Educational Reconstruction (1943)

This White Paper was produced by Winston Churchill's wartime coalition government in which RAB Butler was President of the Board of Education. It formed the basis of the 1944 Education Act, which created the Ministry of Education and set the framework for the post-war education system in England and Wales.

The complete document is presented in this single web page. You can scroll through it or use the following links to go straight to the various sections:

I Introduction (page 1)
II Full-time schooling (3)
III Religious education (9)
IV Position of the voluntary schools (10)
V Further education (16)
VI The Youth Service (21)
VII Health and physical well-being of children (22)
VIII Access to Universities (23)
IX Recruitment and training of teachers (24)
X Independent schools (25)
XI Local educational administration (26)
XII Education in Wales (28)
XIII Summary of principal reforms (30)
Appendix: financial implications (32)

I have added a couple of notes of explanation which are shown [in square brackets].

Associated documentation

RAB Butler's covering memo to the War Cabinet, and the Minutes of the Cabinet's meeting on 13 July 1943, at which the White Paper was discussed, can be viewed as an image-only pdf file here.

The text of Educational Reconstruction was prepared by Derek Gillard and uploaded on 16 February 2013.

White Paper: Educational Reconstruction (1943)

London: Board of Education 1943
Crown copyright material is reproduced with the permission of the Controller of HMSO and the Queen's Printer for Scotland.

[title page]



[page i]


I Introduction1-9

II Full-time schooling:
    A. The present system10-21
    B. Proposed reforms
        General provisions22-24
        Children under compulsory school age25
        Infants and juniors26
        Secondary education27-35

III. Religious education

IV. The position of the voluntary schools

V. Further education:
    A. Compulsory part-time education63-76
    B. Technical, commercial and art education77-84
    C. Adult education85-88

VI. The Youth Service

VII. The health and physical well-being of school children and young persons
    Medical inspection and treatment93-94
    School meals and milk95
    Boots and clothing96
    Handicapped children97

VIII. Access to the Universities

IX. The recruitment and training of teachers

X. Independent schools

XI. The units of local educational administration

XII. Education in Wales

XIII. Summary of principal reforms
    A. Legislative
    B. Administrative

Appendix. The financial implications of the proposals

[page 1]


"Upon the education of the people of this
country the fate of this country depends."


1. The Government's purpose in putting forward the reforms described in this Paper is to secure for children a happier childhood and a better start in life; to ensure a fuller measure of education and opportunity for young people and to provide means for all of developing the various talents with which they are endowed and so enriching the inheritance of the country whose citizens they are. The new educational opportunities must not, therefore, be of a single pattern. Schools and courses must be available to suit the needs and aptitudes of different types of pupil or student. It is just as important to achieve diversity as it is to ensure equality of educational opportunity. Unity within the educational system will open the way to a more closely knit society which will give us strength to face the tasks ahead. The war has revealed afresh the resources and character of the British people an enduring possession that will survive all the material losses inevitable in the present struggle. In the youth of the nation we have our greatest national asset. Even on a basis of mere expediency, we cannot afford not to develop this asset to the greatest advantage. It is the object of the present proposals to strengthen and inspire the younger generation. For it is as true today, as when it was first said, that "the bulwarks of a city are its men".

2. With these ends in view the Government propose to recast the national education service. The new layout is based on a recognition of the principle that education is a continuous process conducted in successive stages. For children below the compulsory school age of 5 there must be a sufficient supply of nursery schools. The period of compulsory school attendance will be extended to 15 without exemptions and with provision for its subsequent extension to 16 when circumstances permit. The period from 5 to the leaving age will be divided into two stages, the first, to be known as primary, covering the years up to about 11. After 11 secondary education, of diversified types but of equal standing, will be provided for all children. At the primary stage the large classes and bad conditions which at present are a reproach to many elementary schools will be systematically eliminated; at the secondary stage the standard of accommodation and amenities will be steadily raised to the level of the best examples. The provision of school meals and milk will be made obligatory.

3. When the period of full-time compulsory schooling ends the young person will continue under educational influences up to 18 years of age either by remaining in full-time attendance at a secondary school, or by part-time day attendance at a young people's college. Throughout all the foregoing stages the benefits of medical inspection and treatment will be available without charge. Opportunities for technical and adult education will be increased.

4. Among other important features of the plan are an effective system of inspection and registration of schools outside the public system; new financial and administrative arrangements for the voluntary schools, and the recognition of the special place of religious instruction in school life.

[page 2]

5. It will be appreciated that these and the other changes set out in subsequent paragraphs cannot be achieved at once. The introduction of each portion of the plan will be related to an Appointed Day. In this way it will be possible to fit the schemes for educational reform into the general picture of social reconstruction and to introduce the various portions of the plan as and when the necessary buildings, the equipment and the teachers become available.

6. The reforms proposed involve a steady increase over a series of years in the expenditure which will fall on the taxpayer and the ratepayer. Estimates are given in an Appendix to this Paper. The rate at which it will be possible to proceed will depend not only on the factors mentioned in the preceding paragraph, but on the financial resources available, having regard to our existing commitments, to the new claims we may have to meet and to such orders of priority as may have to be laid down. The rate of development of the proposals will therefore have to be determined from time to time in the light of these considerations. The Prime Minister, in a recent pronouncement, foreshadowed in relation to general social advancement a four years plan to be undertaken immediately after the War. In that period and within that conception, it should be possible to complete the initial design of the future structure of a reorganised statutory scheme of full-time education, and to take the first steps in the programme of raising the school-leaving age, and of establishing a system of compulsory part-time education for young persons up to the age of 18. The future rate of progress at the end of this period could again be examined in the light of the conditions then obtaining.

7. It will be realised that change can be effected by administrative as well as by legislative action. Various sections of this Paper refer to important spheres of progress in which legislation is unnecessary. For example, in Section IX a general appreciation is given of the procedure adopted for providing teachers both in sufficient numbers and of adequate quality. Here is the master key which will open up the whole building. A committee of inquiry under Dr. McNair, Vice-Chancellor of Liverpool University, was set up in March, 1942, and may be expected to produce by the end of this year recommendations of an importance commensurate with the scope of the problem.

