Historical records relating to education in Scotland
are held by a variety of different archives and by other public
and private institutions in Scotland. The topic of education in
Scotland is very wide. An important date in school education in
Scotland was 1873, when public schools, funded by local taxation,
were set up. Prior to this schooling had been carried out by church,
burgh and private and charitable institutions. Scotland has had
universities since medieval times. Technical colleges proliferated
in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. For further details click
on one of the topics below:
in Scotland before 1873
in Scotland after 1872
Universities and Colleges
For more information about school records
go to the Knowledge Base entry on School
Links and bibliography
You can also find information about education
records relating to Scottish education at the following websites
and published guides:
Archives of Scotlandís website includes a fuller history of
Scottish education than the one given here, and has information
about education sources, including school inspection reports, government
records and the records of educational bodies.
For the records of a particular university look in the SCAN Directory
under Contact Details for the website and inquiry address of the
There are chapters on schools and
education records in Cecil Sinclair, Tracing Your Scottish Ancestors
(HMSO, 1997) and Tracing Scottish Local History (HMSO,
1994). For sources relating to the history of school education before
1872 you should refer to James Craigie, A Bibliography of Scottish
Education before 1872 (Scottish Council for Research in Education,
1970) and the article in the journal, Scottish Archives,
For information on schools, universities
and education within parliamentary papers see J A Haythornthwaite
(ed.), Scotland in the Nineteenth Century: an analytical bibliography
of material relating to Scotland in Parliamentary Papers, 1800-1900
Volume 3 of the Scottish Records Association
journal, Scottish Archives, contains four articles on sources
for education history in Scotland: 'Sources for Scottish schooling
before 1872', 'Sources for the Study of Education in the Scottish
Record Office' (now the National Archives of Scotland), 'Sources
for the history of Scottish teacher education in the twentieth century',
'Researching the Education of Middle Class Girls'. A copy of this
can be purchased from the Scottish Records Association via the SCAN
Alison Lindsay (National Register of Archives
for Scotland); Robin Urquhart (SCAN).
Where can I obtain confirmation of my own school examination results?
Where can I obtain information about the examination results of
another person (e.g. an ancestor, or the subject of a biography)?
Where can I obtain confirmation of University examination results?
Where can I find information about Scottish schools in parliamentary
Where will I find records relating to a pupil who attended school
prior to 1873?
Where will I find records relating to a pupil who attended a public
school after 1872?
Where will I find records relating to a pupil who attended a private
school after 1872?
How can I find out which schools operated in a particular place
at a particular time?
Where will I find photographs of schools and old school class photographs?
Will I be able to get hold of essays, artwork and other class work
I did at school?