Victorian Powys for primary  schools
Powys Digital History Project
Llandrindod and district
Victorian school days
  Washing but once a week  

Teachers in the early schools had a lot to put up with, including, on occasions, dirty children !
Llanyre National School at Newbridge on Wye reported in 1877 that some parents only washed once a week, so it was not easy getting their children to wash every day !

9th March
School diary entry "Cleanliness. This is a point which occasionally crops up unless great firmness is exercised. For the parents make it a practice to wash but once a week, and it is very difficult to get the children to do so every day. 2 boys corrected this week for offending in the point".
Drawing by
Rob Davies
Although this sounds pretty horrible, remember that many poorer homes had very little hot water, and not much heating. Washing with cold water wasn't a lot of fun, especially in the winter months !
In April of the same year, 1877, the teacher wrote "The new ones are some of them very dirty. Their parents think it unreasonable that they should be expected to wash".
The next entry is from the same school in 1879...
A cold wash !
31st January
School diary entry "David Jones sent home on Wednesday for being so abominably dirty that I could not let him sit with the other children. He is constantly coming in a disgracefully dirty state. Parents are farmers".

At least this time it really was midwinter ! Notice that the teacher underlined the bit about his parents being farmers !

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