8. There remains one important link to forge between the Public Schools and other analogous schools and the general system. As was indicated in the terms of reference to Lord Fleming's Committee which is inquiring into this question, it is the Government's intention to devise ways and means by which these schools can be more closely associated with the national system. On this question Lord Fleming's Committee has not yet had time to report. Opportunity will also be taken to deal with the position of independent schools generally and full reference to these is made in Section X. There will, however, be available for immediate study the report of Sir Cyril Norwood's Committee on the curriculum and on the place of examinations in the Secondary School.

9. While the structural reforms referred to above are essential to any planned educational advance, the basic aim of all change, whether legislative or administrative, must be to improve the content of education itself. Ultimately the extent of the advance will depend upon the character of the schools, the nature of their life and work, and the capacities of the teachers. Meanwhile it is most desirable to make progress with the legislative portion of the plan, so that the reviews and assessment of needs described in the later paragraphs may be undertaken by Local Education Authorities. To delay the measure until all inquiries ancillary to it are completed would be dangerously to postpone plans for the vast majority of the children, and to ignore the broad measure of agreement which exists among educational teaching and administrative bodies upon the wide field covered by this Paper.

[page 3]



10. Compulsory education in this country begins at the age of 5 and ends at the age of 14. The Act of 1936 substituted 15, subject to exemptions for beneficial employment, but this provision of the Act was suspended owing to the War.

11. Among the major anachronisms of the existing law is Section 42 of the Education Act, 1921, which defines the duty of a parent to secure the education of his child in these terms:

"It shall be the duty of the parent of every child between the ages of 5 and 14 ... to cause that child to receive efficient elementary instruction in reading, writing and arithmetic."
This looks back to the times when all that was demanded or provided was a strictly "elementary" education in the three R's designed to secure a minimum of literacy. It has long been an abuse of language to apply the term "elementary", which may have been appropriate enough 70 years ago when it connoted an education that could be terminated in the case of an intelligent child at the age of 10, to the education given in a school in which all pupils remain until the age of 14. Indeed, it is now generally accepted that 14 is too early, in the conditions of modern life, for full-time schooling to cease, as it does at present for some 90 per cent of the children.

12. Again, the Act of 1921, incorporating the provisions of the Act of 1902, retains the anomalous administrative arrangement whereby Elementary and Higher education in the same area is in many areas administered by different Local Education Authorities. The defects of this arrangement and proposals for its reform are dealt with in Section XI.

13. Another legacy of the past, which has become inappropriate to present conditions and inconsistent with educational reconstruction and development, is the so-called Dual System, also established in 1902. Under this system the control of some half of the elementary schools in this country (the voluntary schools provided in the main by the Churches) is shared between the Local Education Authority and the Managers of the schools. A detailed description of the system and its defects will be found in Section IV, where the proposals for its amendment are also set out.

14. Although the lower age of compulsory attendance is 5, a certain number of children enter nursery schools, or nursery classes attached to infants' schools, at an earlier age on a voluntary basis. In general, the former type of training is more appropriate to very young children, and it is a defect in the present arrangements that the power conferred on Local Education Authorities by the Act of 1918 to supply or aid the supply of nursery schools has been so little exercised. Just before the war, while there were some 166,000 children aged 3-5 in nursery classes, there were less than 10,000 aged 2-5 in nursery schools.

15. The first stage in the process of compulsory schooling is the infant stage, which lasts from 5-7 or 8 when the child passes into the junior school, where he stays until about 11. Many of the infants' schools are among the most successful of the publicly provided schools. The junior schools for children between 7-11 have, however, tended to be the "Cinderellas" of the public system of education. Owing largely to the concentration upon the needs of children over 11, little new and up-to-date accommodation has in recent years been provided for junior children.

[page 4]

16. Another feature common to both infants' and junior schools, and a very serious handicap to their proper function, is that their classes are in many cases far too large. No teacher, however competent, can see to the development of an individual child's innate potentialities, or foster in it a healthy development of mind, body and character, if she has to deal single-handed with a class of 50 small children. This is not education but mass production.

17. More serious still is the effect on the junior schools and on their pupils of the arrangements for transition from the junior schools to the various types of post-primary education. At the age of 11 the children sit for an examination on the results of which depends the nature of their further full time schooling. The most successful - amounting to only about 9.5 per cent - proceed to secondary schools while the remainder, with the exception of a few who go to junior technical schools, receive the rest of their full-time education, either in separate schools for senior pupils, or in the upper classes of the all-age schools to which they already belong. There is nothing to be said in favour of a system which subjects children at the age of 11 to the strain of a competitive examination on which, not only their future schooling, but their future careers may depend. Apart from the effect on the children, there is the effect on the curriculum of the schools themselves. Instead of the junior schools performing their proper and highly important function of fostering the potentialities of children at an age when their minds are nimble and receptive, their curiosity strong, their imagination fertile and their spirits high, the curriculum is too often cramped and distorted by over-emphasis on examination subjects and on ways and means of defeating the examiners. The blame for this rests not with the teachers but with the system.

18. Apart from the method of selecting pupils for the later stages of compulsory education, it is obvious that a final selection at the age of 11 makes no allowance for the child who develops later than the majority of his fellows. Spasmodic efforts are made here and there at a further re-sorting of children at the age of 13, but they are the exception rather than the rule.

19. Reference has been made in paragraph 17 to the fact that some of those children who do not succeed in obtaining a place in a secondary school on the examination taken at 11 do not even enjoy the advantages of education in a separate senior school, but remain to the end of their school lives in the same buildings in which they started. The principle of reorganisation as advocated in the Hadow Report, i.e. the provision of separate schools for all children over 11, is accepted as an educational axiom, but it is far from being translated into actuality over the country as a whole. Immediately before the war less than 50 per cent of the children of 11 years of age and over were in senior schools or departments specially organised for children of that age. The handicap to older children who receive their education after 11 in schools catering for an age-range of 5 to 14, often grouped in only two or three classes, as compared with those who proceed to separate senior schools especially designed and staffed for the purpose, needs no emphasis. The completion of reorganisation is the most crying need in the field of whole-time education.

