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School Attendance Officers

Wellingborough News, 19th January 1878, transcribed by Kay Collins

The Attendance Officer reported that most of the children whom he had reported to the last meeting had gone to school as half-timers.—Mrs. Twelvetree had requested the officer to ask the Board to allow her boy, who is 9 years of age, to attend as an half-timer.

The Officer was instructed to inform the mother that the Board had no power to allow half-time attendance under 10 years of age.

The Officer further reported that he had made 120 visits to children who attend school irregularly during the month, but as most of the parents had promised better attendance no action was taken.

The Officer was instructed to obtain the names of the absentees from Mrs. Wagstaff's school, as well as from the Board and National Schools.

Wellingborough News, 16th March 1878, transcribed by Kay Collins


The term of three months having expired for which the Attendance Officer was elected, it was necessary to re-elect him.

Mr. Colson asked Mr. Butcher if the present School Attendance Officer should be re-appointed.

Mr. Butcher: I don't care; it seems all a farce for me to come here at all.

On the motion of the Chairman, seconded by Mr. Colson, it was resolved that the officer be re-elected, the engagement to be terminated by a month's notice on either side.

Wellingborough News, 16th March 1878, transcribed by Kay Collins


The School Attendance Officer reported that he had visited Mrs. Wagstaff's school, to see her register, and found that she did not keep one. She, however, gave marks for good attendance, and prizes at the end of the year. The officer further reported that there were several children in the village who had not passed the standard, and their parents wanted them to be half-timers.

The Officer was instructed to see the parents, and tell them the children must go to school, or the parents must come and make a personal application for the Board to allow their children to be half-timers.

There was no other business before the Board of public interest.

Wellingborough News, 13th April 1878, transcribed by Kay Collins


The School Attendance Officer (Mr. Clark) reported that he had served three notices upon parents who had neglected to send their children regularly to school. A widow, with three children, who had only her own earnings to depend upon for the maintenance of herself and children, had applied to him for permission for one of her children, aged 8, to attend school as a half-timer.

The Clerk said the Board had no power to allow any child to attend school as a half-timer who had not reached the age of ten years.

The School Attendance Officer was instructed to watch the cases of irregularity in attendance at school on the part of children, and if they did not attend regularly in future to summon the parents before the Board.

The Chairman said it had been brought under the notice of the School Attendance Officer that Mr. Warren, schoolmaster, was refusing to give labour certificates to children unless they had passed the third standard.

The Clerk said the certificates necessary to enable a child to work in a factory was required to show only that the child had attended school a certain number of times in the week, and the teacher of every elementary school was bound to furnish such certificate. At Wellingborough, children of a proper age, who had made the requisite number of attendances at school, were allowed to attend as half-timers whether they had attained the third standard or not, but he advised the Board that if they wished to insist upon the attendance of such children during the whole of school hours they could do so. It was rather an important question, because the decision this Board arrived at now would rule their subsequent proceedings.

The Chairman said in the interests of the children it was essential that they should attend school regularly, and not be allowed to attend as half timers unless they were fairly well advanced in knowledge. Otherwise when the time arrived for them to leave school they would hardly have received any education at all.

The Clerk: You mean, if they have been attending school as half-timers for several years.

The Chairman: I think the officer had better try what he can do with moral suasion.

The School Attendance Officer: It doesn't have much effect upon some of them, Sir.

The Chairman: You might state that we have power to enforce the full attendance of children at school, but are reluctant to exercise it in cases where children have been industrious at school and gained a fair knowledge.

Mr. Sartoris doubted whether it would be wise for the reporters (there were three present) to publish this discussion, because it might lead the public to think that the Board were undecided as to the course they should pursue in enforcing the full attendance at school of the children whose cases they were now considering. The Chairman took a great deal of interest in the education of children, and he (Mr. Sartoris) would leave it to him to say whether the desultory conversation that had just taken place ought to be put before the public, or not.

The Chairman thought they might safely leave the matter of the publication of the Board's proceedings in the hands of the reporters.

Mr. Sartoris remarked that personally he should prefer a full report of the Board's proceedings.

Wellingborough News, 22nd June 1878, transcribed by Kay Collins


The School Attendance Officer reported that he had served eight notices upon persons to attend the Board, who had neglected to send their children to school regularly. One child had missed 28 times out of 60, and two had missed 19 times out of 40. When he asked the parents why they did not send their children regularly to school, they complained of the school being a long distance off, of illness, and of shortness of work.

The Chairman said there was no ground for complaint of shortness of work at Rushden.

The officer was instructed to watch the cases he had reported, and if no improvement was noticeable to make a further report to the Board.

Mrs. Desborough attended the Board, and asked for permission for her daughter Ellen to attend school as a half-timer; she was greatly in need of her services at home to look after the younger children.

The Chairman said the child was not sufficiently educated to become a half-timer, she not having passed the 3rd standard, and the Board therefore, however much they might sympathise with the mother, had no power to grant her request.

The School Attendance Officer said the other children belonging to Mrs. Desborough who attended school attended regularly.

The Chairman advised Mrs. Desborough to send her child to school for another month, in which time, with perseverance, she might possibly qualify herself to become a half-timer.

James York, also appeared before the Board to explain why his two boys did not attend school regularly. One boy did not attend at all, and the other, who had not yet reached the proper age at which boys could leave school and go to work, was employed by Mr. Laughton.

The School Attendance Officer was instructed to inform Mr. Laughton that he was liable to a penalty of £2 for employing a child, contrary to the Act.

