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Education after World War II

The act was of particular significance as it allowed for all schools, including denominational schools, to be funded through rates local taxation , and ended the role of locally elected school boards that often attracted women, non-conformists and labour union men. In the long run the Nonconformist schools practically vanished. In the Methodists operated schools, but these rapidly declined throughout the 20th century. Only 28 remained in The Fisher Education Act made secondary education compulsory up to age 14 and gave responsibility for secondary schools to the state.

Under the Act, many higher elementary schools and endowed grammar schools sought to become state funded central schools or secondary schools.

12 of the Best Post-War Schools Listed

However, most children attended primary elementary school until age 14, rather than going to a separate school for secondary education. The year saw the introduction of the Education Act , commonly also known as the "Fisher Act" as it was devised by Herbert Fisher. The act enforced compulsory education from 5—14 years, but also included provision for compulsory part-time education for all to year-olds. There were also plans for expansion in tertiary education , by raising the participation age to This was dropped because of the cuts in public spending after World War I. This is the first act which starting planning provisions for young people to remain in education until the age of After the passing of the Local Government Act , Poor Law schools became state funded elementary schools.

The concept of junior technical schools was introduced in the s to provide vocational education at secondary level, but few were ever opened. In historian G. Lowndes identified a "Silent Social Revolution" in England and Wales since that could be credited to the expansion of public education:.

Education - Education after World War II | nifaquniky.cf

A report of of a committee chaired by Will Spens , a former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge , recommended that entry to schools would be based on intelligence testing. This was followed by the Norwood Report of which advocated the " Tripartite System " of secondary education which was introduced in the late s. The Education Act of was an answer to surging social and educational demands created by the war and the widespread demands for social reform.

The Education Act , relating to England and Wales, was authored by Conservative Rab Butler and known as "the Butler Act", defined the modern split between primary education and secondary education at age The Butler Act was also an historic compromise between church and state. Three new categories of schools were created. The first were Voluntary Controlled schools whose costs were met by the State, and would be controlled by the local education authority.

The school kept the title deeds to the land, but taught an agreed religious education syllabus. These schools were favoured by the Anglicans: The second were Voluntary Aided schools, which retained greater influence over school admission policies, staffing and curriculum, and which were preferred by the Roman Catholics and by some Anglican schools. The state had little control on syllabus or admissions policy. The schools kept their title deeds. The elite system of public schools was practically unchanged; Butler assembled a committee which produced the Fleming Report of July , recommending that places at public schools be made available to state-funded scholarships, but its recommendations were not implemented.

The school leaving age was raised to 15 under the Butler Act, with an aspiration to raise it in time to 16, although this did not take place until the early s see below. The Act also recommended compulsory part-time education for all young people until the age of 18, but this provision was dropped so as not to overburden the post-war spending budget as had happened similarly with the Act of Changes in government approaches towards education meant that it was no longer regarded adequate for a child to leave education aged 14, as that is the age when they were seen to really understand and appreciate the value of education, as well as being the period when adolescence was at its height.

It was beginning to be seen as the worst age for a sudden switch from education to employment, with the additional year in schooling to only provide benefits for the children when they leave.

The Great War and education

Although there were concerns about the effects of having less labour from these children, it was hoped that the outcome of a larger quantity of more qualified, skilled workers would eliminate the deficit problem from the loss of unskilled labour. The Act took effect in when the Labour Party was in power and it adopted the Tripartite System , consisting of grammar schools , secondary modern schools and secondary technical schools.

It rejected the comprehensive school proposals favoured by a few in the Labour Party as more equalitarian. Those who did not pass the selection test attended secondary modern schools or technical schools. The new law was widely praised by Conservatives because it honoured religion and social hierarchy, by Labour because it opened new opportunities for the working class, and by the general public because it ended the fees they had to pay.


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However, selection of academical gifted children to attend grammar school became increasingly controversial in the s. Critics on the left attacked grammar schools as elitist because a student had to pass a test at age 11 to get in. No changes were made. In some areas, notably that of the London County Council , comprehensive schools had been introduced. They had no entrance test and were open to all children living in the school catchment area. However, despite tentative support for 'multilateralism' in secondaries, and a desire to raise the standard of secondary moderns to that of private institutions, from Minister for Education Ellen Wilkinson , the majority of Labour MPs were more concerned with implementing the Act; her successor George Tomlinson saw this through, although the secondary technicals remained underdeveloped.

