Early History 1836

In 1836, the Old Statistical Account for the Parish of Tealing reported "there are five schools in the parish, namely, 1 parochial school and four schools in detached situations, for comparatively young children. The parochial schoolmaster has the maximum salary, and his house and the schoolroom are in good condition. The general expense of education is so reasonable as to place it within the reach of almost all.

The very few children, whose parents cannot afford to pay for their education, have their school fees paid from those funds, which are under the control of the session. All the inhabitants above six or eight years can read, and a great majority of them are qualified to write. The people in general are adequately alive to the benefits of education. There is one parochial library, which is regarded by the inhabitants with a lively interest, and is flourishing accordingly" .

The writer, The Reverend David B Mellis, Minister of Tealing Parish Church, paints a positive picture. Education was not compulsory in 1836 and many children were not able to read and write. That Tealing supported five voluntary schools and the majority of its young children were literate is impressive and says much about their parents' commitment to the principle of education.

Reverend Mellis does not say where these five schools were, but we know that the School House that sits alongside the current school was not built until around 1875. Angus Council Archives Unit has been unable to establish exactly when the current school was built, but the Old School House at Balgray may have been built as much as one hundred years earlier in the late 18th century. Whether these two sites were included in the Reverend's list is unclear and would require much further research.

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