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School Attendance Officers…

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School Attendance Officers Conference. The.annual conference of the South Wales Federation of School Attendance Officers was held at Cardiff, when Mr. John Morgan, attendance officer under the Pontypridd Education Authority, read a paper in which he dealt with the problem of attendance. He explained that the officer came into existence as the result of the Education Act of 1870. Many changes had occurred since then, when the average school life of the scholars was 3.76 years. Gradually the number of years has increased, until at present the average duration of school life is 8 years. By sheer merit the attendance officer has won for himself an important position in the vast organisation of education, and it is becoming more and more evident that the public are arriving at a just recog- nition of the nature of our work. The teachers' acquaintance with the pupils is confined to the school—the officer comes into contact with the parents in the home. He visits the home as the friend of the child, often to secure for the child its birthright of education, and to safe- guard it from a cruel industrial system, which is every ready to claim its services. Hence it was but natural that the officer had enemies, which called for judgment and discretion in the performance of his duties which necessitated our being firm without overbearing. In these days the officer has to know the code, as he is often asked for advice by parents. He must know something of law bearing on his own sphere of work. Yet when we take into consideration the many qualities and qualifications the officer is called upon to use in the successful accomplishment of his work, he is not fitly remunerated.

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