School Festive Holidays

Schoolchildren 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, From research of New Kilpatrick School Board minutes from November/ December 1917 I found a similar holiday pattern. However it was noted about saving money from opening and heating schools and providing food-which was in short supply. I recall my grandmother telling me they used lard in place of butter. Margarine came into “vogue” and it was not very good

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