I noticed a couple of interesting remarks in the meeting notes for Blantyre School Board in January 1916.
The first related to Auchentibber School which had 125 scholars taking exams that year of which 113 had passed. 34 of them with merit. The grant for Auchentibber School that previous year had been £54, 17s and 10d, which was considered for the small size of the school, to be fairly healthy.
The second note was perhaps more interesting. The Chairman of the Board had mentioned he had toured round several Blantyre Schools in recent weeks and couldn’t help noticing the amount of books with torn off covers, or in a poor state. He thought it would be a good thing if the School Board purchased some canvas cloth and rather than get them professionally repaired, teach the school children how to repair the books and let them recover them, in the hope that pride in such work would also prevent further damage. It sounded like a firm plan. Earlier a similar plan had existed where boys had been taught to make soap boxes, progressing their woodwork skills (and making the School Board a handsome profit, for reinvesting back into the school).
In 1915 the previous year, three thousands, five hundred and sixty six pupils (3,566) were at Blantyre Schools, with an average rate of absenteeism of 11.5%.
From the book, “Blantyre Explained” by Paul Veverka (c) 2020