Victorian Powys for primary  schools
Powys Digital History Project
Education and schools
in Victorian times
  Education for the few

At the beginning of Queen Victoria’s reign, schools were run very differently to how they are today.
See the schools pages for your area, and compare how things have changed to the way in which you are taught now !
Children often had to walk miles to get to school and the discipline was strict when they got there.

Commission - a group of people appointed to enquire into something
  In the early years of the 19th Century, the landowning classes sent their sons to boarding schools which they paid for. Their daughters might have a private governess to teach them at home.
Business people might send their children to a local private school.
In the early Victorian period there were small private schools or Academies in most towns. A list of these schools in Crickhowell, is shown here.
There were National and British schools set up in many communities in Powys. Sometimes there was rivalry between the two. See the Presteigne Schools pages for an example of this.
  Two Societies were also set up to run schools across the nation. One was called the National Society, and it aimed to teach the Anglican religion to the poor. The other was called the British and Foreign Society, and it promoted education that was not centred on religion.
Although these societies encouraged poorer families to send their children to school, a great many of them still could not afford it. In early Victorian Powys many children worked from an early age.
  In 1847, a commission looked into the state of Welsh education. Their report became known as the Blue Books, from the colour of the binding of the report. The report blamed the Welsh language for being a barrier to progress for Welsh people and, even worse, it said that the language kept Welsh people "inferior to the English in every branch of practical knowledge and skill.."
Across Wales people saw this as an attack on their culture, and they were so outraged that they referred to the report as the "Treachery of the Blue Books". (Brad y Llyfrau Gleision)
Many children who had to work during the week were taught to read and write at Sunday Schools run by local chapels and churches

Because the Commisioners only examined education in English, they attacked much worthwhile teaching in the Welsh language and condemned Nonconformists for supporting it.
One thing that the report did show, however, was that education in Wales had many problems resulting from divides in social class and in religion.

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