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Knighton and district
Victorian school days
  School closed for one month  

This typical example of a local school being closed by the authorities because of health risks comes from the Log Book of Heyope National School in 1885.
At first they tried to control scarlet fever at the school by making sure that children who had illness in their families at home stayed away, but the epidemic obviously got worse and the school was closed ten days later.

9th October
School diary entry
19th October
School diary entry
Drawing by
Rob Davies

These two diary entries from 1885 read -
9th October - "...The Medical Officer of health called on Wednesday and gave particular instructions respecting the exclusion of Fever infected families, for if this was not done he would have to close the School as there are several fresh cases".
19th October - "School closed for One Month by order of Sanitary Authority on account of Fever".
Closing a school for one month was not unusual, and some stayed closed for much longer periods during very bad epidemics. Sadly,in many cases one or more of the children did not return afterwards.
When Knighton Infants School reopened after being closed for 8 weeks in 1897 the Log Book recorded "One death during epidemic (E.Young)".
When the School Inspector visited to test the children he would often have to make allowance for the lessons lost when the school was shut.

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