A brief History of Scottburgh High School

There is a lot of truth in the old English saying “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try and try again”.  It certainly has relevance to past educational progress in Scottburgh and the wider county. The present Scottburgh High School represents the success of the second attempt to establish a high school in this area.  The first was made as far back as 1957 when parents in the area felt the arduous bus trip imposed on their children then attending Kingsway High School (the present Amanzimtoti High) was educationally unjustifiable.  By 1956, agitation for such a school had led to acceptance of the idea by the Educational authorities in Pietermaritzburg.  In January 1957, the old school (which went from Class (I) to Std 6 in those days) proudly opened its Std 7 class with 19 learners on the roll under the current Headmaster, Mr F H D Lumsden.  The enrolment for the combined High and Primary School was 179 children.

On 3rd October that year, the new secondary wing (which now houses the Primary School offices) was opened.  In 1959, Dudley Barton (later Head of Kloof High) was appointed Headmaster and in July, 1959, Mr D C Thompson (ex Headmaster of D.H.S) arrived as the school’s first vice-principal.  Pre-fabricated classrooms first arrived on the site in 1961 but as enrolment in the secondary department had never exceeded 30 children, it was decided to close the secondary section again at the end of the year.  The Primary School was re-established under A C Holgate and Mr Barton transferred to Westville.  The school had not reached Matric but had at least two successful Junior Certificate classes. Bussing to Kingsway High was resumed.

By June 1967, the possibility of re-establishing a High School in the area was again being considered by Pietermaritzburg with a large body of opinion favouring Umkomaas as the site.  In the following year on January 29, the new school became a reality.
The planners had decided on Scottburgh rather than Umkomaas and the temporary siting of the school was again in the Primary School buildings.  Mr R Berentempfel was the Headmaster.

In the following year Mr P M Tait took over as Headmaster while Mr Berentempfel continued as vice-principal until his transfer in 1971, when he was succeeded by Mr A R Clark.  Pre-fabricated buildings arrived monthly that year to accommodate growing numbers and in May of that year, projected earthworks were passed to lay a basis for the construction of a new school to the west of the Primary site and incorporating what was then the 16th  and 17th  holes of the golf course.
In the following year there were 24 teachers on the staff.  While the numbers of learners were not recorded, 1971 was the year in which a matric class first passed through the school.

Following agitation from Afrikaans speaking parents of the county, it was decided that the school would become parallel medium and the staff increased accordingly.  In 1973 this change was made while in July of that year, the contractors officially started work on the new High School.  Plans began for the new Primary School in 1974.  (The new Primary School was completed in 1985.  It is a beautiful modern building). On 5th November 1976, Scottburgh High School was officially opened by Dr G A Hosking who was, at the time, Deputy Director of Education.  With effect from 1980, Scottburgh High was re-classified as an English medium school.

Mr. G. Mundell was appointed  as principal in 1980 and retired from the Natal Education Department in 1986. Mr. P.G. van der Watt  returned to the school as principal in 1987 and left at the end of 1991 to take up the principalship of Port Shepstone High School.  Mr. H. D. Parsons, formerly the deputy-principal at the school, was appointed as principal in 1992.  On the retirement of Mr Parsons at the end of 2005, Mr H.N. Bekker, the deputy principal since 1994, was appointed as principal.

Since 1991 Scottburgh High School  has been a Section 21 school. This means that the school is responsible for meeting all the expenses from funds obtained from levying school fees.