20. The conditions attending the admission of children to the various forms of post-primary education present some disquieting features. It has been noted that the children who are most successful in the examination taken at 11 secure places in secondary schools, but this is not to say that all the places in secondary schools are filled by the ablest candidates for admission. The Board's Regulations do not do more than require that 25 per cent of the yearly admissions should be confined to pupils whose admission is independent of their ability to pay the prescribed fee, and though this

[page 5]

percentage is very often greatly exceeded, it remains true that many children get the benefit of secondary education owing to the ability of their parents to pay fees. Seeing that these fees represent only a proportion (on the average about one-third) of the cost of the education given in the secondary schools, it follows that a parent by paying only one-third of the cost of education can buy a place in a secondary school for his child, possibly to the exclusion of an abler child whose parent is not in that position. A system under which fees are charged in one type of post-primary school and prohibited in the other offends against the canon that the nature of a child's education should be determined by his capacity and promise and not by the financial circumstances of his parent.

21. Just as the life of a child in a junior school is overshadowed by the examination at 11, so in the secondary school the School Certificate examination - an external examination taken at about the age of 16 - to a large extent determines the curriculum. Measures have been taken in recent years to adapt the examination to meet the needs of pupils of varying types of ability, but, even so, success or failure in the examination is not necessarily a true reflection of a pupil's suitability for this or that vocation, and it is on the results of this examination that the choice of his vocation so often depends.


General Provisions

22. It is intended that the raising of the school leaving age to 15, postponed in 1939, should be brought into effect as soon as possible after the war, but without the arrangements for exemptions made in the 1936 Act, and that provision should be made for a further extension to 16 at a later date.

23. It is proposed that the statutory system of public education shall cease to be severally administered for the purposes of elementary education and higher education respectively. It will be organised in three progressive stages to be known as primary education, secondary education, and further education, and a duty will be placed on each Local Education Authority to contribute towards the mental, moral and physical development of the community by securing the provision of efficient education throughout those stages for all persons in the area capable of profiting thereby. For the fulfilment of the duties thus laid upon them Local Education Authorities will be required to make a comprehensive survey of the existing provision and the present and prospective needs of their areas and to prepare and submit to the Board Development Plans which will give a complete picture of the proposed layout of primary and secondary schools. In respect of all such schools, whether provided schools or non-provided schools (hereinafter called County and Auxiliary schools respectively), the plan will indicate the future organisation, the nature of the education to be given in the various types of secondary schools, and the alterations to the premises needed to bring the schools up to standards to be prescribed in Regulations of the Board. It will also contain information about the general arrangements to be made for the transport of pupils to and from school. Provision will be made for the Board, when they have approved the development plan, to make an Education Order for the area which will specify the steps which the Authority are required to take by way, amongst other things, of maintaining existing schools, improving existing schools and providing new schools, and will contain a timetable to which the Authority will be required to conform in taking these steps.

[page 6]

24. The parent's duty will no longer be confined to causing his child to be efficiently instructed in the three R's; his duty will be to cause his child to receive efficient full-time education suitable to his age and aptitudes.

Children under Compulsory School Age

25. Primary education covers the period up to the age of 11 or 12. For the younger children, though it is not proposed to lower the age at which attendance becomes compulsory - and no other country has a lower age than 5 - it is proposed to substitute for the present power of Local Education Authorities a duty to provide, or aid the supply of, such nursery schools as in the opinion of the Board may be necessary. It is now considered that the self-contained nursery school, which forms a transition from home to school, is the most suitable type of provision for children under 5. Such schools are needed in all districts, as even when children come from good homes they can derive much benefit, both educational and physical, from attendance at a nursery school. Moreover, such schools are of great value to mothers who go out to work, and also to those who need relief from the burden of household duties combined with the care of a young family. It is, however, in the poorer parts of the large cities that nursery schools are especially necessary. The authors of "Our Towns", in describing the conditions which were brought to light by the evacuation of 1939, said that nothing had impressed them so often or so deeply as the need to multiply these schools in the poor quarters of the towns, from which they should spread and be provided for the children of all parents who desire to use them. There is no doubt of the importance of training children in good habits at the most impressionable age and of the indirect value of the nursery school in influencing the parents of the children. There is equally no doubt of the incalculable value of the schools in securing medical and nursing care, and the remedial treatment of defects which may be difficult to eradicate if they are left untreated until the child enters school in the ordinary way at the age of 5. Though it is not proposed that Local Education Authorities should cease to have the power of providing for children from 3-5 by means of nursery classes in infants' schools, it is hoped that new provision for children under 5, will be mainly in nursery schools which, in addition to providing a more suitable environment for young children, are nearer to the homes than large infants' schools and give less opportunity for the spread of infectious diseases. While the nursery school will normally provide for children between the ages of 2 and 5, children who are not yet ready for transfer to the infants' school can be retained till a later age.

Infants and Juniors

26. It is generally accepted that, wherever numbers make it possible, there should be separate schools for infants and juniors respectively, because of the different methods of approach appropriate to the training of the younger and older children in the primary stage. This principle will be observed in considering the Local Education Authorities' development plans, which will also make provision for the new schools and for the improvements necessary in the premises of existing schools in order that they may offer the space, facilities and amenities suitable for the full mental, social and physical development of young children. The reform of the system of secondary education and the adoption of other arrangements for the classification of the children at 11 and subsequently, will go a long way towards enabling the junior schools to devote themselves to their proper task. It is further an essential element in the proposals to secure a progressive reduction in the size of classes in infants' and junior schools, as the supply of teachers and buildings permits.

[page 7]

Secondary Education

27. At about the age of 11 comes the change from the junior to the senior stage. At present all children of the appropriate age and standard enter for the Special Place examination and, from what has been said previously, it is clear that there is urgent need for reform. Accordingly, in the future, children at the age of about 11 should be classified, not on the results of a competitive test, but on an assessment of their individual aptitudes largely by such means as school records, supplemented, if necessary, by intelligence tests, due regard being had to their parents' wishes and the careers they have in mind. Even so, the choice of one type of secondary education rather than another for a particular pupil will not be finally determined at the age of 11, but will be subject to review as the child's special gifts and capacities develop. At the age of 13, or even later, there will be facilities for transfer to a different type of education, if the original choice proves to have been unsuitable. The keynote of the new system will be that the child is the centre of education and that, so far as is humanly possible, all children should receive the type of education for which they are best adapted.

