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:
|Tarbert, Sir E. Scott|
The answer also gives pupil numbers for various years and it can be read here:
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.