School Log Books were written up by the headteacher and recorded important events in school life such as the visit of an inspector or governor, closure of the school or a new member of staff. They put in attendance numbers and recorded epidemics and visits of the school nurse. Inspectors' reports were written out in full.
If the school held a celebration for a National event such as Queen Victoria's Jubilee it may be recorded. If you are lucky there might even be a programme or photograph tucked into the book.
Pupils were not generally recorded unless they did something out of the ordinary such as suffering an accident or passing an examination.
The earliest log books date from 1862. Although headteachers are no longer required to keep them some still do.
Not all survive. Some may still be in the school, or in another school if there has been a merger or change of use. All local authority archives should have a collection of their local schools' log books.
Ideas for use
- to find out about the history of your school
- to find out what sort of lessons were taught in Victorian schools
- to find out what was different for pupils in Victorian times
- to find out how national events such as the outbreak of World War Two affected children at school in your locality.