In 1866 with the passing of the Destitute Persons Relief Act, the government was given the responsibility of establishing an Industrial School for children who had been charged as neglected or destitute children. These were terms used in the Act to refer to children who for various reasons were in need of care.
The foundation stone for the Magill Industrial School was laid on 21 October 1867 but no children were admitted until the end of 1869. That year 157 children were transferred to the School from temporary accommodation in the Grace Darling Hotel at Brighton.
Despite its name, the Industrial School was not an industry training school but a receiving depot for all children who had been made wards of the State. These children came from a wide range of situations and included children who had been deserted, orphaned or deemed neglected. They remained in the School until other suitable accommodation was found for them with a foster family, in service or in another institution. Boys and girls who had been committed to the care of the state because of an offence, also passed through the Industrial School before being sentenced to a reformatory.
Initially both the Boys' and Girls' Reformatories run by the government were also located on the site of the Industrial School. In 1890 the girls were moved out to the Girls' Reformatory at Edwardstown. The Industrial School then moved into the vacated girls' quarters. The Boys' Reformatory, Magill also shared the Industrial school site for two periods, from 1869 to 1880 and again from 1891 to 1967. Between 1880 and 1891 boys convicted of offences were sent to the Boys' Reformatory Hulk, Fitzjames. Some boys from Magill Industrial School whose behaviour was considered unacceptable were also sent to the Boys' Reformatory Hulk.
During the mid-1890s between 30 and 40 children were accommodated in the Industrial School a one time. However, over 300 children passed through the School during the year. Space in the School was limited and overcrowding a constant problem. The Destitute Board and its successor, the State Children's Council, often complained that it did not have the appropriate facilities to educate the children placed there. Most were transferred on to a reformatory or were placed into service as soon as possible. There was also continuing concern at the Industrial School sharing the same site as the Boys' Reformatory.
On 21 January 1898, the Industrial School moved from Magill to the former premises of the Girls' Reformatory at Edwardstown. From that time it became known as the Edwardstown Industrial School.
15 January 2019
Cite this: http://www.findandconnect.gov.au/guide/sa/SE00077
First published by the Find & Connect Web Resource Project for the Commonwealth of Australia, 2011
Except where otherwise noted, content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License