150 years: Clunes State School

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

Key information

Clunes, 3370
28 July 1857
31 December 1922
School type:
School number:
Other names:
Kempson's School, Clunes Common School

The history of Clunes State School

  • 1857

    The Church of England opened the school in 1857.

    When the school was first opened, it was known as Kempson's School because it was on mining land belonging to Peter Kempson.

  • 1862

    The school became a common school in 1862.

  • 1865

    A new brick schoolhouse was built, It had stone foundations.

  • 1870s

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

    The average number of students going to the school was between 240 to 260 in 1873.

    The school was not big enough for the number of local children who wanted to go.

    A room was rented from the Church of England to use as a classroom.

    There was a head teacher, three assistants and three pupil teachers teaching at the school in 1873.

    By 1874 there were 477 students at the school and the local courthouse was rented to use as a classroom.

    The courthouse building was moved to the school site in 1876.

    By 1878 the average number of students was around 500.


  • 1882

    A new building was built and opened in January 1882. It was partly brick with a slate roof and partly wood with an iron roof.

    The old schoolhouse was sold and moved elsewhere.

  • 1883

    The courthouse was converted into a house for the caretaker.

  • 1884

    Land from neighbouring properties was bought to increase the size of the school grounds.

  • 1887

    A drinking fountain was installed in 1887.

  • 1892

    The average number of students going to the school was between 340 and 370.

    The number of students enrolled at the school was 436.

    The school was combined with Clunes State School (No. 1552) in September 1892.

    When students reached grade 4 or higher, they were moved to Clunes State School (No. 1552) for classes.

  • 1898

    The caretaker's house was sold and moved elsewhere.

  • 1907

    There were 53 students enrolled across 3 classes (grades one to three) in 1907.

  • 1922

    The school closed in 1922 and the students in grades one to 3 were moved to Clunes State School (No. 1552).

    The school building later became a knitting mill.

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.