There are now more than 600 historic education documents on this website, so you can read them in full online - or download them - in many cases for the first time since they were published.

They are presented as text, so they are searchable (using your web browser's Find facility or the Google search on the home page), and copiable.

Some of the reports, Acts of Parliament and Official Papers are pdf files which have been downloaded from the National Archives website. The text of recent documents of this type is searchable and copiable, but there is a problem with pre-1988 documents: copied text does not include spaces between words. However, they can still be downloaded, read and searched.

The Acts and Official Papers listed here which are not available on the National Archives website have been photocopied (at the Bodleian Law Library in Oxford) and scanned. They are presented here as searchable and copiable text files, but you can also see copies of the originals.

A few of the documents (marked by an asterisk) are not on this website but can be downloaded in various formats from the Internet Archive site. Links are provided to these.

Crown copyright material is reproduced here under the Open Government Licence for public sector information.

If you spot any errors, or have any comments, or if there's a particular document you'd like to see online, send me an email: contact details are here.

Documents Archive

The documents are listed chronologically under the following headings:

almost all the important reports on education in England and Wales since 1900

Other Documents
a selection of DES and HMI publications, government circulars, speeches etc

Official Papers
Green papers (discussion documents) and White papers (proposals for legislation) etc

a handful of historic texts

Acts of Parliament
Acts of the UK Parliament relating to children, schools and education are now listed separately.

If you would prefer to see a single chronological list, my Timeline includes links to all the documents.

Primary education in England

The website of the Cambridge Primary Review Trust now contains probably the largest single compendium of evidence and commentary on English primary education.


on education in England and Wales

1861 *Newcastle Report Royal Commission on the state of popular education in England Vol I London: HMSO

1868 *Report of the Schools Inquiry Commission (Taunton Report) Vol I London: HMSO.

Girls' Schools: Chapter VI of the Schools Inquiry Commission Report.
1884 *Samuelson Report Royal Commission on Technical Instruction (Second Report) London: HMSO

1888 *Cross Commission Final Report of the Commissioners appointed to inquire into the Elementary Education Acts, England and Wales London: HMSO.

1889 Report of the Royal Commission on the Blind, the Deaf and Dumb (pdf 14.6mb).

1895 Bryce Report Royal Commission on Secondary Education reviewed the progress made since the report of the Schools Inquiry Commission in 1868. Its recommendations were implemented by the 1899 Board of Education Act and the 1902 Education Act.

1904 *Report of the Inter-Departmental Committee on Physical Deterioration (Fitzroy Report) London: HMSO.

1905 *Board of Education Reports on children under five years of age in public elementary schools, by Women Inspectors Cd 2726 London: HMSO.

1906 Dyke Report Questions Affecting Higher Elementary Schools (Board of Education Consultative Committee): made recommendations regarding the role, staffing and curriculum of Higher Elementary Schools.

1908 Acland Report School Attendance of Children Below the Age of Five (Board of Education Consultative Committee): made recommendations regarding the provision and content of nursery school education.

1908 *Oxford Report Oxford and Working-class Education: joint committee of WEA and university representatives argued that Ruskin College should be subsumed into the university.

1909 *George (Lord) Curzon Principles and Methods of University Reform.

1909 Acland Report Attendance, Compulsory or Otherwise, at Continuation Schools (Board of Education Consultative Committee): argued that LEAs should be empowered to require under 17s to participate in some form of post-elementary education.

1911 Acland Report Examinations in Secondary Schools (Board of Education Consultative Committee): this was the Consultative Committee's second report on exams (the first - not online - was published in 1904). It argued that the existing system needed simplifying.

1913 Acland Report Practical Work in Secondary Schools (Board of Education Consultative Committee): argued that secondary schools should provide teaching in 'some branches of Educational Handwork', and should make them an integral part of the curriculum.

1917 Lewis Report Juvenile education in relation to employment after the war Report of the Departmental Committee: proposed a school leaving age of 14 with no exemptions, followed by attendance for at least 8 hours a week or 320 hours a year at 'day continuation' classes up to age 18.

1918 *Thomson Report The Position of Natural Science in the Educational System of Great Britain Report of the Committee of Enquiry: made 81 recommendations covering secondary schools, elementary schools, technical education and the professions.

1920 Young Report Report of the Departmental Committee on Scholarships and Free Places: argued that 'practically all children, except the subnormal' were capable of profiting by full-time education up to 16 or beyond.

1921 Crewe Report The position of the Classics in the Educational System of the United Kingdom: report of a committee appointed by Prime Minister David Lloyd-George.

1921 Newbolt Report The Teaching of English in England: one of four reports on the teaching of English on this website. The others are Bullock (1975), Kingman (1988) and Cox (1989).

1922 *RH Tawney (ed) Secondary Education for All: set out the Labour Party's education policy.

1923 Hadow Report Differentiation of the Curriculum for Boys and Girls Respectively in Secondary Schools.

1924 Hadow Report Psychological Tests of Educable Capacity and their possible use in the public system of education.

1926 Hadow Report The Education of the Adolescent: recommended a break at age 11 between primary and secondary education.

1928 Hadow Report Books in Public Elementary Schools.

1929 Wood Report Report of the Mental Deficiency Committee: made recommendations regarding the classification and education of 'mentally defective' children.

1931 Hadow Report The Primary School: informed many of the policies which were later enacted in the 1944 Education Act.

1933 Hadow Report Infant and Nursery Schools.

1938 Spens Report Secondary Education with Special Reference to Grammar Schools and Technical High Schools: recommended the 'tripartite' system of grammar, technical and secondary modern schools.

1943 Norwood Report Curriculum and Examinations in Secondary Schools: report of the Committee of the Secondary School Examinations Council which, along with Spens, underpinned the 1944 Education Act.

1944 McNair Report Teachers and Youth Leaders: a forward-looking report which made recommendations about the supply, recruitment and training of teachers and youth leaders in post-war England and Wales.

1944 Fleming Report The Public Schools and the General Educational System: considered how independent boarding schools might be integrated into the post-war education system.

