Hadow (1924)

1924 Hadow Report (text)

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

Background notes

Historical context

The 1899 Board of Education Act established a Board of Education 'charged with the superintendence of matters relating to education in England and Wales' (section 1). It provided for the establishment of a Consultative Committee to keep a register of teachers and to advise the Board 'on any matter referred to the committee by the Board' (section 4).

The Consultative Committee produced many reports - including this one - during its lifetime. It was replaced following the 1944 Education Act by the Central Advisory Council for Education (CACE).

Sir Henry Hadow was an educationist (Vice Chancellor of the University of Sheffield from 1919 to 1930), a well-known music critic and a prodigious writer. He chaired the Consultative Committee for six reports between 1923 and 1933:

1923 Differentiation of the Curriculum for Boys and Girls
1924 Psychological Tests of Educable Capacity
1926 The Education of the Adolescent
1928 Books in Public Elementary Schools
1931 The Primary School
1933 Infant and Nursery Schools

For more about Hadow and other Committee members and summaries of the reports, see my article The Hadow Reports: an introduction.

Summary of the report's main recommendations

The report lists 37 recommendations including:

  • the different types of test (intelligence, scholastic, vocational, temperamental etc) involve classifications founded on hypotheses which should not necessarily be regarded as valid;
  • tests should be devised and interpreted by 'recognised experts' in consultation with teachers;
  • intelligence tests should be supplements to, not substitutes for, the present methods of estimating individual capacity;
  • children should never be treated as mentally deficient solely on the evidence of intelligence tests;
  • 'mental ratios' (intelligence quotients) should be used with caution;
  • tests can be useful as diagnostic and planning tools for the teacher;
  • tests of memory, perception and attention are 'of little use to teachers', physical tests of 'very little use' and tests of temperament and character 'practically useless';
  • the Board of Education should set up an advisory committee to conduct research with university psychology departments.

The report online

The full text of the report (including the Appendices) is presented in a single web page.

I have modernised some of the spelling and punctuation. Anything added by way of explanation is shown [in square brackets].

The above notes were prepared by Derek Gillard and uploaded on 13 August 2006; they were revised on 4 November 2012.