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Reference code

AU WA S1097




  • 1955-01-01 - 1980-12-31 (Creation)

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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.

Archival history

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Scope and content

After two years at Teachers' Training College teachers began their teaching career, often in country schools. If they wished to add to their qualification they could do so by correspondence for the Teachers' Higher Certificate. Part of this consisted of writing three theses. Many different topics were covered but an emphasis was on education. The theses were sent to the Education Department for marking and were retained by the Department. The theses became a separate collection within the W.J. Rooney Library where they were catalogued and given a Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) number. When the Rooney Library's functions were scaled down in 1991/92, the theses were transferred to the State Archives.


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Archivist's note

Range Control Symbol = 027.62HAR - 999KEM

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