JavaScript is required

150 years: Footscray Primary School

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

Key information

Corner Geelong Road and Barkly Street, Footscray, 3011
1 January 1862
School type:
School number:
Other names:
Footscray National School, Footscray Common School, Footscray State School

The history of Footscray Primary School

  • 1860

    Footscray opened in 1860. The head teacher was A Connell. There were 57 students enrolled at the school when it opened (35 boys and 22 girls).

    The average number of students going to the school was 25. The schoolhouse had one classroom. 

  • 1861

    The head teacher was Parmenas Mudge in 1861. 

  • 1862

    Night classes began in 1862. The number of students going to night classes was 80. 

  • 1863

    The school became a common school in 1863. 

  • 1865

    A new building was opened in 1865. It was increased in size in 1868. 

  • 1870s

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

  • 1882

    The number of students going to the school grew to 240 when Peter Maddern was head teacher. Night classes stopped. 

  • 1890

    The number of students going to Footscray had grown to 1,642. The head teacher was still Peter Madden. 

  • 1901

    The Duke and Duchess of York visited the school in 1901. They were visiting Australia to open the first Commonwealth parliament.

  • 1913

    The number of students going to the school was 1,540 and the head teacher was Thomas Sewell. 

  • 1922

    The number of students going to the school was now 1,874. John Speere was head teacher at the time. 

  • 1930

    Black and white photograph of the Footscray Primary School building
    Footscray Primary School building in 1930. Source: William Tate and the State Library of Victoria
  • 1970

    The school was renamed Footscray Primary School in 1970. The head teacher at the time was Lance Morris. 

  • 2022

    Footscray Primary School is still in operation. 

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. Take a look to see what info they have on this school.