Harris Schools – A List

Having earlier discovered that the only teacher listed in the 1841 Census return for Harris later became the father-in-law of one of my relatives, I have found myself revisiting the subject of education on the island.
One of the reasons why my earlier piece was presented purely in terms of the number of teachers & scholars was that I could not say with certainty where the teachers were employed. I have found a list of schools, compiled in answer to a Parliamentary question asked in 1960, that shows all the Harris schools that existed in between 1919-1959 and thus may now be able to match the teachers to their schools:

Amhuinnsuidh
Ardvourlie
Bernera
Bunavoneddar
Cliasmol
Drinishader
Eilean Anabuich
Finsbay
Kyles Scalpay
Kyles Stockinish
Leverhulme Memorial
Luskentyre
Manish
Northton
Obbe
Rhenigidale
Rodel
Scalpay
Scarista
Scarp
Shelibost
Tarbert, Sir E. Scott

The answer also gives pupil numbers for various years and it can be read here:
http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/written_answers/1960/dec/20/schools-isle-of-harris

Where there were 22 schools 90 years ago, today there are merely 5 and if we exclude Berneray then the number of schools has plummeted from 21 to 4 and one of those remaining, Sheilibost, has been named in a recent list of schools set for closure.

Now that I have this list, I think it would be worthwhile attempting to gather as much information as possible about each school including identifying any school buildings that still remain. A big project so if anyone has information (especially photos!) on any Harris schools please do get in contact.

Here’s a link to Finsbay – http://theoldschoolhousefinsbay.com/ – which, like several(?) other island schools, has been given a new lease of life as a guest house.

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