Victorian Powys for primary  schools
Powys Digital History Project
Victorian school days
  Death from scarlet fever, aged 10  
Drawing by
Rob Davies

The official Log Books of Victorian schools have many entries Sick child in bedwhich show that infectious diseases were very common and often very dangerous. Diptheria and scarlet fever were two of the worst illnesses, and they often forced schools to close altogether until the danger had passed.
Sadly, entries like these appear in almost all school records of the time. They are just three days apart in the diary of Llanbedr National School for 1883 :

"Two deaths have occurred from scarlet fever. The attendance is very low in consequence".
Llanbedr National School
18th March 1892
16th February
School diary entry
  16th February - "I opened school on Tuesday but the attendance has been very small owing to the weather. One child, namely Mary Ann Jones, taken seriously ill on Tuesday after leaving school with 'Scarlet Fever'. Average [attendance] for week 28.7".  
19th February
School diary entry

19th February - "The child Mary Ann Jones, Age 10 years in the IV Standard [fourth class] died on Saturday night."
This poor little girl had been taken ill on a Tuesday and was dead by Saturday.
There are more examples of the effect of illness and epidemics on the early schools on the next page...

More about the dangers of disease...


Link to sources
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