During early days of the war there was no system for rationing either food or clothes, and there were serious shortages. However, by 1917 the trustees were recording difficulties in obtaining boots for the children, and in that year local Food Control Committees were set up. This meant that at least some essentials were available for everyone, but in small amounts. In addition, the price of food was controlled – up until then, what was available had been extremely expensive, meaning that poorer people could not afford to eat properly. The trustees recorded that the school now needed a licence to buy sugar, and were allowed only 10 pounds a week where they had been buying thirty-six pounds before the war.