The present St. Joseph's school opened on this site in the year 1901. Prior to this a mixed school for children of the village existed on the main street which is now a dwelling house. It was known later as the "old school house". The present school was made up of two schools: A Boys School and a Girls School in the same building. A wall across the playground kept the children separated even though they shared the same classroom. There were no indoor toilets, only dry or chemical toilets.
The first teacher in the boys school was Mr. McKay who came from the old mixed school. The first teacher in the girls school was Mrs. Flanagan. Both schools had Monitors or Junior Assistants who were not trained and whose own education was fairly limited. They took charge of the Junior classes in both schools. The first Junior Assistant in the boys school was Bridget McNamara who was followed by Mary Ellen McCollum. Miss Alice McGinty from Donegal Town became principal after Mrs. Flanagan. Mr. O'Donnell followed Mr. McKay as principal in the boys school. Between 1920-30 both schools were amalgamated. Mr Murray Doherty became principal. The school was now a mixed school and Mr. Doherty was followed by Mr. Frank Gallagher from Kincasslagh. Numbers were growing and before long it became a three teacher school. In 1952 a third classroom was added. Flush toilets, hand-washing facilities and cloakrooms were built. During this time the children were taught in The Old Courthouse and in the Methodist Chapel in the Major's Road.
It remained a three teacher school until the 1970's. With further amalgamations, namely from Ballyconnelly (Ray) and Oughterlin, two pre-fabs were added. In 1983 work started on a new extension which added two new classrooms, toilets, a staff room, a general purpose room, a wet area in each classroom as well as the modernisation of the old building. By 1984 St. Joseph's was a six teacher school with 184 pupils enrolled. Numbers then started to decline. It became a five and then a four and a three teacher school today with 74 children on the rolls. The present staff are Mr. E Sharkey (Principal), Ms S Graham (D.Principal), Ita McGeettigan, Oonagh Russell, Elaine McFadden, M Doherty(Temp)and C Callaghan(Sub).
When Col. Roberston, son of a Letterkenny clergyman died in 1795 he left a fortune of money he made in India for building schools in the diocese of Raphoe. In Rathmullan he paid for the building of the school called the Roberston school. It is built beside St. Columba's Church, Church of Ireland which itself dates back to the late 1700's. There is an excellent view from the school over the village, the Lough and the hills of Inishowen and the local Abbey. The lane beside the school leads to the ringfort which probably gave Rathmullan its name. Unfortunately the school closed down in 1997 but several other Robertson schools still exist in Co. Donegal.
We celebrated 100 years of schooling at our school. The school first opened to receive pupils on 1st September 1902. The commemoration of the Centenary year began with Mass in St. Joseph's Church on 19th October 2001.A committee was set up to organise the big event. Efforts to contact past pupils to let them know about the celebration were made. The school was open to visitors during the last week of July and the first week in August so that people would have an opportunity to see the changes that have taken place since their own schooldays and view old photographs and school memorabilia. We welcomed the loan of anything of interest related to the school that people had. The highlight of the Centenary celebration took place at the school on 7th August 2002 after Mass in St. Joseph's Church. Past pupils had then a chance to meet during an evening of entertainment. As many as possible of our past pupils came along to this function
Work started on new office extensions and a Learning Support room in February 2007. Further refurbishment work was carried out to the existent school and was completed for September 2007, just in time for the 400 commemoration of the Flight of Earls. Painting and landscaping continued during 2008 and on 19th March 2009, St. Joseph’s feast day, the official opening and blessing took place. Fr. Martin Collum performed the blessing and Katie McMenamin the oldest past pupil performed the opening. Before unveiling a stone plaque, Katie at 104 years of age, spoke at length about her own schooldays which was greatly enjoyed by the pupils and large attendance gathered to mark the occasion.