28. If this choice is to be a real one, it is manifest that conditions in the different types of secondary schools must be broadly equivalent. Under present conditions the secondary school enjoys a prestige in the eyes of parents and the general public which completely overshadows all other types of school for children over 11. Inheriting as it does a distinguished tradition from the old English Grammar School it offers the advantages of superior premises and staffing and a longer school life for its pupils. Since 1902, when Local Education Authorities were first empowered to provide or aid secondary education, there has been a rapid expansion. In 1904 there were 86,000 pupils; today there are 514,000, of whom considerably more than half are in schools provided by Local Education Authorities. The success of the schools in dealing with this extension has been remarkable. The traditional curriculum has been widened and adapted to meet the ever-increasing variety of demands and, helped by the introduction in 1917 of the School Examinations system, an education has been evolved which in the main meets the needs of the more promising pupils. But in spite of this success, the schools are facing an impossible task. An academic training is ill-suited for many of the pupils who find themselves moving along a narrow educational path bounded by the School Certificate and leading into a limited field of opportunity. Further, too many of the nation's abler children are attracted into a type of education which prepares primarily for the University and for the administrative and clerical professions; too few find their way into schools from which the design and craftsmanship sides of industry are recruited. If education is to serve the interests both of the child and of the nation, some means must be found of correcting this bias and of directing ability into the field where it will find its best realisation.

29. Compared with the grammar schools the senior schools have a recent history. Growing originally out of the upper forms of elementary schools, they received an impetus from the new emphasis on advanced instruction given in Section 20 of the Education Act, 1921 and from the recommendations of the Hadow Report. Today they are one of the main elements of post-primary education. Lacking the traditions and privileged position of the older grammar school they have less temptation to be "at ease in Zion". Their future is their own to make, and it is a future full of promise. They offer a general education for life, closely related to the interests and environment of the pupils and of a wide range embracing the literary as well as the practical, e.g. agricultural, sides. In many areas admirable examples exist of fully

[page 8]

developed senior schools, but they are still too few in number. The further advance of schools of this type depends on a longer school life for the pupils, a more complete reorganisation, better buildings and amenities, and a more generous scale of staffing.

30. Junior Technical Schools came into being in 1905 and their success has been remarkable. Planned to give a general education associated with preparation for entry to one or other of the main branches of industry or commerce they have grown up in close relation to local needs and opportunities of employment. But their progress in numbers has been comparatively slow and their chances of attracting the most able children vis-a-vis the grammar schools have been adversely affected by the fact that they normally recruit at the age of 13. With altered conditions, and with a more rapid development in the future, they hold out great opportunities for pupils with a practical bent.

31. Such, then, will be the three main types of secondary schools to be known as grammar, modern and technical schools. It would be wrong to suppose that they will necessarily remain separate and apart. Different types may be combined in one building or on one site as considerations of convenience and efficiency may suggest. In any case the free interchange of pupils from one type of education to another must be facilitated.

32. A particular problem arises in respect of the class of school known as the Direct Grant secondary school. These schools, of which there are at the present time 232, exercised an option in 1926 in favour of capitation grant direct from the Board in preference to receiving their financial aid through the Local Education Authorities. The list includes a wide variety of schools ranging from those schools which are an integral part of the local provision to those which, to a considerable degree, have non-local connections. It is not possible here and now to reach a conclusion about the future of these schools as a class. Some of them will no doubt be attracted by the financial provisions applicable to auxiliary schools; in any case a number of them fall within the scope of the inquiry of the Fleming Committee, the report of which may be expected to have an important bearing on the problem. Meantime the postponement of a decision on the future of this group of schools will in no way prejudice the general reconstruction of secondary education described in the preceding paragraphs.

33. In one direction a new departure may be looked for. Hitherto, apart from the provision made at certain country grammar schools for pupils from remote homes, boarding education has been restricted, either to those children whose parents are able to send them to the Public Schools or to children who have to be removed from their homes because they are either destitute, defective, or delinquent. There is no reason why the benefits of a boarding education should be thus limited, and it is widely held that such facilities should be extended within the ambit of the State system. This need not mean the building of a large number of new boarding schools since there is likely to be a surplus of accommodation that can be used for this purpose after the war. The whole question of boarding education is at present under consideration by the Fleming Committee.

34. It is in terms of the wider conception of secondary education outlined above that legislation will be cast. The leaving age will be raised as indicated in paragraph 22. A duty will be placed on Local Education Authorities to provide such variety of instruction as may be desirable in view of the different ages and aptitudes of the pupils and the different periods for which they may

[page 9]

be expected to remain at school. Power will be given to Authorities to provide, maintain and assist boarding schools and hostels, where these are found to be necessary or desirable. Reorganisation will be completed, and conditions in the Modern Schools will be assimilated to those in the existing secondary schools, in such matters as standards of accommodation and the size of classes. All types of secondary school will be conducted under a single code of regulations, as recommended in the Spens Report, instead of under separate regulations as at present. Lastly, the prohibition of fees will be extended to all secondary schools for the maintenance of which the Local Education Authorities are responsible. The justification for continuing fees in any type of maintained secondary school will disappear when they are all brought together in one general system. Provision will, however, be made for boarding fees to be charged in appropriate cases.

35. But laws cannot build better human beings and it is not the machinery of education so much as its content that will count in the future. Already in one direction a start has been made. The curriculum of secondary schools, and especially that of the grammar schools, will be the subject of a report by the Norwood Committee. Public opinion will, undoubtedly, look for a new approach to the choice and treatment of school subjects after the war. In particular consideration must be given to a closer relation of education in the countryside to the needs of agricultural and rural life and, more generally, to creating a better understanding between the people of the town and of the county. A new direction in the teaching of history and geography and modern languages will be needed to arouse and quicken in the pupils a livelier interest in the meaning and responsibilities of citizenship of this country, the Empire and of the world abroad. Education in the future must be a process of gradually widening horizons, from the family to the local community, from the community to the nation, and from the nation to the world.


36. There has been a very general wish, not confined to representatives of the Churches, that religious education should be given a more defined place in the life and work of the schools, springing from the desire to revive the spiritual and personal values in our society and in our national tradition. The church, the family, the local community and the teacher - all have their part to play in imparting religious instruction to the young.

