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150 years: Carlton North Primary School

Learn about the history of Carlton North Primary School, one of Victoria's oldest public schools.

Key information

60 Lee Street, Carlton North, 3054
28 July 1873
School type:
School number:
Other names:
Carlton Stockade School, Lee Street State School

The history of Carlton North Primary School

  • 1873

    The school opened as a state school in 1873. It was named after the building that classes were held in: Carlton Stockade.

    The building was previously used to house prisoners that were working on a nearby quarry that became the school's playground. It was also used by the Mental Hygiene Department.

    The building was in a bad state when head teacher Henry Jones moved the school into the building. It needed ‘thorough fumigation with sulphur”.

    When Jones opened the school in July there were 276 students enrolled.

  • 1877

    The Carlton Stockage building was demolished in 1877 and replaced with the current school building. The name of the school was changed to Lee Street State School. 

  • 1910s

    The former caretaker's house was demolished in 1913. Several underground cells were uncovered during demolition. An infant school was built on this location. The replacement red brick building, typical of Edwardian school architecture, with a spacious central hall, was opened in 1915 and houses the Junior classrooms.

  • 1930s

    Significant remodelling of the interior of the 1878 building occurred in 1937. The number of students attending the school increased to 980 in the 1930s. This was due to an influx of migrants to the area.

  • 1970

    The school became a primary school in 1970. The school continued to serve a multicultural community, with 16 nationalities represented. A full-time migrant teacher was employed.

  • 1973

    Neill St Primary School (No. 4980) opened in 1973 and the school saw a large reduction in enrolments. Neill Street is now known as Carlton Primary School (No. 4980).

  • 1980s

    A time capsule was placed into the east side Library wall in 1985. It is due to be opened in 2035 for the 200th anniversary of the state of Victoria.

  • 2000s

    Since 2000 there have been alterations to the interiors of both school buildings. The school completed renovations in 2009 within the 1878 building to provide. The updates included an updated library and flexible learning spaces. The space is used by year 5 and 6 students.

  • 2010s

    In 2011 the Junior building was extensively refurbished. It was extended to provide two more classrooms and outdoor decking. Enrolments are capped at 300, recognising the small pocket of land the school is situated on.

  • 2020s

    Three flagpoles were erected next to the Australian flag to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and diversity within the school community. This reflects the school’s values of respect, trust, resilience and inclusion.

  • 2022

    Carlton North Primary School is still in operation.

Find more interesting facts about this school

The Public Records Office (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 is your turn to do some detective work. Take a look to see what information they have on this school.