Aims and Ethos


Dunedin School is a “second chance” school which caters for young people, between the ages of 11 and 18, for whom mainstream schooling has been found to be inappropriate. Dunedin provides exceptional teaching services to a small number of educationally fragile and socially vulnerable young people, many of whom have had a fractured learning experience. Up to 21 pupils are enrolled at any one time. Pupils are referred to Dunedin, in the main, by educational psychologists and staff of both state and independent schools in Edinburgh and the Lothians.

It is central to the Dunedin ethos that, irrespective of a pupil’s previous learning experiences, the individual placed at Dunedin should benefit from tailored teaching in a supportive environment. It is a guiding principle of the school that a high priority is placed on meeting the needs of, and nurturing, the individual. For this reason, the teachers exercise a more flexible and more mutually collaborative and co-operative way of working than would be the norm in a mainstream school.

Dunedin aims to provide structured yet flexible learning opportunities tailored to the individual, enabling each to realise his or her own potential.

The Aims of the School

  • To provide flexible education and pastoral care
  • To create a welcoming, sympathetic environment which promotes learning
  • To support pupils in developing self-respect, self-confidence and self worth
  • To foster in pupils mutual trust and tolerance of others
  • To reintroduce pupils to a holistic educational environment
  • To provide a broad and appropriate curriculum
  • To encourage a positive attitude to learning
  • To motivate pupils to aspire to their full potential and, where appropriate, to present them for formal qualifications and/or exams
  • To encourage pupils to recognise Dunedin as a “second chance” school where they will be respected as the individuals they are
  • To give pupils the opportunity to participate fully in a Personal Learning Plan (PLP)
  • To create Individual Education Plans (IEPs) for those pupils who are unlikely to achieve their academic potential at Dunedin without further additional intervention