Victorian Powys for primary  schools
Powys Digital History Project
Llanfyllin and district
Victorian school days
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As seen on the previous page, it was often almost impossible to get children to attend school regularly in Victorian times, and most head teachers complained about this in the Log Books.
Farm jobs often kept the older children away at different times of the year. The hay harvest made the biggest difference in attendance, but there were many other important tasks, such as digging potatoes.
This example is from Llwydiarth School in 1889...
Digging potatoes
25th October
School diary entry
"Owing to the fact that several of the children were at home digging potatoes the attendance for this week was very scanty, the average being only 12.7".
Things were no better at the school by 1893...
23rd June
School diary entry "Only seven children this morning. Many of the children stay at home when they please, which is and has been very often the case".
Drawings by
Rob Davies

Most schools had an 'Attendance Officer' who was supposed to see that children went to school regularly, but many of them were useless at this job. The head teacher at Llwydiarth School kept writing to the Attendance Officer in 1888 about a boy who had not turned up for 15 months, but the Attendance Officer himself did not visit the school for 9 months !
An entry in Pen-y-bont Fawr School diary from 1891 reads "Mr Thomas the Attendance Officer called on Friday afternoon. It is more than a year since he called before this". Another from 1898 reads "The Attendance Officer visited; 48 present, 34 absent".

In 1887 this school tried asking the local policeman to visit parents and "the result was 34 old offendors made to attend" !

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Policeman at the door
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