Dollar Academy

Dollar Academy, founded in 1818 by John McNabb,[1] is a private co-educational day and boarding school in Scotland. The open campus occupies a 70-acre (28 ha) site in the centre of Dollar, Clackmannanshire, at the foot of the Ochil Hills.

Dollar Academy
Dollar Academy Crest.svg
Academy Place

, ,
FK14 7DU

TypePrivate day and boarding school
MottoJuventutis Veho Fortunas
(Latin: "I carry the fortunes of youth")
Established1818; 205 years ago (1818)
FounderCaptain John McNabb
Chairman of GovernorsProfessor James McEwen
RectorIan Munro
Age5 to 18
Enrolmentc. 1200
Colour(s)    Navy Blue & White
PublicationFortunas (biannual publication)
School newspaperThe Galley Student Newspaper
Former pupilsOld Academicals


As of 2020, there are over 1200 pupils at Dollar Academy,[2] making it the sixth largest independent school in Scotland.

Day pupils are usually from the village of Dollar or the surrounding counties of Clackmannanshire, Stirlingshire, Perth and Kinross, and Fife. The remaining pupils are boarders. Almost 50% of the boarding pupils are from overseas, with the rest being British nationals.[3] The overall share of international students is about 20% of all students.[4]


The memorial to John McNabb, Dollar Academy
The Revd Dr Andrew Mylne, First Rector of the Academy

Dollar was founded in 1818 following a bequest by Captain John McNab or McNabb. He captained, owned and leased out many ships over the decades and it is known that at least four voyages transported black slaves to the West Indies in 1789–91,[5] less than twenty years before the Slave Trade Act 1807. In 2019, in order to understand the extent of John McNabb’s involvement in the slave trade, research was commissioned in collaboration with external advisors. The school had been "shamed" about this connection in 1998.[6] The school also teaches about McNabb's links to the slave trade in several subjects.[7] McNabb bequeathed part of his fortune – £65,000, equivalent to £6,174,276 in 2021 – to provide "a charity or school for the poor of the parish of Dollar where I was born".[8]


Main (west) facade of Dollar Academy
The library before the fire of 1961

William Playfair was commissioned to design the building. The interior of the Playfair Building was gutted by a fire in 1961, but Playfair's Greek-style outer facades remained intact. The interior was rebuilt on a plan based on central corridors with equal sized classrooms on both sides. An extra (second) floor was concealed, increasing the total available space.[9] The school was re-opened in 1966 by former pupil Lord Heyworth, and the assembly hall was rebuilt after the fire. The school library is a "whispering gallery" because of its domed ceiling.

Many other buildings have been added to the school over time- such as the Dewar Building for science and the Maguire Building for art and physical education. And in 2016 the Westwater Building was added, named after Private George Philip Westwater, an FP killed in the First World War at Gallipoli. This building contains the Modern Languages department and two Economics classrooms.[10]

The library dome, Dollar Academy
Morning Assembly


The Maguire Building

Each year full colours and half colours are awarded to senior pupils for achievement in sporting or cultural pursuits. These awards merit piping on the school blazer (blue for cultural, white for sporting) and/or a distinctive blazer badge. Internationalists' Award ties are presented to pupils, prep, junior and senior, who has represented their country in sporting or cultural activities.[11]

Pipe BandEdit

The school has two main Pipe Bands. The "A" band won the Scottish Schools CCF Pipes and Drums competition every year from 2000 to 2012 and 2014 and 2015,[12][13] as well as winning the RSPBA World Pipe Band Championships in 2010, 2014 and 2015. In 2013, the band was placed first at the last "Major" of the season, the Cowal Gathering. In 2015, the band won the Scottish, British, United Kingdom, European and World Championships,[14] leading to them being awarded the title "Champion of Champions". Additionally, the Novice, or "B" band won the British, Scottish and European Championships in 2015,[15] and was crowned "Champion of Champions".[16]


  • The Rev. Dr Andrew Mylne DD (1818–1850)
  • The Rev. Dr Thomas Burbidge (1850–1851)
  • The Dr John Milne LLD (1851–1868)
  • The Rev. Dr William Barrack (1868–1878)
  • George Thom (1878–1902)
  • Charles Dougall (1902–1923)
  • Hugh Martin (1923–1936)
  • Harry Bell OBE (1936–1960)
  • James Millar (1960–1962) – Acting Rector
  • Graham Richardson (1962–1975)
  • Ian Hendry (1975–1984)
  • Lloyd Harrison (1984–1994)
  • John Robertson (1994–2010)
  • David Knapman (2010–2019)
  • Ian Munro (current Rector)[17]

Former pupilsEdit

Academia and scienceEdit


Media and artsEdit



Royal or nobleEdit




Notable teachersEdit


  1. ^ "History". Dollar Academy. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
  2. ^ "Our People". Dollar Academy. Retrieved 2 August 2020.
  3. ^ "Dollar Academy". Retrieved 2 August 2020.
  4. ^ "Dollar Academy (Dollar, Scotland) - apply, prices, reviews | Smapse". Retrieved 2 August 2020.
  5. ^ "Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade - Database <Vessel Owner: McNabb>". Retrieved 15 October 2019.
  6. ^ Marshall, Alasdair (15 February 1998). "Scotland's slave SHAME; Dollar Academy was built from fortune amassed by John McNabb in the slave trade". Sunday Mail. Scottish Daily Record & Sunday Mail Ltd. Retrieved 27 June 2022.
  7. ^ "History". Dollar Academy. Retrieved 12 June 2021.
  8. ^ "History of Dollar Academy". Archived from the original on 7 January 2007. Retrieved 3 August 2006.
  9. ^ "A Walk in the Past: The fire at Dollar Academy". Alloa and Hillfoots Advertiser. Retrieved 12 June 2021.
  10. ^ "The Westwater Building". Archived from the original on 25 June 2018. Retrieved 24 June 2018.
  11. ^ "Dollar Academy Information for Pupils Booklet 2014–2015" (PDF).
  12. ^ Marjoribanks, Kaiya (2 July 2008). "Dollar Keep Tight Grip on Trophy". Stirling Observer. Retrieved 19 October 2008.
  13. ^ "Number of contest performances for Dollar Academy in 2015". The Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association. Retrieved 14 October 2020.
  14. ^ "RSPBA 2015 Results".
  15. ^ "RSPBA 2014 Dollar Academy Results".
  16. ^ "Dollar Academy News Article – World Pipe Band Championships".
  17. ^ "Ian Munro appointed as the 14th Rector of Dollar Academy". Archived from the original on 20 February 2019. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
  18. ^ "Boswell, John Thomas Irvine". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/60909. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  19. ^ "Clark, Andrew". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/55619. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  20. ^ Torrance, David (2020). "MacKay, Sir Donald Iain (1937–2016), economist and businessman". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. doi:10.1093/odnb/9780198614128.013.111560. ISBN 978-0-19-861412-8. Retrieved 31 October 2021.
  21. ^ Biographical Index of Former Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 1783–2002 (PDF). The Royal Society of Edinburgh. July 2006. ISBN 0-902-198-84-X.
  22. ^ "Somerville [née Gibb], Euphemia Gilchrist". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/69908. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  23. ^ "Watt, Harry Raymond Egerton". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/48881. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  24. ^ "Clyde, James Avon, Lord Clyde". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/32460. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  25. ^ "Page, Sir Archibald". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/35349. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  26. ^ "Heddle, Charles William Maxwell". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/49291. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  27. ^ "Legge, Sir Thomas Morison". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/49286. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)

External linksEdit