Here are the few teachers found in the 1861 Census:
Catherine Mcleod, 21, Teacher, East Tarbert, b. Fodderty, Ross
Duncan Morrison, 56, Schoolmaster, Visitor, Ranigadle, b. Barvas, Ross
(Roderick Mckay, 50, Tenant, Head, b. Harris)
(Donald Morrison, 70, Retired Schoolmaster, East Tarbert, b. Harris)
Christina Campbell, 30, Schoolmistress, Scalpa Island, b. Harris
William Dingwall, 26, Schoolmaster, General Assembly, Finsbay, b. Rossshire
James Stewart, 40, Parish Schoolmaster, Oab, b. South Uist
Donald Mackay, 45, Schoolmaster, Bernera, b. Halkirk, Caithness
There were some 471 ‘Scholars’ in the records yet these are the only teachers that I can find.
If this is a true representation then children would have had to trudge the unmade tracks from their homes in the Bays to either Tarbert in the North or Finsbay in the South, those living along the Sound (and any left in the southern parts of the West coast) to the school in An-t-Ob. In all weathers and throughout the year. I wonder how many of those ‘Scholars’ by name received a proper education in practice despite the best efforts of the handful of teachers?