37. In order to emphasise the importance of the subject provision will be made for the school day in all primary and secondary schools to begin with a corporate act of worship, except where this is impracticable owing to the nature of the school premises, and for religious instruction to be given. At present this is the practice in the great majority of schools and this practice will receive statutory sanction and be universal.

38. This does not, of course, mean that all children will be required to participate in the corporate act of worship or in religious instruction. In this respect the old established rights of conscience will remain inviolate and it will be open to the parent to withdraw his child from all or any form of religious worship or instruction.

39. In county schools the religious instruction will, subject to a strictly limited exception to which reference is made at the end of this paragraph, be in accordance with an agreed syllabus, examples of which are already in use in many areas. Provision will be made for such a syllabus to be drafted by those who can speak for the Church of England, the Free Churches, the

[page 10]

teachers and the Authority. In framing these syllabuses the special needs of the older children in secondary schools will not be forgotten. But there will be children in county schools whose parents will wish that they should receive religious instruction in the tenets of their particular faith. Where these children cannot with reasonable convenience be sent to a school where such instruction is given there will be a statutory right for the children to be withdrawn from school in order that they may receive such instruction elsewhere. It will sometimes be the case that county secondary schools are so situated as to make the giving of denominational instruction elsewhere than in the school virtually impossible. In these cases the Authority will be required to provide facilities for such instruction to be given on the school premises to those children whose parents desire it.

40. Similarly the rights of a parent of a child in an auxiliary school who desires him to receive syllabus instruction will be secured. The details of the arrangement for denominational religious instruction in the various types of auxiliary schools are explained in paragraphs 55 and 56 of this Paper.

41. The value of this teaching depends on the availability of suitable teachers. To ensure a steady flow of persons willing and competent to give this instruction it has been decided to include the subject among the subjects in which a student can obtain a pass in the teachers' certificate examination. But there can be no question of unwilling teachers being compelled to give religious instruction, and, save in so far as teachers may seek employment in aided schools or as reserved teachers, the religious opinions of a candidate for a teaching post will not disqualify him for appointment, and no teacher will be required to give, or be penalised for not giving, religious instruction.

42. Hitherto the most economic use of teaching power has been prevented by the statutory limitations on the times at which religious instruction may be given. These restrictions will no longer be imposed. Similarly, the statutory prohibition forbidding His Majesty's Inspectors to inspect this subject is to be removed, but their inspection will be limited to the agreed syllabus instruction.


43. An embarrassing feature of the public system of education for many years has been the existence within it of voluntary (or non-provided) schools, the control of which is divided between the Local Education Authority and the Managers. Historically, voluntary schools were first in the field of elementary education, and until 1870 the State confined its share in this service to subsidies to the bodies responsible for them. In the Act of that year elective School Boards were established for the purpose of providing and maintaining schools, which thus came to be known as Board schools, from public funds. In the well-known Cowper-Temple Clause, this Act established the principle that tenets distinctive of particular religious denominations should not be taught in publicly provided schools.

44. By 1902 there were 5,875 Board schools and 14,275 voluntary schools. The latter were hard put to it to carry on in the face of higher costs, due especially to the rise in educational staffing and hygienic standards and to the lengthening of school life. These conditions, if elementary education was to be adequately served, called for further public assistance to voluntary schools. The Balfour Act of 1902 instituted for this purpose the arrangements which now hold good. Under these the whole cost of the maintenance of voluntary schools, apart from the cost of repairs (other than that necessitated by fair wear and tear) and of improvements to the buildings, was transferred to the

[page 11]

Local Education Authorities, which under the Act superseded the School Boards. The Act left the appointment of the teachers in the hands of the Managers, though their salaries are paid by the Local Education Authority. While the Local Education Authority have the control of secular instruction, they have no general power to alter the organisation of a voluntary school in such a way, for example, as to convert a school for children of all ages into a school for juniors or seniors.

45. The terms of the Act of 1902 aroused strong opposition at the time, and subsequently, on the ground that public funds, in meeting so preponderant a part in the financing of the voluntary schools, were in effect being used to subsidise the propagation of the dogmas of particular churches, thus violating the spirit of the Cowper-Temple Clause. In practice, the legal safeguards and the divided responsibilities of this system of dual control have given rise to endless complications in administration, which retard educational progress, engender friction and consume time and energies which could be spent to much better purpose. The system is inconsistent with proper economy and efficiency since, for example:

(i) a non-provided school with 30 or more pupils cannot be closed, however much spare accommodation there may be in neighbouring council schools, unless there is another school of the same denomination to which its pupils can go;

(ii) a new non-provided school may be set up although the children who will attend it are adequately accommodated already in council schools;

(iii) the Authority cannot ensure that a vacancy in the staff of a non-provided school is filled, not by a new appointment, but by the transfer to it of a redundant teacher from another school in the area, so that without dismissals of teachers, which are contrary to the practice of Authorities, reasonable and economical adjustments of staffing cannot be ensured.

46. Most non-provided schools are in old buildings, nearly 92 per cent of them dating from 1902 or earlier. Much capital expenditure will be needed on these schools if they are to be brought and kept abreast not only of present day educational requirements and aspirations, but also of modern standards of hygiene, ventilation and the like. It will be beyond the financial resources of most Managers to meet unaided the bill which must be met if children in voluntary schools are not to be denied the advantages enjoyed by children in council schools.

47. The following figures illustrate the results of Managers' lack of funds and of Local Education Authorities' lack of control over the organisation of voluntary schools:

(a) of the 753 schools still remaining on the Board's Black List of schools with defective premises (issued in 1925 and now very much out-of-date) 541 are non-provided schools;

(b) on the 31st March, 1939, 62 per cent, of the children of 11 years of age and over in council schools were in senior schools or departments specially organised for children of that age, while the corresponding figure for non-provided schools was 16 per cent.

48. The scope of the problem is shown by the figures for the 31st March, 1938, when there were 10,553 non-provided schools with an average attendance of 1,374,000 pupils, and 10,363 council schools with an average attendance of 3,151,000. Thus only 30 per cent, of public elementary school children are in

[page 12]

non-provided schools although these schools are more numerous than council schools. They are, therefore, in general very much smaller than council schools. This involves loss of economy and efficiency in organisation and administration, though due allowance must be made for the fact that a considerable proportion of non-provided schools are in rural areas.

