Right to Choose School

In 1913, a Blantyre parent found himself in court after thinking he had the right to choose the school his child goes to.

William Marshall, a merchant claimed the right to send his child to the new Calder Street School, which was built the previous year. He chose to tell his child not to attend the Low Blantyre (Ness’s School) and instead go to Calder Street.

We have to keep in mind, Ness’s school would have been 38 years old by this time and the thought of sending your child to a brand new school, then considered state of the art, was clearly appealing.

However, when the School Board noticed the child was missing from the roll at Low Blantyre, an investigation found the child was actually at Calder Street and the School Board wished to intervene.

William Merchant was brought before Sheriff Shennan in Hamilton Sheriff Court in May 1913 where the judge promptly ruled in favour of the School Board. If parents could decide which school their children could go to , just because it looked nice or was more convenient, there would be chaos! The child enrolled again at Low Blantyre.

Low Blantyre (Stonefield School), affectionately known as Ness’s is pictured a few years earlier, now the site of Blantyre Library.

1907 Stonefield Primary School (Ness’s)

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