The headmaster of Three Mile Cross has received his discharge from the army

Things were getting back to normal.

13th January 1919

I have been informed by the Education Secretary that the headmaster of Three Mile Cross has received his discharge from the army, therefore Mr Darlington will return to Hurst Boys’ School.

Jan 13th

Letter from Mr Jeeves to say that the children had collected £2.0.3 during the Christmas holidays for St Dunstan’s Hostel.

Log books of Hurst C of E Boys School (D/P73/28/23);St Mary’s CE School, Speenhamland (C/EL119/3)

For the duration of the war

The harvest was over.

October 4th 1918

The children were taken to gather blackberries. This will be the last time this season – 2 tons 9 cwt 1lb of fruit have been sent away.

4th October 1918

Two half days were granted this week for picking berries and the girls got quite a nice supply.

Little Coxwell
Oct 4th

The children are going out to pick blackberrying [sic] for the last time. Registers not marked in the afternoon.

4th October 1918

The school managers having given permission, the Education Committee has transferred me to the Three Mile Cross Council School for the duration of the war and Mrs Darlington has been appointed to take charge of this school during my absence.

October 4th

A holiday given all day for the children to gather blackberries.

Log books of Francis Baily Primary School, Thatcham (90/SCH/15/1, p. 49); Braywick CE School (C/EL65/4, p. 205); Hurst C of E Boys School (D/P73/28/23, p. 38); Little Coxwell CE School (C/EL80); Chilton CE School (D/P36/25/1)

Taking charge for the duration of the war

Berkshire children continued to gather fruit for jam, while some teachers were still being redeployed to cover shortages.

1st October 1918

The head master was asked by the Education Secretary to the visit the council school at Three Mile Cross near Reading and interview the Head Teacher of that school preparatory to taking charge for the duration of the war.

East Ilsley
1st October 1918

Elder children & those whose parents wished allowed the afternoon to get another day picking black-berries. Probably the last.

Little Coxwell
Oct: 1st

Registers will not be marked in the afternoon as the older children are going blackberrying.

1st October 1918.

Half day for blackberrying, no baskets arrived and berries not sent off.

1 October 1918

Blackberrying this afternoon.

Oct 1st

The children had half holiday for blackberry picking.

Log books: Datchet School (SCH30/8/3); East Ilsley CE School log book (C/EL39/1, p. 487); Hurst School (D/P73/28/23); Little Coxwell CE School (C/EL80); Aldermaston School (88/SCH/3/3); Sparsholt CE School D/P115/28/47)

No school Medical Officer should be pressurised to join the army

The local Education Authority was affected by the war in multiple ways, including the use of schools by the army, the decision of teachers to join up, and the thorny question of whether some of the boys should be allowed to take time of school to help on farms.

Higher Education Sub-committee
Evening and Technical Schools

Letters have been received from the Eastern and Southern Commands asking whether the Committee were prepared to offer instruction in certain specified subjects for troops in these Commands. Similar instruction has been provided by the County Education Authorities of East and West Sussex.

The Sub-committee recommend that, as far as possible, assistance should be given to the Military Authorities, and the secretary has been instructed to report on the matter to the Committee at this meeting.

This Institution is still in the hands of the Military Authorities for use as a Hospital.

School Management Sub-committee
Up to 1st March, thirty-three Teachers from the Elementary Schools of the County had joined H M Forces…

In reply to a letter, the Board of Education have replied that they do not consider that teachers who are absent on Military service can be regarded as forming part of the staff of the school for the purposes of the Code. The Board expect Authorities to make every effort to comply with the requirements of the Code by providing a suitable and efficient staff for their schools and by maintaining them in a state of efficiency. Should it not be possible to obtain the services of a qualified teacher, the Board are however prepared to exercise the discretion reserved to them under the Code and to take into consideration the employment of unqualified teachers appointed on supply.

During the quarter the following schools have been used by the Military Authorities for billeting troops for short periods: Shinfield CE, Shinfield Three-Mile-Cross, and Finchampstead.
The Hungerford Technical Institute (Special Subjects Centre) has also been requisitioned as a Red Cross Hospital since 2nd Fenruary. The Sub-committee have arranged for the Manual Instruction to be taken at the Council School but the Cookery and Laundrywork Classes have necessarily been abandoned for the present.

By-Laws and Attendance Sub-committee

A circular letter has been received from the Board of Education stating that they have been informed by the War Office that there is at the present time an urgent need for more medical men to staff the additional hospital accommodation needed to meet the requirements of the large forces now being placed in the field. The Board of Education has been asked to facilitate the volunteering of officers of the School Medical Service for hospital work. so far as the Board are concerned, they feel that they can give but one answer to an application of this kind. They do not suggest that any pressure should be brought to bear on any particular officer to volunteer for service, but, should any officer desire to volunteer the Board would raise no objection to his doing so, even though his temporary absence may cause dislocation of the School Medical Service. They have no doubt that Local Education Authorities will regard the matter in the same light and will grant leave of absence on terms as will not involve any loss in his salary, status or tenure….

The Sub-committee recommend that leave of absence be granted to either or both of the Assistant School Medical inspectors if they wish to volunteer. They will consider, at their next meeting, the steps to be taken for carrying on the essential parts of the work if either of the Medical Officers volunteer…

School Attendance
The Sub-committee have considered the question of sanctioning absence from school of boys over 12 years of age to take up farm work in places where there is a shortage of labour due to the war.

They have passed the following resolution:

That no general rule for dealing with cases of employment of boys between 12 and 13 be adopted; but that where application is made, particulars be submitted by the Attendance Officer on a special form prepared by the Secretary; and that the Secretary be given power to grant permission (temporary) subject to the approval of two members of the Sub-committee….

The Board of Education have issued a circular letter in which attention is called to the statements made in the House of Commons by the President of the Board of Education indicating the conditions which, in the view of the Government, should be satisfied before the Local Authority excused children from attendance at school for the purposes of agricultural employment. The conditions are as follows:
1. The employment of children of school age should be regarded as an exceptional measure permitted to meet a special emergency, and should only be allowed where the Authority are satisfied that no other labour is available, and in no case should children be excused attendance at school if older children who are under no legal obligation to attend school are available.
2. In considering the available supply of labour, the Authority should satisfy themselves that all reasonable efforts have been made to secure adult labour, e.g. by application at the Labour Exchanges and especially by the offer of adequate remuneration.
3. Every case should be considered on its merits, and there should be no general relaxation of By-laws.
4. The employment should be of a light character and suitable to the capacity of the child.
5. Permission, if given at all, should be given for a definitely limited period only.
Up to the 31st march the number of boys between 12 and 13 who have been excused from attendance at school to take up agricultural employment was 41.

Reports of sub-committeees to Berkshire Education Committee, 24 April 1915 (C/CL1/1/18)