49. With the development since 1926 of reorganisation, the position of the non-provided schools became acute. Managers could not afford to make suitable provision for their older children and many would not consent to the decapitation of their school so that the seniors might attend a senior school provided by the Council. To meet this situation the Education Act, 1936, enabled, but did not compel, Local Education Authorities for a limited period to pay not less than 50 per cent nor more than 75 per cent of the cost of new non-provided school building for senior children. The building proposals and organisation had to be of a standard approved by the Authority and the Board, and the teachers in the school so aided had to be appointed and dismissed by the Authority, subject to the right of the Managers to be satisfied as to the fitness and competence of certain of the teachers (called "reserved" teachers) to give denominational religious instruction. Owing to the inability of many Managers to raise their share of the cost, to the dislike by some of the increased control given to Local Education Authorities and to the unwillingness of a few Local Education Authorities to subsidise denominational schools, only 519 proposals were put forward under the 1936 Act (289 of these were in respect of Roman Catholic Schools), providing for some 136,000 of the 400,000 or more senior children now in non-provided schools. Of these proposals only 37 have materialised and the remainder cannot now be proceeded with without further legislation.

50. It will be evident from what has been said that, under the existing law, non-provided schools will be required, if they are to continue, to shoulder a financial burden in excess of their capacity. In the first place, senior (or modern) schools will be unable to conform to the suggested policy of equal standards in all forms of secondary education. Secondly, the need for modernisation or replacement of much of the non-provided school accommodation for junior and infant children, faces the Churches with a financial problem greater in extent and no less urgent than that in respect of senior children. This is a problem which they have shown themselves quite unable to meet in recent years and which they are less than ever likely to be able to meet after the war.

51. If large numbers of children are not to be deprived of healthy and decent school conditions to say nothing of equal educational opportunities there is no disguising the fact that, unless a considerable number of voluntary schools are to be brought to an end and replaced by new provided schools, some further assistance from public funds must be found towards the maintenance and improvement of the premises, where such improvement is possible. Discussions carried on in recent months with the many interests concerned have satisfied the Government that there is a wide measure of agreement that voluntary schools should not be abolished but rather that they should be offered further financial assistance, accompanied by a corresponding extension of public control which will ensure the effective and economical, organisation and development of both primary and secondary education. It is believed that the view will generally be taken that in framing the proposals for such control the services of the churches to the community as pioneers in public education, as the protagonists of Christian teaching in schools and as having for many generations voluntarily spent large sums on the provision and upkeep of premises for this purpose, cannot justly be disregarded.

[page 13]

52. These considerations, together with their historical background, have been set out at some length since an understanding of them is necessary for a true appreciation of the framework within which the necessary amendment of the present system must be devised. They will also serve to indicate why it is not possible in this country to adopt the arrangements which, since 1918, have worked smoothly in Scotland, a predominantly Presbyterian country, and are being advocated in some quarters as the example to be followed here. Under this system the Managers of the comparatively few Roman Catholic and Episcopal schools were empowered to transfer their schools to the education authorities, who were bound to accept the transfer upon agreed terms. The authorities have the sole power of regulating the curriculum and appointing the teachers and are responsible for all expenditure connected with the school. The teachers, however, have to be approved as regards religious belief and character by representatives of the Church concerned. The same provisions apply to new Roman Catholic and Episcopal schools which may be set up either by the Church or the education authority with the approval of the Scottish Education Department. There is provision, if circumstances change, for the school to be closed or to lose its special status.

53. Conditions, history and tradition in this matter are, however, wholly unlike north and south of the Tweed. In Scotland there has never, whereas in this country there has always, been a ban on denominational religious instruction in provided schools. Here non-provided schools outnumber the publicly provided schools; in Scotland in 1918 nine-tenths of the schools were publicly provided. Moreover, very many of the Church of England Schools here, particularly those in rural parishes where no other school is available, have in course of time come to be attended by a high proportion of children of non-Anglican parents. It is felt to be a real grievance that these children can only receive Anglican religious instruction unless they are made conspicuous by being withdrawn therefrom. The application of the Scottish system to the many schools in which this difficulty is felt would be inappropriate and, instead of assuaging, would perpetuate a grievance which ought as far as possible to be mitigated. Similarly, the Scottish solution would do nothing to remove, and would indeed aggravate, a further objection to the dual system which is strongly felt here, that it involves denominational religious tests for teachers. Here appointments being in the hands of the Church of England or Roman Catholic Managers, no teacher can in effect serve in, or be promoted to be the head teacher of, any of the 12,500 Church of England and Roman Catholic school departments unless he or she is a practising member of the Church of England or Roman Catholic Church.

54. It is clear that the solution must take different lines here and cannot ignore the principle embodied in the Cowper-Temple Clause of the 1870 Act and firmly rooted in the convictions of many elements in this country that the State, concerned though it is to ensure a sound religious basis for all education, cannot take on itself the full responsibility for fostering the teaching of formularies distinctive of particular denominations designed to attach children to particular worshipping communities. The Government have accordingly decided on the scheme outlined below in the belief, based on the many consultations held with those principally concerned, that it will remove the educational handicaps of the present system and will do justice to all the interests involved. Its object is to enable existing denominational schools to play their part in the reforms described in earlier paragraphs.

55. In the first place they propose to revive the provisions of the Education Act, 1936, to which reference has been made in paragraph 49. The effect of this will be that it will be open to Authorities to enter into agreements, or

[page 14]

to resuscitate agreements already made, for grants between 75 per cent and 50 per cent of the cost of any of the projects, proposals for which were submitted by Managers or promoters within the time limit prescribed in the Act. War damage or new planning or new educational requirements may make these proposals inappropriate in the form in which they were originally submitted. In such circumstances it will be permissible for revised proposals to be entertained. Schools already built under the provisions of the Act, and schools built in the circumstances explained in this paragraph, will be termed "Local Agreement Schools". The religious instruction in these schools will be in accordance with the trust deed and will be under the control of the Managers. At the same time syllabus instruction will be available for children whose parents desire them to receive such instruction and cannot with reasonable convenience send them to a school where it is ordinarily given.

