Edinburgh schools: Stewart's Melville boarding house for boys to permanently close its doors

Bosses at one of Edinburgh’s top fee-paying schools said it will close its boarding house for boys, after a drop in demand for places.

Edinburgh’s Stewart’s Melville College has announced it will close its Boarding House, Dean Park House, located on the Queensferry Road site, after numbers failed to “keep pace” with day places at the school. The house, which costs more than £23,000 a year for full board, will now close in July 2025.

Chiefs acknowledged the boarding school was an important part of their heritage, but stressed that the move will allow ESMS to repurpose Dean Park House to expand their facilities for other areas of the School.

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Bosses said the day and independent boarding house, which has 19 pupils, has always been “a small part of the school” and the decision has been taken to focus on the day offer instead. Parents were informed on Monday night.

Stewart's Melville boarding house to closeStewart's Melville boarding house to close
Stewart's Melville boarding house to close

A spokesperson said: "The school has weathered the pandemic well and numbers are strong and growing, however, boarding, which has always been a small part of the school, has not kept pace with our day places. We have loved offering a second home to our boarders over the last 60 years. It is an important part of our heritage, however, our school must continue to evolve and as we invest in our future, our focus must be on our day students, who represent the vast majority of our school community.

“We would like to thank all the members of staff who have gone over and above to support our boarders over the years. Dean Park House will remain open for another two years and we will continue to accept new boarders throughout this period.”

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The move is said to be part of a wider strategy for the future of the three ESMS schools, Stewart's Melville boys school, Mary Erskine school for girls and the independent primary school which is mixed.

Affiliated school Mary Erskine for girls ranked 7th in the top ten independent schools in the Sunday Times Parent Power Schools Guide, based on highers results.

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