Stonelaw High School

Stonelaw High School is a non-denominational state high school located in Rutherglen, Scotland near the city of Glasgow.

Stonelaw High School
140 Calderwood Road

, ,
G73 3BP

Scotland, UK
TypeSecondary School
Local authoritySouth Lanarkshire
Head TeacherBrenda McLachlan
Staff91 FTE
Age11 to 18


Stonelaw High School is a leading Scottish school delivering the new National 4/5 qualifications introduced by the SQA. The current head teacher is Brenda McLachlan who took over from Brian Cooklin in 2012.[1]

Stonelaw was awarded 'sports hub' status on 5 November 2013 by MSP Shona Robison Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport.[2] Outwith learning hours, the sports facilities are available for hire by the local community in partnership with South Lanarkshire Council, with several local clubs based there.[3][4]


Stonelaw Public School on Melrose Avenue was built in 1886. It became Rutherglen Academy in 1926.[2] A separate institution, Gallowflat Public School, was based on Hamilton Road from 1909.

Grammar school

Prior to 1970, a selective secondary education system existed in Scotland that involved two grades of secondary schools: Senior Secondaries and Junior Secondaries. At the heart of this selective system was an exam called the 11-Plus taken by all children in the last year of primary school. Those who passed the 11-Plus went to one of the Senior Secondaries (six-year schools) while all others attended one of the Junior Secondaries (four-year schools).[5] Senior Secondary pupils were expected to stay on at school until aged eighteen and proceed to some sort of tertiary education at university or college, whereas Junior Secondary pupils had to leave school aged fifteen for jobs and/or apprenticeships. Before 1972, fifteen was the minimum school leaving age in Scotland.


Stonelaw High School was established in August 1970 as a four-year school,[6] merging some of the pupils already at Rutherglen Academy with pupils from Gallowflat Junior Secondary.[2][5] Other Academy pupils who had been at primary schools in Cambuslang, Carmunnock and Burnside largely went up to the new (1970) Cathkin High School. Subsequently, Stonelaw pupils wishing to do Highers or Certificates of Sixth-Year Studies (CSYS) - these being pre-university qualifications - transferred to Cathkin High for their last two years.

The new Stonelaw school was based in the former Rutherglen Academy buildings at the corner of Stonelaw Road and Melrose Avenue[6] along with an 'annex' – the Gallowflat Junior Secondary buildings on Hamilton Road[2] – with hundreds of pupils walking through 400 yards of residential streets between the sites several times a day.[1] Eventually Stonelaw High became a six-year school.


The school relocated to new premises on Calderwood Road, Rutherglen in summer 1998,[1][2] on land which had once been part of a farm. The playing fields, adjacent to the new site but finished in 1996 prior to the construction of the buildings, were previously the recreation grounds for the James Templeton & Co textile factory located at Glasgow Green which had also built some company houses in nearby streets.[7]

The main Rutherglen Academy building, a Category B listed structure which survived a World War II bomb intended for nearby industrial sites, was redeveloped into 36 residential apartments in 2001, with the other buildings demolished and further modern flats constructed within the footprint, in a complex known as Academy Gate.[8][9]

At the Gallowflat site, the main building (a replacement for the original which was destroyed by a fire in 1941) was used by Rutherglen High School, a special needs school, from 1999 until 2008 when they relocated to a new facility shared with the rebuilt Cathkin High School.[10] By that time, most of the peripheral buildings had been replaced by modern housing, and the main building was soon replaced by a nursing home, David Walker Gardens, opened in 2011.[11][12] The remaining east block (the home economics department, its age reflected in its 'Girls' carving above the door – the 'Boys' block housed the technical subjects) is also Category B listed but has lain empty and disused since the 1998 move, although plans to convert it into residences were approved in 2015.[13][14]

Feeder Schools

The primary schools whose pupils progress to Stonelaw include Bankhead, Burgh, Burnside, Calderwood and Spittal located in Rutherglen, James Aiton in Cambuslang, Park View in Halfway and Toryglen in the Glasgow district of that name.[2]

The inclusion of Park View Primary in Stonelaw's catchment list caused some local controversy, as other schools nearby (including Hallside Primary in Drumsagard which had too many pupils, requiring Park View's construction to resolve the issue) are affiliated to Cathkin High School; however due to capacity issues there, the new school was linked to Stonelaw despite the sites being 2.3 miles apart, which some parents felt would cause splits in the community of Cambuslang.[15][16] By contrast, Calderwood Primary is immediately adjacent to the Stonelaw buildings.