1945 Percy Report Higher Technological Education: recommended that some Technical Colleges should offer degree-standard courses.

1946 Barlow Report Scientific Man-Power: argued that Britain's universities needed to double their output of scientists to 5,000 a year.

1947 Clarke Report School and Life: the first report of the newly-created Central Advisory Council for Education (England) was an inquiry into the transition from school to independent life.

1947 Fyfe Report Secondary Education A Report of the Advisory Council on Education in Scotland: a wide-ranging report on many aspects of secondary education.

1948 Clarke Report Out of School: the second report of the Central Advisory Council for Education (England) looked at facilities for out-of-school activities.

1954 Gurney-Dixon Report Early Leaving: this report by the Central Advisory Council for Education (England) was an enquiry into the problem of premature school-leaving in England.

1955 Underwood Report Maladjusted Children: the committee appointed by Minister of Education George Tomlinson in October 1950 recommended that LEAs should set up Child Guidance Services.

1959 Crowther Report 15 to 18: report of the Central Advisory Council for Education (England) which advocated raising the school leaving age to 16 and made recommendations about the education and vocational training of 15 to 18 year olds.

1960 Beloe Report Secondary School Examinations other than the GCE: the report of a Committee appointed by the Secondary School Examinations Council which led to the introduction of the Certificate of Secondary Education (CSE) in 1965.

1963 Newsom Report Half Our Future: a report of the Central Advisory Council for Education (England) on children of average or below-average ability.

1963 Robbins Report Higher Education: recommended a massive expansion of higher education provision to cater for all who had the necessary ability. (See also Dearing 1997 and Browne 2010)

1967 Plowden Report Children and their Primary Schools: the full text of both volumes of the report plus articles by AH Halsey and Kathy Sylva, Maurice Kogan, George Smith, David Winkley, Neville Bennett, Maurice Galton, Philip Gammage, Andrew M Wilkinson and Bridget Plowden.

1968 Summerfield Report Psychologists in Education Services: the first government-commissioned report on the work of psychologists.

1968 Newsom Report The Public Schools Commission: First Report: like Fleming in 1944, made recommendations about integrating private boarding schools into the state education system.

1970 Donnison Report The Public Schools Commission: Second Report: considered the part independent day schools and direct grant grammar schools might play in a state education system which was in the middle of comprehensive reorganisation.

1972 James Report Teacher Education and Training: recommended major changes in the way teachers were trained.

1975 Bullock Report A language for life: major report on the teaching of English, including an extensive survey of 2,000 schools in England. One of four reports on the teaching of English on this website: the others are Newbolt (1921), Kingman (1988) and Cox (1989).

1977 Taylor Report A New Partnership for Our Schools: recommended major changes to the composition and responsibilities of school governing bodies, including roles for parents and the local community.

1978 Sneddon Report Learning to Teach: a report of the General Teaching Council for Scotland.

1978 Warnock Report Special Educational Needs: an important report on the education of children and young people with special needs.

1978 Waddell Report School Examinations: the report of the Steering Committee established to consider proposals for replacing GCE O Level and CSE with a common system of examining at 16+.

1978 Oakes Report The Management of Higher Education in the Maintained Sector: report of the working group appointed by Shirley Williams.

1981 Rampton Report West Indian Children in our Schools: the interim report of the Committee of Enquiry into the education of children from ethnic minority groups.

1981 Trenaman Report Review of the Schools Council: report by Nancy Trenaman for the Secretaries of State for Education and Science and for Wales.

1982 Cockcroft Report Mathematics counts: a major report on the teaching of maths.

1985 Swann Report Education for All: the final report of the Committee of Enquiry into the education of children from ethnic minority groups.

1985 Jarratt Report Report of the Steering Committee for Efficiency Studies in Universities: a report commissioned by the Committee of Vice Chancellors and Principals.

1988 Black Report National Curriculum Task Group on Assessment and Testing (TGAT) (pdf 889kb) set out structure of tests and school league tables.

1988 Higginson Report Advancing A Levels: its recommendations for broadening the sixth form curriculum were rejected by the Thatcher government.

1988 Kingman Report The Teaching of English Language: produced just before the imposition of the National Curriculum. One of four major reports on the teaching of English on this website: the others are Newbolt (1921), Bullock (1975) and Cox (1989).

1989 Cox Report English for ages 5 to 16: the report which formed the basis of the English component of the new National Curriculum. One of four major reports on the teaching of English on this website: the others are Newbolt (1921), Bullock (1975) and Kingman (1988).

1989 Elton Report Discipline in Schools: commissioned by Education Secretary Kenneth Baker, it includes the findings of a national survey of teachers (Appendix D).

1990 Rumbold Report Starting with Quality: the report of the Committee of Inquiry into the quality of the educational experience offered to 3 and 4 year olds, chaired by Angela Rumbold.

1992 'Three Wise Men Report' Curriculum Organisation and Classroom Practice in Primary Schools: produced by Robin Alexander, Jim Rose and Chris Woodhead at the request of Education Secretary Kenneth Clarke.

1994 Warwick Evaluation Implementation of English in the National Curriculum: within a year of its introduction, concerns about National Curriculum English prompted this investigation.

1994 Dearing Review The National Curriculum and its Assessment: Final Report: the Tories' National Curriculum and assessment arrangements were hopelessly complicated. Ron Dearing was called on to sort out the mess.

1996 Dearing Review Review of Qualifications for 16-19 Year Olds: Ron Dearing (then joint Chair of the School Curriculum and Assessment Authority) made recommendations on the development of 16-19 qualifications.

1997 Dearing Report Higher Education in the learning society: recommended wider participation in higher education. (See also Robbins 1963 and Browne 2010)

1997 The Implementation of the National Literacy Strategy: report of the Literacy Task Force chaired by Michael Barber, appointed by David Blunkett in May 1996.

1997 Kennedy Report Learning Works: Widening Participation in Further Education (June): report by the Widening Participation Committee of the Further Education Funding Council, chaired by Helena Kennedy QC.

