Claremont Teachers College

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Claremont Teachers College was Western Australia’s first post-secondary teaching institution. It opened in 1902 and closed in 1981, when it became a College of Advanced Education and later a campus of Edith Cowan University. The building is on land between Goldsworthy, Princess and Bay Roads in the western Perth suburb of Claremont.[1] It is a large two storey limestone building set in extensive grounds, with a distinctive square crenellated tower, and was entered in the Register of the National Estate in 1987.[2]

Background[edit]

In 1847 the General Board of Education was established to oversee school development in the Swan River Colony. After becoming the Central Board of Education, it was superseded by the Education Department in 1893, which classified schools, graded teachers, defined teachers' positions, implemented a salary scale for teachers, abolished school fees, provided for co-educational schools, and made attendance compulsory for children between the ages of six and 14.[3] At this time, the Education Department had "external study" for student teachers, where they taught in the classroom while studying for examinations set by the Department.[4]

In 1902, the College was opened and students could gain qualifications through studying there. It was the only place one could do this until the 1950s when the Churchlands and Graylands colleges opened. The function of teacher education did not pass into the university sector until the 1980s.

The College's last Director was Thomas Ryan (1924-2002), who completed his teacher training at the College and graduated in 1947. He was appointed Vice-Principal of the College in 1972, a position he held until his appointment as Director of the College in 1980.[5]

The campus served for 16 years as a campus of Edith Cowan University following that institution's formation in 1989, and following its acquisition by the University of Western Australia, it is home to the Confucius Institute, University of Western Australia Press and Taylors College.[6]

Notable graduates[edit]

Notable graduates include historian and author Rica Erickson, naturalist Harry Butler[citation needed], Labor politician Kim Beazley senior,[7] economist and public servant Nugget Coombs,[8] sailor Noel Robins,[9] and artist/musician Rolf Harris who was later convicted child assault.[10]

References[edit]

Coordinates: 31°59′14″S 115°47′17″E / 31.987167°S 115.788128°E / -31.987167; 115.788128