Dover Court International School was established in 1972 as Dover Court Preparatory School by Ernest E. Alliott. The brainchild of his wife Margaret Alliott, the school supervisor, Dover Court Preparatory School was established out of a shortage at the time of school places for children under the age of 13. Dover Court Preparatory School was first registered with the Ministry of Education of Singapore in 1972, owned and managed by International Preparatory Schools (Pte) Ltd, later known as Dover Court Preparatory School (Pte) Ltd. Both the school and the company, which was set up in April 1971, were founded by Alliott, who previously had been a British Government Headmaster in Singapore.
The campus was established in April 1972 on Dover Road, in the former Officer’s Mess of the Royal Corps of Signals and later the Mess of the 2nd-10th Princess Mary's Own Regiment, which was constructed by the British military in 1952. Following the British military withdrawal from Singapore in 1971, the land was repurposed and the former mess, a three story block, was renovated into classrooms fit for 450 students, although the school started with just 25 students enrolled. The crest of the Royal Corps of Signals can still be seen in the primary school building, as it is one of the original buildings from the former military base.
Ernest E. Alliott
Ernest E. Alliott came to Singapore in 1957 as an officer of the British Ministry of Defence education service. Until 1961 he was attached to the Royal Air Force schools in Changi and Seletar, before being transferred to the British Army schools division. From 1961 to 1975 he held the posts of Headmaster of the British Army School, Pulau Brani; the British Army School, Selarang; and the Alexandra School, Portsdown Road. After 1975, Alliott resigned from British government service to devote his full time to Dover Court, which he had established in 1972 - a project he had been able to undertake without conflict under the military Queen's Regulations as pertained at the time.
Alliott noted in a letter to parents and colleagues in 1989:
"The development and growth of land and buildings into a fine school is achieved only when the sum of its parts is viewed constantly as infinite. [...] My grateful thanks to all of you for your support and continued efforts to make Dover Court one of the finest schools of its kind in South East Asia."