1998 Crick Report Education for citizenship and the teaching of democracy in schools (pdf 430kb) (22 September): recommended that citizenship education should be a statutory entitlement in the school curriculum.

1999 Moser Report Improving literacy and numeracy: a fresh start: report of the Working Group on adult literacy and numeracy appointed by David Blunkett in June 1998.

2001 Education Action Zones: Meeting the Challenge (26 January): National Audit Office report on the lessons identified from auditing the first 25 zones.

2001 Cantle Report Community Cohesion (December): report by the Community Cohesion Review Team into the riots in northern towns in 2001.

2002 Roberts Review SET for success (April): report of the enquiry into the supply of people with science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills.

2003 Scottish Executive Educating for Excellence: Choice and Opportunity (January): the Scottish Executive's response to the National Debate on education.

2003 Ofsted The education of six year olds in England, Denmark and Finland (July): a comparative study by Ofsted.

2003 Secondary Education: Diversity of Provision (May): Commons Education Select Committee report.

2003 School place planning: The influence of school place planning on school standards and social inclusion (pdf 98kb) (October): Ofsted/Audit Commission report warned of social divisiveness of parental choice.

2003 Ofsted Bullying: effective action in secondary schools: Ofsted survey, based on visits by HMI to LEAs and schools in 2001/02.

2004 Ofsted Reading for Purpose and Pleasure: An evaluation of reading in primary schools (December): called for further intervention in schools were reading standards were poor.

2004 Smith Report Making Mathematics Count (February): report of Professor Adrian Smith's inquiry into post-14 mathematics education.

2004 Scottish Executive Assessment, Testing and Reporting 3-14 (March): final report of the Consultation on Partnership Commitments conducted by Dr Effie Maclellan.

2004 Tomlinson Report 14-19 Curriculum and Qualifications Reform (pdf 920kb) (October).

2004 Scottish Executive A curriculum for excellence (November): report of the Curriculum Review Group.

2005 Steer Report Learning behaviour (pdf 979kb) (October).

2005 CESC Secondary Education (17 March): report by the Commons Education Select Committee critical of the academies programme and the government's plans for 'independent specialist schools'.

2006 CPAC DfES: Improving school attendance in England (19 January): report by the Commons Public Accounts Committee.

2006 2020 Vision (pdf 221kb) (December): report of the Teaching and Learning in 2020 Review Group, chaired by Christine Gilbert.

2007 Ajegbo Report Diversity and Citizenship (pdf 1.2mb) (undated): said pupils should have the skills to 'participate in an active and inclusive democracy, appreciating and understanding difference'.

2007 National Audit Office report The Academies Programme (23 February): critical of the performance and cost of academies.

2007 CESC Bullying (27 March): report by the Commons Education Select Committee called for a national inquiry into the scale of bullying in schools and was critical of the Roman Catholic church for refusing to follow government guidelines relating to homophobic bullying.

2007 Ofsted Report Making sense of religion (June): report on religious education in schools and the impact of locally agreed syllabuses.

2007 CESC Sustainable Schools: Are we building schools for the future? (9 August): Report of the House of Commons Education and Skills Committee

2007 Faith in the System (September): produced jointly by 'the Government and the providers of publicly funded schools with a religious character' to try to tackle the problem of faith schools and community cohesion.

2007 CPAC The Academies programme (18 October): report by the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee argued that academies were 'a relatively costly means of tackling low attainment'.

2007 Conservative Party Raising the bar, closing the gap (November): Policy Green Paper No. 1 - 'an action plan for schools'.

2008 CSFC Testing and Assessment (13 May): report by the House of Commons Children, Schools and Families Committee said 'the national testing system should be reformed ... in such a way as to remove from schools the imperative to pursue test results at all costs'.

2008 Ofsted Using data, improving schools (August).

2008 Ofsted Mathematics: understanding the score (September): see also follow-up documents, March 2009.

2008 CPAC Preparing to deliver the 14-19 education reforms in England (7 October): report by the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee.

2008 Mathematics Performance in Primary Schools: Getting the Best Results (November): report of the National Audit Office.

2008 Successful leadership for promoting the achievement of white working class pupils (November): report by Denis Mongon and Christopher Chapman for the NUT and NCSL.

2008 Getting on, getting ahead (November): Cabinet Office Strategy Unit discussion document analysing the trends and drivers of social mobility.

2008 Interim Report of the Independent Review of the Primary Curriculum (December).

2009 Ofsted: two follow-up documents to Mathematics: understanding the score (see September 2008) - one for Primary schools and one for Secondary schools (4 March 2009).

2009 House of Lords Merits of Statutory Instruments Committee The cumulative impact of statutory instruments on schools (13 March).

2009 Stonewall Homophobic bullying in Britain's schools (March): London: Stonewall

2009 CSFC Report National Curriculum (2 April): report by the House of Commons Children, Schools and Families Committee advocated a slimmed-down National Curriculum.

2009 Final Report of the Independent Review of the Primary Curriculum (April).

2009 Cambridge Primary Review Towards a New Primary Curriculum (interim reports): Past and Present and The Future.

2009 Steer Report Learning Behaviour: Lessons Learned (15 April): the follow-up to the Steer committee's 2005 report.

2009 Macdonald Report Independent Review of the proposal to make Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education statutory (28 April).

2009 Report of the Expert Group on Assessment (May): commissioned by Ed Balls to make recommendations in relation to England's testing regime.

2009 Ofsted Planning for change: the impact of the new Key Stage 3 curriculum (June).

2009 Nuffield Foundation Education for All: The future of education and training for 14-19 year olds Summary, Implications and Recommendations (June): the final report of the Nuffield Review into 14-19 education.

2009 Milburn Report Unleashing Aspiration (July): Final Report of the Panel on Fair Access to the Professions (for the government's response, see Official Papers 2010 below).

2009 Parental choice of primary school in England: what 'type' of school do parents choose? (November): report by Simon Burgess, Ellen Greaves, Anna Vignoles and Deborah Wilson of the University of Bristol.

2010 CSFC report School Accountability (7 January): report by the House of Commons Children, Schools and Families Committee on school self-evaluation, inspection, league tables etc.

