High Notes, Vol 16 No 40, December 11 2015

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From the Principal

As this is the final edition of High Notes for 2015, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of High’s staff for their hard work and commitment to the ideals of the school. There have been major changes made in planning processes and in performance and development management. The manner in which our teachers embraced the personal professional planning cycle and the lesson observation commitment in each semester, was impressively collaborative, professional and collegial. The beneficiaries of this collective effort will be our boys. Pedagogy will incrementally improve across the school. Classrooms will be progressively deconstructed from years 7-12 until autonomous learners emerge to take a major role in their own learning direction, design and improvement.

High’s wider community of parents, Old Boys and friends, has again served the school wonderfully well. Additional activities seem to find their way onto our calendar each year, bringing with them a need for more volunteer time. The Light Rail will bring complications for nearly 5 years. Our PCG for the Governors Centre requires another two or three years of commitment. Our Foundation, Fundraising Management Committee and School Council have many tasks to perform in the year ahead. Thank you so much to all those volunteers involved.

High Talent
Edward Belokpytov (Year 11) was the best Australian athlete in table tennis at the recent Pacific School Games. Great work, Edward! Congratulations to Max Koslowski and Thomas Shortridge (Year 11) who were successful in the national final of the Dr Evatt MUNA competition. Congratulations to Jaan Pallandi (SHS 2013) who has joined the Sydney Symphony Orchestra as a bass player. James Mackay (SHS 2007) had the honour of playing saxophone at the recent Taylor Swift Concert at ANZ Stadium. Well done to Hugh Bartley who was a member of the Sydney East Region debating team which won the Junior State Debating Championship. Congratulations to Old Boys Bill Wang (2010) and Nathan Leong (2011) who were each awarded a new Colombo Scholarship for 2016. Our Open Basketball team was ranked 4th in Australia after another National Schools Basketball tournament, held this year in Canberra. Another strong year of achievement for the basketball program!

Annual Financial Statement – Movements
This year government grants from DoE were up 22% to > $1m.  General School Contributions increased 3.2%. Healthy rises occurred in extra curricula (5.9%) and sport (4.5%). Donations (non-P & C) declined by 32% and P & C donations (-21.6%)  were reduced by sporting associations retaining parking earnings in their accounts and the reduced quantum of parking earnings this year. The Sydney Boys High Building Fund reached $2m. The Library Fund raised $143,234 towards running the two libraries and archives and expenditures were $129,098. School and community sources overall declined by 2% but the big fundraising drive for rowing in 2014 inflated income in that year. Trust receipts were down 4.6% and interest earned fell 40% as interest rates declined throughout 2015. Overall income to the school declined 1.8% to $4,676,052.

On the expenditure side, savings were made in capital expenditure (down 51%), utilities (-19.6%) and general staff wages (down 43.6%). Increases were seen in computer network expenses (+20.75%) associated with BYOD and a school-financed TSO. Teacher relief was up 27.6%, partly because of on costs being charged to the school. Capital maintenance costs were up 15.7%. Office & Administration costs were up 3%, mainly due to a reclassification of capital (>$10,000) which pushed most expenses into minor equipment. Equipment maintenance costs were reduced by 6.4% while utilities were held to a 2.6% increase, hardly above inflation. Trust payments were steady.  

Expenditures increased by <1% to $4,665,652. Retained earnings fell by 6.9%. Clearly, both the income and expenditure sides of the budget will need to be improved in 2016 if possible.

For 2016, funds available are expected to be $5,241,192. Expenditures of  $4,665,852 are projected.  In our retained earnings - operating reserve, unpaid orders and unpaid casual salaries – we hope to keep $575,540 to carry us through a couple of weeks of December and all of January. We rely totally on the great financial support of our broader school community for all but $1m of these funds.

All Years have had their reports distributed after discussions with the Principal. Uncollected reports at time of writing were still there for Years 7-10. Parents are urged to help their sons complete their Clearance Forms and to come and sign up for an interview timeslot before term ends.

The Record
All boys should now have their copy of The Record, our celebratory publication. Ms Rebecca Dam (HT Industrial Arts) has done a wonderful job as Editor to produce a very user-friendly, colourful and copious edition.
Dr K A Jaggar

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