Find your ancestors in New South Wales, Junior and Senior Public Examinations 1867-1916

New South Wales, Junior and Senior Public Examinations 1867-1916

Search for students who sat the New South Wales Junior and Senior Public Examinations between 1867 and 1916 and learn about your ancestor’s schooling.

What can these records tell me?

Each record includes a transcript. The amount of information listed varies, but the New South Wales Junior & Senior Public Examinations 1867-1916 usually include the following information about your ancestor:

* Name

* School / teacher

* Examination type

* Year

* Additional notes are sometimes included

Discover more about New South Wales Junior & Public Examinations 1867-1916

This index lists students who obtained pass marks in one or more subjects in the New South Wales Junior and Senior examinations between 1867 and 1916. It also includes some schools and students from Queensland, as there was no equivalent standard examination available there during this period.

These records have been compiled from published lists of the results of the Junior and Senior Public Examinations. In cases where these published lists have not survived, records of the University of Sydney have been consulted.

Note that there was no limit to the number of times a student could sit for one or more subjects in either examination level, meaning that your ancestor may appear more than once in this index, even listed as attending different schools.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the admission of women was not allowed at the University of Sydney until 1881.

For historical context, Henry Parkes’ Public Schools Act was passed in 1866. This Act introduced standards for teachers and teacher training. With the help of the Public Schools Act, the University of Sydney – which had been founded in 1852 – established the New South Wales Junior and Public Examinations.

The University’s Board of Examiners set papers annually in order to lift educational standards prior to students’ entry to the university. In less than a decade, these examinations came to provide a single standard according to which different schools, and their students and teachers, could be assessed.

The Junior Examination was open to all students from the age of 14 years onward, while the Senior Examination was for students aged 16 years and over. The majority of students sat these exams simply to complete their education. Good marks in the Junior or Senior examinations could grant students matriculation (university entrance), but those who did not achieve a pass in either of these examinations could undertake a separate Matriculation Examination.

Data compiled and provided by Vicki Eldridge and Leigh Eldridge (Twigs & Branches Pty. Limited).