This page combines the Keylinks Education Page with the History of Armadale Schools

20 May 2012

Armadale Academy

See this page for

  • current information about schools, colleges and universities (pre-school to post-graduate)

  • useful links about children and families, education, training, financial support and future prospects

  • photographs and information about Armadale schools, including available websites

  • a brief history of education in Armadale

  • UPDATES: Please let me know when any of the information on this page needs to be updated!

e-mail Rosie


School News

Although the best online source of information about schools will be their websites (links on this page), I will also post here and on the Noticeboard any message received from Armadale schools that is of interest to the community

Email received 15 May 2012.  I was delighted to hear about this initiative and I hope it will receive plenty of support not only from the Armadale community but also from others with Armadale connections around the world! Rosie

Armadale Primary School
Academy Street
West Lothian
EH48 3JD

Dear Sir/Madam

We are the Enterprise Committee, as you know we have been really successful this year, winning the Chamber Of Commerce Enterprising School Award and The Stellar Award. One of our early projects was a memory book and we interviewed former pupils of the school. Our book sold at profit so we decided to use the money we earned to set up a cafe. The cafe has been really successful and we want to build on that.

We are glad to announce our newest project, an Armadale Primary Museum and if you have any memories, photos or reports please inform the school. We would really appreciate copies of them so we can use them to set up our museum.

We appreciate your support and if you can help us please contact The Enterprise Committee at Armadale Primary School. Thank you in advance for your help.

Kind Regards
The Enterprise Committee


New Primary School in Armadale

A consultation took place between 19 March 2012 and 17 May 2012: The West Lothian Council Education Executive agreed at its meeting on 1 March 2012 to undertake a public consultation on the site, catchment area and name of a proposed new primary school to the south of Armadale.

Before the consultation exercise began, Local Councillor Stuart Borrowman told this website:

The Council will soon formally consult on non-denominational primary schooling in Armadale following the success of the campaign to bring forward a new school.

The consultation will run from 19 March to 17 May and will cover:

1 the site (provisionally allocated close to the new Asda, near the station)

2 catchment area and

3 name for the new primary school.

It's anticipated that the first phase of the new school may be open in time for the August 2014 start of term.

At its simplest, the catchment boundary might be drawn as a line running east to west somewhere between the existing APS and the new school but there are clearly other possibilities.

If this might affect you or your family, it's important that you respond to the consultation.

Armadale Pre-School Education
Armadale Nursery Class Academy Street, Armadale, EH48 3JD

01501 730282

fax: 01501 730301

Eastertoun Nursery School, Manse Avenue, Armadale, EH48 3HS
01501 732299


2005 Report


St Anthony's Non-Denominational Nursery Class, South Street, Armadale, EH48 3EU

01501 731668

Windyknowe Nursery Class

Windyknowe Crescent, Bathgate, EH48 2BT

01506 652083
fax: 01506 634669

Primary Schools attended by Armadale Children

In 2007 more than 1,000,000 will have been spent on eight primary schools to improve and upgrade their facilities.  Armadale Primary and Blackridge Primary are two of the schools to benefit from the additional funding.

Armadale Primary School

Academy Street, Armadale,

          EH48 3JD            

01501 730282       

fax:  01501 730301 armadale.pswled.org.uk

Armadale Primary  Parent Council

Eco School Award

Eastertoun Primary School     

13 Manse Avenue, Armadale, EH48 3HS

  0150 730462   

            fax:  01501 734225

HMI Report

 2009 Report

St Anthony's R.C. Primary School,

South Street, Armadale, EH48 3EU     

01501 731668
fax: 01501 734349       

HMI Report

Windyknowe Primary School

Windyknowe Crescent, Bathgate, EH48 2BT
01506 652083
fax: 01506 634669

HMI Report

Armadale Primary School Unofficial Website

with old photos courtesy of former pupils


Eastertoun Primary School, at the top of the image, photographed from above Mill Road, Armadale

Eastertoun School, P3, c1964, courtesy of Lockhart Campbell

Back Row - 3rd Right Doug Thomson, 4th Right Ian Hardy

2nd Back Row - 2nd Right Sheena Hudson, 5th Right Janice McAdam, 3rd Left Jean Denholm

5th Left Gayle Russell ?

2nd Front Row - 6th Left Anne Marshal ?

Front Row - 2nd Right Alex Nimmo, 3rd Left Colin Landles ?. 4th Left Hugh Hutton

Can anyone supply the missing names?