House system

The school operates a house system. The three houses Arran, Bute and Skye are named after Scottish islands.[17]

Extracurricular activities

The school has many extra curricular activities and clubs including football,[18] volleyball,[19] a table tennis club, a cricket club and a soul band. They also have a band with full brass, woodwind and percussion sections. The music department also hosts a choir, brass ensamble and a recently started Samba band.

Notable alumni

Stonelaw High School (1970–)

Rutherglen Academy (1926–1970)

Stonelaw Public School (1886–1926)

Notable former teachers


  1. Dickie, Douglas (11 April 2012). "Stonelaw head looks back on 32 terrific years in Rutherglen". Daily Record / Rutherglen Reformer. Retrieved 10 February 2018.
  2. "Stonelaw High School: About Us". Stonelaw High School. Retrieved 9 February 2018.
  3. "Stonelaw Community Sports Hub". Retrieved 9 February 2018.
  4. "Stonelaw Community Sports Centre". South Lanarkshire Leisure & Culture. Retrieved 9 February 2018.
  5. "Making your fellow pupils cross". The Herald. 13 January 2016. Retrieved 10 February 2018.
  6. "School's new status angers parents". The Glasgow Herald. 3 July 1970. p. 5. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
  7. Webster, Jack (1996). The Herald Years. Black & White Publishing. ISBN 9781845029241.
  8. "I hated school so much I pulled it down". Sunday Mail. 1 April 2001. Retrieved 10 February 2018 via The Free Library.
  9. Dickie, Douglas (25 October 2017). "Former pupil who redeveloped old Rutherglen Academy building arranges school reunion". Daily Record / Rutherglen Reformer. Retrieved 10 February 2018.
  10. "About our School". Rutherglen High School. Retrieved 10 February 2018.
  11. "David Walker Gardens". RIAS. Retrieved 10 February 2018.
  12. "David Walker Gardens open its doors". Daily Record / Rutherglen Reformer. 30 March 2011. Retrieved 10 February 2018.
  13. Williams, Stratton (5 October 2015). "Plans to turn the old Stonelaw High into flats given green light". Daily Record / Rutherglen Reformer. Retrieved 10 February 2018.
  14. Kenealy, Edel (20 July 2017). "Plans for Rutherglen's Gallowflat school still on the table". Daily Record / Rutherglen Reformer. Retrieved 10 February 2018.
  15. "Parents react angrily to new school plans". STV Group (Scotland). 25 November 2011. Retrieved 10 February 2018.
  16. "Two new primary schools to be built in Halfway and Newton". STV Group (Scotland). 8 March 2012. Retrieved 10 February 2018.
  17. "Stonelaw High School: House System".
  18. "Stonelaw High waves farewell to favourite teacher". Daily Record / Rutherglen Reformer. 5 October 2011. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  19. "Rutherglen teacher scoops award". Daily Record / Rutherglen Reformer. 19 January 2011. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  20. "Stonelaw High waves farewell to favourite teacher". Daily Record / Rutherglen Reformer. 5 October 2011. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  21. Obituary: Sir Adam Thomson, Daily Telegraph, 31 May 2000
  22. "Early Days". Alec Bennett (footballer) by David Carmichael. 30 September 2010. Retrieved 10 February 2018.
  23. "Partick Thistle History - Harry Johnston".
  24. "Harry Grant Forsyth Johnston". CricketEurope: Scotland StatsZones. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  25. "Sir Alex Ferguson couldn't beat Morton".

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