Aren’t you glad that the school year has begun?
Did you know that children were among the earliest settlers in Van Diemen’s Land but there was no record of any schooling until 1806?!
Many parents were reluctant to allow children to attend school when they could be helping with domestic chores.
1868 attendance for children aged 7-12 who lived within a mile of a school was made compulsory, five years later it was extended to 14 years.
Poor attendance was a constant problem as the parties that were members of many local school boards were employers of child labour! They believed their attendance would disrupt the local economy.
Image credit: BSMC Historical Collection: Devonport High School Prefects, by A.W. Marshall 1934.