56. To the Managers of all other voluntary schools, whether primary or secondary, the choice of two alternatives will be offered.

A. If they find themselves unable or unwilling to meet half the cost of the alterations and improvements needed to bring the buildings up to standard, and of the continuing external repair of the fabric, all financial obligations will pass to the Authority. The power of appointing and dismissing teachers will also pass to the Authority, subject to the right of the Managers to be consulted as to the appointment of the head teacher and to the right of the Foundation Managers to be satisfied as to the appointment of reserved teachers, within limits to be prescribed. These will give denominational instruction for not more than two periods a week to those children whose parents desire it. Apart from such denominational teaching, the religious instruction will be in accordance with an agreed syllabus. Schools, the Managers of which elect for this alternative, will be termed "Controlled Schools".

B. Where the Managers are able and willing to meet half the cost of alterations, improvements and external repairs, the remaining half will be met by a direct grant from the Exchequer. The opportunity will be taken of simplifying the present law relating to the respective responsibilities of Authorities and Managers in regard to repairs, by getting rid of the unsatisfactory "fair wear and tear" clause and placing the responsibility for external repairs upon the Managers and for other repairs, including those to the playground and playing fields, upon the Authority. The powers and duties of Managers in regard to the appointment and dismissal of teachers and the giving of denominational religious instruction will remain substantially unaltered and denominational religious instruction will continue to be given as at present, subject to the right of parents who so desire to have their children given syllabus instruction. Schools falling in this category will be known as "Aided Schools".

57. There will be no transfer of the property or ownership of the schools of any of the three types. In the case of local agreement and aided schools, the Managers will be constituted as at present, namely two-thirds appointed in accordance with the trust deed and one-third by the local authorities concerned. In the case of controlled schools, in view of the fact that the whole cost of maintaining and improving the fabric and running the schools will be borne by the -public, the proportion of Managers will be reversed, -and two-thirds will be appointed by the local authorities and one-third by those now responsible for appointing the Foundation Managers.

[page 15]

58. In the case of all voluntary schools provision will be made for altering the organisation and age range of the school and for enabling the Authority to cease to maintain redundant schools subject to the consent of the Board. This will remove two of the fundamental difficulties of the dual system referred to in paragraphs 44 and 45 above.

59. It will be observed that this plan will secure:

(a) that there is available for the voluntary schools the financial assistance necessary to enable their premises to offer their pupils educational and physical conditions equal to those which the publicly provided schools will offer;
(b) that the voluntary schools can be so organised and administered as to play a full and effective part in the primary and secondary schooling of their areas;
(c) that the voluntary schools retain liberty for the teaching of the tenets of the church with which they are associated by teachers of their own faith;
(d) that the appointment of teachers in the "controlled" schools by the Local Education Authority, together with the exclusion of the head teacher from the limited number of "reserved" teachers, will greatly reduce the field of religious tests for teachers, the objections to which were referred to at the end of paragraph 53; and
(e) that the arrangements for syllabus religious instruction in controlled schools, and giving the local authorities a majority of Managers, will go far to remove the grievance, also referred to in paragraph 53, felt by non-Anglican parents in "single-school areas" served by a Church school only.
60. The relationship between the Governors of voluntary grammar schools and the Local Education Authorities is, under the existing law, very much looser and less formal than that between the Managers of elementary schools and the Authorities. The financial assistance given to them by Authorities, which is often very substantial, takes a variety of forms and there is in law nothing to prevent such assistance, which is essential to the maintenance of the schools, being withdrawn. The principle that all children should receive a secondary education of varying kinds according to their aptitude and promise, calls for a formalisation of the present arrangements and the duty of maintaining these schools will accordingly pass to the Authority. The options referred to in paragraph 56 will be open to the Governors of such schools, and in this way all voluntary primary and secondary schools, which at present, whether in law or in fact, are maintained wholly or substantially by Local Education Authorities will take their place in the same framework.

61. This involves a consideration of the status and functions of Governing Bodies of grammar schools. At present it is the practice for all grammar schools built and maintained by Local Education Authorities to have Articles of Government, that is to say, a code of rules, with no statutory sanction but formally adopted by the Authority, defining the constitution and functions of the Governing Body. Voluntary schools are for the most part governed by schemes made by the Board under the Endowed Schools or similar Acts, and such schemes lay down in detail the constitution and functions of the Governors. It is desirable that any legislation should prescribe the status of the Local Education Authority in relation to all types of secondary schools and that steps should be taken to give authoritative definition of the status and powers of the Governing Body. It is contemplated that every such school should

[page 16]

have an instrument of government defining the constitution of the Governing Body and the respective functions of the Governors and the Local Education Authority. These functions will of necessity vary according to the type of school and the degree of financial responsibility assumed by the Authority; but there will be ample room under the instruments of government for the exercise of powers by the Governors particularly in the case of aided schools over the general conduct of the school, including such matters as the appointment of teachers and the organisation and curriculum.

62. It is also proposed to alter the existing law, as first laid down by Section 13 of the Education Act, 1902, and now embodied in Section 41 of the Education Act, 1921, which requires that the income of certain endowments of public elementary schools shall be applied in relief of the rates. This is believed to be the only known case of the statutory diversion of charitable funds to the relief of rates, and is directly contrary to a long established rule of the Court of Chancery. In London the income of such endowments is not paid in relief of the rates and the law provides instead that the Board may substitute new trusts by a scheme to be made on the application of the trustees or Local Education Authority. It is proposed to extend the London provisions to the rest of the country in respect of the endowment of both primary and secondary schools.



63. It is a common criticism of our present full-time education which for most children ceases at about the age of 14, that its effects are thin and liable to wear off quickly once the child has left school for work. The reason for this is not difficult to see; to borrow the language of photography, the process of education for the vast majority of children offers at present an example of "under-exposure, under-development and insufficient fixing".

64. As things now stand, the great mass of pupils leaving the elementary schools do not pursue any formal education and much of the work of the schools inevitably runs to waste. When every allowance has been made for those possibly one in six of young persons aged 15-18 who of their own initiative attend evening institutes or technical schools, and for those who may be associated with one of the various voluntary organisations which provide a training for adolescents through their social and recreative interests in their leisure hours, it remains true to say that, in the normal course, hundreds of thousands of boys and girls are left without the supervision and help that they need during the most critical years in the formation of character and the training of mind and body.

