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ERIC Number: EJ1080243
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 21
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0311-2543
Reflections on Secondary Education Policy in England and Wales since the 1944 Act
Smith, Anne
Education Research and Perspectives, v34 n1 p115-135 2007
Before the second World War, education in England and Wales was compulsory for all children until the age of 12. Most pupils attended elementary schools between the ages of 5 and 14, and few took their formal education any further. Independent schools were available for the children of the rich, even, with a few exceptions, those foundations which had originally been set up to assist the poor. This article discusses how the 1944 Education Act reflected the desire for egalitarianism that existed after World War II. The idea of changing and improving the current system at that time, rather than introducing something entirely new, took precedence. This created a tri-partite school system including grammar schools, secondary modern schools, and technical schools. Following the failure of that system, a comprehensive system proved to provide a more equal opportunity for education. The author, a teacher in Croydon, London, shares her personal experiences in dealing with the comprehensive system, and the involvement of central government during the time of transition in the school system.
University of Western Australia. 35 Stirling Highway Crawley, Perth, 6009 Australia. Tel: +61-8-6488-2388; Fax: +61-8-6488-1052; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England); United Kingdom (Wales)
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Education Act 1944 (England)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A