A pupil and teachers at Donaldson's School for the Deaf in February 1963.
A pupil and teachers at Donaldson's School for the Deaf in February 1963.

These 20 pictures of school pupils from the 1960s show how much education in Edinburgh has changed

Some say they’re the best years of your life, while others are less than enthusiastic about their experience of education – we’ve all been to school though, and these pictures show Edinburgh classrooms as they were over half a century ago.

Tuesday, 5th October 2021, 11:19 am

The history of education in Scotland dates back to the 6th and 7th centuries, when bardic schools taught poetry and musical arts, while monasteries were the universities of their day.

Choir and grammar schools followed, educating the priests of the future, with the oldest school in EdinburghThe Royal High School – being founded in 1128.

So-called ‘sewing schools’ for girls were established in the Capital by the end of the 15th century, followed by the basis for the modern education system being formally introduced by the Education Act 1496.

There was a continual expansion and extension of education across Scotland in the 18th and 19th century, until the 1872 Education (Scotland) Act created approximately 1,000 regional School Boards to take over schools from the churches that had previously run them.

In 1902, exams for individual subjects were introduced, replacing a ‘leaving certificate’ given to all pupils on completion of their school education.

The 1918 Education (Scotland) Act introduced the principle of universal free secondary education, leading to another expansion of schools that accelerated further when the minimum school leaving age was raised to 16 in 1973.

In the 1960s, education in Edinburgh was very different from today, when a school was unlikely to have anything as technologically advanced as an electronic calculator.

Here are 20 pictures taking you back to those days.

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