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Reaching out that helped secure charity status

All four schools failed originally because of high fees and lack of financial support. Three also failed to provide public access to any of their benefits for free. Three years on, they passed on the following grounds:

St Leonards School, St Andrews

fee increases averaged below the rate of inflation;

means-tested remissions rose to 5.2 per cent of gross income; covered 10.1 per cent of the school roll;

sharing school's experience in the International Baccalaureate diploma; hosting Associated Board music exams and "Music for All" scheme, science and creative writing conferences and workshops; providing student teacher placements; public exam marking; use of library and archives for history visits; drama outreach workshops; classics roadshow.

Merchiston Castle School, Edinburgh

increased provision of means-tested bursaries - a shift away from scholarships awarded on academic or sporting grounds;

access to: playing fields and transport for local primary and special schools; pupil-to-pupil mentoring schemes for pupils with support needs in three local primary schools; technology scholarship; school wildlife and biology facilities; science and creative writing conferences and workshops; governance and other assistance to a new academy school in a deprived area in England; exam marking; student teacher placements; swimming lessons for P6-7 pupils in local schools; community choir for boys from local primaries and Merchiston pupils.

Lomond School, Helensburgh

means-tested bursaries;

access to games hall, PE teaching and transport for six local primaries; community sports leadership PE coaching in local primaries; choral event for local schools; hosting annual triathlon event; exam marking; student teacher placements;

integration of local youth rugby teams.

Hutchesons' Grammar, Glasgow

increased provision of means-tested bursaries to around 8.5 per cent of pupils;

access to: Advanced Higher tuition in drama, physics and other subjects for pupils at state secondary schools where these subjects are not taught; specialist sports facilities (athletics and hockey) and coaching for local children; one-day joint conferences; joint environmental and other projects; exam-marking; student teacher placements; mentoring and classroom assistant work by S6 pupils in three local primaries; provision of Saturday morning primary maths masterclasses.

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