Established in 1867
Alexandra Primary School was first established in 1867 with a strong objective to better serve the families of the district with the growing educational needs of the community. Today the objectives remain the same, though it is now through a dedicated team of professional teaching and support staff, the use of modern technologies, an exciting atmosphere to promote a safe and engaging learning environment.
Education became an important part of the early days of Alexandra with many families settling in the area during the gold rush or afterwards as land was made available to community members for selection.
The very earliest of schools were no more than meeting places where small groups were taught basic skills by the older generations who had the time and capacity. Many such places existed all over the district.
Though under pressure from the quick growing Victorian community, the government of the day introduced a rudimentary nationalised Victorian system of education in the early 1850's. Under this scheme teachers were established and paid by the government to travel around between small school groups.
Under this initial scheme, the Government maintained control of schooling by being the one to employ teachers to do the educating. The local communities in turn would often band together to supply buildings for educational purposes. These building ranged in size and quality from small unheated sheds to large prestigious buildings.
Local schools setup committees to oversee the direction and development of education. These were usually made up of prominent local community members who would guide the school thorough the good and bad times.
By the mid 1860's, education had taken a turn towards a more global public system with all publicly funded schools becoming "Common Schools", an early form of the State School system. As this model took ground, so did the principle of funding based on enrollment. A principle that remains today in the modern schooling system.
Alexandra saw its first basic school for younger children opened by 1867. At this time only younger children below working age were likely to be educated. Older children were mostly required to work to help make ends meet for the families. The School inspector Mr Brown reported that 300 children of school age were in and around the township thanks to over 1,200 miners whom had taken up residence.
By 1868 three schools were operating in the boundaries of Alexandra with the knowledge and approval of the Government who in part oversaw and partially financed the teachers paltry remuneration. One of these was "common school 912". Margaret Pellerin was promoted to Head Teacher of a school that suffered from lack of both land or building.
In 1872, the "Education Act 1872" became the legal basis of all schooling in Victoria. Under this act, Victoria was the first Australian state to establish an educational schooling system based around the staunch educational principles of:
a) free education b) compulsory education c) secular education
This was the start of the new education system to which we remain a part today.
The original old weatherboard school building now makes up part of the football club rooms at the Alexandra Showgrounds, having been moved there in the early 1970's to make way for a more professional building structure.