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

At the end of the Victorian age, further improvements were made to the education system.
Parents were made responsible for the attendance of their children at school, and through the Education Act of 1880 school attendance to the age of ten years old was made compulsory.

Elementary - basic

Victorian schoolboysAs we can see from the Schools pages in each of the communities on our site, the schools in Powys had great difficulty in making sure children did attend school.
Whenever there was a chance of earning extra income, the poorer families would be tempted to send the children of to work. In the countryside this meant hay-making and harvest, planting and digging up potatoes, beating for the pheasant shoots of the rich, picking and selling whinberries, and a host of other activities.
Attendance Officers were supposed to visit the homes of children who didn't turn up for school to make sure that parents sent them. This usually proved ineffective.


In 1891, elementary education became free of charge, and by 1899, the school leaving age had been raised to 12 years old.
For most children in Powys their entire schooling would be in just one school. This was their local village or elementary school.
In 1902, Local Education Authorities replaced School Boards.


By the end of Queen Victoria’s reign, children received a far better education than when she came to the throne. Children now left school able to read and write and new possibilities were opening up to them.

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