1881 School
Features Folk & Facts Bibliography Year is 1965

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1881 School

The school reopened on 7th. January when two children were away because 'the parents have no money for the school fees'. Mrs.Howard decided to give prizes for regular attendance. The Mistress recorded that Naomi Rolph was not being careful in preparing her home lessons because she would be too young to take the 'Candidates Papers' at the end of the school year. By the third week of the month attendance was down to 41 due to the cold, bitter weather. It was said that because of the bad weather some parents were unable to work and hence had no money to send their children to school. [At this time - and until WW.II - farmers would lay off their workers without pay if the weather was too bad for them to work.]

In March Mr. and Mrs. Household visited the school and left money to be divided among the six children who had put in the most attendances. The Log Book records: Lack of money is the usual excuse for not sending children but "one or two strange mothers seem to grudge the time it takes to get their children clean and tidy to attend school so painfully ignorant are they themselves that the value of having their little ones properly trained and taught never enters their mind for one moment and so the most ridiculous excuses are made for their neglect".

Later that month the Log gives a list of 15 parents seen; their excuses for not sending their children to school include 'bad throat, full of sores, not well, bad face, mother ill, won't come, mother been out, no shoes to wear, bad foot, no money and no reason at all'! In April Mumps made its appearance in the village and gave mothers a more legitimate excuse for not sending their children. At the end of the month the Board decided that Emma Rolph should assist in the Mixed Department - a monitress taking her place in the Infants.

In May E.Johnson, the monitress, was said to be managing her 3rd.Class 'fairly'. In June Scarlet Fever was about in the village and children were sent home with Ringworm on the head. The Pupil Teachers went to Bury St.Edmunds for their Examination. The school was inspected by C.Laughton, H.M.Inspector, in July. The Infant's work was sold and raised 1.6.4d. New material was supplied by Mrs.Howard. The Mistress laments that there was very poor attendance as 'so many are taken into the fields with their parents'. The average attendance for the first week of August was 40.6 when the Mistress again records "The parents appear to have little or no control over their children and they just come to school or stay at home at their pleasure". The excuse often given to the Mistress is "did not want to come"!

The school resumed on October 7th. after the Harvest Holiday. Attendance was poor - the excuse given being 'wanted at home to pick potatoes'. One had 'no clothes to wear'! In November five or six children were refused admission in obedience to the wish of J.Howard who objected to very young children being in school. [As they were too young to help at home or in the fields the parents were happy to let the school take responsibility for their very young children all day.] Emma Johnson was having trouble with discipline and Naomi Rolph was sent to help - but, as the Mistress states, both teachers are 'too young to maintain order'.

In mid December Naomi Rolph gave "a very good lesson on 'Candles' to the 2nd.Class". The other teacher was absent with a sore throat. Several articles were finished off that week ready for the Annual Inspection. The average attendance was 81.7. The school was closed at the usual hour on 23rd.December for the weeks Christmas holiday.

The Inspector's Report for 1880/81 records that Emma L.Rolph passed her Examination. The school was in good order and the general state of instruction is satisfactory. The Grant for the coming year was to be 65.13s.

R.A.Silverlock. Feb. 2000.
see also School in 1878, 1879, 1880, 1882, 1883, Illness, Poverty and Postscript



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