History of Schooling

We are grateful to Derek Gillard for the carefully researched information which he has provided and which is available on his website for those wishing for a more in-depth article than our own. Here is Derek's site.

Can you improve this page?

Is there anything important that you think we have missed? Do you have useful photographs or other material? Have you a worksheet you could share? Please write to us on the contact page.

School History after the Victorian Period

Balfour Act

The 'Balfour' Education Act 1902 created local education authorities (LEAs), who took over responsibility for board schools from the school boards. Grammar schools also became funded by the LEA. The act was of particular significance as it allowed for all schools, including denominational schools, to be funded through rates.

The Fisher Act of 1918

The Fisher Education Act 1918 made secondary education compulsory up to age 14 and gave responsibility for secondary schools to the state. Under the Act, many higher elementary schools and endowed grammar school sought to become state funded central schools or secondary schools. However, most children attended primary (elementary) school up until age 14, rather than going to a separate school for secondary education.

1944 Act

The Education Act 1944, relating to England and Wales, was authored by Rab Butler and is sometimes known as "the Butler Act". It defined the modern split between primary education and secondary education at age 11, and provided for the raising of the school leaving age to 15. The Act established the "Tripartite System". It defined the grammar school as the place of education for the academically gifted (with entrance determined by a selection exam. Initially this was the "Scholarship" exam, which was later replaced by a "Grading Test" which was then subsequently replaced by the 11+ examination. Children who did not pass the selection test attended technical schools or secondary modern schools.

Previous | Victorian Schooling