York said his wife was ill, and kept one of the boys at home to attend to her, and when she sent him to school he did not go. Did the Board want him (the speaker) to stay at home to see that the boys went to school regularly?

The Chairman said York must take some means to secure the proper attendance of his boys at school, otherwise he would be summoned before the magistrates.

York said he had to work hard for his living; he went to work when he was eight years old, and was he to bring his boys up in idleness? No, he would rather be hanged, for he could only die once. He should not send his boys to school, and the Board might have him; he wanted a rest.

The Board, without coming to a decision as to what should be done with York, then separated.

Wellingborough News, 13th July 1878, transcribed by Kay Collins


The Attendance Officer stated that all the children previously reported had attended school properly since, with the exception of Joseph York, who had attended as a half-timer only.

The Officer was instructed to inform the boy's parents and his employer that unless he attended as a whole timer, proceedings would be commenced forthwith.

The Chairman called the Officer's attention to a number of complaints that had been made to him of several children not attending school who ought to do so.

The Officer promised to give the matter his careful consideration. He then laid before the Board two lists of half-timers who had not passed the Third Standard at the recent examinations.

Wellingborough News, 17th August 1878, transcribed by Kay Collins

The School Attendance Officer was instructed to obtain all possible information with regard to the age of children attending the Board Schools, and lay it before a committee of the Board; and the Clerk was directed to sign certificates of age, by the authority of the committee, who would also have the power to obtain the Registrar's certificate of birth at the cost of the Board.

The Board decided that the harvest holidays should commence on the 16th inst., and continue until the 30th prox.

The School Attendance Officer reported that he had issued four notices upon parents for neglecting to send their children to school, and that they had the desired effect.

The Clerk had issued a summons against Mr. W. Laughton for employing a boy named York when he ought to have been at school, and a summons against the boy’s father for allowing him to be employed.

Wellingborough & Kettering News, July 3rd, 1880, transcribed by Kay Collins

Sharnbrook Petty Sessions – Friday June 25th, before Lord St. John and Jno. Martyn, Esq.

The Education Act—John Wesley, of Hinwick, labourer, was charged by William Packwood, of Rushden, school attendance officer, with non-compliance with an order made by the magistrates, respecting his child, Alma. — He was fined 2s. 6d.
He was further charged with a similar offence in regard to his child, John, and was ordered to comply with the Act.

Wellingborough & Kettering News, October 29th, 1881, transcribed by Kay Collins

SCHOOL BOARD CASES AT RUSHDENJohn Clayton and Elihu Clarke were summoned for not sending their children to school, in accordance with the the Elementary Education Act.— Wm. Clark, school-attendance officer, gave evidence of the irregular attendance—Mr. J. Heygate appeared to prosecute on behalf of the Board, and asked the Bench to dispose of the case against John Clayton, by making an attendance order, as he was willing to see that the children should attend in future.—In the case of Elihu Clarke, Mr. Heygate said the child hadonly attended 38 times out of a possible 68.—The Bench made an attendance order.

Wellingborough & Kettering News, December 3rd, 1881, transcribed by Kay Collins

Wellingborough Police Court FRIDAY, December 2.
Before Mr. Spencer Pratt

SCHOOL BOARD CASESArthur Pruden, Susan Bayes, and Edward Garrod, of Rushden, were summoned for not sending, their children to school. Mr. J. Heygate representing the School Board, asked that attendance orders might be made. The facts having been proved by Mr. William Clarke, the attendance officer, the Bench made the usual orders.

Wellingborough News, 6th May 1882, transcribed by Kay Collins

Sharnbrook Petty Sessions.
Before Mr. Thos. Bagnall, and Mr. E. S. Watson, with Col. Josselyn, Chief Constable.

SCHOOL ATTENDANCE CASES—Thomas Westley, labourer, of Wymington, was charged by Mr. Wm. Packwood, School Attendance Officer, of Rushden, with neglecting to send two of his children to school. Fined 5s.—Richard Rich, labourer, of Wymington, was charged with a similar offence. Case dismissed.

Wellingborough News, 13th May 1882, transcribed by Kay Collins

[Extract] - The Attendance Officer presented his report. He had inquired into the case of Scraxton, and found the statement made by Mrs. Scraxton was quite correct, and that the man was a very respectable, industrious man, and the attendance of the six children at school was very regular. Mr. Claridge would not oppose it—he would rather pay the money out of his own pocket. It was resolved to remit the fees to the extent of 4d. per week for six months from this date. The Attendance Officer also reported that Ada Jane Wooding was in regular attendance according to arrangement. There was no other business of public interest.

Wellingborough News, 7th March 1890, transcribed by Kay Collins

SCHOOL BOARD—A committee meeting of the Board was held on Monday evening to appoint an Attendance Officer in place of Mr. John Sargent, resigned. There were 14 applications for the office, Mr. G. Bayes, of Wellingborough-road, being eventually chosen.

The Wellingborough News, 30th May 1902, transcribed by Gill Hollis

[Extract] - Attendance Officer’s Report
A letter was read from Mr. Bayes (attendance officer) reporting that the parents who had refused to attend before the Board for not sending their children to school had been summoned and fined. Though some of them had stated to members of the Board that they had received no notice to attend the Board meeting they did not repeat that statement before the Bench. He also reported that he was grossly insulted by John O’Brien on Whit-Monday in the presence of a large number of children. – The Board held that the last-named fact was most inexcusable.

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