Victorian Powys for primary  schools
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Newtown and district
Victorian school days
 
  Good wages for children's labour
Glossary
 

Many parents found it hard to find even the small weekly sum of money demanded by the early schools, which was often called the 'school pence'.
An entry in the school diary of Newtown National School in December 1868 said "Sent two boys home for their school fees. They leave the school rather than pay".
The charges at Penygloddfa British School in Newtown in the same year were set out in the school Log Book...

Heretofore - before
 
 
30th September
1868
School diary entry "Weekly payments by children -
....154 at 2d. [2 pence]
.......18 at 3d.
Difference determined by the means of the parents.
The parents have no other expense to provide for".
Drawing by
Rob Davies

It was usual for school fees to be higher for the children of farmers, tradesmen, and skilled workers than for those of labourers and others who earned much less. The "means of the parents" meant how much they could afford to pay.

This Log Book entry from the same school in 1867 shows that the children of many poor families had to leave school and start earning as soon as possible...

Young farmboy
17th May
1867
School diary entry "The average attendance continues low, there are good wages to be obtained for children's labour both in the Factory and on the Farm, which causes many to leave at an earlier age than heretofore".
 

In Newtown around this time the factory jobs would mostly be in the flannel mills which were still doing well and employing large numbers of workers. The local industry collapsed towards the end of the 19th century because of competition from cheaper woollen goods from the factories of northern England.

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