Victorian Powys for primary  schools
Powys Digital History Project
Talgarth and district
Victorian school days
  Ten days was long enough  

The head teachers of most Victorian country schools had many problems to deal with, and getting their 'scholars' or pupils to attend regularly was usually at the top of the list.
Ada Harris was appointed Head Mistress of Pengenfford School in January 1891, and found very few children in class...

19th January
School diary entry "I commenced duties as Head Mistress of this school this morning with an attendance of only 14 scholars...
The Victorian headmistress in the photograph opposite can be seen in the old schoolroom at Brecknock Museum in Brecon.
She has been there for much longer than ten days !

"....owing to the extreme severity of the weather, which having now lasted for several weeks, is probably the indirect cause of the backward state in which I find the school..."
At least the very bad winter weather was a more acceptable reason for missing school than most !
But the new Mistress found that the children had fallen way behind with their lessons, and could not possibly do well in the official examinations. She obviously didn't think it was worth trying to improve matters, because she resigned from her job after only ten days !

Victorian schoolmistress
29th January
School diary entry

29th January - "I cease my duties at this school today, as I am leaving tomorrow for a better one".
The next official report on Pengenfford by the Schools Inspector noted that five different teachers had taught at the school during the previous year !

Back to Talgarth schools menu


Link to sources
Back to top
Go to Talgarth menu