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Parents report ‘a broad cross section of families’, mostly from central Edinburgh and suburbs. Not really a toff school, although there will be a smattering. Taking over a third of Edinburgh’s independent secondary pupils, it is less elitist than some of its neighbours. The boys and girls are educated together at the junior school, separately in the senior school from 12-17 and back to a co-ed set up in their final year. As you would expect for the largest (joint) independent school in Europe, sport is massive...

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What the school says...

Stewart’s Melville College is part of ESMS, a vibrant, friendly, family of schools, set in beautiful grounds in the heart of Edinburgh.

We are a diamond school with a co-educational Junior School. Boys move into Stewart’s Melville College for the early years of secondary school where teachers understand how to motivate and nurture boys so that they thrive. At Sixth Form the pupils then return to a co-educational learning environment to prepare them for life after school. This allows us to give our pupils the best of both worlds.

We offer our pupils a rounded education and an unrivalled opportunity to discover and develop their natural talents. We run an extensive outdoor education programme and offer over 90 extra-curricular activities.

At Stewart’s Melville College pupils leave school with lifelong friendships and the strength of character, social skills, imagination and self-belief they need to find success in whatever they turn their minds to.
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What The Good Schools Guide says


Since September 2021, Anthony Simpson, previously at Giggleswick school and before that a range of inner-city academies in a leadership capacity. He is married with two daughters, who both attend the ESMS family of schools, and is a keen triathlete.

Principal since August 2018, Linda Moule. Previously vice principal of ESMS since 2016 and head of The Mary Erskine School since 2009. She runs the twin senior schools (Stewart’s Melville College and The Mary Erskine School) with two heads and the head of the co-ed junior school, spending part of the week in each school (separate campuses) with offices in both. Degree in theology from Manchester and has held teaching positions in Bristol, Stockport and Manchester. Has also been deputy head of Holy Trinity College, Bromley, before becoming vice principal of...

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Special Education Needs

We offer support for learning, both in class and in small extracted groups. In the first year some pupils are given the option to do one modern language instead of two, allowing support to be delivered instead. Further up the school, some pupils will continue to follow a reduced timetable depending on their needs.

Condition Provision for in school
ASD - Autistic Spectrum Disorder Y
Aspergers Y
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders Y
CReSTeD registered for Dyslexia
Dyscalculia Y
Dysgraphia Y
Dyslexia Y
Dyspraxia Y
English as an additional language (EAL) Y
Has an entry in the Autism Services Directory
Has SEN unit or class
HI - Hearing Impairment Y
Hospital School
Mental health Y
MLD - Moderate Learning Difficulty
MSI - Multi-Sensory Impairment
Natspec Specialist Colleges
OTH - Other Difficulty/Disability Y
Other SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty Y
PD - Physical Disability Y
PMLD - Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulty
SEMH - Social, Emotional and Mental Health
SLCN - Speech, Language and Communication
SLD - Severe Learning Difficulty
Special facilities for Visually Impaired
SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty Y
VI - Visual Impairment Y

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