Over the coming weeks we will be uploading extracts from South Down school log books to this page. Following the 1870 Education Act, all headmasters and mistresses were required to keep a daily journal of school life, that could be reviewed annually by Her Majesty’s Inspector of Schools. As well as information about educational attainment and school discipline, the logs also offer insights into the cultural life of each village, insofar as this impacted on their schools. For example, we find references being made to children being absent because they had gone into the woods on May Day to collect wild flowers for garlands, or to join in the revels of harvest time. Log books also tell us about the weather (heavy snow causing a school to close), or epidemics, such as diphtheria or whooping cough spreading amongst the children, including the grim task of recording the names of those children who died.
List of School Log Books (click to view)