Victorian Powys for primary  schools
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Knighton and district
The Union Workhouse
 
  No school - no money !  
 

There are many entries in the official records of Victorian schools about the payment of school fees for 'pauper' children from very poor families. The 'Relieving Officer' for the district would pay for the children's schooling out of the local rates as long as the children went to school regularly.
Most school fees were ended around 1891 but the authorities could still make sure that poor children continued with their lessons by stopping the money paid to their families if they did not send them to school often enough.
This is from the Minute Book of the Knighton Union for 1901...

 
12th December
1901
Minute book entry
 

This entry reads -
"The Clerk read a letter from Thomas Evans, Schoolmaster Glanithon, complaining that Mrs Jones of the Canteen sent her three children very irregular to School, and the Clerk was directed to write [to] Mrs Jones and inform her that unless the children were sent regular to school the Outdoor Relief would be stopped".

'Outdoor Relief' was money given to the poorest people of the district for food and clothing so that they could stay in their own homes or in lodgings instead of the workhouse. The cruel 'Poor Law Amendment Act' of 1834 was meant to put an end to outdoor relief and force the poor into the large new prison-like workhouses, but many were allowed to live elsewhere in later years.

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