4. Pupils were still to pay fees
5. Boards would pay the fees of children who were poor, even if they attended Church schools
6. Boards could, if they deemed it necessary, create a bye-law and table it before Parliament, to make attendance compulsory (in 1873, 40% of the population lived in compulsory attendance districts)
7. Religious teaching in board schools was restricted to non-denominational instruction, or none at all
8. Parents had the right to withdraw their children from religious education. This applied even to church schools
9. All schools would be inspected
During September 1871 the Committee of the Gelligaer School Board met at Vochriw, and after inspecting various sites, selected a spot of ground near the Railway Station for the building of a Schoolroom. In October it was decided “that the vice-chairman wait upon Mrs. Williams, the owner of the land, and negotiate with her for the ground.” However, shortly afterwards a piece of common ground near the Dowlais Iron Company’s colliery was offered. It was therefore resolved that “the offer of the Dowlais Company be accepted with thanks, and that the Clerk write to Mr. Lewis, the Marquis of Bute’s agent, to obtain a grant for the site from His Lordship”. This was obtained and in February 1873, a cheque to the value of £50 was forwarded to Messrs Luard & Shirley, agents to the Marquis of Bute.
From various newspaper reports the contract for the building of Fochriw Board School was signed in July 1873 and the school was opened on 3 September 1874. However, according to the School Log, it was opened on 1 October 1872.
In order that children attend school a fee per child was charged and numerous cases of hardship are recorded for the non payment of same. One such case is reported below.
November 1874. Harriet Jones, a widow from Vochriw, was reported by the officer, and she appeared before the Board requesting the remission of school fees for three of her children attending the Vochriw Board School The attendance officer reported the amount of earnings received into the house, which was £1 13s. per week, and likewise the number of family which is eight. Rev. R. Williams to applicant: Will you assist the Board by paying for one of the children if the Board should agree to pay for the other two? Mrs. Jones: It will be very hard for me to do so. In reply to a question she stated that the eldest boy was occasionally ill, by which he lost a good deal of his time. Mr. Matthews: If the Board will pay the fees in this case we shall soon have half the parish to apply for the remission of school fees. Rev. J. P. Williams: We have nothing to go by in deciding the question