Before 1872, education was provided in parish schools run by the Church of Scotland, and in a variety of private enterprises including penny schools and ragged schools. The 1872 Education Act made schooling compulsory for all Scottish children under 13 years of age.
School Boards were set up in each local authority area. In Glasgow, the Board’s 15 members were elected by popular vote. The vote was carried out by a secret ballot, and women were allowed to vote, in contrast to local and parliamentary elections of the time.
Many new schools were built by the Boards at that time to accommodate the vastly increased number of pupils, some of which still exist although used for other purposes – like Napiershall School.
Our area has made a significant contribution to Scottish Education over the previous two centuries. A number of dedicated individuals have recognised the value of a good education and worked tirelessly to ensure that every child, including the poorest, received the best education available.
In an area with high levels of poverty and deprivation, the education available was of the highest standard and remarkably progressive ideas were developed and implemented.
These included the first teacher training college of its kind in Great Britain, and one of the earliest kindergartens in Scotland. Schools like St Josephs were established, then had to change and develop with the changing population. Today, only St Joseph’s Primary School remains, alongside Oakgrove Primary School, and Abercorn School.