The Correspondence School was established on 2 September 1918 in Western Australia to provide education for rural students living too far away to attend local schools. Over the next 20 years the Correspondence School was to experience great change and had many locations in Perth.

1926

Our Rural Magazine, a monthly magazine for Correspondence School students commenced publication. This was popular and its circulation expanded to include government and non-government schools.

1928

Following the successful tour for boys (a school camp for boys) in Perth in 1926, a second tour for 60 girls from rural areas took place over two weeks in 1928.

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29 October 1929

Great Depression begins with the Wall Street Stock Market Crash in USA.

1930

In April a second tour to Perth occurred for senior girls, with students accommodated in the homes of city students. Examples of school work by Correspondence School students were included in the Children’s Exhibition Hall at the Royal Agricultural Show for the first time. The association between the Correspondence School and the Royal Agricultural Show continued for many years.

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1931

Enrolments in all courses except for “C” Certificate increased in this year.

  • 2316 rural students in courses supported by the Correspondence School teachers.
  • 1250 post-primary students in more than 500 rural schools received Correspondence School lesson materials and were taught in their own schools.

These enrolments placed pressure on the Correspondence School as economies caused by the Great Depression affected both employment and the funds available to schools.

Early 1930s - Students

Mr Eakins recounted stories of the unintended positive outcomes of the Correspondence School lessons. One of these concerned a new student at the Correspondence School whose mother spoke Italian and and only a little English.

The family had settled on a new farm many miles from a school. The first sets of lessons were posted to the family, and were  returned completed to the School with a covering letter written by a neighbour. The girl's mother had not been able to understand the lessons, and had taken the child to the lonely roadside to ask the first passer-by for help. This happened to be a neighbouring settler, who with his wife, continued to provide the child with regular assistance. The student was with the School for five years, after which she was sent to boarding school mainly for the companionship of other girls. The final letter from her mother to the School described how she herself had completed every set of lessons with her daughter and that she had benefited greatly by doing so. (Source: The WA Correspondence School Perth, its pioneer years)

1933

In 1933 the Correspondence School moved twice. At first the school moved into premises of its own, in the State Savings Bank quarters in the old Perth Town Hall building in Hay Street, Perth.

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1935

Post-primary students preparing for the Junior Certificate examinations in small primary schools were able to be taught directly by the Correspondence School teachers for the first time. Their former teachers at their schools became supervisors for their work.

1918 – 1937 Enrolments

Enrolments in the Correspondence School (also known as Correspondence Classes) rapidly increased during this period as ‘outback’ children were enrolled in courses.

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