Peter McKenzie Schoolmaster 1874 - stability at last

Peter McKenzie became Schoolmaster at the tender age of 26, but appears to have brought about the stability, and improvement in standards, craved by the Board.

The Board had, between 1874 and 1876 set about extending and improving the main school building and had also built a new schoolhouse, at a cost of £600. Mr McKenzie moved in and the records show that, by the time he completed the Tealing Census in 1891 (for the Schoolmaster was also the Registrar), his household comprised himself, his wife Bella, their five children aged between one and eleven years and their servant, seventeen year-old Barbara Lawson.

Over the years the Board seems to have been frequently concerned about attendance. They appreciated the importance in a rural community of a helping hand at harvest time, and school holidays were timed so that the children could help with the tattie picking, but beyond that, they were unrelenting. In 1880, they were poised to refer for prosecution local blacksmith, William Gibson, for employing a child who should have been at school. It seems to have done the trick and the boy returned.

However, the records continue, through the decades, to meticulously record attendance levels, to a much greater degree than they record the educational development of the school.

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