Allan Glen's School

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Allan Glen's School
Central College of Commerce.jpg
Former Allan Glen's School Buildings opened in 1965, now part of the Central College.
Type secondary school
Opened 1853; closed 1989

Coordinates: 55°51′49″N 4°14′36″W / 55.863512°N 4.243298°W / 55.863512; -4.243298

Allan Glen's School was, for most of its existence, a local authority, selective secondary school for boys in Glasgow, Scotland, charging nominal fees for tuition.

It was founded by the Allan Glen's Endowment Scholarship Trust on the death, in 1850, of Allan Glen, a successful Glasgow tradesman and businessman, "to give a good practical education and preparation for trades or businesses, to between forty to fifty boys, the sons of tradesmen or persons in the industrial classes of society". The School was formally established in 1853[1] and located in the Townhead district of the city, on land which Glen had owned on the corner of North Hanover Street and Cathedral Street.[2][3]

School's evolution[edit]

Although notionally fee-paying, the school offered a large number of bursaries and enrolled pupils from all social classes, selected on the basis of academic ability. The school's emphasis on science and engineering led to it becoming, in effect, Glasgow's High School of Science. As such, in 1887 its management merged with the nearby Anderson's College to form the Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College [1] which later became the Royal Technical College in 1912, the Royal College of Science and Technology in 1956, and ultimately the University of Strathclyde in 1964. By the end of 1888 a new building was ready for the school in North Hanover Street.[2][4][5]

Glasgow corporation[edit]

In 1912, the school was transferred from the newly designated Royal Technical College to the School Board of Glasgow run by Glasgow Corporation.[2][3][4] Parents who paid domestic or business rates to Glasgow Corporation were charged a much reduced fee, enabling children from less wealthy households, but who had passed the entrance exam, to benefit from the high standard of teaching at the school. In 1923, playing fields were acquired for the school in the suburb of Bishopbriggs[6] and in 1926 the school itself moved into the building previously occupied by Provanside Public School in North Montrose Street.[3] In 1958 a new school building was planned on Cathedral Street, adjacent to the existing one. The new school building was opened in 1965.


Selective schooling was discontinued in local authority schools in 1972, and Allan Glen's merged with the City Public School to become a local co-educational comprehensive school on 22 August 1973, known as Allan Glen's Secondary School.[4][7] Following a major re-organisation of school provision, brought about by falling birth rates, population migration and declining school rolls throughout the city, including Allan Glen's, the school was formally closed in 1989 and the buildings on Cathedral Street were converted into an annexe for the nearby Glasgow Central College of Commerce. The Cathedral Street buildings were demolished in 2013 to enable construction of new buildings for the City of Glasgow College a new entity created by the merger of three former further education Colleges, Central College, Glasgow Metropolitan College and Glasgow College of Nautical Studies.[8][9]

Playing fields[edit]

The playing fields first opened at Bishopbriggs in 1923 and are still owned by the Allan Glen’s School Club.[10] They provide the home ground for Allan Glen's Rugby Football Club,[11] which currently plays in the West Regional League Division 1. In 2012, proposals were announced to sell part of the playing fields, following a change in the legal structure of the Trust that controls the assets of the Allan Glen's School Club.[6][12]

Notable alumni[edit]

Although the school emphasised science and engineering, its former pupils are well represented throughout politics, business, industry, the arts, sciences and engineering.

  • Thomas Graham Brown, Engineer and pioneer of ultrasound scanning[13]
  • Roddy Forsyth, Journalist and Broadcaster[14][15]
  • Michael Munro, Author and Lexicographer


  1. ^ a b "Allan Glen's Institution, Glasgow". 2000-03-29. Retrieved 2014-05-16. 
  2. ^ a b c "gb249-odc - Records of Allan Glen's Institution". Archives Hub. 2008-10-01. Retrieved 2014-05-16. 
  3. ^ a b c "Allan Glen's School". TheGlasgowStory. Retrieved 2014-05-16. 
  4. ^ a b c "School History". 1973-08-22. Retrieved 2014-05-16. 
  5. ^ "Kerr biography". 1932-03-12. Retrieved 2014-05-16. 
  6. ^ a b "Historic club aims to sell off playing field in Bishopbriggs". Kirkintilloch Herald. 2012-10-23. Retrieved 2014-05-16. 
  7. ^ "RootsWeb: LANARK-L Re: [LKS] Glasgow Irish and Allen Glen's school". Retrieved 2014-05-16. 
  8. ^ "Allan Glen’s old boys bid the renowned Glaswegian school a final farewell". City of Glasgow College. Retrieved 2014-05-16. 
  9. ^ Ewan Fergus (2013-07-15). "Old boys say farewell to school". Evening Times. Retrieved 2014-05-16. 
  10. ^ "The School Club". Retrieved 2014-05-16. 
  11. ^ Alfer, Michael (2013-04-29). "Allan Glens Rugby Club". Retrieved 2014-05-16. 
  12. ^ "Derek Francis - Barrister Profile - Tax Chambers". Retrieved 2014-05-16. 
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ "Photos from the History of Glasgow's Barras Market - Sunday Herald". Retrieved 2014-05-16. 
  17. ^ Custom byline text:  Jack McLean (1996-11-05). "Well And truly Snookered". Herald Scotland. Retrieved 2014-05-16. 
  18. ^ Hopeless But Not Serious: The Autobiography of the Urban Voltaire - Jack McLean - Google Books. Retrieved 2014-05-16. 
  19. ^ Custom byline text:  JACK McLEAN (2005-01-11). "Ralph Cowan Stained-glass artist and teacher". Herald Scotland. Retrieved 2014-05-16. 
  20. ^ "Stewart Murray". LinkedIn. Retrieved 2014-05-16. 
  21. ^ "Speaker details". Retrieved 2014-05-16. 
  22. ^ "Burns Night Prog A5 2012" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-05-16.