In 1831 the National Education Act was passed giving permission to Catholics to teach and attend schools. It also provided grants to build schools and to pay the teachers.
In 1835 Cullina National School was the first school built in Beaufort Parish. Kane O’Mahony of Cullina House gave a grant of £200, a site and some acres of land for its support and that of a teacher. The building was a two – storey solid construction with an inside wide stairs leading to the top storey. Girls were taught in the top storey and boys in the lower.
The first Girls’ Principal was Mrs. Reidy, mother of the late Dean Reidy. She was succeeded in 1910 by Catherine Coghlan, transferred from Gortboy N.S. She was succeeded in 1920 by Mary Coghlan and when she married and left the area Bridget Coghlan took up the position and remained as principal until the two schools were amalgamated on transference to the New School.
The first principal teacher in the boys school was a Mr. Reidy, grandfather of the late Monsignor Reidy, Dean of Kerry. He had to resign through ill health in 1854 and Peter Coghlan, a native of Skibbereen, Co. Cork, was appointed his successor. On reaching the age limit he resigned and was succeeded by his son James, who died rather at a young age in 1920 and was succeeded by his brother William Coghlan, transferred from Kilgobnet National School. On reaching the age limit he resigned and was succeeded by his son Peter Coghlan in 1931.
Peter Coughlan taught for some time in the old Cullina N.S. building and transferred over to the present school, which was built in 1950. He remained as Principal for 44 years and retired in 1975 and was succeeded by Stephen O’Shea. He retired in 1998 and was succeeded by Mrs Nora Mai Kelliher. She was succeeded by Mr Bertie O Connor,who retired in February 2012. Mrs Moira Cronin is the present Principal.