ESMS (Erskine Stewart’s Melville Schools) incorporates The Mary Erskine School, Melville College and Daniel Stewart’s College, building on the history and traditions of each, proud of our individual origins and committed to our shared future. All three schools have distinguished histories and, founded as charitable institutions to provide affordable education to the children of Edinburgh, each has always recognised the importance of offering means-tested financial support to as wide a range of children as possible. From time to time the government also provided fee assistance but this ceased with the abolition of the Assisted Places scheme in 2001.
Since that time the schools have assumed responsibility for maintaining the charitable traditions of the school, with considerable assistance from the Melville College Trust which supports the provision of means-tested bursaries through an annual grant, currently approximately £180,000. The balance of the money allocated to bursarial support after 2001 was initially funded directly from parental fees.
In 2007 the Governing Council set up the ESMS Development Office, one of its goals being the creation over time of a capital fund of £15 million, the income to be used to fund bursaries. The fund was called Access to Excellence and, after a slow start during the financial recession, very promising progress is being made and the fund now stands at £4,656,852 (November 2017).