Education Department records can be divided into two basic types - files and school records. Complete listings of files can be found in AN 45 and in the Series Registration System and the State Records Office Catalogue under the Education Department (see Agency 12). The file sequence commenced in 1885 and the most important records in this sequence are buildings and works files and attendance files.
Buildings and works files relate mainly to the school or school buildings e.g., new buildings, accommodation for the teacher, repairs, renovations etc. The files can contain correspondence from teachers, the Education Department, parents, inspectors and tradesmen.
Attendance files are not, as their name suggests, attendance records for any particular school. They provide statistics on the daily or weekly attendance or non-attendance of children at the school. This matter of attendance is sometimes crucial to actually having a school in some of the smaller country areas. If attendance falls below a certain level then the school can be closed or its status altered from a full-time to a part-time school. The files can contain correspondence from parents, teachers, the Education Department, inspectors and attendance forms, which may give the names of the children attending a particular school.
Other files can relate to school establishment (this usually is the first buildings and works file), inspection reports, cleaning, complaints, staff and accommodation, school holidays and functions, removal of school to new site, erection of quarters, change of name of school, formation of school board etc.
School records are those which were kept by the school itself. They can include class attendance books, admission registers, forms and cards (which will give the names of school children), school journals and diaries (which chronicle events in the day to day running of the school), accident report books, punishment books, headmaster's journals, Inspector's reports, suggestion books, visitors books and pupil transfer records.
For a listing of admission registers, forms and cards for particular schools see the heading School Children.