Interest strong as school sale opens for business

An attempt to transfer ownership of an independent school at Dubbo has cleared its first hurdle.

Expressions of interest in purchasing Macquarie Anglican Grammar School and its counterpart at Orange flowed in by the February 22 deadline.

A special diocesan committee that has responsibility for overseeing the sale reported "the strong level of interest" to principal Geoff Fouracre this week.

Committee chairman Alastair Lea expressed in the correspondence delight about the number and quality of formal responses to its call.

"The Independent Oversight Committee of the Anglican Diocese of Bathurst has been overwhelmed by the interest in the two schools, reflected in the number of expressions of interest received," he said.

"The strong level of interest comes from Anglican and other entities."

The committee put a rigorous process in place to find a suitable new owner for the two schools, begun three weeks ago, and engaged a consulting company to co-ordinate the sale process.

Mr Lea reported the committee had accepted all responses from the first phase and this week invited each interested party to undertake comprehensive due diligence on the schools.

The second phase is due for completion by mid-April.

The committee anticipated it would then receive firm purchase offers.

It has indicated it would update school community members in the latter part of April once such offers were received.

"We are most encouraged by the level of interest in the schools to date, affirming our belief that both schools have a long and strong future, continuing to offer an outstanding education to the students in their care," Mr Lea said in his letter.

Mr Fouracre told the Daily Liberal the update from Mr Lea had already been reported to parents at a meeting on Wednesday and to staff.

He said he was not surprised by the strong interest in the 11-year-old educator. "Macquarie is a wonderful school," he said.

"We have terrific staff, wonderful students and incredibly supportive parents.

"The staff, parents and students have been very supportive of the process that the diocese has embarked on and we are all excited about our school's future.

"We still have daily enrolments and inquiries for future years.

"So in the meantime, it's business as usual here at the school."

Bishop-in-council, the governing body of the diocese, resolved to divest itself of the two schools on the advice of its Independent Oversight Committee, in an attempt to resolve its debt burden, previously reported as almost $40 million.

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