MAGS boarding facility to be operational from 2019
“WE’LL start small and build the culture from the ground up,” Macquarie Anglican Grammar School Headmaster Craig Mansour said of the school’s newly announced boarding facility. The school hopes that the significant opportunities boarding will offer to students in Central West and Western NSW will help to bridge the educational divide between rural and urban students.
And with the significant amount of interest already received from Nyngan, Cobar, Condobolin, Narrabri and Bourke, Mr Mansour said it appears that regional families are keen to board their kids close to home in the bush.
“It’s been a long time coming, but today it all begins to pay off,” he said at a launch event at Vista Lodge where the boarding facility will be located.
“We are looking to be open from day dot next year. We will have staff in place this year from mid-december and then upstaff and provide training throughout January to be ready,” Mr Mansour said.
The location has the capacity to board 40 students from Years 7 to 12, with dormitory-style rooms for the younger students and self-catered apartments for senior students as they learn to live independently.
Student meals will be catered in the dining hall and a chef will live on site. An upstairs study room will be staffed by teachers and there will be recreational and sporting facilities available to keep students active.
“Boarding really gives students a sense of identity, a sense of belonging and a sense of connection,” Macquarie Anglian Grammar School Head of Boarding Tim Chalmers said, from his experience of being a boarding student himself.
“It is important that students don’t feel isolated and that they engage with day students and the community,” Mr Chalmers added.
The school currently has Vista Lodge on a five-year lease, but intends to purchase the property once they are assured of the boarding operation’s long-term success.
Mr Mansour said the boarding would be ‘financially accessible’ at about $21,000 per year (for seven-day boarding), in addition to school fees.
And the rural communities will benefit as well.
“We would love to retain talent within the city and if a couple are being educated here, hopefully they’ll stay here for a lot longer,” Dubbo Chamber of Commerce president Matt Wright said.
Macquarie Anglian Grammar School Head of Boarding Tim Chalmers and Headmaster Craig Mansour.