St. Joseph's College, Dumfries

St. Joseph's College, Dumfries

Infobox UK school
name = St Joseph's College

size =
latitude = 55.0628
longitude = -3.6008
dms =
motto = "Nisi Dominus Frustra"
(Without God, all is in vain)
motto_pl =
established = 1875
approx =
closed =
c_approx =
type = Comprehensive Secondary
religion = Mixed, Catholic
president =
head_label = Rector
head = Bernadette Jones
r_head_label =
r_head =
chair_label =
chair =
founder = Marist Brothers, Saint Marcellin Champagnat
founder_pl = yes
specialist =
street = Craigs Road
city = Dumfries
county = Dumfries & Galloway
country = Scotland
postcode = DG1 4UU
ofsted =
staff = 60 approx.
enrollment = 800 approx.
gender = Coeducational, formerly boys only
lower_age =
upper_age =
houses = Wallace, Bruce, Douglas, Stewart (and formerly Balliol)
colours = Navy blue & gold color box|navycolor box|gold
publication =
free_label_1 =
free_1 =
free_label_2 =
free_2 =
free_label_3 =
free_3 =
website =
website_name = Official website

St. Joseph's College is situated on the Craigs Road in Dumfries, South West Scotland. It is a Catholic secondary school but enrolling a large number of pupils of other denominations. It started as a Catholic boys boarding school ran by Marist Brothers. It is situated beside St. Michael's Primary School and is one of four secondary schools in Dumfries.


St. Joseph's College was founded in 1875 by the Marist Brothers as both a boarding school and the first Novitiate for the training of Marist Brothers in Great Britain. Brother Walfrid, the man who founded Celtic Football Club, also helped to found the school. The school became part of the public school system in 1981, but as a public school it still accepts Catholic students as priority. The school was a boys school to begin with, The first female pupils were admitted as day pupils in the early 1970s. In the first year that this occurred only two girls were admitted.

ex Scandals During the 1980s

In 1991 a former pupil made a statement to Strathclyde Police accusing a member of the Marist Brothers of rape and other abuse. During an exhaustive investigation the Police found evidence of significant abuse, resulting in the prosecution of a number of former Brothers. It is noteworthy that the head of the Marists in Britain co-operated fully with the police and helped in the prosecution of Norman Bullock (known as Brother Norman). The police investigation brought suspicion on other former or retired Marists who were deemed too frail to withstand prosecution.


The school was originally located elsewhere in Dumfries but was moved to its current location when a local business man bought the land and gifted it to the Marist Brothers. Numerous expansions to the original build have been made: the assembly hall, extensions to the mathematics and French departments, a new separate building for the RE classrooms, and another new building which contains the dining hall and physical education halls. After the school became public the building did not technically go into ownership of the government, in fact it is on lease to the government from the Marist Brothers for £10 a year for a hundred years. The Hollywood Trust building also used to be part of the school until sold off and is now a council building.

There is a chapel on the campus of the school. It was built after the First World War by past pupils and was originally a war memorial for past pupils who died in the war but is now used to pay tribute to other notable dead past pupils and is also used for past pupil marriages and funerals.

Notable alumni

*Charles Forte, Baron Forte
*Allan McNish, a racing driver born in Dumfries attended the school. He returned in recent years to talk at the annual student awards evening.
*Sir Frank Williams, WilliamsF1 Formula One racing team founder and manager.
*Jim Brogan, Celtic and Scotland national football team midfielder.
*Michael Reid, Hong Kong's Mr. Asphalt. Expelled 1963 for setting the school on fire.
*Colin McMenamin, a Scottish footballer who currently plays for Dundee F.C..

Current day

St. Josephs College is now one of the most popular public school in the Dumfries area, recently claiming that it had the second largest number of student out of the four schools in Dumfries. This being mainly down to the influx of 1st year students in 2005 and again in 2006 being the two biggest years in the history of the school. The first ever female Rector of the School has now been appointed, Mrs Bernadette Jones.


The school campus is made up of three buildings: the physical education and cafeteria building, the RE building, and the main school building housing the classrooms for all of the other subjects. The grounds contain gardens and lawn at the front and back of the main building, and a playing field area roughly the size of three football fields and concrete hockey and tennis courts are also included.


The school follows the National Scottish Qualifications Certificate qualification system, with students studying Standard Grades over 3rd and 4th year, Highers in 5th year with the choice of more Highers in 6th year or taking Advanced Highers, or a mix of both. Subjects at Intermediate 1 and Intermediate 2 are also taught in 5th and 6th year, but currently not in 3rd and 4th as in some other Scottish schools.

St. Joseph's College is the only school in Dumfries which, as of July 2007, teaches 3 foreign languages (French, Italian and Spanish) at an Advanced Higher level. It is also the only school teaching media studies at Higher level in the region.

Past Pupils Association

The Past Pupils Association has thousands of members all over the world. As of July 2007, the head of the Association is a current teacher at the school who was also a former pupil, and one of the first four female pupils to be admitted after the school was opened to girls. Once pupils reach their 6th year they can join this organization and are allowed to wear the PPA tie instead of the normal school tie. Being a member of this association keeps the person in contact with other former pupils and allows them to attend yearly dinner and various other events.

ee also

*Education in Scotland
*Scottish Qualifications Authority
*List of schools in Scotland
*List of Marist Brothers schools

External links

* [ Information at Dumfries & Galloway Council page]
* [ Scottish Schools Online entry]
* [ Past Pupils Association website]
* [ St. Jospeh's College's page on Scottish Schools Online]

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