Ancestry UK

St Andrew's School, Shandon, Helensburgh, Dunbartonshire, Scotland

In 1964, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Glasgow acquired Shandon House, an old baronial mansion, on Shore Road, Shandon, near Helensburgh, Dunbartonshire. On 4 January 1965, St Andrew's Approved School was certified for operation in the premises, initially with accommodation for 24 boys. In addition to the teaching facilities, there were workshops and a large garden, and extra accommodation blocks were built, eventually increasing its capacity to 90 places.

The West Highland railway ran close to the school and if boys absconded, they usually resorted to walking along the track to Helensburgh Upper Station, where the would invariably be met by awaiting police.

Following Scotland's 1968 Social Work Act, the establishment was redesignated as a 'List D' School.

The school's management believed in community involvement. The boys put on entertainment senior citizens in the area, donated bags of logs to the needy, and were employed on morning milk deliveries.

The school was located across the Clyde from the submarine base at Faslane. In 1982, the Faslane Peace Camp was set up to protest against the arrival of nuclear missiles. Originally established on Ministry of Defence land, it later moved to the roadside verge in front of the school, where it still remains.

The school closed in 1986 and plans were made to erect 150 houses on the site. In 1989, the site was sold to Barratt (Scotland) Ltd but the following year was acquired by the Ministry of Defence who intended to build new barracks for the Royal Marines guarding the base. Since then, however, no construction has taken place and Shandon House has been left to deteriorate.


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  • None identfied at present — any information welcome.


  • Higginbotham, Peter Children's Homes: A History of Institutional Care for Britain's Young (2017, Pen & Sword)
  • Hyland,Jim Yesterday's Answers: Yesterday's Answers: Development and Decline of Schools for Young Offenders (1993, Whiting and Birch)
  • Millham, S, Bullock, R, and Cherrett, P After Grace — Teeth: a comparative study of the residential experience of boys in Approved Schools (1975, Chaucer Publishing)
  • None identified at present.