Hadow (1928)

1928 Hadow Report (text)

The Hadow Report (1928)
Books in Public Elementary Schools

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 43 recommendations including:

  • there should be greater expenditure on books for schools, especially in areas where it is 'seriously insufficient';
  • every school should have a library with 'adequate accommodation' and there should be cooperation between public elementary schools and urban and county libraries;
  • the books used in elementary schools should be excellent in quality as well as adequate in numbers;
  • every pupil should be allowed to keep books which are in constant use;
  • from the age of 11 pupils should be encouraged to take books home;
  • on leaving school, pupils might be allowed to keep books on subjects in which they have shown special aptitude or interest;
  • teachers should receive training and advice in the matter of book selection;
  • the Board of Education should convene a Central Advisory Conference to deal with questions relating to the supply, quality and content of books for Public Elementary Schools.

The report online

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

I have modernised some of the spelling and punctuation.

There is much in this report about expenditure on books. The figures quoted are, of course, in pre-decimal currency, so I have added the decimal equivalents. Anything added by way of explanation is shown [in square brackets].

The above notes were prepared by Derek Gillard and uploaded on 24 July 2006; they were revised on 4 November 2012.