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david rider Development Director

I joined Merchiston in 2011 from Edinburgh University where I was Director of Fundraising for the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies looking after their project to fund a new teaching school out at Easter Bush.

Merchiston is about the same size at the Dick Vet (as it’s affectionately known) and at the time I remember feeling that I had moved from one small family to another. What amazes me most about Merchiston is that every member of staff knows the pupils no matter what part of the School there are in, but more than that, they know their brothers and sisters too!

Not teaching, it’s a struggle for me to get to know all the boys in every year, but I do try. Part of my role is to look after the Merchistonian Club, so I spend more of my time with the Upper Sixth helping them make contacts around the world in preparation for life beyond the Castle walls.

We keep in regular contact with all Merchistonians and it is fascinating to track where the Sixth Form leavers end up - all sorts of far flung destinations and interesting occupations. It is a real privilege to welcome back year groups to their key anniversary reunions and hear about their experiences, and how Merchiston helped them get to where they are.


Rugby – standing on the sidelines ‘coaching’ my son.

Cycling – occasional sportives with long recovery periods between, but mainly back and forward to work in a vain attempt to keep fit.

Family – they all keep me busy in their own special ways!


Seeing happy, excited and smiling pupils leave school on the very first day of Merchiston International in Shenzhen, China.

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