Education in England:
a brief history

back to the current version


Education in England: a brief history
Derek Gillard

New version : notes on progress

The current version of Education in England: a brief history was revised and updated in 2010 and published in January 2011.

In November 2014 I started work on a major revision. So far, I have rewritten the chapters covering the period up to 1990 and also the chapter dealing with the period of the coalition government, 2010-2015. I am now working on the remaining chapters, covering 1990-2010.

Uploading individual chapters as I revise them would cause confusion both for me and for my readers, so the new version will not be available online until it is complete (apart from the chapter on the coalition government, a draft of which is currently available as chapter 13).

The contents of the chapters revised so far are set out below. I will update this page each time I finish a chapter.

I am hoping to finish the new version of Education in England: a brief history in the spring of 2018. I hope you will feel that it was worth waiting for!

Derek Gillard
30 October 2017.



Contents of the revised chapters

Note: some of these headings may be changed in the final version.

Chapter 1 : Up to 1500
Beginnings

AD43-1100 The earliest schools
The Romans
St Augustine
Grammar schools and song schools
Alcuin
King Alfred and the Vikings
The Normans

1100-1400 Expansion and development
The schools
   The schoolmaster
   Organisation and curriculum
   Literacy
The universities
   Origins
   Curriculum and organisation
   Discipline
   Fourteenth century problems
Wycliffe and the Lollards

1400-1500 Growing demand for education
The schools
   Chantry schools
   Independent schools
   The teachers
   The teaching
   Punishment
Chivalric training and apprenticeships
The universities
   Expansion
   The curriculum
   Discipline
Preparing for change

References

Chapter 2 : 1500-1600
Renaissance and Reformation

Introduction
Renaissance
Reformation

Henry VIII 1509-1547
The schools
   The dissolution of the monasteries
   The first Chantry Act (1545)
   The curriculum
   The education of girls
   Holidays
   The teachers
The universities
Other issues
   Literacy and the vernacular
   Humanism

Edward VI 1547-1553
The schools
   The second Chantry Act (1547)
The universities
The poor
Edward's legacy

Mary I 1553-1558

Elizabeth I 1558-1603
Religious background
   Puritanism
   Catholicism
The schools
   The teachers
   The grammar schools
   The petties
   An Elizabethan schoolroom
   The plight of the poor
   Contemporary views on education
Other forms of education
   Apprenticeships
   The chivalric system and the courtly academies
   The Inns of Court
   Gresham College
The universities
   The universities and the crown
   The students
   The colleges
   University studies
Education in Scotland

Conclusions

References



Chapter 3 : 1600-1660
Revolution

Introduction
Political background
   The early Stuarts 1603-1649
   The Commonwealth 1649-1660
Religious background
   Millenarian eschatology

The Puritans and education
Universal education
Curriculum
Pedagogy
Punishment
Teacher training
Conclusions
Key figures
   Francis Bacon
   John Comenius
   Samuel Hartlib
   John Dury
   William Petty
   John Milton
   Charles Hoole
   James Harrington
   Gerrard Winstanley

The schools
The grammar-school curriculum
The education of girls
The teaching profession
Schools in Wales, Ireland and Scotland

The universities
1600-1640
The 1640s
The 1650s

References

Chapter 4 : 1660-1750
Restoration

Introduction
Political background
Educational background
   John Locke (1632-1704)

The schools
The grammar schools
Girls' schools
Unendowed academies
Charity schools
The workhouse
The education of the gentry
Schools in Scotland

The universities
Science
History

The dissenting academies
Introduction
The 1662 Act of Uniformity
Hostility
Schools
Academies
The tutors
   Philip Doddridge (1702-1751)
Conclusions

References



Chapter 5 : 1750-1860
Towards mass education

Background
The Industrial Revolution

Social, political and educational movements
Literary and philosophical societies
Radicalism
   Corresponding Societies
   Utilitarianism
   Evangelicalism
   Radical-Whig alliance
Mechanics' Institutes
Owenism and the co-operative movement
Chartism
Mid-century radicalism

Mass education
Hostility
1802 Factory Act
1807 Parochial Schools Bill
1820 Henry Brougham's bill
1833 First government grant
1833 Factories Act
1839 The Committee of Council
1843 James Graham's bill
Edward Baines and voluntaryism
1855 Sir John Pakington's bill
School attendance
Literacy

Schools for the working classes
Charity schools
Dame and private-venture schools
Church schools
   England and Wales
   Scotland
Sunday schools
Monitorial schools
Bentham's Chrestomathic School
Robert Owen's infant schools
Elementary schools
Vocational education
The education of girls
The very poor
   Workhouse schools
   Ragged schools
   Industrial and reformatory schools
   Scotland
Teacher training

