The 'new' map of Europe would probably be out of date anyway, what with
the rapid changes of country boundaries at the time! Interesting to note
that school inspectors are not now used - at least in Australia -
although I do recall their presence right up to early high school. A
change for the better - or worse? The list is not that far removed from
the present day events, with perhaps some emphases changed. ;)
On 27/10/2018 12:50 AM, Elwyn Soutter via CoTyroneList wrote:
Continuing the theme of trying to get a feel for life in Tyrone in the
1800s, folk might be interested in details of early school records
that they might find interesting.
Broadly, there are 2 sets of records held in PRONI. The first is
attendance records. So that’s daily attendance for each pupil which
can contain their age, townland, parents names and academic progress
(or lack of it). The second set are files on the management of each
school. These contain details of the building, it’s general condition,
the teachers and their salaries, the results of school inspections and
steps made to improve facilities.
PRONI has produced a list of all the attendance records it holds. They
are filed by parish. So it’s easy enough to find out if there are any
records for the school your ancestor may have attended, provided you
know which parish and ideally which school they attended. Many records
have not survived, and it’s worth knowing that most of PRONI's records
are for the National Schools (which commonly started in the 1830s and
1840s). There were plenty of other schools around the country run by
churches and charitable bodies. Their records mostly have not made it
The attendance records are held in the PRONI fond SCH. The list of
schools can be found on the PRONI website. The school management
records are filed under reference ED in PRONI. If you search the
e-catalogue for ED plus the school name you should be able to find out
whether they have a file for the school you are interested in. Note
that both the attendance records and the school management records are
not on-line. They are in paper format and so you need to go in person
to view them (or get someone else do it for you).
I have attached a summary of events for a school in Co. Antrim to give
you a flavour of the sort of information – some of it a bit surprising
– that can be found in the management files. Common themes I have
noted, having looked at quite a lot of these files:
1.Poor standards of education
2.Poor attendance records
3.Teachers failing to keep accurate attendance records. Sometimes not
compiling them. In others increasing the attendance to justify a case
for additional resources (eg an additional teacher). Every generation
has probably fiddled management stats since the dawn of time, and they
were certainly at it in the 1800s.
4.Drunkenness by teachers.
5.Immoral activities with the pupils
6.Teachers having difficulty getting the children to attend school,
especially when there was work to be done on the farm (ie the summer
months). Parents couldn’t see the benefits of education and felt the
children were more useful working in the fields than at school.
7.Lack of resources to teach effectively.
*AUGHTERCLONEY National School, Co. Antrim *(PRONI: ED/6/2/2/1)**
This school opened in 1834 on a 99 year lease. The records up to 1855
have been lost but this file covers from 1855 to 1896. Sad to say,
there was a general theme of underperformance by the teachers over the
2.1.1857 “Manager to secure a more regular attendance of pupils.”
15.5.1857 Teacher P McGoldrick to comply with programme to observe
16.5.1857 48 males and 28 females enrolled; 21/11 actually in
attendance; average ages 8/10; 10 pupils under 9 years of age.
2.11.1860 P McGoldrick admonished for neglecting to enter attendance
17.10.1861 P. McGoldrick admonished not to smoke in schoolroom. Should
he again be reported for doing so he will be depressed or dismissed.
22.2.1862 Deficiency of pupils in writing and arithmetic.
5.11.1862 Low proficiency of pupils. Map of Ireland to be provided
6.3.1863 £8 salary to Rose Duggan as workmistress
20.1.1865 Withdraw salary from Rose Duggan workmistress, average
attendance being insufficient. Windows unsatisfactory. Provide a new
map of Europe.
25.5.1866 Low proficiency in geography and arithmetic. Still waiting
for a new map of Europe.
11.6.1869. Business to be commenced punctually in future. Map of
Europe to be provided.
1871 Sale stock and map of Europe to be provided. Roof to be repaired
and house whitewashed.
1871 Teachers salary was £24 p.a plus free schoolhouse.
21.3.1871 Salary to Patrick McGoldrick terminated 31.3.1871. Retiring
gratuity granted. Patrick Canavan to take over from 1.4.1871.
1872 Manager informed that generally proficiency must be improved.
Patrick Canavan admonished.
Manager admonished re low progress of infants class. 1^st class to be
improved in reading and spelling and grammar. Teacher to repair torn
observations book; keep school clock going and give more attention to
school documents required for examinations.
21.12.1881 Teacher admonished re low proficiency
2.12.1882. Mr P Canavan reprimanded on the very low proficiency and
1.5.1884 some tiles removed from roof by late storms. Doors off out
1885 Manager (who was the local parish priest) refused to certify as
to Patrick Canavan’s character in March 85. Had given notice of
dismissal.Inspector states that suspicions of immorality was the cause
of the manager’s hesitation in certifying as to character.
1885 Marked improvement in pupils performance
1886 Teacher Miss Ellen Mooney is competent
12/4/1886 Manager having asked whether teacher should strip herself in
the room for medical examination. Commissioners commented that they
could not allow such a shocking procedure.
29.9.1894 Teacher cautioned re arrears in school accounts and untidy
condition of schoolroom
31.1.1896 Teacher Ellen Haughan reprimanded for neglecting use of
leave of absence book, whereby but for the Inspectors visit, the
attendance for the day would have stood 8 in excess of what it should
be. Any future neglect of this kind must be considered as rendering
her untrustworthy and dealt with accordingly. Inspector reports
arrears in register and roll book, although teacher was cautioned in
Sept 94 for similar arrears. Commissioners consider that the early
leaving of 8 pupils without any specified reason indicates lax
discipline. (Ms Haughan moved to Feystown school where she was sacked
on 31.3.1900 for gross inefficiency).
I wonder if they ever got that new map of Europe?
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