Mitcham Primary celebrates 175 years

Following is an article from the Mitcham Community News magazine about Mitcham Primary School which celebrates 175 years this year.

The oldest continuously operating school in South Australia, Mitcham Primary School, turns 175 this year. The school began as a small hut, erected in 1847 on Mitcham Reserve, which opened as a combined chapel and school, paid for by subscription from local families. 

A cabinet maker from London, Thomas Mugg, was employed as the school's first teacher. Mugg continued teaching a very basic curriculum, enforcing strict discipline with regular use of a cane, until 1868.

As the school grew, it moved to Mitcham Institute in 1870, which functioned as a school and community hall until 1879. A new purpose-built school was built on Bulls Creek Road (now Belair Road) in 1880. Three years later, the Mitcham Railway Station was opened next to the school on the new Adelaide-Aldgate line, which restricted expansion of the grounds.

The upper primary students relocated to Hillview Road, Kingswood, in 1953, joined by junior primary students in 1981. In 2013, the junior and upper primary schools were consolidated under one Principal. Today Mitcham Primary predominantly serves the suburbs of Kingswood, Mitcham, Hawthorn, Netherby and Torrens Park.


For more information on the school, and other historical places in Mitcham, contact the Mitcham Local History Service on 8372 8261 or visit