Victorian Powys for primary  schools
Powys Digital History Project
School life
  Absent from school  
  One of the early difficulties schools had was getting the pupils away from work.
Families were so often so poor that they needed the children to go out to work to earn some extra income. To send them to school meant not only losing this income but having to pay 1 penny [half of 1 pence] a week fee.
  extract from New Radnor School records  

In the spring of 1876 the Headmaster of New Radnor School complained:
"Very thin attendance all this week, so many children helping to plant potatoes"

Children were absent at different times of the year helping with the harvest, hay-making, singling turnips, picking bilberries, and a number of other activities which could earn a little extra money.
In Presteigne many children were also absent from school collecting oak bark which they could sell to the tannery.

More about absence from school...


working on the land
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