John McGlashan College is an integrated, Year 7-13, secondary school for boys. The roll comprises approximately 400 dayboys from Dunedin city and its surrounds and 120 boarders, most of whom come from rural Otago and Southland. In addition, up to 30 international students are enrolled each year.
The College was first established as a private school under the auspices of the Presbyterian Church. It is named after Dunedin’s first lawyer and Otago’s first provincial solicitor. John McGlashan was an important administrator who contributed to the Scottish settlement of the city. In 1902, two of his daughters bequeathed their home for the purpose of establishing a boys’ school. It opened in 1919.
In 1989 the College integrated into the state system. In short, this means that the school is privately owned and publicly funded. The Government now provides operational funding and teachers’ salaries and a Board of Trustees governs the school. All the land and buildings and the boarding house operation remain the property of the Board of
Proprietors. Parents are required to pay Attendance Dues - over and above the normal costs associated with a state secondary education in New Zealand.An important part of the Integration Agreement requires the school to define and uphold its Special Character. Amongst other things, this refers to a college-wide commitment to Christian values and traditions. It also recognises our rural-urban background and the important place that boarders have in the life of the school. The boarding house itself, though an integral part of the school, is the direct responsibility of the Proprietors and not the Trustees.
The College has a maximum roll, under the Integration Agreement, which it cannot exceed and, inevitably, some of those who apply for a place each year cannot be accepted. The enrolment scheme gives preference to boys who have (1) an established family association with the school or (2) a strong affiliation with its special character or (3) are likely to make a significant contribution to the school during their time here. When the number of places available, a ballot is used to make the final determination.
The Board of Proprietors, which owns the buildings, the land and the boarding house operation is a trust board made up of parents, old boys and friends of the school. They have responsibility for maintaining and developing the land and buildings and upholding and protecting the special character, traditional values and ethos of the school.