Address: Merchiston Castle School, Colinton, Edinburgh EH13 0PU.

Contact details: Telephone: +44 (0)131 312 2200. Fax: +44 (0)131 441 6060.

History: Merchiston Castle School was founded by Charles Chalmers as an all-boys boarding school in 1828 in Edinburgh. In 1833 the School moved to Merchiston Castle, a nearby 15th century tower. In 1930 the School moved to its present site, and the main buildings and boarding houses were purpose-built at that time. This gives the School its beautiful location and about 100 acres of parkland.

Governance: The School is a registered UK charity; governed by its Board of Governors and run by the Headmaster and senior teaching staff..

Mission: “To lead young people in the pursuit of personal excellence through a well-rounded education.”
To give each boy in his way the capacity and confidence to live in an uncertain world, and to make that life as rich as possible; more specifically, to encourage him to work hard and take pride in achievement, to think independently, to face up to challenges, to accept responsibility, to show concern for others and to develop wider skills and interests.

Headmaster: Mr Jonathan Anderson

Bursar: Mrs Pippa Axon

Senior staff: Alan Johnston (Senior Deputy Head), Kerri Fox (Deputy Head Pupil Support), Stephen Campbell (Deputy Head Academic), Richard Charman (Deputy Head Co-curriculum), Irene Stewart (Assistant Head Pupil Support), Freddie Main (Assistant Head Pupil Support), Niamh Waldron (Head of Merchiston Juniors).

Boarding: Boys can board from 7 to 18. There are six Houses: Pringle, Chalmers West, Chalmers East, Rogerson, Evans and Laidlaw.

Day boys: All day boys are based (for study, prep and sports equipment) in the relevant House for their Form, except in Upper and Lower Sixth, when they join Evans House.

Housemasters: Ms Niamh Waldron (Pringle), Mr William Ogilvie-Jones (Chalmers West), Mr Niall Lear (Chalmers East), Mr Philip Rossiter (Rogerson), Mr Richard McCorkell (Evans), Mr Nick Lieberman (Laidlaw South), Mr Danny Rowlands (Laidlaw North).

School roll: The School currently has 450 boys from 7 to 18.

School staff: 90 full and part-time staff.

Teacher to pupil ratio1:7

Average class size: Classes vary from personal tuition for some specialist subjects to approximately 20. Average size is 15.

School structure: The School is divided into three sections: Merchiston Juniors (7+ to 12), Middle Years (13+ to 15+) and the Sixth Form (16+ to 17+).

Examinations: The School follows the English GCSE and A Level system, although in some subjects Scottish qualifications are also available where this best suits the boy concerned.

Academic resultsOur exam results show both the consistency and excellence of an education at Merchiston, which place us annually at the top of the league tables of Scottish schools.

Universities: The majority of boys gain entry to their first choice University, mostly in the UK, but also in the USA and China. Over 50 boys have gone to Oxford or Cambridge over the last 10 years.

Music: The School runs three choirs, a jazz band, a chamber orchestra and two pipe bands. Many boys learn an instrument from the full range of orchestral instruments, piping or drumming. The School performs regular musical dramas, concerts, and pupils compete in events.

Sports: The School offers many sports, including: rugby, cricket, football, fives, athletics, squash, swimming, tennis, shooting, skiing, hockey, golf and basketball.

Co-curricular: The School offers a wide range of co-curricular activities including: music, drama, Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, Combined Cadet Force, Scottish country dancing, and business and entrepreneurial activities.

Links with girls’ schools: The School has links with these girls’ schools: St George’s School (Edinburgh) and Kilgraston (Perthshire).

Fees: Termly fees range from £5,010 for a junior dayboy to £10,970 for a senior boarder.

Bursaries and scholarshipsParents may apply for means tested awards of up to 100% of the fees if they are unable to afford the fees. Academic scholarships do not carry fee concessions.

Term dates: The Autumn Term runs from late August until mid-December; the Lent Term runs from early January until mid-March; the Summer Term runs from mid-April until late June.

Admissions enquiries: Director of Admissions (Mrs Kay Wilson) Tel: +44 (0)131 312 2201. Email

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