Victorian Powys for primary  schools
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Hay and district
Victorian school days
 
  The children of paupers
Glossary
 

Although we know that finding the money to pay for children to go to school was hard for many families in Victorian times, it would have been impossible for the children of the very poorest.
The local paupers, who were regularly being given a small sum of money from the parish authorities to buy food and clothing, were also provided with the 'school pence' to pay for the education of their children. This money came from the 'Poor Rate' which was a local tax paid by the people of the parish.
The school pence was only paid if the pauper children attended school regularly, though...

Paupers - the very poor people of the parish.
 
 
19th March
1875
School diary entry
 

This entry is from the Log Book of Painscastle National School for March 1875, and it reads -
March 19th - "School washed out. Mr Powell, Relieving Officer, called for attendances of pauper's children. Increase in number of scholars. Weather very fair".
The official was called the 'Relieving Officer' because the money given to the local poor was known as 'Parish Relief'.
A Log Book entry from Boughrood National School in 1882 said "The Relieving Officer of this district paid School Fees of Martha, Eleanor, and Matthew Macarthy, at the rate of a quarter of one pence per attendance for Quarter ending June 30th, 1882. Total 5 shillings and 6 pence".
This meant that the sum of one farthing (or a quarter of a penny in the old pound, shillings and pence currency) was paid for each child for every morning or afternoon that they went to school.

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