From 1862 head teachers were required to keep a log book or day-to-day record of events in their school. The content of these log books could include: information about pupil attendance and factors which affected attendance, such as extreme weather, local epidemics or children helping with the harvest; the visits of inspectors; timetables and the subjects taught; building problems; particular cases of bad behaviour; celebratory events; and teaching staff. The amount of information recorded does vary according to particular head teachers and some log books are much fuller in their daily entries than others.
School log books tell us about important historical information. During the Second World War, they also include information about evacuation.
On the 26 August 1940 we learnt that the Luftwaffe had started the bombing of London and the staff and pupils of Southfield School were directly affected
“As air raids in the London area have started, the school trenches have been brought into use. The children have been well drilled in the use of these trenches. The lighting of the trenches is very poor, and lessons have to be suspended during the period of an air raid warning. I have therefore requested the teachers to use the time left in concentrating on the essential subjects, even if it means considerable alterations in the timetable. ARW = Air Raid warning”
And as we can see from the small section below the pupils and staff spent a large amount of time in the trenches.
This didn’t stop Ofsted from visiting however, as we can see from the entry of 14th September 1940.
“Visit by Miss Hall (His Majesty’s Inspectorate). Miss Hall inspected the trench arrangements during the period of the warning”