Registering at Haslingfield School, 1873-1900

Registration at Haslingfield School prior to 1900 seems to have been a somewhat haphazard arrangement. Firstly, the Head was required to record the date of registration. Unlike today, where registration usually takes place at the beginnings of terms, children turned up at any time during the year. Heads also had to record dates of birth, and it would seem that children as young as two (the Head Teacher’s own child!) and three were admitted. Some were much older – seven or eight – and had not been to school previously. Schools also had to record where pupils were re-admitted, although Haslingfield School does not seem to have been too diligent here before 1900. It appears that some students registered, perhaps didn’t take kindly at first to school, and were re-registered a year or so later.

As well as the child’s name, the school had to record the parent’s (usually father’s) name. This reveals some prodigious fathering – Charles Butler, Reuben Hood and George Muncey each provided 11 entrants to the school in this period, and Joseph Barnard went one better, with 12. It’s interesting that it was felt necessary to note illegitimacy, although the practice seems to have ended by the end of the century. Some parents clearly could not remember the birthdays of some of their children, where only the month was recorded. Some names also provided problems for the school – a Jededdalyesse Chapman was registered in December 1878, causing a number of crossings-out in the ‘Names’ column.

The school was also required to record ‘Exemptions’ – there was one for a boy becoming a blacksmith, and another becoming a pageboy – and the previous school of a pupil. There seems to have been minimal immigration in this period, as only about twenty of the 700 or so entries record such a school.

I’m hoping to produce a complete transcription of all the Admissions Registers up to1980, and post it on the website some time next year.

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