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Edwardsville Truant School





The Edwardsville “truant school” or South Wales and Monmouthshire training school was built in 1893 and took in boys from all over South Wales and Monmouthshire. There are printed records of the rules and regulations of the school dated 1896. The timetable of the truant school is introduced and the system of punishment detailed. For a first offence of truancy, the pupil will be detained at truant school for three months. School attendance and its enforcement were a problem after attending school became compulsory in the 1870s. The school was intended to solve the problem of boys roaming the streets. Parents of children sent here had to pay a weekly amount for the maintenance of the child but often argued that the child was beyond their control.  To send children to a residential school where they would probably be retained till they were nearly16 years of age, appeared to be a very drastic and expensive remedy for mere non-attendance.  However, these were similar to a borstal and contained ‘problem’ children or the children of ‘problem families’.  At first the Truant Schools were not pleasant places.  They smacked of the prison rather than of the school and the daily regime was quite tough. These schools were never used for girls.  Gradually the school became less strict, leading to the adoption of more enlightened methods. When it ceased to be a school, the building was used as an old people’s home but the building was demolished in the late 1990s. After the school building was knocked down houses built were built on the site. The records of the Edwardsville Truant School are now held in the Glamorgan Archives in Cardiff, but they can only be consulted if the entry is 100 years old because the information in the book is regarded as being of a confidential nature.

Truant School boys on Holiday. Morning Wash.

Truant School boys on Holiday. Morning Prayers.

Truant School boys on Holiday


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