Head Teachers' Logs
Under the 1872 Education (Scotland) Act the
head teacher of each school run by one of Scotlandís school boards
was obliged to keep a daily log book of occurrences at the school,
particularly factors affecting pupil attendance (such as epidemics
and severe weather) and staff absences. Other information which
might be entered, depending on the circumstances of the school and
the thoroughness of the head teacher, include attendance statistics,
lists of teaching staff and subjects taught, dates and results of
visits by H M Inspectors, evacuation (during the second world war),
and end-of-term or end-of-year prize giving.
Location of Log Books
In most areas of Scotland school log books
are still in the hands of the schools themselves. In many cases
records disappear when schools close. Some schools have simply destroyed
historical records, at the whim of head teachers, over the years.
In the 1980s and 1990s some local authority archives attempted to
preserve school records for their areas by systematically approaching
schools to ask for the transfer of school records to archives. Where
a school log book is held by a local authority archive, it is normally
subject to a closure rule of 50 years, except with the permission
of the Head Teacher of the school.
Typical entry in school log book, noting
the absence of a teacher through illness and the effect on pupil
attendance of a storm (reproduced
by kind permission of Ayrshire Archives, reference CO3/10/7/46/13).
Will I find details of pupils in a log book?
How do I find log books and other school records for a particular
school in Scotland?
Head teacher's logbook (reproduced by kind
permission of Ayrshire Archives, reference CO3/10/7/46/13).