What Are School Log Books?

“School Log Books” are not the same as “Pupil Registers”, and people often confuse the two.

The former were intended for use by the Head Teacher who was required to keep a log of daily events, such as:-

a) – Pupil attendance, and the causes of poor attendance (such as extreme weather conditions, illnesses and epidemics, plus the need for children to be absent so they could help with the harvest).

b) – Visitors (especially inspectors), School Managers, the Vicar, and local dignitaries.

c) – Timetables, lists of subjects to be taught, celebratory events (including days allowed off for such events as “Sunday School Treats” and visits by circuses).

d) – Any problems with the buildings (including heating and lighting) had to be recorded plus any shortage of teaching aids and/or stationery.

e) – Information regarding the ability, health, and conduct of the Staff – teachers, teaching assistants, and monitor/monitresses.

The Revised Code of Minutes and Regulations of the Committee of the Privy Council on Education, 1862.

In 1862, a revised code on education was published by the “Committee of The Privy Council on Education”. This code laid down, among many other things, the keeping of registers, school grants, qualifications of teachers, and stated what the Logs Books were and were not to include.

The following is a copy of that part of the code which, particularly, referred to the use of Log Books.

“In every school receiving annual grants is to be kept, besides the ordinary registers of attendance – “

“(a) A diary or log-book.”
“(b) A portfolio wherein may be laid all official letters, which should be numbered (1, 2, 3, &c.) in the order of their receipt.”

“Diary or Log Book of School”

“56. The diary or log-book must be stoutly bound and contain not less than 500 ruled pages.”

“57. The principal teacher must daily make in the log-book the briefest entry which will suffice to specify either ordinary progress, or whatever other fact concerning the school or its teachers, such as the dates of withdrawals, commencements of duty, cautions, illness, etc., may require to be referred to at a future time, or may otherwise deserve to be recorded.”

“58. No reflections or opinions of a general character are to be entered in the log-book.”

“59. No entry once made in the log-book may be removed nor altered otherwise than by a subsequent entry. “

“60. The inspector will call for the log-book at his annual visit, and will report whether it appears to have been properly kept throughout the year. “

“61. The inspector will not write any report on the good or bad state of the school in the log-book at the time of his visit, but will enter therein with his own hand the full name and standing (certificated teacher of the —- class, or pupil-teacher of the —- year, or assistant-teacher) of each member of the school establishment. ““The inspector will not enter the names of pupil-teachers respecting whose admission the Committee of Council has not yet pronounced a decision.”

“62. The summary of the inspector’s report when communicated by the Committee of Council to the manager must be copied into the log-book by the secretary of the latter, who must also enter the names and description of all teachers to be added to, or withdrawn from, those entered by the inspector, according to the decision of the Committee of Council upon the inspector’s report. The secretary of the managers must sign this entry.”

“63. The inspector before making his entry of the school establishment in the following year will refer to his own entry made in the preceding year, and also to the entry which is required to be made by the secretary of the school.”

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