I have recently bought a book called “Taking Stock – The Natal Education Department Looks Back”. The book was written by Simon Haw published by The Natal Education Department in 1995. This interesting book covers the period from when the Natal Education Department was founded in June 1894 and its demise with the advent of the new democratic dispensation in South Africa in 1994/1995.
Haw looks at education in Natal from its earliest years circa 1849 up to the time when the last Director of Education Mr. A.B. Olmesdahl finally handed matters over to the newly formed Kwazulzu-Natal Education Department.
I am not going to go into the contents but would like to extract from a list given at the back of the book, detailing most of the schools in Natal which were in operation at the time the book was written. I am listing only the Durban schools that are listed. The list is stated to be “not exhaustive” and I could not find Mansfield High School for instance so obviously by the year the list was compiled Mansfield had closed its doors. My old school St Henry’s, as well as some of the Convent schools are also not listed although other private schools are.
As mentioned in the above paragraph only the schools that were operative at the time when the book was written, i.e. 1995 were listed in the book. I did not include schools outside the Durban area as this forum is aimed at Facts about Durban. If you do list well known schools such as Mansfield, Mitchell High etc it would be interesting to note when those schools closed down just for the record as well as any other information you may know of. It all adds to the story. As there is quite a bit of information now gathered on this site, it is well to know that if you use the SEARCH facility you will be directed to references which may be hidden in other postings which are not strictly related to what you are looking for. Edited: Gerald Buttigieg.
For interest, I am listing the ten oldest schools in Natal that were still functioning when the list was compiled and there after the Durban schools list is in founding date order. Private indicated the schools were independent of the NED. In italics I have added my own comments.
Natal oldest schools : The top 10:
- 1851 Richmond Primary (still going and I visited it last year).
- 1857 Weenen Primêr
- 1858 New Hanover School (Private)
- 1863 Maritzburg College
- 1866 Durban High School
- 1870 Luneberg Primêr
- 1872 Hilton College (Private)
- 1874 Maidstone Primary
- 1877 Durban Girls’ College (Private)
- Howick Primary
- St Anne’s College Hilton (Private)
- St Charles’ College Pietermaritzburg (Private)
- 1879 Russell High Pietermaritzburg
Hereafter Durban Schools in founding date order:
- 1886 Pinetown Senior Primary
- 1889 Hillary Primary
- 1896 Addington Primary
- 1903 Highbury Preparatory (Private)
- 1905 Clarence Road Primary
- 1906 Queensburgh Girls High
- 1909 Warner Beach Senior Primary
- 1910 Durban Preparatory High School
- 1911 Umbogintwini Primary
- 1912 Gordon Road Primary, Stellawood Primary
- 1914 Durban Girls’ High School, Convent High School St. Andrew’s Street (Private )
- 1919 St Mary’s Kloof (Private)
- 1920 Penzance Primary
- 1920 Van Riebeeck Park Primary
- 1921 Berea Road Primary
- 1921 Kearsney College (Private)
- 1925 Davaar KIndergarten ( a landmark in Moore Road in its corrugated iron buildings), Escombe Primary, Montclair Senior Primary
- 1928 Kloof Senior Primary, Morningside Primary
- 1929 Technical High School (name changed to Glenwood High in 1935 when technical subjects dropped and Mansfield Road Intermediate School took over this function).