The education of the middle and upper classes
The grammar schools
Private schools and academies
The public schools
Preparatory schools
The education of girls
Secondary education in Scotland

Special educational needs
Provision for
 - the blind
 - the deaf
 - the physically handicapped
 - the mentally defective

Higher education
Oxford and Cambridge
University of London
Owens College, Manchester
The Scottish universities
The professions

References

Chapter 6 : 1860-1900
A state system of education

Background

The education of the working class
1861 Newcastle Report
1862 Revised Code
1870 Elementary Education Act
   Background
   Summary
   The church problem
   The school boards
   The elementary schools
   Conclusions
1873-9 Elementary Education Acts
1880 Elementary Education Act
1882 Mundella Code
1891 Elementary Education Act
The teachers
Infant schools
Literacy
Attendance
Higher elementary education
   Higher Grade Schools
   1886-8 Cross Commission
   Scholarships

The education of the upper class
1864 Clarendon Report
   Management of the schools
   The curriculum
   Upper-class preserves
1868 Public Schools Act

The education of the middle classes
1868 Taunton Report
   Taunton's findings
   Endowments
   Management and administration
   The three-grade scheme
   The curriculum
   The education of girls
   Examinations
The reform of endowments
   1868 Endowed Schools Act
   1869 Endowed Schools Act
   The Endowed Schools Commission
   1874 Endowed Schools Act
1895 Bryce Report

Scotland
Elementary education
Secondary education
The education of girls

Science and technology
1875 Devonshire Report
1882 Aberdare Report
1884 Samuelson Report
1889-1892 Further Acts

The education of girls

Child welfare and special educational needs
Child welfare
Special educational needs
Provision for
   the deaf and blind
   the physically and mentally handicapped
   defective and epileptic children

Higher education
New colleges
Oxford and Cambridge
   1862 Oxford University Act
   1871 Universities Tests Act
Polytechnics

And finally ...
The government of education
   1888 Local Government Act
   1899 Board of Education Act
Mundella's legacy
Education and society
   Social conditions
   Socialism and education
   Initiatives
   A common education for all
Education as a science

References



Chapter 7 : 1900-1923
Secondary education for some

Background

1902 Education Act (Balfour)
The issues
   The school boards
   Religion
   Secondary education
Preparation of the bill
Summary of the Act
Comment on the Act
After the Act
   The local education authorities
   Religion and secularism
   Teacher training
   Attempts to revise the Act

Education 1902-1914
Secondary education
   Grammar schools
   Central schools
   Day trade schools
   1904 Secondary Regulations
   1907 Education (Administrative Provisions) Act
   1907 Free Place Regulations
   Junior technical schools
   Secondary education for girls
Elementary schools
   Curriculum
   Infant education
   Higher elementary schools
Child welfare
   Child labour
   School meals
   Children's health
Consultative Committee Reports
   1906 Higher elementary schools
   1908 Under-fives
   1909 Continuation Schools
   1911 Examinations
   1913 Practical work
The Great Unrest

1914-18 World War I
Background
Education during the war
   1917 Lewis Report
   1918 Thomson Report

1918 Education Act (Fisher)
Progress of the bill
Summary of the Act
The fate of the Act

Education 1918-1923
Background
Economic woes
   The Burnham Committee
   Suspension of the 1918 Act
   The Geddes Axe
   Further cuts
Secondary education
   1920 Young Report
   The curriculum
   Girls' secondary education
   1922 Secondary Education for All
1921 Newbolt Report
1921 Education Act
   Summary of the Act

Progressive education

Higher education
University expansion
State funding
The teaching
The students
Acts of Parliament
Royal Commissions

Adult education
Workers' Educational Association
Ruskin College Oxford
Other developments

Special educational needs
Provision for
    mentally defective children
    the blind
    the deaf
    maladjustment

References

Chapter 8 : 1923-1939
From Hadow to Spens

Background

The Hadow Reports 1923-33
1923 Curriculum differentiation
1924 Psychological tests
1926 Education of the adolescent
1928 Books in elementary schools
1931 The primary school
1933 Infant and nursery schools
Hadow's legacy

1924-36 The leaving age battle
1924 Labour: reversing the engines
1924-1929 Baldwin's Tories
   More cuts
   Reaction to the 1926 Hadow Report
   The New Prospect in Education
   The NUT's response
   Opposition
   Free places
   Hadow reorganisation
   The churches and reorganisation
1929-31 Labour's second administration
1931-39 National Government
   Circular 1421: more budget cuts
   LCC: calls for comprehensivisation
   The School Age Council
   1935 General Election
   Circular 1444
Secondary education in the 1930s