2010 Ofsted The National Strategies: a review of impact (February).

2010 Browne Report Securing a Sustainable Future for Higher Education (pdf 799kb) (12 October) recommendations mostly ignored. (See also Robbins 1963 and Dearing 1997).

2010 Steer Report Behaviour and the role of Home-School Agreements (pdf 1.1mb) (15 March): gave advice on implementing changes to home-school agreements as specified in the Children, Schools and Families Bill.

2011 Tickell Report The Early Years: Foundations for life, health and learning (pdf 1.8mb) (undated): made recommendations relating to the EarlyYears Foundation Stage.

2011 Bew Report Independent Review of Key Stage 2 testing, assessment and accountability (pdf 340kb) (June): recommended that published test results should be more comprehensive and seen as a part of a bigger picture.

2011 DfE The Framework for the National Curriculum (pdf 946kb) (December): a report by the Expert Panel for the National Curriculum review.

2011 Report of the Inquiry into Overcoming the Barriers to Literacy (pdf 328kb) (July): report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Education.

2011 CESC Participation by 16-19 year olds in education and training (pdf 844kb) (19 July): report by the Commons Education Select Committee criticising the govenment's decision to abolish the Education Maintenance Allowance.

2011 CESC The English Baccalaureate (pdf 725kb) (28 July): report by the Commons Education Select Committee on the government's proposals.

2011 CESC Behaviour and Discipline in Schools (3 February): a report by the Commons Education Select Committee.

2011 Wolf Report Review of Vocational Education (March).

2011 DfE The National Strategies 1997-2011 (March): A brief summary of the impact and effectiveness of the National Strategies.

2011 Henley Report Music Education in England (pdf 827kb) (undated). See also the government's response to the review (pdf 152kb) (undated) and The Importance of Music (pdf 348kb) (undated): A National Plan for Music Education.

2012 Ofsted Moving English forward (pdf 639kb) (March): set out plan of action to raise standards in English.

2012 Lingfield Report Professionalism in Further Education (pdf 672kb) (March): the interim report of the Independent Review Panel.

2012 CESC Great teachers: attracting, training and retaining the best (pdf 516kb) (1 May): report by the Commons Education Select Committee advocating performance-related pay.

2012 Henley Report Cultural Education in England (pdf 733kb) (undated): an independent review for the Department for Education and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

2012 Lingfield Report Professionalism in Further Education (pdf 438kb) (October): the final report of the Independent Review Panel.

2012 CESC The administration of examinations for 15-19 year olds in England (pdf 659kb) (3 July): a report by the Commons Education Select Committee.

2012 NAO Managing the expansion of the Academies Programme (pdf 520kb) (20 November): National Audit Office report criticising the 1bn overspend on academies in two years.

2013 Academies Commission Unleashing Greatness: getting the best from an academised system (pdf 2.4mb) (January): the self-styled Academies Commission presented a mixed picture of the academies programme.

2013 CESC From GCSEs to EBCs: the Government's proposals for reform (pdf 1.6mb) (31 January): the Commons Education Select Committee criticised Gove's proposal to phase out GCSEs.

2013 NAO Capital funding for new school places (pdf 569kb) (15 March): National Audit Office report warning of a 256,000 shortfall in school places by 2014.

2013 CPAC Department for Education: Managing the expansion of the Academies Programme (pdf 975kb) (15 April): the Commons Public Accounts Committee criticised the DfE for its management of the academies programme.

2013 The School Food Plan (pdf 1.7mb) (July): prepared for the government by Henry Dimbleby and John Vincent.

2013 CESC School sport following London 2012: No more political football (pdf 1mb) (22 July) Report of the Commons Education Select Committee.

2013 SMCPC Social mobility and child poverty in Great Britain (pdf 2.8mb) (October): the first annual State of the Nation report by the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission blamed schools in deprived areas for their pupils' lack of progress.

2013 NAO Establishing Free Schools (pdf 487kb) (11 December): the National Audit Office reported that 174 free schools had cost 1.5bn.

2014 APPGSM Character and Resilience Manifesto (pdf 668kb) (January) report of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Social Mobility in collaboration with CentreForum and Character Counts.

2014 Labour Party Review of education structures, functions and the raising of standards for all: Putting students and parents first (pdf 729kb) (April): Labour Party policy review prepared by David Blunkett.

2014 CESC Underachievement in Education by White Working Class Children (pdf 922kb) (18 June): a report by the Commons Education Select Committee.

2014 Sense and Instability (pdf 1.1mb) (October): City & Guilds Report examining how changing government policies have affected the skills landscape over the past three decades.

2014 SMCPC Cracking the code: how schools can improve social mobility (pdf 1.4mb) (October): report by the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission said schools were letting down many children from poorer families.

2014 NAO Academies and maintained schools: Oversight and intervention (pdf 680kb) (30 October): National Audit Office report criticised the government for creating a confused array of inspection regimes and unclear systems for raising standards.

2014 NAO Investigation into the Education Funding Agency's oversight of related party transactions at Durand Academy (pdf 201kb) (13 November): National Audit Office report on the use of public money by academy trusts.

2015 CESC Academies and free schools (pdf 754kb) (27 January): report by the Commons Education Select Committee said academies and free schools had had little or no effect on improving standards.

2015 CESC Life lessons: PSHE and SRE in schools (pdf 1.6mb) (17 February): report by the Commons Education Select Committee said sex education should be compulsory in all primary and secondary schools.

2015 House of Lords Make or Break: The UK's Digital Future (pdf 3.7mb) (17 February): House of Lords Digital Skills Committee report argued for greater emphasis on the teaching of digital skills.

2015 Warwick Commission Enriching Britain: Culture, Creativity and Growth (pdf 475kb) (February): argued that creativity, culture and the arts were being systematically removed from the education system.

2015 CESC Apprenticeships and traineeships for 16 to 19 year-olds (pdf 868kb) (9 March): report by the Commons Education Select Committee argued for better quality apprenticeships which would not be seen as a 'second class option'.

