Annual Report 2021

Summary of 2021 Chair Report

The Chair of the Melville College Trust, Alan Veitch, referred to the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to impact all our lives, our own operation and day to day functioning of the Erskine Stewart’s Melville Schools.

We have been able to progress on several tasks, but others unfortunately haven’t progressed as much as we would have liked. We held our regular Committee meetings via Zoom technology throughout the year given the continuing restrictions with group meetings in person.

The following is a summary of the key points from his report:
  • The Trust continued to support the ESMS schools providing bursaries of £230,000 which has enabled 26 pupils – 14 from Stewart’s Melville College, 12 from Mary Erskine School.
  • £10,000 was made available to the school for small grants to support extra-curricular projects that would otherwise not have received funding across a diverse number of School projects. This year with many of Clubs and Societies were not operating as normal, only £8,460 was spent with the balance being held over for next year.
  • In Erskine Stewart’s Melville Junior School awards were for the Primary 7 House Challenge Scoreboard, two Netball posts and court markings for Primary 5/6 and Primary 7 Netball Clubs and the purchase of a quantity of playground equipment. Mary Erskine School Music Department purchased a Marimba which is a significant new asset for music. The MES Photography Club received an award to purchase new equipment and in Erskine Stewart’s Melville Senior School, there was a grant given to purchase various items of equipment for Orienteering.

Other Activities –

  • A significant amount of time had been spent on cyber security and GDPR compliance. With regard to cyber security, third party advice had been taken from a risk expert in order to ascertain whether the Trust required cyber insurance.  The conclusion had been that due to the high cost of, and the relative low risk of cyber-attack it would not be appropriate for MCT to take out an insurance policy.
  • Substantial work had also been undertaken on GDPR compliance.  The Trust were taking legal advice and there was a decision to be made as to whether MCT should become a data controller or continue to work with the School Development Office as a data processor, although in that event the current Data Processing Agreement required to be amended to reflect MCT’s requirements.  A decision was taken to follow the data processor option. There was still some outstanding documentation requiring approval from the School.
  • During the year the Trust issued 2 further Newsletters to Former Pupils. The Trust were now using an external mailing house for the issue of the Newsletters resulting in a more professional look and feel.
  • Recently there was the unveiling of a portrait (copy) of Robert Cunningham (founder of Edinburgh Institution) in Merchant’s Hall by Captain Christopher Hall, the Great Great Nephew of Robert Cunningham. The original portrait, which hangs in the Dean, was gifted to the School by Captain Hall.