St Anthony's R.C. Primary School

In March 1978

  • The school moved from High Academy Street to the new school site in South Street, thereby moving from a traditional layout to a semi-open plan layout.

  • 200 children on roll; 9 class teachers including Miss Anne Glen, Miss Nancy Dugan, Mrs Carole Russell nee Merrick.

In November 2002

  • 5 HMIs inspected the school.  They gave the school a glowing report, which was published in February 2003.

By 2003: Silver Jubilee

  • Over 25 years the School had had 5 head teachers: Ivor Clarke, Mrs Elizabeth McCue, Mrs Mary Toner, Mrs Heather Brown, James McCrory.

  • There were 6 classes of c130 pupils and teachers were supported by classroom assistants and support assistants.

I would like to thank Ksenia for sending in the card shown above.  Perhaps it will revive a few memories for former St Anthony's pupils!

'Away back in May 1960 my little brother was born and the school teacher Mary Thorlby bought a baby card for my mum and had asked all the pupils in my Primary VI class to sign it, including myself Ksenia Sikotowsky. I just thought that it would be a great idea if you could put it on your webpage for them to see and at the same time bring back a lot of memories for the pupils from back then and just to refresh their memories who were in class that day. It was St. Anthony`s R.C school in Armadale.'

Originally posted on the Noticeboard January 2012


I would also like to thank S Lees for providing the early (1915) St Anthony's photos in which the sender's granny and sisters appear.

Armadale Secondary Education
Armadale Academy, - PRESENT

 West Main Street, Armadale, EH48 3LY

Head Teacher: Mr Campbell Hornell

01506 282145 note new number and area code


Enrolled: 990

(2) (terms, catchment, prospectus, other documents)

Armadale Academy was officially opened on Monday, 28 September 2009 by the Cabinet Secretary for Education Fiona Hyslop. It is one of two new West Lothian secondary schools to be opened under a 60 million partnership arrangement.

The school's capacity has been increased to 1,210 pupils to support new housing developments in and around the town.

See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1armIU29VfI for a taster of the day.



Armadale Academy, which celebrated its official opening, 40 years ago, in 2008

1967 -

The current Armadale Academy cost approximately 536,000 to build and it was in use from August 1967.  It was officially opened 29 March 1968 by Miss Margaret Herbison, M.P. for North Lanark.

The school was regarded as a well-equipped school because of its classroom accommodation and its large playing fields.  Armadalians often cite the story of goalposts, which almost disappeared from view down a former pit shaft of the Buttress Colliery that was originally on the site.

The intake of the school, whose first Rector was A.B. Niven, included pupils who had formerly attended Armadale Junior Secondary School, Lindsay High School and Bathgate Academy. A wide range of 'O' Grade and Higher Courses was offered, and close links were forged with Bathgate Technical College.

Under the second Headteacher, R.S. Wilson, courses such as the new Standard Grade exam, SCOTVEC modules and Revised Highers were available to pupils.

One of the memorable moments of the Academy's early existence was when the goalposts on the generously sized playing fields nearly sank into the pit shaft of the old Buttress Colliery, the mine site over which the school had been built.

2007 -

Following the successful completion of its first Private Partnership Project in 2003, West Lothian Council has planned a new 52 million Public Private Partnership project to build replacements for Armadale Academy and Deans Community High School.  Outline plans include improved Information Communications Technology as well as larger classroom areas and Physical Education changing facilities.  It is anticipated that a preferred bidder will be announced in January 2007, with ensuing full planning applications, and the contract award in summer 2007.  It is hoped that Armadale Academy will be ready to admit staff and students by August 2009.

Monday 3 September 2007: Work began officially on the site of the new Armadale Academy, completion date August 2009.

Monday 28 September 2009: Armadale Academy was officially opened.

See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1armIU29VfI for a taster of the day.

West Lothian Council Press Release

Armadale Academy Closure Event, Friday 27 March 2009

posted 29 March 2009

A variety of updated links, which mention the Academy:

(1) ; (2); (3)*; (4); (5); (6); (8); (7); (9); (10)

School Memorabilia:

Names needed for Armadale School Football Team photos! Can you help us to fill in the gaps in the names under the photos on that page? Photos of staff and pupils, and extracts from school magazines courtesy of David Partner, History teacher in Armadale, 1963 - 1971

October 2007: Message from past Armadale Academy pupil

To any of the Armadale Academy class from 1968 to 1970 from Liz Knox (nee Waterson).

"Hope life is treating you well. I'd love to hear from any of my old friends and classmates."

Useful Education Links
GOAL (Get Online and Learn) Useful links for all ages Sure Start (parents & children) Courses for West Lothian parents West Lothian Childcare Information Service

01506 776660
The Scottish Childminding Association (SCMA)

An Association which is dedicated to promoting childminding as a quality childcare service.

Daycare Trust
A national childcare charity dedicated to promoting high quality affordable childcare for all
Tinytalk Baby Signing Classes
Info for Bathgate classes: 07742322

Interested in learning French, German, Spanish or Mandarin?

Classes in Bathgate



Website for bi-lingual / multi-lingual parents who would like to set up / find bi-lingual playgroups / participate in language-related activities

Arts Education Service:

to help schools engage with the professional arts sector

Co-ordinator: 01506 777588

Performing Arts


(Linking Education and Disability)

in Edinburgh and the Lothians supports disabled 16 -25 year olds to access learning

Info on training
For information about bus transport / pass eligibility, etc or contact the following:
Mainstream bus transport to schools

Contact: Public Transport, County Buildings, High Street, Linlithgow, EH49 7EZ

01506 775283

Special needs transport to school

01506 776004
Pupil Placement Section
For application forms for the following to be sent to you:
Admission to Pre-school Education

Admission to Primary or Infant School

Admission to Secondary School

Admission to Wraparound Care

Deferred Admission to Primary School

01506 776002 or email

with name, address and form needed:

Are you aged 8 - 16? Interested in the Young Archaeologists' Club?
For details of your local branch, contact the YAC Scottish Network Co-ordinator

0131 247 4119

Scottish storytelling RaW Campaign

BBC literacy

Gaelic Courses Colin and Cumberland


Young Scot

information site for 12 - 26 year olds

Parenting across Scotland Info on Further Education funding

Higher Education Funding
Student Awards Agency

Individual Learning Account Scotland

A Scottish Executive scheme aiding anyone earning 15,000 or less, or anyone on benefits, with a non-repayable grant towards course costs.

University of Paisley + Bell College

University for the West of Scotland


Stevenson College, Edinburgh Telford College, Edinburgh Forth Valley College



Oatridge College

Described as a sector leader and innovator in its 2007 HMI Inspection

Part-time certificate of competence courses through SVQs to HNCs and HNDs.

Training for Landbased industries including:

Countryside Management; Equine; Animal Care; Horticulture; Agricultural Diversification; Landscaping; Greenkeeping; Farriery; Landbased Engineering.
Rural Skills Academy
for young unemployed people

(scheme devised by Oatridge College in West Lothian and Access to Industry, funded partly through EU)

13-week course providing training in basic skills needed for many land-based sectors + key skills (possibly leading to a further 13 weeks of work experience placements)

2 programmes:

SVQ Level 1 Horse Care qualification; Level 1 Landbased Operations qualification

Starting September 2007

Contact Oatridge College

01506 864800


Learn Direct Scotland

Free advice on childcare, funding and qualifications.

 0808 100 9000.

Adults needing help with reading, writing and/or numbers

 0808 100 1080

West Lothian College


Gold Award Winner at Scotland's Colleges' Annual Marketing Awards 2007

Courses ranging from full time HNDs to part-time and evening courses as well as Work Based Learning tailored to local employers' needs.

Courses cover a broad range of subjects ranging from IT Skills & Technology through the Caring Professions to Health & Beauty and Creative Industries.

Commercial Training Restaurant: The Terrace Restaurant: lunch (12.15pm - 1.00pm) & dinner (6.30pm onwards) bookings on 01506 427537

LT Scotland

Learning and Teaching in Scotland

Scottish Executive Education and Training www.slc.co.uk

Higher Education Funding


University of Glasgow Scottish Research in Education Centre

Scottish Qualifications Authority

Scotland's national body for qualifications, which develops, accredits, assesses and certifies all Scottish qualifications with some exceptions, particularly university degrees

Post Degree

Future skills

Wage predictor


University / College Choices

Which course?


 Where? Why not visit an Open Day?

Career Choices



Future skills


A Brief History of Education in Armadale 1818 onwards
  • 1818 - 9: The first Armadale school, in a thatched cottage in West Main Street one hundred yards west of The Cross, was created, overseen by a publicly-appointed committee.  The first appointed teacher was William Cameron whose thirteen-year leadership led the school to be judged successful. William Wilson, from Whitburn, was Cameron's successor and, under his leadership, the school roll grew so much that it was decided to build a new school.  Mr. Dennistoun, a local laird, gave a site for it as well as the stone and timber.  The remainder of the necessary money for building was supplied by public subscription.  John Wilson, colliery manager, became Chairman of the school's Board of Directors.

  • 1839: The new school opened south of Castle Poorie, North Street near the Cross. After its opening, the directors discovered that the debt owed as a result of construction was 6 shillings and one penny, and so they agreed to pay this off themselves.  (During the next 30 years, children were either taught at the Armadale Subscription School or at one of many Works Schools , which were created by local mining companies for their employees' children.)

  • 1846:  William Wilson resigned because of the low salary he received.

  • 1846: James Sutherland, formerly of Whitburn School, agreed to succeed Wilson, but his contract allowed him to leave if the fees paid by pupils did not give him the minimum of 8 shillings that he required.

  • 1847: Some of the members of Armadale School Committee: Bell, Brock, Harvie, Pollock and Wilson.

  • 1847 - 1857:  William Wilson returned and remained until ill-health prompted his resignation.

  • 1849: Reverend Byers received 5 p.a. from the Calder Bequest for the education of poor Armadale children.

  • 1856: Mr. Hare opened a private school in MacDonald's Hall, West Main Street.  He was succeeded by Mr. Gillespie.

  • c1857: Alex Gardner of Bathgate took over Armadale Subscription School whose rolls grew rapidly.  Once again, a new school was required.

  • 1858: A 16-man management committee was formed.  Subscription lists were sent to all of Armadale's works and every workman was expected to subscribe to the new Subscription School, according to his financial ability.  The new school was due to be built on South Street, behind the area where St Anthony's Social Club now stands.  Donations for the new school came from: 30 from Russell; 30 from Monklands Iron and Steel Co; 20 from Shotts Iron Co; 15 from J. Watson; 10 from the Earl of Rosebery; 10 from William Baillie; 10+ from a Soiree/Ball; plus amounts of 5 shillings to 5 from Armadale shopkeepers and small amounts of 1shilling or 6 pence from miners and other workers.  In this year some of the other schools operating in Armadale were: Mary Campbell's Hall, South Street (teacher David Drysdale; Edward's Hall, next to Armadale Inn (teacher Allan Craig); Bathville Row School (teacher Cornelius Cowan); Mount Pleasant Row School (teachers Elizabeth and Allan Gray).

  • 1859, March:  A new Subscription School, costing 328,  was opened.  Controversy soon raged about two issues: vote entitlement re: election of the management committee being limited to those who had subscribed at least five shillings; the dismissal of Headmaster Gardner.  The school had 250 pupils. Every child paid one shilling per month for education.

  • 1861: Teacher's salary = 68 p.a.  Visiting inspectors gave an approving report about the school which was run at that time by Mr Gardner.

  • 1862: Teacher's salary = 98 p.a. (but this sum included the cost of a female assistant).  Competition was fierce between the Subscription School, private schools, and employers' schools for workers' children.

  • 1872: The Education (Scotland) Act received Parliament's approval, and so it became compulsory for minors to receive an education.  Armadale Subscription School was in the area controlled by Bathgate Landward Education Board, which had the responsibility for implementing the Act.  The School's managers agreed to Bathgate's control if they could use the Subscription School premises after 5 p.m. and on Sundays.

  • 1873: Compulsory Education Act: School Boards were elected.  Armadale's School Board used the Subscription School premises for which it paid rent, but there was still heated discussion with the School trustees over the building's ownership.  Because of the disagreement between Armadale School Board and Bathgate Landward Education Board, the contract of Mr Thompson, the headteacher of Armadale Subscription School was terminated, but he continued as he had no successor and there was nowhere else for his pupils to go.

  • 1874:  Attendance was low at the Subscription School as Monklands Iron and Steel Company's school had re-opened in Mount Pleasant. 9 December: resignation of headmaster.  The School was leased to Bathgate Landward Education Board for one year on a renewable basis.

  • 1877:  Bathgate Landward Education Board was given notice of termination to take effect on Whit Sunday that year.  It was the School's managers' intention to return to the style of management conducted pre-1872. The Board agreed that it would not continue with its plans for a new school if it was given control of Armadale Subscription School.  Nevertheless, Rev John Scott, minister of Armadale Parish Church as well as member of the Bathgate Board, was instrumental in securing contracts for a new school.

  • 1878 - 1911:  A new Armadale School, the first Board School,  was built in Academy Street in 1878 to accommodate 530 children and it became the responsibility of the Local Education Authority.

  • 1883: In May 604 pupils attended the School.  In June a Public Exhibition took place, attended by a number of church ministers; Sir William and Lady Baillie; Dr Anderson, Dr Kirk and Dr Stevenson; Maxwell Durham.  Two dux medallists each received a silver medal.

  • 1884: It was decided that a new school should be built for 530 children, but the Chairman, Mr. Scott, was criticised as many thought the school would stand empty for many years, whereas he believed that an extension would probably be needed in 10 years to cope with the additional children in the area.

  • 1896:  The old Subscription School building in South Street was bought by Mr. Readman, proprietor of the Barbauchlaw Estate.  He presented the building to the town, free of feu duty,  and it was made into Armadale's Town Hall  at a cost of 700.  It was opened 4 December. (James Wood had objected to the plans a year before because of his concerns about building a public hall on ground that had not settled since coal extraction below.  However, in 1911, he donated 1,000 for alterations to the hall.)

  • 1906: A third extension was opened (thereby confirming Scott's belief).  1,300 children were registered on the roll. 

  • 1907: A Catholic Chapel School was opened in South Street by Father McGettigan of Musselburgh.  Its 7 classrooms were intended to house up to 360 children, but they could be used for religious services if the dividing partitions were pulled back.

  • 1911: James Graham Fairley 1846 1943 Architect of Armadale Public School.  The new public school was opened with a roll of over 1,300 children.

  • 1913 - 1918: John Shearer was appointed Headmaster of Armadale Public School.

  • 1925:  The Chapel School served an educational purpose only when church services were transferred to the ex-territorial hall in High Academy Street.  RC Chapel School c1923*

  • 1958: Miss Dean, teacher at Armadale Public School, retired after 42 years service as a teacher.

  • 1963-4: Armadale Junior Secondary (full Primary/junior Secondary/further education facilities) had 36 teachers and 1,159 pupils; Armadale RC Primary had 12 teachers and 362 pupils; Windyknowe Primary had 11 teachers and 266 pupils.

  • From 1965 onwards: Implementation of the Primary Memorandum: the primary school curriculum was 'freed' and the 11+ transfer tests were abolished.

  • 1967: The organisation of West Lothian Secondary schools changed from separate junior or senior secondary schools to all-through comprehensive secondary schools.  In the same year, Armadale Academy designed by J A W Grant.

  • 1968: Armadale Academy's official opening.  It was intended to accept all Protestant children from Armadale and Blackridge.  Six acres of playing field space was developed for the school.

  • 1977: St Anthony's Primary School in Greig Crescent designed by Haswell-Smith and Partners.  It replaced the old Chapel School and marked the beginning of secondary Catholic education for Armadale children in Blackburn at St Kentigern's.

"The one in High Academy Street was what we called the baby School - that's where you went in primary First, when you started off the school.  And then the junior School was the smaller building of the two big schools.  And the senior School was the one facing Academy Street.  There were only four classrooms in the baby School.  St Anthony's was on High Academy Street and ower the dyke, practically facing the same way as the junior School."

Davie Kerr, interviewed in Mair Tales Fae The 'Dale



The unveiling of new dux boards at Armadale Primary School took place on 6 March in the school and surviving duxes or family members were invited.




The school dux board that covered the years 1934-71 was found in the 'dungeon' of the school and Mrs. Phillips has agreed to try to have it smartened up and once again put on display in the school.

See the Armadale Primary School page for a list of Dux Winners

William Cameron, schoolmaster / poet

More information about him and early school in Past and Present Chap V

and other schools:

Past and Present Chap X;  Chap XIX


Armadale Schoolchildren 1925*

Girls outside Armadale School, 1975*


School Memorabilia:

Names needed for Armadale School Football Team photos! Can you help us to fill in the gaps in the names under the photos on that page? Photos of staff and pupils, and extracts from school magazines courtesy of David Partner, History teacher in Armadale, 1963 - 1971

Some of the pupils at Armadale Primary School 1931: Margaret Archer, A. Arthur, Russell Anderson (?), John Ballantyne, Molly Baird, Robert Boyd, ? Buchanan, Jack Burgoyne, D. Denholm, Jim Dodds, John Dunn, Margaret Duthie, Isa Fisher, J. Gilfoil, Tom Greenwell, Jean Grey, Josephine Holt, John Johnston, Roger Moffat, R. Morris, Jean Neally, Nan Oliver, Robert Park, Nan Pringle, Ben Reid, Nan Russell, J. Smith, John Smith, A. Sommerville, Sandy Speedie, George Todd, Jack Walker,


Our Armadale community 'lollypop' ladies and gentlemen, December 2006.