2015 CESC Closing the gap: the work of the Education Committee in the 2010-15 Parliament (pdf 422kb) (16 March): a summary of the Committee's work.

2015 CESC Extremism in schools: the Trojan Horse affair (pdf 381kb) (17 March): a Commons Education Select Committee report warning the DfE to be alert to the risks of abuse of academy freedoms.

2015 Sutton Trust Subject to Background (pdf 1.4mb) (March): looked at A Level results of bright children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

2015 Sutton Trust Missing Talent (pdf 549kb) (June): looked at GCSE results of bright children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

2016 NAO Financial sustainability of schools (pdf 389kb) (14 December) Report of the National Audit Office.

2016 CPAC Training new teachers (pdf 729kb) (10 June) Report of the Commons Public Accounts Committee.

2016 Rochford Review (pdf 971kb) (October) Assessment for pupils working below the standard of national curriculum tests.

2016 White Paper Educational Excellence Everywhere (pdf 14.4mb) (March).

2017 CPAC Capital funding for schools (pdf 627kb) (26 April) Report of the Commons Public Accounts Committee.

Other Documents

DES and HMI publications, circulars, speeches etc

Note An archive of Maintained schools inspection documents can now be found on the Ofsted website.

1833 Treasury Minute 29 August: set out rules regarding the distribution of the 20,000 grant for education

1839 Orders in Council 10 April: created the Committee of the Privy Council on Education; 3 June: approved the Committee of Council on Education's report on the distribution of funds for public education

1839-59 Minutes of the Committee of Council on Education:

24 September 1839: regulations governing the appropriation of grants
25 August and 21 December 1846: appointment of inspectors; teachers' qualifications and pensions; education of pupil teachers and stipendiary monitors; support for Normal Schools
6 August 1851: grants to certificated teachers in training schools
23 July 1852: grants to assistant teachers in elementary schools
2 April 1853: grants for the support of schools
20 August 1853: Queen's Scholars, apprentices and certificated teachers
2 June 1856: admission of Queen's Scholars and annual examination of students in training colleges
4 May 1859: cancelled Section 9 in the Minute of 20 August 1853
1862 Revised Code: introduced 'payment by results'. Minutes and Regulations of the Committee of the Privy Council on Education; Instructions to HMI: advice on the administration of the Revised Code

1904 Regulations for Secondary Schools: Board of Education document defining a four-year subject-based course

1928 The New Prospect in Education Board of Education Pamphlet No. 60: set out the Board's response to the 1926 Hadow Report.

1943 Sex Education in schools and youth organisations: Board of Education Pamphlet No. 119.

1945 The Nation's Schools: Ministry of Education Pamphlet No. 1: explained and sought to justify the 'tripartite' system of secondary schools.

1945 Youth's Opportunity: Ministry of Education Pamphlet No. 3: set out the government's proposals for the new county colleges which the 1944 Education Act required local authorities to provide.

1947 The New Secondary Education: Ministry of Education Pamphlet No. 9: reiterated the government's commitment to the 'tripartite' system of secondary schools.

1949 Story of a School: Ministry of Education Pamphlet No. 14: a former primary school head described how liberal methods could be introduced in an archaic building.

1951 A policy for secondary education: Labour Party pamphlet setting out the party's policy on comprehensive schools adopted in October 1950.

1951 The Road to the Sixth Form: Ministry of Education Pamphlet No. 19: set out the post-war Labour government's thinking on the grammar school.

1959 Primary Education Suggestions for the consideration of teachers and others concerned with the work of Primary Schools. This Ministry of Education publication provides a snapshot of primary education in the 1950s, eight years before the publication of Plowden.

1960 Music in Schools: a Ministry of Education booklet (48 pages) first published in 1956.

1964 The Leicestershire Experiment and Plan: Stewart C Mason's booklet on Leicestershire's scheme for comprehensivisation.

1965 Change and Response: the Schools Council's report on its first year of operation.

1965 DES Circular 10/65 The organisation of secondary education: requested LEAs to submit plans for comprehensivisation. (See also Circulars 10/70 and 4/74).

1966 DES Circular 10/66 School building programmes: set out government proposals for 1967-70.

1967 DES Administrative Memorandum 20/67 Inhalation of asbestos dust (18 July): advised of the dangers of asbestos in school and college buildings.

1970 DES Circular 10/70 The organisation of secondary education: allowed LEAs to decide whether to proceed with plans for comprehensivisation. (See also Circulars 10/65 and 4/74).

1970 Towards the Middle School DES Pamphlet No 57: set out suggestions on the curriculum and organisation of middle schools.

1970 Sir Alec Clegg Education in Society (text): The Arthur Mellows Memorial Lecture.

1970 Sir Alec Clegg The centenary of public education (mpeg-4 audio file 39mb): Sir Alec's address as one of the two guests of honour at the celebration in Westminster Hall, which was chaired by Rab Butler. Recording kindly supplied by Sir Alec's son, Andrew.

1970 HMI Today and Tomorrow an account of the history, role and organisation of HM Inspectorate.

1971 DES Circular 8/71 Raising of the school leaving age to 16 (24 August): set out arrangements for the raising of the school leaving age to 16 in September 1972.

1972 Sir Alec Clegg Making the whole world wonder (text): an after dinner speech given on 3 August 1972 at the end of a vacation course for teachers at Bingley College of Education.

1973 DES Circular 7/73 Development of higher education in the non-university sector (26 March): advised local authorities about how they could meet the government's targets for non-university higher education up to 1981.

1974 DES Circular 4/74 The organisation of secondary education: reinstated the request (made in Circular 10/65 and cancelled in 10/70) that LEAs should submit plans for comprehensivisation.

1975 DES Circular 2/75 The discovery of children requiring special education and the assessment of their needs (17 March): provided 'a fresh statement of what is involved in discovering which children require special education'.

1975 DES Circular 7/75 Phasing out of direct grants to grammar schools (30 July): explained how the Direct Grant Grammar Schools (Cessation of Grant) Regulations 1975 would be implemented.

