Victorian Powys for primary  schools
Powys Digital History Project
Victorian school days
  Where are all the children ?  

The teachers in Victorian schools nearly always found it difficult to get their pupils to attend school regularly.
Many schools had to get good results in examinations to be sure of getting enough money to keep the school going, and lots of absences meant missed lessons and bad results.
This is from Llanidloes National School in 1879...

18th October
School diary entry "The attendance is still low and more irregular than ever. Some of the causes are 'working in the harvest' and 'getting up potatoes'. The attendance officer seems to take no trouble to enforce the attendance of children attending the school".
Drawing by
Rob Davies

"Attendance officers" were supposed to round up missing children and check with the parents of those who did not turn up at school.
Many of them were not much use at this job, as the fairly typical school Log Book entry above shows.

In 1895 the teacher at Llangurig School wrote in the diary that "Parents laugh when the attendance officer puts in an appearance".

Attendance Officer calls

If they got laughed at by parents and even stoned by children then it must often have been a pretty thankless job in Victorian times !

More about attendance problems...


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