Hadow (1926)

1926 Hadow Report (text)

The Hadow Report (1926)
The Education of the Adolescent

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

The 1926 report was particularly significant as it recommended the establishment of primary and secondary schools with the break at age 11, a policy which was eventually implemented in the 1944 Education Act.

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 38 recommendations including:

  • education should be divided into two distinct phases to be called primary and secondary, with the break between the two at the age of 11+;
  • in non-selective secondary schools there should be an emphasis on practical work related to 'living interests';
  • staffing ratios in non-selective schools should be at least as favourable as those in grammar schools;
  • the school leaving age should be raised to 15+, if possible by 1932 (in fact this didn't happen until 1947);
  • new forms of leaving examinations should be developed;
  • the structure of local education authorities should be rationalised to take account of the new arrangements.

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 2 April 2006; they were revised on 4 November 2012.