1976 School Education in England: problems and initiatives: the so-called 'Yellow Book', prepared by the DES, set out the state of school education in England in the mid-1970s.

1976 Jim Callaghan's Ruskin College speech (18 October) (text): widely regarded as having begun 'The Great Debate' about the nature and purpose of public education.

1976 DES Circular 11/76 Education Act 1976 (25 November): local authorities which had not submitted schemes for comprehensive reorganisation would now be expected to do so.

1976 DES Circular 12/76 Education Act 1976: Support by Local Education Authorities of Education in Non-Maintained Schools (25 November): arrangements must be 'consistent with the Government's policy of abolishing selection for secondary education'.

1977 DES Circular 14/77 Local Education Authority Arrangements for the School Curriculum (29 November): invited local authorities to 'assemble relevant information and to report the results to the Secretaries of State by 30 June 1978'.

1977 DES Circular 15/77 Information for Parents (25 November): set out the nature and extent of the information the Secretary of State believed schools should provide.

1977-82 Matters for Discussion A series of 15 discussion documents from HMI:

  1 Ten Good Schools (1977)
  2 Classics in Comprehensive Schools (1977)
  3 Modern Languages in Comprehensive Schools (1977)
  4 Gifted Children in Middle and Comprehensive Secondary Schools (1977)
  5 The Teaching of Ideas in Geography (1978)
  6 Mixed Ability Work in Comprehensive Schools (1978)
  7 The Education of Children in Hospitals for the Mentally Handicapped (1978)
  8 Developments in the BEd Degree Course (1979)
  9 Mathematics 5 to 11 (1979)
10 Community Homes with Education (1980)
11 A View of the Curriculum (1980)
12 Modern Languages in Further Education (1980)
13 Girls and Science (1980)
14 Mathematics in the Sixth Form (1982)
15 The New Teacher in School (1982)

1977-83 HMI 'Red Books': Curriculum 11-16

Red Book 1 (1977) (second edition 1979) Working papers by HM Inspectorate: a contribution to current debate
Red Book 2 (1981) A review of progress
Red Book 3 (1983) Towards a statement of entitlement

1978-85 HMI surveys In response to Plowden's suggestion that the quality of education in England should be reviewed every ten years, HMI produced, between 1978 and 1985, five major surveys covering the whole school age range:

1978 Primary education in England
1979 Aspects of secondary education in England
1982 Education 5 to 9
1983 9-13 Middle Schools
1985 Education 8 to 12 in Combined and Middle Schools

1979 Circular 14/77 Review Local Education Authority Arrangements for the School Curriculum: DES report summarising the responses received from local authorities.

1980 A framework for the school curriculum: DES/Welsh Office booklet setting out the government's thinking on the school curriculum.

1980 Educational Provision by the Inner London Education Authority: HMI report summarising their findings over the previous five years.

1981 The School Curriculum: DES booklet giving advice to LEAs on curriculum development.

1981 DES Circular 6/81 The School Curriculum: asked LEAs to review the curriculum offered in their schools.

1981 The practical curriculum (Working Paper 70): the Schools Council's contribution to the 'Great Debate'.

1982 Study of HM Inspectorate in England and Wales: part of the 'Rayner Review', a series of studies commissioned by the first Thatcher government.

1983 DES Circular 8/83 The School Curriculum: asked LEAs to report on progress in reviewing the curriculum offered in their schools, as requested in Circular 6/81.

1984-9 Curriculum Matters A series of 17 discussion documents from HMI:

  1 English (1984)
  2 The Curriculum (1985)
  3 Mathematics (1985)
  4 Music (1985)
  5 Home economics (1985)
  6 Health education (1986)
  7 Geography (1986)
  8 Modern foreign languages (1987)
  9 Craft, design and technology (1987)
10 Careers education and guidance (1988)
11 History (1988)
12 Classics (1988)
13 Environmental education (1989)
14 Personal and social education (1989)
15 Information Technology (1989)
16 Physical education (1989)
17 Drama (1989)

1985 Science 5-16: A statement of policy: DES booklet setting out policies for the school science curriculum.

1985 Better Schools - A Summary: DES booklet describing the government's policies for schools in England and Wales as set out in the White Paper Better schools.

1985 Quality in Schools: Evaluation and Appraisal: DES publication based on surveys by HMI of practice in a small number of schools and LEAs.

1986 A new choice of school: DES glossy brochure setting out the Thatcher government's proposals for city technology colleges.

1987 The National Curriculum 5-16: the consultation document in which the government set out its plans for the introduction of the national curriculum and associated assessment procedures.

1987 DES Circular 11/87 Sex education at school: explained the new duties and responsibilities of governors, heads, teachers and local authorities in relation to sex education, following the passing of the 1986 Education (No 2) Act.

1990 Language Awareness and Foreign Language Taster Courses: an HMI survey of secondary schools.

1991 Religious Education: A Local Curriculum Framework: a National Curriculum Council paper offering advice to LEAs.

1992 DFE Circular 9/92 Initial Teacher Training (Secondary Phase): DFE/Welsh Office circular setting out new criteria and procedures for the accreditation of initial teacher training courses.

1993 Spiritual and Moral Development: a discussion paper produced by the National Curriculum Council.

1994 DFE Circular 1/94 Religious Education and Collective Worship (31 January).

1994 DFE Circular 5/94 Education Act 1993: Sex Education in Schools (6 May).

1994 Labour Party Opening doors to a learning society: education policy document.

1995 Labour Party Diversity and excellence: A new partnership for schools: education policy document.

1996 Tony Blair's Ruskin College lecture (text): given on 16 December 1996 to mark the twentieth anniversary of Jim Callaghan's Ruskin College speech (see 1976 above).

1997 DfEE Circular 10/97 Teaching: High Status, High Standards (July): Requirements for Courses of Initial Teacher Training.

1998 DfEE Circular 4/98 Teaching: High Status, High Standards (May): Requirements for Courses of Initial Teacher Training (as reissued in June 2001 with an addendum).

1999 The National Curriculum: Handbook for primary teachers in England (pdf 1.6mb) information and advice for teachers from the DfEE and the QCA.

