. meet  In 1950 the ownership of TAS passed from the private shareholders to the Anglican Diocese of Armidale as a way of giving the school a more secure future.

Over the last fifty years the school has faced many challenges. Changing educational demands due in part to changes in parent and student expectations as well as Government requirements meant that the school had to offer wider ranges of courses and different services. This meant that it needed to get bigger just to survive. At the same time, its traditional boarding base was being eroded not just by social change, the general move away from boarding schools, but also by changed Government policies and especially the Queensland Government's decision to subsidise boarding for country parents, but only if the kids went to Queensland schools. The flow of Queensland borders to Armidale schools effectively stopped.

Of all the Armidale schools, TAS responded in an especially effective fashion. The development activities that began under Gordon Fisher and were then carried forward under Alan Cash and later heads including current head Murray Guest have given the school a remarkably good base. These activities have been strongly supported by old boys and parents.   TAS Head Murray Guest with Bishop Peter Brain

To better reflect the different interests within the school community, TAS has now been restructured as a company limited by guarantee. This means that responsibility for governing the school will now be shared by the church, parents, former students and benefactors.

The Anglican Diocese of Armidale’s decision was made at the annual Synod held in Tamworth, voting to approve the diocese sharing responsibility for governing the School with the TAS Foundation, the TAS Old Boys Union and the Parents and Friends Association.

The changes are expected to come into effect in 2010.

The photo shows headmaster Alan Guest with Armidale Anglican Bishop welcoming the decision.   

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