About Government Schools database entries

The major part of this website is the database of all government schools which have operated in New South Wales since 1848. For each school there is a main entry showing the county of location, the school’s status and the period of operation, with details and dates of changes of status and name where these have occurred. Cross-reference entries are provided for schools whose names have been changed.

The sources used in compiling the database are predominantly manuscript records of the Department of Education and Training. These records are often difficult to decipher, especially where redundant information was crossed out; this affects particularly those Half-Time and House to House Schools which changed their partner schools frequently. No sequential records of schools in operation prior to 1884 existed before 1977, so the histories of these schools have been reconstructed from the printed lists of schools which appeared in the annual reports of the relevant NSW government education authorities.

Many of the entries are complex because the schools have had many alterations of status and name. Changes to the names of schools have been recorded fairly systematically since 1884. For the earlier period they have had to come from various incomplete sources, and a number may have been missed.

Twentieth century records are adequate for primary schools, but secondary schools and schools containing both primary and secondary departments have been more difficult to trace. Various manuscript and printed annual returns have been used, as well as a number of other records. For most schools whose sites have been owned by the Department of Education and Training or its predecessors, a site register exists which shows the county or counties in which the school has been located. The exact location of the hundreds of small schools on private land has been much more difficult to establish.

The sections Construction of entries, changes of name, schools with the same name and what are counties and how to search locations of counties explain the principles upon which the database as a whole and the individual entries have been constructed. Several sample entries are also given.