Ancestry UK

The Plymouth Truant Industrial School for Boys, Plymouth, Devon

In 1882, the Plymouth School Board opened a Truant Industrial School for Boys at Laira House, Embankment Road, Plymouth. The premises consisted of a large old manor house and grounds, which were adapted for the purpose. The establishment was formally certified to begin operation On March 7th, 1882, and could accommodate up to 40 boys. The first superintendent and matron were Mr and Mrs Kirk. They were succeeded on May 26th, 1884, by Mr and Mrs H.C. Fairbank, who were to remain in charge for the rest of the School's existence.

As well as classroom lessons, the boys carried out wood-chopping, gardening, and oakum picking, the latter being later replaced by mat-making and netting-making. The boys also assisted with household and kitchen duties, washed their own clothes, and performed daily drill routines and exercises. A period each day was allowed for play.

The School was formally closed on 8th October, 1906. The site was subsequently occupied by Prince Rock School. The original Laira House building no longer survives.


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  • None noted at present.