Powys Digital History Project

Presteigne - The National School 5
Towards a universal education

  Children about the streets
Like the British School in Presteigne, the National School was absorbed into the national system for the provision of education, run first by the school boards and then by local government.
Even in 1905 when universal compulsory education was well established, economic necessity kept some children in the fields and woods whenever there was a chance to earn a few extra shillings, and simple truancy to escape the rigours of the classroom was common. 
Photograph by
kind permission of
Mrs Cherry Leversedge
Teacher and children 
  In May that year theAttendence Officer visited the school and the Headmaster recorded the entry shown below in the School Log Book.

National School
Log Books

County Archives

School log book entry 

This entry reads:
"I called his attention to the fact that a great number of children in Presteigne of a school age apparently went nowhere as they could be seen about the street at all hours during the day".

Despite all the problems of early education in the town, the faces in the above photograph (taken in the later 19th century) seem reasonably content with their lot, and for many generations of town children the school opened up new opportunities. 

There are 5 pages on the National School. Use the link boxes below to view the other pages.

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