51 Years of Legislation

The 1870 Education Act was the first piece of legislation applied to the provisions of education in Great Britain on a national scale.[1] The act allowed voluntary schools, like St. David’s School to continue unchanged; however they established school boards to manage schools were the provision of education was considered inadequate. The school boards were locally elected and were funded through local rates and taxes. [2] The act also extended educational opportunities to poor children; nevertheless the act did not make pupil attendance compulsory.  The religious education in the state organised schools was non-denominational, unlike St. David’s School. This coupled with the added involvement of the school boards in the daily life of the school generated fear amongst the Catholic community of government interference in the religious instruction of its children.

The education system was far from settled by the implementation of the 1870 Education Act, and as a result the legislation has been altered and extended throughout the nineteenth and twentieth century’s. The school leaving age was gradually increased over time, the 1880 Act finally made attendance compulsory in an attempt to stop child labour.[3] The timeline provides a snapshot of the legislation passed in the first 51 years following the 1870 Act.

  timeline 2

 

 

[1] Parliament UK, http://www.parliament.uk/about/living-heritage/transformingsociety/livinglearning/school/overview/1870educationact/ (Accessed, 03/04/2014)

[2] Parliament UK, http://www.parliament.uk/about/living-heritage/transformingsociety/livinglearning/school/overview/1870educationact/ (Accessed, 03/04/2014)

[3] Parliament UK, http://www.parliament.uk/about/living-heritage/transformingsociety/livinglearning/school/overview/1870educationact/ (Accessed, 03/04/2014)

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