Powys Digital History Project

Cwmdeuddwr National School 4
An extra income


Work on the land
Mr Cornall the first Head to record in the surviving School Log Books had a constant battle with local children and their families over attendance. Children stayed away for a variety of reasons, some legitimate and some less so. The Head expected children to miss school in bad weather. Small children, often inadequately shod and clothed, could not be expected to walk miles in bad weather. Many poorer families kept their children away from school to work on the land whenever the season offered an opportunity for an extra income.

Mr Cornall called in the Attendance Officer and sent lists of children absent for no reason to the Attendance Committee. He was not impressed with their response however saying in one entry "Unless greater attention is paid to the lists I send in, I shall cease to send them at all. The Attendance Committee is a mere sham.!" 

Log Book


The two entries on this page are from the summer of 1888 and record children absent for shearing at local farms. The above entry reads:-
"Noyadd shearing. Several children asked leave of absence from school".
County Archives
log book entry 

The second entry reads:-
"The shearings affect the attendance very much. 40 children absent this morning at the New House shearing. The school will be closed this afternoon." 
Potato planting and picking, hay-making, the corn harvest and - most of all - whinberry picking were the other opportunities seized by poorer families.

A long-standing problem
In 1890 Mr Llewellyn Davies succeeded Mr Cornall and served as head teacher for the next 32 years. As late as 1915 Mr Davies was still having attendance difficulties.

log book entry 

"Admitted two sisters - Megan & Gwen Smith - the older girl being 12 yrs of age. These girls had not attended school for 4 years as they lived in an out of the way place."

There are 11 pages on Cwmdeuddwr School. Use the box links below to view the other pages