Dr Robert Iles was Australian born and studied at the University of Melbourne (BEd, 1974) and the Melbourne College of Divinity. He was Deputy Principal of Box Hill Boys’ High School and taught in Smoky Lake, Alberta, Canada in 1981. From 1982 to 1984 he completed a PhD in Educational Administration at the University of Alberta then worked with the Victorian Ministry of Education and at the Presbyterian Ladies College in Melbourne.

At Scots, Dr Iles taught Geography and coached the Under 13 Cricket team. He quickly found, despite his experience in schools and peak bodies, that “I was largely unprepared for the pressures and stresses of the Principal’s leadership role.”

Dr Iles believed that the purpose of the school is to educate in a holistic manner where Christian values, principles and practices are an integral part of everyday life. He promoted Academic excellence, Music and Art as well as Sport and Cadets. He set strategic goals in ‘The Way Forward’ and ‘Scots to the Fore’.

Dr Iles was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia for services to education in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 2006 and retired at the end of that year.


  • Under Dr Iles leadership the Centenary Centre was built and opened in 1999 by Governor-General Sir William Deane. The Preparatory School, Dining Hall and Gladesville Boatshed were refurbished.
  • In 2005 the restructure of Transition, Kindergarten and Year 1 into a single separate administrative unit under Ms Rosemary Edwards resulted in the opening of the Early Learning Centre in 2006, with the Preparatory School being redefined as Years 2 to 6 and the relocation of Years 5 and 6 to the main campus.
  • The Early Learning Centre has an open-plan design, modelled on the Reggio Emilia approach to education – an approach that also inspires the Early Years curriculum.

Student Success

  • The Pipes and Drums went to the Nova Scotia Tattoo in 1996 and on a tour of Scotland in 2001. In 1996 Alistair Saunders, School Sergeant and Bandmaster from 1984 to 1996 retired to be replaced by Bandmaster Mr Ray Lee.
  • In 2004 Scots played at a Pipes and Drums Tattoo held in the Hordern Pavilion and went to the Nova Scotia Tattoo again. They participated in the Edinburgh Tattoo Salute to Australia in 2005.
  • In Sport, the 2nd XI Cricket team were AAGPS Co-Premiers in 1996.
  • 1sts and 2nds Basketball won in the AAGPS competition in 1999 and defended it in 2000.
  • In 2004, 1st Basketball won the AAGPS again and the Raschke Cup in 2005.
  • The 1sts Water Polo team won the AAGPS in 1995, 1997, 1998, 2002, 2004 (plus the CAS competition) and were undefeated in 2005. The 2nds Water Polo team won the AAGPS 1997, 2001 and 2002.
  • The Snowsports team won the AAGPS Championship in 1994 and both the Junior and Senior Championships in 2000. They won best skiing school in NSW in 2002, the Sydney Interschools Championship winners 2003 and the Sydney Championships Shield and the Australian Schools Ski Club of the year in 2004. Preparatory and Senior teams won the Sydney Interschool Championships in 2005.

Did You Know?

  • The Scots College has consecutively won the Australian Interschools Snowsports Male Overall Champions for 12 years.

Meet Our Principals

The Scots College is a proud member of the following associations.

The Presbyterian Church (New South Wales) Property Trust T/A The Scots College, Sydney Australia
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William Elder


Mr Alan Elder was born in Scotland and migrated to Australia with his parents at a young age. He attended The Scots College for all his schooling, graduating in 1944. He played 1st XI Cricket and was a member of the College Cadet Unit. After leaving school Mr Elder studied accountancy and retained a life-long love of the College, especially the Pipes and Drums. Mr Elder never married, however the significant bequest he left will allow his Scots family to remember him through the Lang Walker Business Centre.