History of Dubbo Public School
Founded by our founding father Jean Emile Serisier, Dubbo Public School is Dubbo's oldest and first school and has undergone some radical changes throughout its history. Dubbo PS is still, in 2014, producing exemplary results and remarkable students 156 years after its opening on September 1st 1858. Upon opening, the school was named "Dubbo National School". The original site of the school was bounded by Bultje, Macquarie, Brisbane and Wingewarra Streets (currently 232 Macquarie St). It is believed that lesson's commenced in the 2nd week of October of the same year by Mr. William Hutchinson, the first appointed teacher/Principal of the school. Mr. Hutchinson started with 36 pupils.
The school continued to grow steadily to around 200 when the Education Act of 1880 was introduced by the NSW Government. This act made it compulsory for children aged 6-14 to attend school. This saw the enrolments of Dubbo National School rise dramatically. In 1881 the school registered 426 enrolments. There was no difficulty finding teachers but there was great difficulty in finding somewhere to put over 400 students on the site. At one stage the Principal had to allow a senior class to use a room in his house (his residence) as a classroom.
By 1884 the enrolments grew to around 600 and there were 10 teachers on staff. That amounted to about 60 students per class on average. By 1897 the enrolments were over 700 students. Buildings were being added to the site to accommodate the ever increasing number of students as they were staying past the compulsory age of 14 years because there was nowhere for those students to go once they reached the leaving age. It was not until 1911 until university or further schooling was an option for older students.
In 1906, the school became a district school, which meant that the school became a teacher training school. As enrolments numbers stayed static during these years, the government found no need to change anything, so the classes remained at over 50 students per class on average. When the new Dubbo High School opening in 1917, nearly 60 years after the opening of Dubbo National School, the older students left and enrolments dropped so the school lost its district status. This was the first time the school was officially called Dubbo Public School.
Although the numbers dropped, space was still a rare commodity during this time because in 1924 a domestic science block for girls was added and the school became known as the Dubbo Domestic Science School. Due to the drop in numbers, teachers were transferred and some classes contained 85 pupils. In 1932, the domestic science course was added at Dubbo High and the students completing that course moved to the Dubbo High campus. The school reverted back to its previous name of Dubbo Public School.
The school remained as Dubbo Public School until 1955 when its name changed again to Dubbo Central School to differentiate it from the other schools opening at this time. In 1958, the school reverted back again, to Dubbo Public School. Although the school was known as "central" for only 3 years in its 156 history, we still affectionately refer to it as central today.
Since 1986 DPS has grown steadily to form the school we know it as today. Dubbo Public School is the base school for the region's hearing team, contains classes for students with disabilities and produced some very famous and impressive alumni. Today, the school is led by Principal Mrs. Debbie Pritchard, the first female principal in the history of the school and a committed executive and classroom teacher group.
Dubbo Public School has a rich and extensive history that we celebrate every day by attending the school and acknowledging that Dubbo Public School is best and we will rise about the rest.