Heriot's Governance

George Heriot's Trust was established in 1624, and its main stipulation was to found and erect a hospital for the maintenance, bringing up and education of "poor fatherless bairns, who were the sons of freemen of the City of Edinburgh".

This aim has been adhered to through the centuries, first of all through the building of George Heriot's Hospital (now School), and the unbroken link of providing education and support to Foundationers each year since 1659. The most significant changes have been the transfer from Hospital (which provided residential accommodation) to Day School in 1886; the move from being a school for boys to a fully co-educational school in 1979; and the end of grant-aided status, which finally led to the establishment of George Heriot's School as a fully independent school in 1985.

As a registered charity Heriot's operates under a constitution known as the Trust Orders. In 2015 the Governors instituted a review of the Trust Orders. The objective was to ensure that the Trust’s governance and administration reflected the original aims of George Heriot whilst meeting the modern best practice expected of a substantial educational institution, charity and business. A working party drawing on internal and external consultation and advice proposed a new governance framework. Following the agreement of the Board it was approved through the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator in early 2017 and adopted as The George Heriot’s Trust Scheme 2017. The Scheme is supplemented by detailed administrative and funds regulations. Under the 2017 Scheme the Foundation is extended to children of widows and widowers, is means tested and has revised residence criteria taking into account that many Heriot’s pupils now commute from outside Edinburgh.

A copy of the 2017 Scheme can be found here

The 2017 Scheme and Regulations also makes significant changes to the system of appointing Governors. Governors are proposed by a Nominations Committee and appointed by the Board based on criteria set by the Board. At least one third of Governors will be proposed via one or more of the previous Nominating Bodies, which include the Heriot Club (former pupils) and the Parents’ Association. Governors serve terms of 3 years, with a maximum of 3 consecutive terms. The Chairman and Vice Chairman are appointed by the Board from their own number to serve 3 year terms, and are eligible for re-appointment.

In July 2017 Mr Sandy Paton took over as Chairman in succession to Mr Mike Gilbert, with Professor Mark Strachan being appointed as Vice Chairman.

More information about the current Board of Governors can be found here

The audited consolidated accounts for GHT for the year to 31 July 2018 can be found here

The Gender Pay Gap report for GHT published March 2020 can be found here


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