1954 Gurney-Dixon Report (complete)
The Gurney-Dixon Report (1954)
A Report of the Central Advisory Council for Education (England)
London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office 1954
Notes on the text
In April 1952 Sir Samuel Gurney-Dixon (1878-1970) was appointed one of the first two pro-Chancellors of the new University of Southampton, which had previously been Hartley University College.
Later that year, he was asked by minister of education Florence Horsburgh to chair the Central Advisory Council for Education:
To consider what factors influence the age at which boys and girls leave secondary schools which provide courses beyond the minimum school-leaving age; to what extent it is desirable to increase the proportion of those who remain at school, in particular the proportion of those who remain at school roughly to the age of 18; and what steps should be taken to secure such an increase.The twenty members of the Council submitted their report to Horsburgh in August 1954 but before it was published (in November) she was replaced by David Eccles.
In his Foreword to the report, Eccles sounds less than wholeheartedly supportive of its recommendations. He notes that it 'comes down in favour of putting a higher proportion of our most gifted children into grammar schools' and he comments:
Certainly there are areas where the grammar school provision is too low, and the ablest children are not getting a proper chance. But I am not so sure that there should be an all-round increase in the proportion of grammar school places.
The report online
The full text of the report (including the Appendices) is online in a single web page.
The formatting of the text (bold, italics, centred etc) is a reasonably accurate representation of the printed version, but the pages presented here are not exact facsimiles of the original: the font (Times, Arial etc) and size of print - and therefore the number of words to a line and lines to a page - are determined by the settings you have chosen for your web browser. However, the page breaks are correct. In other words, if something is shown here as being on, say, page 103, you can be sure it appeared on page 103 in the original.
I have corrected a handful of printing errors, changed double speech marks to singles and removed the full stop after 'per cent'. Otherwise the text presented here is exactly as printed.
In the Preliminary pages, blank pages have been omitted.
The tables are presented here as images and are embedded in the text where they were in the original.
Summary of the report's main recommendations
The 1954 Gurney-Dixon Report and the above notes were prepared for the web by Derek Gillard and uploaded on 20 April 2011.