Crowther Vol. I (text)
Crowther Vol. II (text)
The Crowther Report (1959)
15 to 18
A report of the Central Advisory Council for Education (England)
London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office 1959
In March 1956 the Minister of Education, David Eccles, asked the Central Advisory Council for Education (England)
to consider, in relation to the changing social and industrial needs of our society, and the needs of its individual citizens, the education of boys and girls between 15 and 18, and in particular to consider the balance at various levels of general and specialised studies between these ages and to examine the inter-relationship of the various stages of education.
The Council was chaired by Sir Geoffrey Crowther (1907-1972), who had held various governmental posts and was editor of The Economist from 1938 to 1956. Among the 43 members were Alec Clegg, Chief Education Officer of the West Riding; MH Cadbury, Director of Cadbury's chocolate;
Lord James of Rusholme, High Master of Manchester Grammar School; and BWM Young, Head Master of Charterhouse School.
The report frequently refers to 'modern schools'. This means secondary modern schools, which were set up from 1945 onwards to cater for children who 'failed' the 11 plus exam and were not selected to go to grammar or technical schools. Secondary modern schools therefore catered largely for children of average or below average ability.
Some of the report's main recommendations
The report online
The Crowther Report was published in two volumes. Volume I (1959) is the Report itself, while Volume II (1960) contains three supporting surveys. The full text of both volumes is online, each in a single web page.
I have corrected a few spelling mistakes, but I have not corrected the many misplaced speechmarks, some unnecessary apostrophes (as in 1960's), inconsistent capitalisation, and excessive use of the hyphen both for dividing words (teen-ager etc) and for separating phrases. These are all as printed.
In some of the tables in Volume II incomes are shown in shillings. At the time of the report, the UK's currency consisted of pounds, shillings and pence, shown, for example, as £5. 10s. 6d. The pound was divided into 20 shillings, the shilling into twelve pence. Thus 81s. would today be £4.05; 96s. would be £4.80.
Most of the tables are presented as images. Part 3 of Volume II contains some mathematical formulæ beyond my ability to render in HTML, so I have also shown these as images. I have used full stops to indicate decimal points.
Anything added by way of explanation is shown [in square brackets].
The above notes were prepared by Derek Gillard and uploaded on 4 June 2010.