James Rule

The Kettering State School when James Rule was Director of Education (AOT, PH30/1/4997)

James Rule (18311901), teacher and educationist, arrived in Tasmania in 1855, one of eight teachers recruited from England. He became headmaster of the Battery Point Model School, the main teacher-training centre in the colony. An inspector from 1877, his reports repeatedly drew attention to the endemic problems of public education: poor physical condition of the schools, inadequate training of the teachers, and unsatisfactory rates of attendance. Rule felt that the abolition of school fees and improved standards would do more to encourage attendance than more rigorous enforcement of the compulsion which had first been enacted in 1868.

Rule became Chief Inspector in 1886, and Tasmania's second Director of Education in 1895. Despite considerable effort, he was unable to achieve the abolition of fees before ill-health forced his retirement in 1900.

Michael Sprod