A school log book was a record kept by the head teacher of events during the school week. They give some fascinating insights to school life in the past. We are fortunate to have the log books for Chelsfield School from 1883 to 1920, which have been transcribed by volunteers from Chelsfield Village.  The work of Paul Rason and Liz Stanton has been very valuable in making these logs available for a wider public.   From 1880 school attendance was compulsory until the age of ten. Officers were appointed to enforce attendance,  and parents who kept children out of school to work could be fined. School leaving age was raised with successive Acts from ten to age fourteen in 1918. In 1883 the head teacher was William Bailey. His wife Lucy also taught at the school and a third teacher made up the complement. At times the presence of a pupil teacher was recorded.  The school had up to 150 or so children on the rolls, and was very overcrowded until the new school opened at Pratts Bottom in 1886. The overcrowding caused diseases to spread rapidly among the children,  and one of the striking themes of the logs is the absence and even death of children from diseases which can be prevented or treated now. As the logs are lengthy documents, you can select a summary of highlights, or click below for the full logs: Chelsfield School Log Book 1883-1906 Chelsfield School Log Book 1906-1920  
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