1936 Education Act
   Opposition to the bill
   Summary of the Act
   Criticism of the Act

The notion of fixed intelligence
Cyril Burt
Streaming

1938 Spens Report
Background
The views of witnesses
Recommendations
Reaction to the report

The government of education
Budget cuts
The local authorities
The Board of Education
   Personnel
The position in 1938

Progressive education

The public schools

Higher education

Technical education

Special educational needs
Provision for
   mentally defective children
   the deaf
   maladjustment

References



Chapter 9 : 1939-1945
Educational reconstruction

Background

The major issues
The public schools
Secondary education
The school leaving age
The dual system

Towards an education bill
The Green Book (1941)
   Background
   Proposals
   Reaction
   Conclusions
Butler takes over
Norwood Report (1943)
White Paper (1943)
   Background
   Mixed messages
   Proposals
McNair Report (1944)
Fleming Report (1944)

1944 Education Act
The Education Bill
Provisions of the Act
Summary of the Act
   I Central Administration
   II Statutory System
   III Independent Schools
   IV General
   V Supplemental
   Schedules
The Act in practice
   The government of education
   The dual system
   The religious clauses
   Special educational needs
   Teachers' pay

Conclusions
Achievements
Criticisms
The major issues
   The public schools
   Secondary education
   The school leaving age
   The dual system

A moment of hope

References

Chapter 10 : 1945-1951
Labour and the tripartite system

Background

Ellen Wilkinson 1945-1947
Early days
The school leaving age
The tripartite system
   The Nation's Schools (1945)

George Tomlinson 1947-1951
The tripartite system
   The New Secondary Education (1947)
   Elitist ideology
   Development plans
   The schools
   Budget cuts
   Labour anger
   A policy for secondary education (1951)
   Effect on primary education
   Conclusions
Other matters
   The curriculum
   Examinations
   Teacher training
   School buildings
   CACE Reports
   More Acts of Parliament

The public schools

Further education

Higher education
Participation rates
Science and technology
   Percy Report 1945
   Barlow Report 1946
   Parliamentary and Scientific Committee Report 1946

Conclusions

References



Chapter 11 : 1951-1964
The wind of change

Background
Political background
Education
   Growth
   Government
   Education and society

Budget cuts
Tory education policy
Budget battles
   Horsbrugh
   Eccles

Comprehensivisation
Tory hostility
   Horsbrugh
   Eccles
   Lloyd
   Eccles (again)
   Boyle
Concerns about the tripartite system
   Parental dissatisfaction
   Intelligence testing
   Effects on primary schools
   Streaming in comprehensive schools
   The grammar school lobby
Progress
   Labour
   England
   Scotland
   Wales
Two campaigners
   Robin Pedley
   Brian Simon
The position in 1960
   London
   Leicestershire
   Turning point

Four reports
Gurney-Dixon (1954)
Crowther (1957)
Beloe (1960)
Newsom (1963)

Middle schools
Background
Sir Alec Clegg
1964 Education Act
Educational justification

The teachers
Teacher training
The Schools Council
Industrial relations

Special educational needs
Post-war progress
Immigration
Further developments
   NACTST Report (1954)
   Underwood Report (1955)
   1959 Mental Health Act
   1962 Health Visiting and Social Work (Training) Act

Further and higher education
Science and technology
Expansion of higher education
   Labour's study group
   Robbins Report (1963)
Further education
Adult education

Other matters
Local government in London
More Acts of Parliament

Conclusions

References

Chapter 12 : 1964-1970
The golden age?

Background
Politics
Society
Education

The sociology of education
National Survey of Health and Development
Education and the Working Class

Labour and comprehensive education
Labour's 1964 manifesto
The new government
Circular 10/65
General election 1966
   Labour's manifesto
   A clear mandate
Attitudes
   Teachers
   Parents
   The Tories
A mixed picture
Streaming
   Examinations
   Unstreaming

Primary education
Background
Progressivism
Plowden Report (1967)
   Background
   The Committee
   Contents
   Reception and reaction

Middle schools
Rapid development

The teachers
Teacher training
   Pupil numbers
   Qualifications
   Course content
The Schools Council
Innovation
Industrial relations

Special educational needs
Immigration
   Section 11
1968 Summerfield Report
1970 Education (Handicapped Children) Act

