150 years: Betley State School

Learn about the history of Betley State School, one of Victoria's oldest public schools.

Key information

Betley, 3472
2 January 1865
31 December 1971
School type:
School number:
Other names:
Middle Bridge Common School, Middle Bridge State School

The history Betley State School

  • 1865

    The school opened as a common school in 1865. It was called Middle Bridge Common School when it opened.

    The first head teacher was William Porteous Little. The average number of students that went to school that year reached 21 (12 girls and 9 boys).

    The timber schoolroom was built by the local community and was large enough for 30 students.

  • 1870s

    The school became a state school at some stage between 1873 and 1878.

    The size of the school grounds was increased in 1877.

    Repairs were made to the school in 1878 and a house with 4 rooms was provided for the head teacher.

  • 1886

    A new timber schoolhouse was built to replace the old schoolhouse, which had collapsed from termite damage.

  • 1892

    There were 48 students enrolled at the school by 1892.

  • 1909

    Five local goldmines opened by 1909 and mining families had moved into the area. The number of students at the school was growing.

  • 1910

    In 1910 the school changed its name to Betley State School and there were 99 students enrolled.

  • 1914

    The number of students enrolled had dropped to 71 by 1914.

  • 1928

    There were now only 13 students enrolled at the school. This was because the mines had closed and the mining families had moved away.

  • 1937

    The number of students enrolled increased to 27.

  • 1969

    There was no longer a teacher at the school because the number of students had dropped below 9.

  • 1971

    The school closed in 1971.

Find more interesting facts about this school

The Public Record Office Victoria (PROV) is the archive of Victoria's State and local government. They look after some of our oldest school records, and we can use these records to help us understand what school life used to be like.

Now it's your turn to do some detective work. PROV currently only have paper records for this school. Take a look to see what info they have on this school.