Teacher Record Books [refer to microfilm copy, VPRS 13718]
||Circa 1863 - 1959
||Series in Custody
||Circa 1863 - 1959
||Circa 1849 - Circa 1959
|Format of Records:
|Agency which created this SeriesAgency which created this Series|
|Agency currently responsible for this SeriesAgency currently responsible for this Series|
|Description of this SeriesDescription of this Series|
- How to use the Records
The series is available to view on microfilm in the Reading Rooms, refer to VPRS 13718. The microfilm does not need to be pre-ordered for viewing.
Researchers should consult the (VPRS 13719) Database Index to Teacher Record Books or VPRS 13654 Card Index to Teacher Record Books to ascertain the record number of the teacher(s) for whom they are searching.
Researchers should then consult the records details for this series to identify the unit(s) required.
- Function / Content
These records were created to provide a summary of the working history of each teacher in government service in Victoria. In 1862, the Board of Education was founded after the Denominational School Board and National School Board were abolished. This series was created by the Board of Education in 1863 (and continued to be maintained after the Education Department succeeded it in 1873). In the period between 1863 and 1873, denominational schools in fact fell under the government's jurisdiction and thus their employees were government employees that were registered in the teacher record books.
Upon the 1873 establishment of the Education Department, and reflecting its commitment to free, compulsory and secular education, government funding to these denominational schools was cut. Such schools were given the choice of either remaining under government control (where government teachers were now to be made public servants, in a special category) or of becoming self-funded. Not surprisingly, given the greater security provided by the public service, most teachers from denominational schools became public servants, either remaining with their schools that were to forgo their religious ties or leaving denominational schools and finding employment in their government counterparts. From the period 1872-1877, 'capitation grants' were offered to denominational schools in order for this transition to be made more easily and decisions to made on the schools' future over a more reasonable time period.
The Department stopped creating teacher record books in 1959, replacing them with teacher record cards (and, most recently, computerised records). Early teacher record books, however, retrospectively recorded information about teachers' careers predating 1863 and some later books record information postdating 1959.
Although the information contained within the volumes does change over the years, essentially each entry states:
The name of the teacher
Their date of birth
(Sometimes) Place of birth
Roll No. (the School Number)
Classification (this is that of the teacher, based on assessment, promotions etc.)
Authority (the date the teacher commenced at a particular school) and
Over the years other fields were added such as Qualifications and Assessments, capturing in abbreviated form the teacher's qualifications and in chronological order the various classifications achieved by that teacher.
Classification entries indicate when teachers were promoted to new positions (and therefore to a rise in salary). This was dependent on inspectors' reports, examinations and/or additional training or education.
Similarly, over time the Authority field may contain the dates a teacher was appointed and transferred to other schools. It may also record the dates a teacher's skills were examined by an inspector and the names of inspectors, or details of any training or tertiary education attended by the teacher.
The Remarks field may include dates the teachers were given a certain grade (A, B, C etc or 1 to 100) according to the inspector's view on teaching standards and a last entry relating to how the individual ended their teaching career (ie. Resigned, death, transferred on to subsequent card system etc). Also noted is the teacher's length of service and pension allocated to them. As aforementioned, in the first few units of the series, notes are made about employment prior to the time of recorded registration.
An entry reading "Transferred to Department Record" means that a continuation of the employee record is in VPRS 14440 Register of Professional Officers.
Other potential points of interest to researchers lie in appended newspaper clippings and photographs concerning individuals' marriages, divorces, deaths, court cases and service in the armed forces, notes concerning teacher training and education and links made between child and parent registrations.
- Recordkeeping System
This series is arranged by teacher record number. These numbers were allocated sequentially and largely reflect a chronological order.
The date ranges shown indicate the first and last individuals' date of registration in each unit. This date may either reflect an appointment, temporary appointment or, especially in later registrations, the date of the commencement of training or education in teaching.
However, there are a few variations to the chronology. Firstly, units 1 to 17 contain dates that vary because it seems that the registers had not only to capture new teacher records but also records of teachers that were already employed in the system. Some attempts to list existing teaching staff alphabetically can be seen but the date ranges of these first volumes may be misleading because they are difficult to ascertain. What has been recorded is the first entry of the first and last individual within the unit. Therefore there is a possibility that the date ranges of these first 17 volumes will not be accurate.
Secondly, from units 1 to 69, registrars appear to have given a teacher registration number to two or more teachers if, for example, a person had left teaching after only after being appointed to a small number of positions. These teachers therefore may be out of chronological sequence.
As the series ends, most of the entries only include information about the individuals' teacher training and the researcher is referred to the subsequent series (the teacher register card system) where the individuals' details are continued.
In general, certain dates also appear slightly out of chronological order, as teaching appointments were not always recorded in registers immediately, particularly where appointments were made at schools situated in country Victoria. Here appointments may not have been listed simultaneously because of the time that would have been needed for the registrar(s) to receive information concerning a new teacher's appointment. Similarly, teacher training and education does not seem to have been reported to and recorded by the registrar in strict chronological order (from unit 112).
Finally, whilst the series ended in 1959, there are certain entries (of inspection reports etc.) in the record books that post-date the series' end. It is believed here that these entries have been included on certain teacher records for individuals who were in 1959 close to retirement.
Certain references throughout the series are made to additional records available. For example, school numbers are available in Public Record Office Victoria reading rooms. Correspondence noted in the designated column can also be viewed (see VPRS 640). Numbers stated in the Correspondence column with an 'e' or 'ex' in front of the number refer to an examination that had taken place. If records referring to examinations are found for the period 1863-1872, the researcher can refer to 'Exam Papers - Board of Teachers for Appointments and Classifications' (VPRS 907). Alternatively, if such a reference is made for the period 1855-1862, and the reference is for a Denominational School position, the 'Reports of Examinations' series can be accessed (VPRS 887).
Classification numbers shown in the designated column indicate information such as class, subdivision and number that was (until the1980s) based on seniority. Such classification was documented in the Government Gazette until circa 1900 and from then on in the Education Gazette. The record books display four different systems of classification: One each for the Denominational School Board, the National School Board (both for entries up until 1862), the Board of Education (1862-1873) and the Education Department (1873 onwards).
One final example of coding to be understood is that early units with entries where individuals' career span over the 1873 establishment of the Education Department, a red line appears through the teachers' records. This is to indicate that the teacher had in fact been registered as a public servant. Blue lines that also appear in early units only serve to emphasise certain details, or to indicate where corrections had been made.
This series ended in 1959 and was replaced by several card systems (see various teacher service history cards series, VPRS 11369, VPRS 11370, VPRS 11371, VPRS 11373, VPRS 13970 and VPRS 13975). Note that some later entries for existing teachers that were, in 1959, close to retirement were still placed in the teacher record books.
It appears that Temporary Teachers continued to be documented in what are known as Temporary Teacher Record Books (VPRS 13975) until circa 1964.
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