- 1929 Marist Brothers College (St Henry’s) Private
- 1932 Chelsea Drive Senior Primary (Durban North)
- 1936 Amanzimtoti Primary, Fynnlands Senior Primary
- 1941 Parkview View Senior Primary, Port Natal Hoerskool
- 1948 Clare Ellis Brown Pre-Primary, Northwood College Durban North
- 1949 Northlands Primary
- 1950 Glenridge Pre-Primary
- 1951 Ashley Primary Pinetown, Brighton Beach Senior Primary
- 1952 Northdene Primary
- 1953 Bushlands Primary, Hillcrest Primary, Kingsway High Amanzimtoti, Northland Girls’ High, Port Natal Primêr, Sherwood Primary
- 1954 Our Lady of Fatima Durban North (Private)
- 1955 New Forest High, Pinetown Girls’ High
- 1957 Parkside Primary Queensburgh, Rosehill Junior Primary, Westville Pre-Primary, Westville Senior Primary, Woodlands Primary
- 1958 Fulton School for the Deaf, Virginia Preparatory
- 1959 Athlone Primary, Dirkie Uys Hoerskool, Sarnia Primary
- 1960 Harrington Thorn Pre Primary (located in Sherwood if I recall), Kloof High, Marlborough Park Junior Primary, Sunningdale Junior Primary Durban North, Westville Junior Primary
- 1961 Glenmore Senior Primary
- 1961 Werda Senior Primêr
- 1962 Grosvenor Boys’ High, Grosvenor Girls’ High, Kabouterland Pre-Primêr, Kammaland Pre-Primêr, Northway Junior Primary, Thomas More Kloof (Private), Yvonne Robinson Pre-Primary
- 1964 Berea West Senior Primary Westville, Glenardle Junior Primary, Glenashley Primary, Michaelis School (Private), The Browns School (Specialised Education), Westville Boys’ High
- 1965 Montpelier Pre-Primary, Mowat Park High, Westville Girls’ High
- 1966 Brettonwood High, Werda Junior Primêr
- 1967 Danville Park Girls’ High, Manor Gardens Primary
- 1968 Golden Wheel Pre -Primary, The Phoenix School (Specialised Education)
- 1969 Kloof Junior Primary, Queensburgh Boys’ High, Afrikaans Hoer Durban Noord, Athlone Primary, Benjamin Pine Primary Pinetown, Clivia Pre-Primary, Cowies Hill Pre-Primary. Kuswag Hoer Amanzimtoti, La Lucia Junior Primary, Pitlochry Primary Westville North, Yellowwood Park Primary
- 1971 Carrington Heights Primary, Gelofte Skool Pinetown, German School (Private) took over the old St Agnes School buildings in Stamford Hill Road, Peter Pan Pre-Primary
- 1972 Eendrag Primêr, Kloof Pre-Primary
- 1973 Forest View Primary
- 1975 Christopher Robin Pre-Primary, Golden Hours School (Specialised Education), Panda Pre-Primary, Winston Park Pre-Primary
- 1976 Hillcrest High
- 1977 Amanzimtoti High, Atholl Heights Primary Westville, Berea West Pre-Primary, Saturn Pre-Primary Westville North (was involved in the establishment of this school)
- 1977 TokTokkie Pre-Primary, Umhlanga Pre-Primary
- 1978 Pinetown Boys’ High
- 1980 The Kenmont School (Specialised Education)
- 1982 Livingstone Primary (Remedial), Lyndhurst Primary New Germany
- 1984 Durban Music and Ballet School
- 1985 Kuswag Primêr
- 1986 Faith Christian School (Private)
- 1988 Lifestyle Christian School (Private)
- 1989 Happy days PrePrimary, Rehoboth Christian School (Private)
- 1990 The Wykeham Collegiate (Private amalgamation of Girls Collegiate School 1878 and Wykeham School 1905)
- 1991 Dirkie Uys Primêr, Ridge Park College, St James College(Private)
- 1992 Bo-Peep Pre-Primary, Northcrest Primary Model D, Port Natal Pre-Primêr
- 1993 Rossburgh High Model D, So-high Pre-Primary
Mansfield Road School is one of the schools not listed presumably because it had closed down by 1995.
Model D schools : Provided for schools with a virtually all-African enrolment to be run on an agency basis by the White departments.
I have included all the pre-primary schools listed to illustrate the plethora of these schools that were opened from the 1970’s onward. Many of these schools were founded on parents’ initiatives, run by governing bodies who looked after all aspects bar the payment of teachers’ salaries which the NED covered. These were designated Model C schools.
It is interesting to note that only two public high schools for boys existed up until the 1920s. DHS in Durban and Maritzburg College in PMBurg. The next public boys’ high school was the Technical School started in 1929 which later became Glenwood which goes to show that high school education was deemed low priority in those days. I recall that at St Henry’s in what was the Prefect’s Room, there was a photo of the first Matric Class in 1929 and it had 4 or 6 boys only. One if I recall correctly was E. R. Browne (later Senator and Mayor of Westville and well known Durban attorney). One can see how education evolved in time.
Since this book was written some of these schools may not exist anymore. If anyone can comment on these schools it will be interesting.Share this: