Educational requirements of Concord were commenced in a private school conducted by Mrs. Love, near Bray Grove. On Mrs. Love’s demise, her daughter continued the school, with the address on her letters: “Miss Love, ‘Love Dale,’ Concord, opposite Kissing Point.” (Note: At that time Ryde was known as Kissing Point.)
Some few years prior to 1843 the building was burned down and never replaced. Authentic records are not available as to where the children received their schooling until 1843, when, as a result of the efforts of Sir William Westbrooke Burton (Judge of the Supreme Court of N.S.W. from 1832 to 1844) and other gentlemen, what was known as the Burwood Parochial School, Longbottom, was constructed by Mr. John Lucas, and opened on the 29th May, 1843, by Lady Gipps (wife of Governor Gipps), in the presence of a large and representative gathering.
The first Trustees were Messrs. Thomas Bray of Concord, John Rowley of Burwood Park, and James Edrop of Burwood. The first teachers were Mr. George Davis and his wife, followed by Mr. Watts and his daughter (Mrs. Moffatt).
This school was continued until 1880 when a provisional school was opened under the control of the Department of Education, and conducted in temporary premises owned by Mr. Thomas Walker. During the first year of operation the school was converted to Concord Public School.
CONCORD PUBLIC SCHOOL
Owing to the rapid progress made by the school, it soon became necessary to have a large, permanent building. In 1881 a site of just under 2 acres was resumed, and of the six cottages (imported from America), on the land, three were altered to form a schoolroom and the remainder were converted into a teacher’s residence. The cost of the property was £2,079. In 1891 an additional acre of land was resumed at a cost of £509, and in 1893 the existing school buildings were replaced by a new building at a cost of £1,478.
Many alterations and additions have been carried out since that time, and in 1928 a new building for the infants was completed at a cost of £8,200.
MORTLAKE PUBLIC SCHOOL
The establishment of Mortlake Public School was first applied for on 25th September 1886, when the names of 60 children were submitted to the Department of Education as probable pupils of the proposed school. The application was signed on behalf of the residents by Messrs. H. Simpson, N. Rawlin, B. Wilson, J. Holmes and T. Hird.
Most of the residents of the locality at the time were associated with the gas company’s works. Concord was the nearest other school.
It appears to have opened about August 1887, a notice of appointment being issued to Mr. Reuben Hayten, the first teacher, on 28th July 1887. The enrolment for that year was 135. The first building was a wooden structure, situated on a site of 2-1/2 acres, bought from Mr. William Archer and others for the sum of £1,600. The building cost £675 to erect, the work being carried out by Messrs. Hardin and Keast. The school site was enlarged in 1923 by the addition of 2 acres which cost £1,420.
The original building was remodelled and enlarged, and in 1924 the sum of £4,855 was spent on the erection of a new building for the primary classes, and in 1931 a new building of ten classrooms was added at a cost of approximately £12,000.
STRATHFIELD NORTH PUBLIC SCHOOL
On 2nd November 1912, it was decided to establish an infants’ school. A site of a little over 2 acres was purchased from the Trustees of the T. Walker Estate, and on this a school building was erected at a cost of £1,000. The contractor was J. Burnett. The building was completed about the end of 1914, and was occupied at the beginning of 1915.
Strathfield North Public School was first known as Concord West. It was changed to “Yaralla” in 1912, and to its present name on 15th November, 1922.
The first teacher was Miss Mary Peek, and the enrolment at the end of the first quarter was 52. The school was raised from infants’ to primary status in 1917, and Mr. A. Bridekirk became headmaster. The enrolment at the end of that year was 170.
The school made rapid progress and additions had to be made from time to time to cope with the increase in attendance.
(Concord Jubilee 1883 – 1933 A History of the Municipality of Concord).