-Scotland Street School

The Scotland Guide
© David Williams


1904-6, Charles Rennie Mackintosh

This interesting building is the only school designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh and it is now the city`s Museum of Education.

This outstanding building`s most noticeable features are the two glazed curved stairtowers which rise through three storeys and are capped by conical roofs. As was the custom, there are separate front entrances for boys and girls and also separate playgrounds (with outside toilets) at the back of the school. And, as a nice touch intended to avoid the large three-storey building intimidating the `weans`, there`s an especially small entrance for infants. The rear of the building is relatively plain, with Art Nouveau decorations around the central and end windows.

Each of the twenty-one standard-sized classrooms were designed to accommodate between sixty and sixty-five children, giving the school the enormous capacity of 1250 pupils! When it finally closed as a school in 1979 the roll had fallen to just 89, a reflection on the rapid depopulation of the area with the dramatic decline of local manufacturing industry. However, in 1990 it was opened as a fascinating museum.

This article is based on the guidebook "The Glasgow Guide".


Scotland Street School is now Glasgow`s Museum of Education and where many young schoolchildren visit to see what life in school was like many generations ago.

The Infants` door leads into the bright and airy Drill Hall where pupils were taught what is now called physical education, its original name implying more than a little in the way of military overtones.

The second floor has a number of rooms laid out to show teaching `regimes` in various eras. One rooom has been restored to show a Victorian/Edwardian Classroom and a neighbouring room is the World War Two Classroom. Two nearby rooms hold the School Days Exhibition which deals with the good and not-so-good aspects of school life over a century of Scottish education.

Another room shows school-life in a 50s/60s Classroom while another large space is occupied by the restored Cookery Room, a cavernous barrel-vaulted room with few `mod cons` to take the drudgery out of cooking.

Further details about the building can be found in "The Glasgow Guide".

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