Victorian Powys for primary  schools
Powys Digital History Project
Llandrindod and district
Victorian school days
  Absent - the Attendance Officer's children !  

The biggest problem that most schools had in Victorian times was in getting children to attend regularly for lessons. Sometimes the head teachers wrote almost despairingly in the school Log Book, as here at Glanedw School in 1896...

13th July
School diary entry "Only 19 present this morning. Who can do anything in a school such as this ?
Teacher ringing school bell This little school had about 55 children on the register at this date, so 36 were absent ! On another day when only about half turned up he wrote "the morning is neither wet nor cold" - so no excuses on those grounds !
Most schools had an "Attendance Officer" who was supposed to visit parents and make sure that their children did not miss lessons. Very few of these officials were any good, especially the one from Glan Ithon School.
In December 1884 the head teacher wrote to him about the many absent children but "received no reply in any form whatever. Not one of his own children was present either yesterday or today". But things got worse in the New Year...
Three parents of children absent from Glanedw School in 1899 were each fined two shillings and six pence by Magistrates at Builth.
9th January
School diary entry "Up to the 9th of January '85, his daughter Jane Elizabeth has made 7 attendances from the day of Inspection, the school being open during that period 47 times. His other children also attend badly of late".

This Attendance Officer had 4 children of his own, and he did not even send them to school regularly, so there wasn't much hope of him being any help to the local teachers !

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