Other material relating to education and specific schools in the town can be found in numerous other collections too, so it is worth doing some keyword searching across all collections in the Lancashire Archives online catalogue.
1862 saw the introduction of payment by results in elementary (primary) schools funded by central government. An inspection system would determine what grant each school received – 4 shillings a year could be claimed for each child with a good attendance record and a further 8 shillings each for children who passed exams in the three Rs.
To provide a record of things which affected the smooth running of the school, those to do with attendance and staff in particular, the principal teacher had to maintain a log book which recorded significant factors and events.
Article 36 of the Revised Code said the book, updated at least once a week, should record ” ordinary progress, and other facts concerning the school or its teachers, such as the dates of withdrawals, commencements of duty, cautions, illness etc., ”
They often contain much more than this, from the mundane to the truly remarkable.
School log books are one of the key sources for how education happened in practice and are the first thing to look at when researching the history of individual schools. They can provide a remarkably detailed insight into school life and although many aspects of the education system changed in the century that followed, log books continued to be kept by all state schools, their use finally petering out in the 1990s.
If you are interested in particular people and their school life, admission registers will giv you the bare bones of information. They survive for some Colne school but are by no means comprehensive. They typically give name, address, parent or guardian, date of leaving and where to. Pre-1914 entries will soon be available to search online.