From the earliest days of Forrest, the children were educated in a school that pre-dated the foundation of the town.
In 1884, half an acre of the five-acre site was cleared and grubbed and a wooden portable building with two detached rooms for teacher's quarters were erected. The Head Teacher rented the latter for 4pounds per annum.
The school opened on 24th November 1885, and in January of the following year 38 children were enrolled. By 1891 growth in enrolment made it necessary to convert the teacher's quarters into class-rooms.
In its heyday, timber was the main industry of the town, and Forrest still has one working timber mill. Other industries include dairy farming and forestry.
After Forrest was established and the mills began operating, the enrolment climbed to 65 by 1889. The siting of a school, a mile from Forrest where most of the children lived, prompted consideration that it be shifted.
In April 1902, the Department received a petition calling for the removal of the school to a more suitable site, or alternatively for a new school to be built in the township of Forrest.
A site of five acres was subsequently reserved for the school, in the township of Forrest, opposite an existing Public Hall. While a school was being constructed, lessons were conducted in the hall, which was rented at a cost of 12pounds per annum.
Settlement into Township of Forrest
School began in the Hall on the 16th March 1903 with Charles Stocks as Head Teacher. Classes remained there for 3 years, as the new wooden building was not completed and occupied until 31st March 1906, at a cost of 300 pounds.
In 1906, a contract was let for the removal of the old school building from Yaugher to the Forrest school-grounds and re-erected, with additions, to form a Head Teacher's residence of five rooms.
Such was the growth of the school that by 1915 there were 95 pupils enrolled and three teachers on the staff.
Inspections over the next twelve months saw the need to make additions to the building which were completed in November 1916.
Attendances declined to around 60 in the 40's and remained at that level for the next 15 years. Changes came about in 1961 when an infant room was added and the old residence house was demolished. A new house replaced it. Attendances rose with the boom conditions of the early 1960's and topped the 100 mark, but declined after 1965. 1985 the enrolment is 25 and of interest is that parents' occupations are mostly State Government, Shire employees or Farmers, thus reflecting the altered social pattern in the town since early times.
Two permanent teachers, Mrs Beverly Thomas from Apollo Bay, who teaches 12 children ranging from prep to Grade 2 in the infant room. Mr Micheal Cleary, who had the official title of Head teacher, taught grades 3 to 6.
There were two Specialist teachers in the areas of Music and Physical Education who visited the school for one half day per week.
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