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Scotch Education Department Merit Certificate

Scotch Education Department Merit Certificate

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PERIOD: 1900s
CONTRIBUTOR: W Gordon
COLLECTION NAME: Winnie Gordon (typed pages)
DATE OF ORIGINAL: 1900

This image shows a merit certificate, issued in 1900, by the Scotch Education Department. The certificate was attained by a 12 year old girl called Anne Cameron, a pupil at Golspie Public School, and demonstrated her proficiency in the subjects of Reading, Writing, Arithmetic and English. She is also shown to have received instruction in the subjects of Geography and British History. The certificate is signed by Sir Henry Craik, Secretary for the Scottish Education Department between the years of 1885 and 1904.

School attendance in Scotland became compulsory for children aged between 5 and 13, with the introduction of the Education (Scotland) Act of 1872. A ruling body called the Scotch Education Department was created, whose role was to take over the running of all schools from the Church of Scotland. The department's offices were initially based in London but by 1918 objections were raised in Scotland and the department transferred to Edinburgh, being renamed the Scottish Education Department.

The Merit Certificate was introduced in 1892 to signify the end of a pupil's period in elementary education. Initially, the certificate was to be achieved by the age of 13 but by 1903 the route to achieving the certificate had evolved into a qualifying examination to be taken by all children aged 12 in elementary school. Those who achieved a high success rate in the exam were entitled to progress to a five year course in secondary school, culminating in a leaving certificate.



IDENTIFIER: Z_PC_WGORDON3_001_002


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