In the Labour government required all local education authorities to formulate proposals to move away from selection at eleven, replacing the tripartite system with comprehensive schools. This circular was vehemently opposed by the grammar school lobby. Some counties procrastinated and retained the Tripartite System in all but a few experimental areas.

Those authorities have locally administered selection tests. The Circular also requested consultation between LEAs and the partially state-funded direct grant grammar schools on their participation in a comprehensive system, but little movement occurred.

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The report of the Public Schools Commission chaired by David Donnison recommended that the schools choose between becoming voluntary aided comprehensives and full independence. Some schools almost all Catholic became fully state-funded, while the majority became independent fee-paying schools. In , preparations had begun to raise the school leaving age to 16 to be enforced from 1 September onwards.

As well as raising the school leaving age in , the year also saw the introduction of the Education Work Experience Act, allowing LEAs to organise work experience for the additional final year school students. This increased the legal leaving age from 15 to 16, and for one year, , there were no school leavers as the students by law, had to complete an additional year of education. Many secondary schools were unable to accommodate the new 5th year students.

The ROSLA Buildings were delivered to schools in self assembly packs and were not intended to stand long-term, though some have proven to have stood much longer than was initially planned. The Plowden Report advocated a more child-centred approach to primary education, and also supported the introduction of middle schools. While many of the report's recommendations were never implemented, primary schools began to move away from rote learning in the late s and s. The higher Apprenticeship framework in the s, 60s and 70s was designed to allow young people 16 years an alternative path to A Levels to achieve an academic qualification at level 4 or 5 NVQ.

For advanced engineering apprenticeships "O" Levels had to include Mathematics, Physics, and English language. The advanced apprenticeship framework's purpose was to provide a supply of young people seeking to enter work-based learning via apprenticeships by offering structured high value learning and transferable skills and knowledge.

These apprenticeships were enabled by linking industry with local technical colleges and professional Engineering Institutions. The Advanced Apprenticeship Framework offered clear pathways and outcomes that addressed the issues facing the industry. This system was in place since the s. The Advanced Apprenticeships of the s, 60s and 70s provided the necessary preparation towards Engineering Technician. Technician Engineer or Chartered Engineer registration.

Apprentices undertook a variety of job roles in numerous technical functions to assist the work of engineers, in the design, development, manufacture and maintenance of production system. In modern times, apprenticeship became less important, especially as employment in heavy industry and artisan trades has declined since the s.

Traditional apprenticeships reached their lowest point in the s: In the early period it made two main changes:. Still, by , apprenticeship took up only two-thirds of one percent of total employment. The Education Reform Act made considerable changes to the education system. These changes were aimed at creating a 'market' in education with schools competing with each other for 'customers' pupils. The theory was that "bad" schools would lose pupils to the "good" schools and either have to improve, reduce in capacity or close.

In , the government introduced Modern Apprenticeships since renamed 'Apprenticeships' , based on frameworks devised by Sector Skills Councils. These frameworks contain a number of separately certified elements:. Under section 8 4 of the Education Act , a new single school leaving date was set for and all subsequent years thereafter. This was set as the last Friday in June in the school year which the child reaches the age of Under section 7 of the Act, it was made an obligation for parents to ensure a full-time education for their children either at school or "otherwise" which formalised the status of home education.

During the General Election , the Labour party mantra was "Education, Education, Education", a reference to their conference slogan. Winning the election returned them to power, but New Labour 's political ideology meant that many of the changes introduced by the Conservatives during their time in power remained intact. They began changing the structure of the school and higher education systems. The following changes took place:. The Government-run Eleven-Plus exam selection exam has now [ when? However, voluntary selection tests are still conducted in certain areas of the UK, where some of the original grammar schools have been retained.

There have been various so far unsuccessful attempts by campaigners to abolish all remaining grammar schools. Some of the still-existing grammar schools in the United Kingdom can trace their history back to earlier than the sixteenth century. Reports were published in November to suggest that England's Education Secretary Alan Johnson was exploring ways to raise the school leaving age in England and Wales to 18 , pointing to the decline in unskilled jobs and the need for young people to be equipped for modern day employment.

