Victorian Powys for primary  schools
Powys Digital History Project
Brecon and district
Victorian school days
  Money worries for Victorian parents  
Victorian penny

Many families had to struggle to survive on very low incomes at a time when government help was not yet available and fear of the workhouse was still a constant threat.
School Log Books have many reminders of these money worries. Children were often absent because parents needed their help in making a living on the farm or selling produce at the local market. These entries are all from Battle School...

"Nellie Penny left this school for the Brecon Board School, because she was sent home for her school money".
Brecon National (Girls) School
30th January, 1891
20th November
School diary entry "A few absent today, it being market day at Brecon when parents go with dairy produce etc"
  Many families lived in 'tied cottages' which meant that the housing was linked to a farm servant's job, and if the job ended they had to leave and find somewhere else to live. This often meant that children had to leave the school... Victorian penny
4th April
School diary entry "Two girls, Mary Phillips 'Standard VI' and Annie Jenkins 'Standard IV' have left this School for Trallong owing to the parents having notice to leave the cottage at Aberyscir".
  But at least the need to find money to pay for school lessons - the 'school pence' - ended for most schools in 1891...  
2nd October
School diary entry "Attendance Officer called on Wednesday and explained to children that the board would deal now more severely than ever with absentees, as there could be no excuse brought forward about school fees"...

The ending of school fees also removed one of the excuses (and a genuine one for many parents) for not sending children to school !

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