School Festive Holidays 1917


screen-shot-2016-10-30-at-16-26-22Schoolchildren in Blantyre were astonished and absolutely delighted to find out on 13th December 1917, that their usual 3 or 4 days school holiday at Christmas and New Year was to be extended to include an unbroken festive holiday from 21st December right through until 8th January 1918.

That December, the Blantyre School Board made that commitment which would see the longest winter holiday for any pupil since schooling started. It is presumed the School Board made provisions to pay the teachers accordingly for that time off.

I can’t help but feel, that rather than legislative, there may have been some thoughts of the ongoing WW1 atrocities and families removed from their loved ones. The war may have put life into perspective for many people, including decision makers nationwide.

When the Blantyre School Board decision was made, there were 3,613 pupils on the register under Blantyre School Board, with an average attendance of 3,201, meaning truancy or non attendance from school was running at an average of 1 in every 12 pupils.

Wouldn’t you have liked to have been in those Wartime classrooms as teachers told the kids the news!

(c) Blantyre Project
Photo is for Illustration only (non Blantyre)

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  1. Hi Paul. Researching the local schools in the New Kilpatrick School Board area for 1917/18 I found reference to the same extended holiday for the schools in their area. Reasons in the board papers were food shortage, bad weather and saving money not heating the school. Food rationing was a major concern in Dec 1917.

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