Schools, Pupils and Teachers

This is a guide to the large collection of records relating to schools, pupils and teachers in Glasgow and the west of Scotland, and which are a vital source for family historians.

What do I need to know before I start?

Try to find out:

    • the name of the pupil or teacher

    • their year of birth

    • the name of the school or the area they lived in

    • for teachers, the date they left teaching

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​What records can I find in the Mitchell: Glasgow City Archives?

Glasgow City Archives hold records of schools under the jurisdiction of local authorities, including non-denominational and Roman Catholic schools.  We also have a limited number of records for fee-paying schools.

 

School records mainly consist of Admission Registers and Log Books:

  • Admission Registers – these are the main source of pupil information and can contain the following information about each pupil: name, date of birth, address, date of admission and date of leaving. Some registers contain sensitive information about pupils, for example the results of IQ tests.  These registers are closed for 75 years. 

  • Log Books – these are journals kept by the head teacher and include information such as staff and pupil absence figures, fire drills and visitors to the school. Some logbooks include comments about teachers and pupil teachers (trainee teachers). However you very rarely find information about individual pupils within these records. As log books may contain sensitive information, these are closed for 50 years.

     

Compulsory education in Scotland began after the Education (Scotland) Act 1872 and many schools were established after this act. Hence prior to 1873 there are very few school records in our collections, with some exceptions such as the Glasgow School for the Deaf and Mossbank Industrial School.

 

We have an excellent set of school records for Glasgow and less complete sets for the former Strathclyde areas of Bute, Dunbartonshire, Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire. 

 

Glasgow City Archives also hold records relating to teachers and pupil teachers employed by the local school boards (later the Glasgow Education Authority and then the Glasgow Corporation Education Department). The records include:

  • List of Masters and Mistresses at day schools, Glasgow School Board 1874-1918

  • Register of Pupil Teachers, Glasgow School Board, 1878-1898

  • Teachers Appointment Book, Glasgow School Board, 1878

  • Ex-pupil teachers appointment and particulars as to changes in staff, 1880-1904

  • List of ex-pupil teachers, Glasgow School Board, 1898-1902

  • List of teachers on military service, Glasgow School Board, 1917-1918

  • Register of teachers, Cathcart School Board, 1905-1917

  • Register of teachers, Govan School Board, 1873-1888

  • Teacher record cards, Glasgow Corporation Education Department, arranged by year of leaving, 1913-1985. These records are closed for 75 years under the Data Protection Act (1998) 

​What records can I see online?

There are no admission registers or logbooks online, but some photographs of school buildings and classrooms are available on the Virtual Mitchell website.

​What records can I see elsewhere?

Examination results can be obtained from the Scottish Qualifications Authority.

Scotland Street Museum of Education​ hold many artefacts about Scottish education.

​What other resources will help me find information?

Books

James M Roxburgh The School Board of Glasgow 1873-1919 (1971)