The Academies Act , one of the first government bills introduced in the Conservative — Liberal Democrat coalition government , allowed publicly funded schools in England to become academies , still publicly funded but with a vastly increased degree of autonomy in issues such as setting teachers' wages and diverging from the National Curriculum. The Education Act made changes to many areas of educational policy, including the power of school staff to discipline students, the manner in which newly trained teachers are supervised, the regulation of qualifications, the administration of local authority maintained schools , academies , the provision of post education, including vocational apprenticeships , and student finance for higher education.

In , a new law was passed the Education and Skills Act This affected education mainly from onward as it said that by , all young people in England have to stay on in education or training at least part-time until they are 17 years old. It also said that by , all young people will have to stay on in education or training at least part-time, until they are 18 years old. The Education Act of eventually made local education authorities responsible for this extended education and training, also with powers to enforce school attendance.

As a result of the reforms introduced under the Act, employing children under the age of 12 would be illegal. Children were not allowed to work in mines, factories, workshops or quarries, and any entertainments in which children appeared, would require a licence issued by the LEA. Inspectors were also to ensure that employment would not undermine health or physical development.

LEAs were also to be able to offer scholarships to pay fees for attending secondary schools and to provide maintenance allowances to provide such scholarships on the basis of success in examinations, although the only fees allowable in elementary schools would be for school meals. LEAs furthermore acquired extensive powers to inspect workplaces and public spaces to restrict the employment of children of school age. The Act was itself a political compromise, and the economic and industrial problems of the s and s ensured that in the short term at least many of its provisions were never implemented.

It was to take a second World War to provide the further impetus to take these broader ideas forward, and even then they were widely viewed as contentious and too expensive. Full participation in education or training until the age of 18 would not be realised until the Education and Skills Act of , to be implemented in full by The Great War was responsible for Passchendaele, the Somme, and the early deaths of millions of people. Yet it could also lay claim to stimulating, on the home front, a new and more expansive and advanced vision of education which would lead to wider opportunities in employment and citizenship for the majority of the population.

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Post-war Britain was an innovative period in school design with school building driven by the 'baby boom', the raising of the school leaving age, planned new towns and estates and the reconstruction of bomb-damaged buildings. Scarce resources were concentrated on primary schools for the immediate post-war baby boom; the majority of secondary schools were constructed after Careful and innovative use of materials distinguish the buildings and reflect the investment at the time'.

In considering post schools for listing Historic England looked at how well the school illustrates innovative architectural design, its construction, materials and artistic interest, extent of survival and how the design reflects changes in educational thinking of the period. The newly-listed schools join 50 other listed schools from the post-war period including Acland Burghley in North London which was listed last year. Headteacher, Nicholas John, said: Our wonderful building makes an exceptional educational environment and supports a vibrant culture of creativity and excellence.

Being recognised in this way has helped us to celebrate a school which sits at the very heart of the local community. It stands out as a high-tech, cost-effective solution for a design for a school which provided a light, airy and adaptable working space. The school was their first completed building to combine a light-weight steel frame with Teflon-coated awnings.


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  • The school was designed and built in collaboration with the structural engineer Ted Happold, an innovator in lightweight construction techniques. The building has an inventive and accomplished design, which is well-planned and little-altered. The blue cladding is complemented by the blue Teflon-coated canopies which provide shade on the south facing sides of the building and shelter on the north. Read the Fleet Infants School list entry.

    Springwood Junior School stands out for its eccentric design as one of Hampshire's 'barn' schools. They were categorised by a single, wide roof which provide a variety of spaces to allow for different types of activity and learning and each classroom has its own access into the grounds. The school has been little altered since its construction and the earthy palette of brick, tile and timber brings warmth to its interior.

    Bosmere Junior School is little-altered and has a sophisticated layout with a variety of spaces. The use of traditional materials including brick, timber-frame and pitched slate roofs is combined with intricate sectional planning and generous glazing. The interior, with its split levels, exposed brick and timber finishes and boldly painted metalwork adds interest as well as the concept of its indoor street with frosted orbs acting as internal street-lights. Read the Springwood Junior School list entry. Read the Bosmere Junior School list entry.

    Vanessa Nursery School, designed and built in , is highly unusual for its bespoke collaborative design and approach to nursery education by an education trust established by the actress Vanessa Redgrave and the local education authority.