Dora Creek Public School

Creating a Climate for Growth and Harmony

Telephone02 4973 1261

School History

It was the Reverend John Shaw, a Church of England minister, who was the prime mover for the establishment of the first school at Dora Creek.

He wrote to the Council of Education, a forerunner of the Department of Education, enclosing a copy of an official application for aid to establish a Provisional School. This was dated 10th January 1870. On 18th January 1870, Inspector Allpass recommended that aid is granted from 1st May 1870 provided that not less than 20 children were in average attendance.

The school was said to be 24 miles from Newcastle and 3.5 miles from the nearest existing school. A total of 25 children promised to attend.

Early pressure

In the early years, the school's success was affected by the low and erratic attendance of pupils. When the average weekly attendance skipped below 20 in 1872 there was a danger that Mr Douglas, the teacher, would have his salary reduced. This was averted only because he was able to state his case strongly. The low attendance of pupils was not in his opinion his own fault. It was caused principally by three factors: namely, "work, rain and illness". He observed that it was the children over 7 years rather than those under 7 years who were kept at home, apparently due to their greater work capacity.