Victorian Powys for primary  schools
Powys Digital History Project
Knighton and district
Victorian school days
  Attendance notices are just waste paper...

Most Victorian schools could use the services of an official 'Attendance Officer' who had the job of visiting the school regularly to collect the names of children who did not turn up for lessons. They were then supposed to visit the parents of the missing children and see that they sent them to school regularly.
Unfortunately, most attendance officers were almost completely useless at their job, as seen in these two typical examples from the Log Book of Heyope National School...

Laxity - carelessness
9th May
School diary entry
Drawing by
Rob Davies

The above entry from 1890 reads -
9th May
- "...There are several children in the parish who ought to be in school, but do not attend anywhere. The Attendance Officer's attention was called to the matter but nothing has been done".
In 1891 the teacher wrote - "The Attendance Officer never enters the school, while children are constantly absent without any reasonable excuse". The entry below is from the same year...

Waste paper basket
28th August
School diary entry

28th August - "The attention of the Attendance Officer has been called to these cases, but the general laxity in enforcing attendance is such that his notices are treated as so much waste paper".
Some Attendance Officers were not seen in school for anything up to one year after their last visit, but if they were useless anyway it probably didn't make much difference !

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