IN the year since the Orange Anglican Grammar School was bought from the Anglican Diocese of Bathurst the school has expanded, but fees have dropped.
Construction of six classrooms is underway and tenders have gone out for a school oval, but fees have dropped by as much as $1300.
The school was sold by the Bathurst diocese in 2013 to the Sydney Anglican School Corporation in a bid to alleviate some of its $36 million debt.
Principal Len Elliott said the corporation brought with it funds the school would otherwise not have access to, but also support in terms of specialist knowledge.
“The progress has been really rapid,” he said.
“We’d like to be a school that really offers a difference to other schools ... a faith-based school which is able to give individual attention to students because of our small class sizes.”
Mr Elliott said no matter how big the school grew, he wanted to maintain small classes.
And the school is growing.
Enrolments for kindergarten next year were “oversubscribed” and the school had enrolled 334 students in total, which was one more than their budget needed.
Fees for a kindergarten child are $4400, down from $4800 in 2013, while fees for a year 10 student are $7000, down from $8300 in 2013.
The school has bought an adjacent property on which it plans to build a sports oval, appropriate for rugby and soccer.
It is hoped the oval will be completed this year, but in the future the plan is to expand the oval into a full-sized cricket oval.
Mr Elliot said the access to support and funds from the corporation should increase student academic performance, because the school was able to hire casual teachers to take over when full-time staff were in training.
“One of the main increases has been in professional development.. about 300 or 400 per cent. “ he said.
“That’s really important to us.”
Mr Elliott said the school lost about 20 students last year when there was uncertainty about the sale of the school.