Allan Glen's School

Allan Glen's School was, for most of its existence, a local authority, selective secondary school for boys in Glasgow, Scotland, charging nominal fees for tuition.

Allan Glen's School
Central College of Commerce.jpg
Former Allan Glen's School Buildings opened in 1964, later part of the Central College. Now demolished.

Typesecondary school
Motto"Cum Scientia Humanitas" ('Humanity with knowledge' or 'civilization with science')
Opened1853; ceased to be a selective school 1973; closed 1989
School districtTownhead
PrincipalThe final headmaster during the selective period of the school's existence was Ralph Finlayson
Color(s)Navy and Sky Blue

Coordinates: 55°51′49″N 4°14′36″W / 55.863512°N 4.243298°W / 55.863512; -4.243298

It was founded by the Allan Glen's Endowment Scholarship Trust on the death, in 1850, of Allan Glen, a successful Glasgow tradesman and businessman, "to give a good practical education and preparation for trades or businesses, to between forty to fifty boys, the sons of tradesmen or persons in the industrial classes of society". The School was formally established in 1853[1] and located in the Townhead district of the city, on land that Glen had owned on the corner of North Hanover Street and Cathedral Street.[2][3]

School's evolutionEdit

Although notionally fee-paying, the school offered a large number of bursaries and enrolled pupils from all social classes, selected on the basis of academic ability. The school's emphasis on science and engineering led to it becoming, in effect, Glasgow's High School of Science. As such, in 1887 its management merged with the nearby Anderson's College to form the Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College[1] which later became the Royal Technical College in 1912, the Royal College of Science and Technology in 1956, and ultimately the University of Strathclyde in 1964. By the end of 1888 a new building was ready for the school in North Hanover Street.[2][4][5]

Glasgow corporationEdit

In 1912, the school was transferred from the newly designated Royal Technical College to the School Board of Glasgow run by Glasgow Corporation.[2][3][4] Parents who paid domestic or business rates to Glasgow Corporation were charged a much reduced fee, enabling children from less wealthy households, but who had passed the entrance exam, to benefit from the high standard of teaching at the school. In 1923, playing fields were acquired for the school in the suburb of Bishopbriggs[6] and in 1926 the school itself moved into the building previously occupied by Provanside Public School in North Montrose Street.[3] In 1958 a new school building was planned on Cathedral Street, adjacent to the existing one. The new school building was opened in 1964.

Merger with City Public SchoolEdit

Selective schooling was discontinued in Scottish local authority schools in 1972, and Allan Glen's was merged with the City Public School to become a local co-educational comprehensive school on 22 August 1973, known as Allan Glen's Secondary School.[4][7] Following a major re-organisation of school provision, brought about by falling birth rates, population migration and declining school rolls throughout the city, including Allan Glen's, the school was formally closed in 1989.[8]

City of Glasgow CollegeEdit

Following the closure of Allan Glen's Secondary School, the buildings on Cathedral Street were converted into an annexe for the nearby Glasgow Central College of Commerce. The Cathedral Street buildings were demolished in 2013 to enable construction of the City of Glasgow College, a new entity created by the merger of three former further education Colleges, Central College, Glasgow Metropolitan College and Glasgow College of Nautical Studies.[9][10]

Playing fieldsEdit

The playing fields first opened at Bishopbriggs in 1923 and are still owned by the Allan Glen's School Club.[11] They provide the home ground for Allan Glen's Rugby Football Club,[12] which currently plays in the West Regional League Division 1. In 2012, proposals were announced to sell part of the playing fields, following a change in the legal structure of the Trust that controls the assets of the Allan Glen's School Club.[6][13]

Notable alumniEdit

Although the school emphasised science and engineering,[14] many of its former pupils are also present throughout politics, business, industry, and the arts.[15]


  1. ^ a b "Allan Glen's Institution, Glasgow". 29 March 2000. Retrieved 16 May 2014.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ a b c "gb249-odc - Records of Allan Glen's Institution". Archives Hub. 1 October 2008. Retrieved 16 May 2014.
  3. ^ a b c "Allan Glen's School". TheGlasgowStory. Retrieved 16 May 2014.
  4. ^ a b c "School History". 22 August 1973. Archived from the original on 21 August 2011. Retrieved 16 May 2014.
  5. ^ "Kerr biography". 12 March 1932. Retrieved 16 May 2014.
  6. ^ a b "Historic club aims to sell off playing field in Bishopbriggs". Kirkintilloch Herald. 23 October 2012. Retrieved 16 May 2014.
  7. ^ "RootsWeb: LANARK-L Re: [LKS] Glasgow Irish and Allen Glen's school". Retrieved 16 May 2014.
  8. ^ "End of an era at Allan Glen's". The Glasgow Herald. 1 July 1989. p. 7. Retrieved 17 October 2017.
  9. ^ "Allan Glen's old boys bid the renowned Glaswegian school a final farewell". City of Glasgow College. Archived from the original on 4 May 2014. Retrieved 16 May 2014.
  10. ^ Ewan Fergus (15 July 2013). "Old boys say farewell to school". Evening Times. Retrieved 16 May 2014.
  11. ^ "The School Club". Archived from the original on 18 August 2013. Retrieved 16 May 2014.
  12. ^ Alfer, Michael (29 April 2013). "Allan Glens Rugby Club". Retrieved 16 May 2014.
  13. ^ "Derek Francis - Barrister Profile - Tax Chambers". Retrieved 16 May 2014.
  14. ^ "Four in ten top scientists went to private school". Retrieved 4 December 2016.
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