The Next Generation – future admissions to St Mark’s

Over the past 30 years, St Mark’s had grown substantially from its humble beginnings in what was the developing suburb of Hillarys. Today, not only is the suburb itself highly sought after, but so are placements at the School. As many prospective School parents will be aware, the School has an enormous challenge in meeting the demand for places.

In response to this challenge, the School Council reviewed the Admissions Policy and developed a new strategy and process to ensure the application and admissions process is fairer and more comprehensive. The Old Scholars’ Association is represented on Council by Franzl Shannon and, as such, the Association was able to provide input into the new policy, which formally took effect from 1 January 2015.

Among the factors taken into account, in no particular order, are:

  • whether the applicant has siblings already attending the school
  • whether they are children of clergy
  • if they are children of participating members of the St Mark’s Old Scholars’ Association,
  • if they are children of regular church attending families
  • whether the children live in the local community
  • the date of application
  • individual family circumstances
  • the outcome of the interview process
  • children of parents who indicate a willingness to support the Anglican and community ethos of the School.

In all cases, the School Principal makes the final decision as to whether an offer of enrolment is made. The Principal retains the discretion to offer places to ensure an academic and coeducational balance is maintained across the whole School.

Our Old Scholars have more than one reason for being prepared to spend time on the wait list to secure a spot. Not only do they want to ensure their children receive a quality education in a caring, positive environment, they want to keep a tradition going – by sending their children to the School they attended and benefited from.

What does this mean for Old Scholars?

Old Scholars have the unique advantage in that they are able to support their child/ren’s application by noting their active, ongoing involvement with the Association. Only Old Scholars enjoy this benefit, so although it does not provide their child with guaranteed entry to the School, your active, ongoing involvement with the Association will reflect positively on the application. The Association can assist you by confirming your membership number, and on request, can verify your ongoing involvement with the Association.

Does the Old Scholars’ Association have any say in the Admissions process?

No. As outlined in the School’s policy, the School Principal makes the final decision on all applications, once all the components of the application are reviewed.  The Old Scholars’ Association can assist past student applicants by confirming their membership number, and on request, can verify recorded involvement with the Association.

Since the new policy was outlined in 2014, the Old Scholars’ Association has been working hard at providing a variety of opportunities (in addition to some of the established activities) in which Old Scholars can become involved on a regular basis. The options are many and varied: from joining the Committee, attending Committee meetings, getting involved in organising events or activities, volunteering their time for Old Scholar fundraising initiatives, or simply coming along to planned events like Mothers’ Group, Sports Day, St Mark’s Day and Family Day.  Old Scholars can also, through the Committee, support School events, including the School Fete and Art Show.

In addition, Old Scholars are a valuable resource to both students and teachers, and are often sought as guest speakers during classroom events. More opportunities are always in development, and past students are encouraged to let the Committee know what activities they would like to get involved in, or perhaps even initiate!

What if a past student has not yet had the opportunity to become involved with the OSA?

Our past students are a well-travelled lot. Many have lived or worked interstate or internationally, making it more difficult to become an actively participating member of the Association. Our advice is to explain this, in the covering letter should accompany the application form. The Admissions process allows prospective school parents to outline all their circumstances – including what other community activities they may have undertaken outside of the School and OSA.

We encourage past students to keep in contact with the Association no matter where they live, and we look forward to seeing them re-establish their active involvement with the Association on their return to Perth!

Parents of our Old Scholars understood and accepted the long-held concept of community participation, which is why they spent many hours planting grass, making curtains, serving food in the Canteen and covering Library books.

By getting involved with the wider School community through the Association, past students are following the example set by their parents and will become role models for the generations that follow. ‘Community’ has always been at the heart of St Mark’s – not just in its name!

Need more information?

For more information on the admissions process, please visit the School’s website www.stmarks.wa.edu.au or contact the St Mark’s Admissions Officer, at admissions@stmarks.wa.edu.au.

If you would like to confirm your membership number, please email osa@stmarks.wa.edu.au. If you would like to request a formal verification of your recorded involvement from the Committee, please allow sufficient time for the Committee to review and respond. The Committee meets on the first Wednesday of every month, and requests will be reviewed at each meeting. All Old Scholars are welcome to attend the monthly meetings.

Key contacts:

General Enquiries – osa@stmarks.wa.edu.au

President – Shontelle Curtis Smith

Vice President – Allison Fuller

Treasurer – Drew Farrar

Secretary – Kate Bullen Hiho

OSA Playgroup – Pamela Brown