Identity area

Reference code





  • 1893-10-13 - (Creation)
  • 1885-01-01 - 2000-12-31 (Accumulation)

Level of description






Context area

Name of creator

AU WA A12 - EDUCATION DEPARTMENT (1893-10-13 - 1988-07-01)

Administrative history

The Education Department held responsibility for all primary, secondary and technical schools, teachers' training colleges, universities.

By amendment to the Elementary Education Act in 1893, the Central Board of Education was abolished and a Minister of Education was appointed, having all the powers and duties previously vested in the Central Board. Under the 1893 Act, the Minister was empowered to appoint and dismiss teachers; schools were classified; teachers were graded; teachers positions were defined, and a salary scale for teachers implemented.

The overall management of the Education Department was vested in the Inspector-General of Schools, an office created in 1897 and first occupied by Cyril Jackson. Two years later, the schools system was revised substantially by the Public Education Act of 1899. The Act abolished school fees, provided for co-educational schools, and made attendance compulsory for children between the ages of six and fourteen years. The Act also established a new curriculum which included manual training and household management.

The administrative structure of the Education Department was altered by the Education Act of 1928. This statute re-affirmed the centralized character of the state's public school system by redefining the Minister's powers with regard to the establishment of schools, the training of teachers, the attendance of children, and the organization of Parents' and Citizens' Associations. Following the 1928 Act, responsibility for the operations of the Education Department was vested in the office of the Director-General; he was empowered to promulgate Administrative Instructions which amplified the statutory regulations attending the Act. The Education Department was divided into five divisions (Primary Education, Secondary Education, Technical Education, Teacher Education, and Special Services), each controlled by a Director.

The department was reorganized again in 1987 and today operates as the Department of Education and Training.

Name of creator

AU WA A13 - MINISTRY OF EDUCATION (1988-07-01 - 1994-01-01)

Administrative history

The Ministry of Education held responsibility for all primary, secondary and technical schools; colleges of advanced education; universities.

In 1986, as part of an overhaul of the State Education System, it was decided to abolish the Education Department and replace it with a Ministry of Education. The prevailing hierarchical system at the upper levels of the department were to be dismantled with the view of streamlining and reducing the costs of education administration. The proposed changes were based upon the recommendations of the Better Schools Report. Since the publication of the Report in January 1987, this agency was styled the Ministry of Education; however, the official change of title did not occur until the Education Act was amended by Parliament (July 1988).

The Ministry's name was changed to the Education Department of Western Australia in early 1994. The organisation now operates as the Department of Education and Training.

Archival history

Records in cons7591 were originally donated to the J.S. Battye Library then transferred to the State Records Office in October 2016 as part of the Separation of Collection project. Previous call numbers are identified with the items.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Contains files relating to various subjects including administration, schools (establishment, building, policy), bus transport, Pre-School Boards and committees. The file numbers in the later transfers have an F added as a prefix. This was to facilitate computerisation by the Ministry of Education.

(Files in this Record Series include records which were previously listed at the State Records Office at reference: AN 45/1, Accession 1497; AN 45/9, Accession 1574; AN 45/13, Accession 1606; AN 45/16, Accession 1629; AN 45/17, Accession 1653; AN 45/18, Accession 1668; AN 45/25, Accession 2499; AN 45/29; Accession 2565).


System of arrangement

Annual single number

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Open access, except items identified as restricted for 75 years

Conditions governing access (legacy)

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Related units of description

Authorized form of name


Category of relationship


Description of relationship

Dates of relationship

1901-01-01 -

Related units of description

Access points

Place access points

Description control area

Level of detail




Archivist's note

Copies: Consignments 1497, 1629 (to 1900) and 1653 (to 1900) are available on microfilm in the State Records Office.

Accession area