1999 Ofsted Report Summerhill School (March) (see also 2007)

2000 Curriculum guidance for the foundation stage (May): QCA/DfEE document for early years practitioners.

2000 Sex and Relationship Education Guidance (July). DfEE Circular replacing Circular 5/94.

2002 Languages for all: languages for life: set out the government's strategy for the teaching of foreign languages.

2002 Ofsted Report Inspection of Birmingham Local Education Authority (April) London: Ofsted

2004 The National Curriculum: Handbook for secondary teachers in England: information and advice for teachers from the DfEE and the QCA.

2004 Building Bulletin 98 (pdf 7mb) Briefing Framework for Secondary School Projects (DfES).

2004 Building Bulletin 99 (pdf 5mb) Briefing Framework for Primary School Projects (DfES).

2005 Excellence in Cities: The National Evaluation of a Policy to Raise Standards in Urban Schools 2000-2003 Report by the National Foundation for Educational Research for the Department for Education and Skills.

2006 Primary National Strategy (pdf 922kb) Primary Framework for literacy and mathematics.

2006 DfES School Admissions Code (December): came into force in February 2007.

2007 Ofsted Annual Report for 2006-2007 (October)

2007 Ofsted Report Summerhill School (November) (see also 1999)

2007 DCSF Homophobic bullying (November): guidance for schools.

2008 Cabinet Office Strategy Unit Getting on, getting ahead (November): discussion document analysing the trends and drivers of social mobility.

2008 DCSF School Admissions Code (December): came into force on 10 February 2009.

2009 Ofsted Annual Report for 2008-2009 (November)

2011 Training our next generation of outstanding teachers (pdf 336kb) discussion document from the DfE.

2011 Training our next generation of outstanding teachers (pdf 336kb) implementation plan from the DfE.

2011 DfE Teachers' Standards (July): came into force in September 2012.

2012 DfE Equality Act 2010: Advice for school leaders, staff, governors and local authorities: non statutory advice.

2012 Statutory Framework for the EYFS: Setting the standards for learning, development and care for children from birth to five (pdf 143kb).

2012 2013 EYFS Profile Handbook published by the Standards and Testing Agency (pdf 512kb).

2012 DfE School Admissions Code (1 February):

Admissions Code (pdf 418kb)
Admissions Regulations (pdf 287kb)
Admissions (Infant class sizes) Regulations (pdf 123kb)
Admission Appeals Code (pdf 283kb)
Admission Appeals Regulations (pdf 115kb).
2013 Ofsted New inspection arrangements:
The framework for school inspection (pdf 442kb).
School inspection handbook (pdf 557kb).
Subsidiary guidance: Supporting the inspection of maintained schools and academies (pdf 541kb).

2013 DfE Revision of National Curriculum:

The National Curriculum in England: a framework document (pdf 1.8mb).
Reforming the national curriculum in England - equalities impact assessment (pdf 266kb).
Reforming the national curriculum in England - consultation summary (pdf 221kb).
Statutory Instrument (Attainment Targets and Programmes of Study) (pdf 164kb).
2014 Statutory Framework for the EYFS (pdf 246kb) (31 March): DfE document setting out the standards for learning, development and care for children from birth to five.

Official Papers

Green papers set out the broad direction of government policy to inform public discussion; White papers contain specific proposals for government Bills, which, if passed, become Acts of Parliament.

1941 The 'Green Book' Education After the War: confidential memorandum produced by Board of Education officials. Many of its recommendations were included in the 1943 White Paper.

1943 White Paper Educational Reconstruction: formed the basis of the 1944 Education Act.

1972 White Paper Education: A Framework for Expansion: promoted diversification and rationalisation.

1974 White Paper Educational disadvantage and the educational needs of immigrants: set out the government's response to the Report on Education of the Select Committee on Race Relations and Immigration.

1977 Green Paper Education in Schools: A Consultative Document: began the process of curriculum review called for by Jim Callaghan in his Ruskin College speech of 1976.

1978 White Paper Secondary School Examinations - A single system at 16 plus: set out the government proposals for replacing GCE and CSE with the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE).

1981 White Paper A New Training Initiative: set out the first Thatcher government's plans for implementing the proposals of the Manpower Services Commission, including the Youth Training Scheme.

1983 White Paper Teaching Quality: set out the first Thatcher government's thinking on teacher supply and training.

1984 Green Paper Parental Influence at School: proposed more parent power.

1985 White Paper Better Schools: proposals implemented in 1986 (2) Education Act. See also the DES booklet Better Schools - A Summary.

1987 White Paper Higher education: meeting the challenge: set out the government's proposals for changes in the structure and planning of higher education.

1991 White Paper Education and Training for the 21st century (May): its proposals were included in the 1992 Further and Higher Education Act.

1991 White Paper Higher Education: A New Framework (May): its proposals were included in the 1992 Further and Higher Education Act.

1992 White Paper Choice and Diversity: A new framework for schools: formed the basis of the 1993 Education Act.

1996 White Paper Self-Government for Schools (June): set out the government's proposals for giving grant-maintained schools more freedom, extending choice and diversity, and encouraging the establishment of new grammar schools.

1996 White Paper Learning to Compete: Education and Training for 14-19 Year Olds (December): set out 'the Government's vision of the education and training world we shall need to meet the demands of the next century'.

1997 White Paper Excellence in schools: formed the basis of the 1998 School Standards and Framework Act.

1997 Green Paper Excellence for all children: Meeting Special Educational Needs (pdf 4.3mb) set out five year plan.

1998 Green Paper The Learning Age: a renaissance for a new Britain (February): set out government proposals for lifelong learning which formed the basis of the 1999 White Paper Learning to Succeed.

1998 Green Paper Teachers: meeting the challenge of change (December): New Labour's first Green Paper on the teaching profession.

1999 White Paper Learning to Succeed: a new framework for post-16 learning (June): incorporated proposals for lifelong learning from the 1998 Green Paper The Learning Age.