The public schools
The Public Schools Commission
   Newsom Report (1968)
   Donnison Report (1970)

Further and higher education
The binary system
New universities
Polytechnics
Science in schools
The Open University
Further education
The student revolt

Other Acts of Parliament
1967 Education Act
1968 Education Act
1969 Children and Young Persons Act

Conclusions
Optimism
The Black Papers
   1: Fight for Education
   2: The Crisis in Education
   Assessment

References



Chapter 13 : 1970-1974
Applying the brakes

Background
Edward Heath
The economy
Downfall
Education
   Margaret Thatcher
   Consensus under threat

The rise of the New Right
Black Paper Three
The preservationists

Comprehensivisation
Circular 10/70
Reaction
Confrontation
The direct grant schools

Other school matters
School building
The school leaving age

Further and higher education
The Open University
1972 James Report
1972 White Paper

Legislation

Conclusions
Disintegration
Legacy

References

Chapter 14 : 1974-1979
Progressivism under attack

Background
Harold Wilson
Jim Callaghan
End of the post-war consensus
Education

Teachers
Accountability
Houghton pay award
Militancy
Teacher training crisis

Comprehensivisation
Circular 4/74
Direct grant schools
1976 Education Act
Parental choice
Hostility
   The press
   Black Paper 1975
   Panorama

1975 Bullock Report
   A language for life

1976: Turning point
Five factors
   Recession
   Employers' complaints
   Media hostility
   Political interests
   Callaghan's background
Neville Bennett's report
The William Tyndale Affair
The Yellow Book
   Background
   Misconceptions
   Content
Ruskin College Speech
   Background
   Content
   Reaction

The Great Debate
Regional conferences
1977 Green paper
Curriculum models
   The HMI model
   The DES model
Demoralisation

1977 Taylor Report
   A new partnership for our schools

1978 Primary survey

1978 Oakes Report
   Management of higher education

A single exam system
1978 Waddell Report
1978 White Paper

Special educational needs
1974 White Paper
Assessment
Integration
1976 Court Report
1978 Warnock Report

Other legislation

The victory of the New Right
Black Paper 1977
The Gould Report
The Tories in opposition

References



Chapter 15 : 1979-1990
Thatcherism

Background
Thatcher's three terms
Neo-liberalism
   The 'New Right'
Education Secretaries
   Mark Carlisle
   Keith Joseph
   Kenneth Baker
   John MacGregor

1979-83 Preparing the ground
Budget cuts
The end of comprehensivisation
   Selection
   Assisted Places Scheme
Confrontation
Parent power
   Education vouchers
   1980 Education Act
   1981 Education Act
The curriculum
   DES publications
   HMI publications
   Schools Council contribution
   Inside the primary classroom
   Youth Training Scheme
   TVEI
   Microelectronics education
The teachers
   1983 White Paper
Reports
   1981 Rampton: West Indians
   1982 Cockcroft: Maths
HMI surveys
   Secondary education
   Education 5 to 9
   9-13 middle schools
Higher education
   1983 Education (Fees and Awards) Act

1983-1987 Increasing the pressure
Second term priorities
   Differentiation
   Joseph's aims
   Other Tory views
   Circular 8/83
Parent power
   1984 Green Paper
   1985 White Paper
   Sex education
   1986 Education (No. 2) Act
The curriculum
   General Certificate of Secondary Education
   The Curriculum from 5 to 16
The teachers
   The Schools Council
   ACSET
   Teachers' pay and conditions
The local authorities
   Education Support Grants
   Rate-capping
   Specific grants for in-service training
   Publication of political material
Vocational education
1985 Swann Report: Ethnic minorities
Growing anxiety
   Oxford and Thatcher
   1985 Jarratt Report
   Jackson Hall's warning
The end of Joseph
Baker's first year
   City Technology Colleges
   National core curriculum
   Local management of schools
   Higher education
   Opting out

1987-1990 Taking control
Conservative election manifesto
Section 28
Towards the Education Reform Act
   The National Curriculum
   Task Group on Assessment and Testing
   Subject working groups
The Education Reform Bill
   Second reading
   Committee stage
   The Bill in the Lords
   Final debates
1988 Education Reform Act
   Summary of the Act
   Reaction
After the Act
   Curriculum and assessment
   Local management of schools
   Grant-maintained schools
   City Technology Colleges
   ILEA
Reports
1988 Kingman: English
1988 Higginson: A Levels
1989 Elton: discipline
1989 Cox: English
1990 Rumbold: early years
Beyond Baker
   John MacGregor
   Student loans

Conclusions

References



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