As part of my new role at The Knox School, and also being new to the education industry, this is the question I’m always asked now by friends, family, ex work colleagues, suppliers and other schools. It is a question that I can now answer more clearly as I settle into the TKS environment and also compare how we are against other schools via visits and discussions with others in our industry.

My view is The Knox School is a place and environment where everyone can be themselves and give themselves the best opportunity to be positive and active members of our community. TKS students, teachers, staff, parents and friends with the School are also well-connected to their wider community which enables them to be successful post their time here as well. In summary, the people here are fantastic, and that creates an inclusive and welcoming environment, that helps us become a destination school for students, families and staff. I notice the students are very respectful and inquisitive; the teachers are very approachable and engaging; and staff are great team players. These are all qualities businesses and community groups look for when recruiting or finding new members.

From a business perspective, I’m pleased to report the School is in a fantastic place, which is very exciting for the future of the School:

  • Student numbers have increased by over 5% in each of the last 4 years, or by over 150 students, or 22% since 2021. With continued growth expected in future years, we now have waiting lists for some year levels.
  • We will record a record profit (subject to audit) in 2023, which covers the combined net losses across the previous 4 years, and returns the School back into a strong net current asset position.
  • Our cash position has also returned to pre-Covid levels, which now allows us to continue with major capital building plans from this year onwards and continue our investment into staff. The School also continues to hold no debt.

Our capital works plans continued over the summer break and into 2024:

  • Our new Junior School entry works were completed just in time for Term 1, 2024. If you haven’t already, check out the amazing new Prep rooms in this space; there’s plenty of light, space and air for one of our youngest cohorts!
  • Our Senior School refurbs continued in January, with one floor now fully refurbished, and the bottom floor likely to be completed in the June/July school holidays.
  • After the April school holidays we expect our Quad area to be transformed into a new play space for students and events. These works include two new basketball rings, plenty of 4 square courts and bright new synthetic turf to make it safer, brighter and more comfortable.
  • A major upgrade of our Junior play space areas, and around our main entrance along Burwood Hwy is also in the plans and is likely to be phased in three parts to prevent interruptions.
  • Our Sports Centre will also have new quality backboards and rings installed later in the year as part of a plan to upgrade our sporting facilities and partner with other local and professional sports in our community.
  • With increasing student numbers we are also still exploring opportunities for new classroom and working/studying spaces and an upgrade to our canteen/café facilities. Our Alt/T Coffee van is providing us with a great test case on how a café offering may be used at the school more permanently.

The sustainability of how we run and work within the School is also an area I’m looking to progress more in 2024, starting with re-establishing a Sustainability Committee & Strategy, setting our base line and sustainability targets and engaging with local community groups and businesses in this area. To be successful this will require the whole School community’s engagement and help, so look out for future updates from this Committee and to see opportunities where you can help. This will range from helping us fundraise for new Solar Panels or garden spaces, and having students involved directly in this process from a Business Studies, Science and Maths perspective to assess the benefits and impacts.

The Knox School is a big community. We are lucky and #proudtobelong and I’m excited about the opportunities the TKS community will have in 2024 and beyond.

Mr Dwayne Wathen
Chief Financial Officer