2001 Green Paper Schools: building on success (pdf 1.4mb) New Labour's rewriting of the history of comprehensive schools.

2001 White Paper Schools: achieving success (pdf 1.5mb) formed the basis of the 2002 Education Act.

2001 The Learning Country (pdf 508kb) the Welsh Assembly's first major statement on education.

2002 Green Paper 14-19: extending opportunities, raising standards (pdf 1.8mb) set out proposals for the 14-19 curriculum.

2002 Education (Middle School) (England) Regulations 2002 (pdf 45kb) specified whether middle schools would be classified as either primary or secondary schools.

2003 White Paper The future of higher education (January): controversially proposed allowing universities to charge variable top-up fees and formed the basis of the 2004 Higher Education Act.

2003 Green Paper 14-19: opportunity and excellence (January) set out proposals for the 14-19 curriculum taking into account responses to the 2002 Green Paper. (Published in two volumes but combined here into a single pdf file).

2003 Green Paper Widening participation in higher education (April): set out the government's proposals for the creation and remit of the Office for Fair Access.

2003 Policy Paper 21st Century Skills: Realising Our Potential (July): set out the government's Skills Strategy.

2003 Green Paper Every child matters (September): stressed the importance of cooperation between all agencies involved in the welfare of children: its proposals were implemented in the 2004 Children Act.

2004 Five Year Strategy for Children and Learners (July): formed the basis for the 2005 White Paper Higher standards, better schools for all.

2004 Scottish Executive Ambitious, excellent schools (November): Scotland's version of the Five Year Strategy for Children and Learners.

2004 Every Child Matters: change for children (December): provided advice and support to those required to implement the 2004 Children Act.

2005 White Paper 14-19 Education and Skills (pdf 524kb) rejected most of 2004 Tomlinson Report's recommendations.

2005 White Paper Higher Standards, Better Schools for All (pdf 964kb) proposed independent trust schools. Led to 2006 Education and Inspections Bill.

2006 Green Paper Care Matters: Transforming the Lives of Children and Young People in Care Cm 6932 (October): formed the basis of the 2007 White Paper.

2007 Green Paper Raising Expectations: staying in education and training post-16 (March): proposed that all young people should stay in education or training up to the age of 18.

2007 White Paper Care Matters: Time for change Cm 7173 (21 June): the Blair government's last education White Paper set out proposals for improving 'the plight of children in care'.

2007 Education and Skills Bill (29 November): became the 2008 Education and Skills Act.

2007 The Children's Plan (December): ambitious plan to underpin all future government policy relating to children, families and schools.

2008 White Paper Back on Track (May): set out the government's proposals for the education of children without a school place.

2008 Green Paper Excellence and fairness: Achieving world class public services (June): set out the government's proposals for increasing social mobility.

2008 Green Paper 21st Century Schools: A World-Class Education for Every Child (December): DCSF consultation paper, part of The Children's Plan.

2009 Liberal Democrats Equity and Excellence (January): set out LibDem education policies for discussion at the party's spring conference.

2009 White Paper New opportunities: Fair chances for the future Cm 7533 (January): set out the government's vision of post-recession Britain.

2009 Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Bill (4 February): became the 2009 Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act.

2009 White Paper Your child, your schools, our future (June): its wide-ranging proposals formed the basis of the Children, Schools and Families Bill.

2009 Higher Ambitions - The future of universities in a knowledge economy (November): published by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

2009 Children, Schools and Families Bill (19 November): intended to become the 2010 Children, Schools and Families Act, but a general election meant that almost all its provisions were lost.

2010 Unleashing Aspiration: (January): the government's response to the Final Report of the Panel on Fair Access to the Professions (see Reports 2009 above) Cm 7755.

2010 Academies Bill: (26 May): the coalition government's proposals for speeding up the conversion of local authority schools into academies.

2010 White Paper The Importance of Teaching (November) wide-ranging document covering teaching, leadership, behaviour, new schools, accountability etc.

2011 Education Bill (26 January).

2011 Green Paper Support and aspiration: A new approach to special educational needs and disability (pdf 1.5mb).

2011 White Paper Higher Education: Students at the Heart of the System (pdf 729kb).

2012 White Paper Reform of provision for children and young people with Special Educational Needs (pdf 958kb).

2015 Education and Adoption Bill (pdf 115kb) (3 June): aimed to speed up the conversion of local authority schools into academies.

2016 White paper Educational Excellence Everywhere (pdf 14.4mb) (March): Endgame - the Tory plan for the final destruction of local democracy in education.


1780 Gotthold Ephraim Lessing The Education of the Human Race An interesting historical text by the influential German philosopher, poet, dramatist and art critic.

1908 Matthew Arnold Reports on Elementary Schools 1852-1882 edited by FS Marvin. Contains a selection of Arnold's annual reports on schools and teacher training colleges.

1911 Edmond Holmes What Is and What Might Be Often seen as the first manifesto of the 'progressive' education movement.

1913 Edmond Holmes Introduction to A Montessori Mother Dorothy Canfield Fisher's book commended the Montessori system of education to mothers in the US and elsewhere.

1915 AF Leach The Schools of Medieval England An invaluable book charting the history of English schools before the Reformation. (Leach is not without his critics, however. See for example Joan Simon's Education and Society in Tudor England Cambridge University Press 1966).

1926 *Kenneth Lindsay Social Progress and Educational Waste: a critical study of the free-place and scholarship system of the early twentieth century.

1934 *Cyril Burt (ed) How the Mind Works: Burt and fellow eugenicists propound their spurious theory of fixed intelligence.

1937 *GAN Lowndes The Silent Social Revolution: an account of the expansion of public education in England and Wales between 1895 and 1935.

1946 GCT Giles The New School Tie: Giles, a lifelong and passionate advocate of comprehensive schools, gives his views on the 1943 White Paper, the 1944 Education Act, and the Labour government's commitment to the 'tripartite' system.

1954 Robin Pedley Comprehensive Schools Today: Robin Pedley's survey of early comprehensive schools, plus critical essays by HC Dent, Harold Shearman, Eric James and WP Alexander.