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< Early Canberra Government Schools

Gundarooo Upper [1852 - 1920]

The first school in the Gundaroo district was the Church of England School which opened in 1852 in the schoolroom at St Luke's Church, Upper Gundaroo, with Joseph Edgar as teacher. The Denominational School Board first provided for this School in its distribution of funds for 1849 but the schoolroom was not ready for occupation until late in that year and a further delay occurred in obtaining a teacher. By October 1864 35 children were on the roll when the Inspector visited the school. In November of the following year the number on the roll had increased to 64 but on the day of the Inspector's visit only 37 were in attendance. The school continued until July 1868 when Upper Gundaroo Provisional School opened, using the St Luke's Schoolroom as its venue.

On 10 June 1868 the Rev. Pierce Galliard Smith applied for assistance for a Provisional School nominating Samuel Slade Viles as teacher. However, when approval was given for the establishment of the school the Rev. Smith nominated John Beresford Boate, the former teacher at the Collector Church of England School, as teacher. Boate commenced duty on 20 July 1868. In September 1868 the Rev. P. G. Smith, John Gallaway, Alexander Dyce and Joseph T. A. Styles submitted an application to have the Provisional School raised to Public status. The Inspector recommended that a decision on this application be postponed. Teacher Boate applied for a salary increase in January 1869 and Inspector McIntyre reported that the average attendance for the six months ended 26 December 1868 was 25. He saw no objection to the school being recognised as a Public School and the teacher being paid the salary to which his last examination entitled him.

The status of the school remained unchanged and by July 1870 the attendance at both Gundaroo and Upper Gundaroo had fallen to such an extent that Inspector McIntyre recommended that the two schools be operated on a half-time basis with John Boate as teacher. This arrangement commenced from October 1870 but the school was restored to Provisional status from January 1871. Attendance again fell in 1872 and Upper Gundaroo School became a Half-time School from February 1872 operating in conjunction with Sutton with Boate as teacher. Boate sought removal in April 1873 and left in the following month.

Joseph Edgar applied for the position of teacher and a request was made by Joseph A. Massy, Alexander Dyce, Charles A. Massy, and T.A. Styles that he be appointed. A list of parents whose children would attend the school accompanied the request. The parents listed were: Joseph Massy, Alexander Dyce, E. 0. Elliott, Henry Bailey, William Goslett, J.T.A. Styles, James Moore, Charlotte March, T. Gardiner, Amelia Butt, Emily Burn, Mary Ann Casher (Kershaw), Esther McEnally, Isabella Jane Hines, Jane Dunlop, John Cartwright and Mary Jane Gamble. The two schools remained without a teacher and on 23 June 1873 Alexander Dyce and J.T.A. Styles wrote requesting assistance for the two Half-time schools. They wrote again in July requesting re-opening of the schools. This resulted in Inspector D. S. Hicks recommending the appointment of Edgar as teacher after one month's training at Canberra Church of England School. Hicks later reported that Edgar had attended the Canberra School from 1 to 28 September and his conduct and progress had been satisfactory. Edgar opened the Upper Gundaroo and Sutton Half-time Schools on 29 September 1873.

(Extract from Gillespie, L. L. 1994. Early Education and Schools in the Canberra Region. The Wizard (Canberra local history series): Campbell. pp 65-66)

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NSW Government schools from 1848

< Early Canberra Government Schools

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