65. Something will be done to remedy the defect of "under-exposure" by the extension of school life to 15; but this extension, and even the further extension to 16, will not give full value unless steps are taken to consolidate the results. The continued supervision of the health of young people after their full-time schooling has ceased, and the encouragement and the provision of opportunity to develop their capacities and their interests, are alike essential if the best is to be made of the nation's youth. There is common agreement that had the provisions for day continuation schools of the Act of 1918 been operated, many of the problems of the adolescent would largely have been solved.

[page 17]

66. From the point of view of the country's manufacturing industry, agriculture and commerce, the training afforded by a system of part-time education in conjunction with employment is long overdue. The initial and natural advantages that gave this country, almost for the asking, its place of pre-eminence in world manufacture and world markets have long been fading. More and more in the future will it be necessary to rely on the capacity, adaptability and the quality, of our industrial and commercial personnel. Had fuller attention been given earlier to the all-important question of the training of young workers, some of the difficulties experienced by the Services and by industry during the present war would have been markedly less acute.

67. The principles of the Act of 1918 relating to day continuation schools will be adapted to meet the requirements of the post-war world. The term "day continuation school" will be abandoned and the institutions required for this purpose referred to generally as young people's colleges. It is important to make clear that what is in view is no "going back to school", a mere extension on a part-time basis of previous full-time schooling, but the entry on a new phase of life and development.

68. All young persons from 15 to 18 will be required to attend an appropriate centre part-time, unless they are in full-time attendance at school, or otherwise under suitable part-time instruction. A number of firms already have schools in connection with their factories for the training, both general and vocational, of their young employees, which have proved of the greatest value to the young people themselves and to the whole life of the undertakings. These schools are in some cases conducted and financed entirely by the firms concerned, and in others with financial assistance from public funds. In some instances schools are provided in works but are conducted and maintained by the Local Education Authority. Provision will be made for the requirement to attend an appropriate centre to be discharged at such works schools, subject to their satisfying the Board and the Local Education, Authority as to the content and quality of the training provided and being open to inspection.

69. The hours of attendance at young people's colleges would be taken from the hours of employment as regulated by existing law, or by any subsequent industrial legislation. Attendance would be limited to a day a week or its equivalent. This is clearly a minimum, and it is held by some that the first introduction to employment might well be on a half-time basis. The new service can, however, only be established by stages and developed gradually, and provision within the limits now contemplated will present a sufficiently considerable task. The full age range will be built up gradually, children of 15 attending in the first year of operation; in the second year those of 15 and 16, the full range 15-18 being attained in the third year following the Appointed Day for bringing the relevant sections into force.

70. In rural areas weekly attendance might often be impracticable, and in such areas provision may be made for comparatively short but continuous residential courses in the "dead" season. Centres so provided would be available at other times for use as camp schools, and as holiday camps and centres for children and young persons from the towns. This will lay the foundation of an appreciation of country life and pursuits.

71. Special arrangements will be made for young persons serving at sea, a matter to which the shipping industry has already been giving consideration.

[page 18]

72. The question will naturally be asked: "Given this time for further education what use will be made of it?" The young persons concerned will be engaged in a wide variety of occupations - some training for one of the skilled crafts or in employment for which definite training is necessary, some in employment in which no high degree of skill or training is required, and others in non-progressive occupations, commonly called "blind alley", which do not lead on to adult employment. It must be remembered too that girls largely look to leaving factory, shop or office to get married and set up homes of their own.

73. For all alike some basic elements should be included in their training. Provision must be made for their physical well-being through physical training and remedial exercises and instruction in health and hygiene. The school medical service will be extended to cover them and, working in conjunction with the proposed State Medical Service, should have a marked effect on the health and physique of the nation. Other essential elements will be training in clarity of expression and in the understanding of the written and the spoken word, together with some education in the broad meaning of citizenship to give some understanding of the working of government and the responsibilities of citizens and some interest in the affairs of the world around them.

74. When basic requirements have been met, the remaining hours may well be devoted to a variety of subjects according to individual needs and capacities. For young persons of both sexes in all appropriate cases the time may be used for technical or vocational education related to their employment. For others there would be a variety of courses including handicrafts, and the domestic arts, designed to stimulate their interests, keep their minds alert and create within themselves resources of satisfaction and self-development. In the case of those whose early employment is of the "blind alley" type, attention would be given to the further training that will assist them to transfer to more permanent work.

75. It will be all important that the lessons of past experience should not be forgotten. To obviate one of the causes of the previous failure to operate the Act of 1918, the Appointed Day for the start of compulsory part-time education should be the same for the whole country. In the second place the new system must not start under the handicap of poor and inconvenient premises, which are dispiriting to the staff, command little respect from the students, and carry no prestige with the public. The problem of accommodation may be met in different ways in different instances. In some cases provision for the young people's college may be combined with much needed extension of technical college accommodation. In many cases separate buildings will be required, or provision may be made on the lines of the Village Colleges of Cambridgeshire. In general, the young people's colleges should look to the future rather than to the past, i.e. they should be associated with provision for adults and adult activities rather than with the schools which the young persons have left.

76. The hours of compulsory attendance would by no means represent the sum total of the contribution which the college would make to the life and training of young people. It should offer all the facilities necessary to promote, outside the actual hours of instruction, all kinds of activities, recreative and cultural. The college would be in itself a youth centre taking its place in the extended Youth Service. It will thus perform what is the real function of an education service to provide a live environment in which, by the pursuit of a variety of interests and activities, both boys and girls alike may bring to fruition the character and capacities with which they are severally endowed.

[page 19]


77. The field now covered by the term "further education" is a wide one including, as it does, students of all ages from the school leaving age upwards and almost every variety of subject. Further education is in the main part-time, and given usually in the evenings during the student's leisure hours. The instruction is largely vocational, though there is also a substantial body of liberal education for both young people and adults. The provision of part-time education in young people's colleges forms an element of further education and will introduce a measure of compulsory attendance into a field where at present attendance is entirely voluntary.

78. There are two major issues in this sphere to which particular attention must be drawn - the need for the further development of technical, commercial and art education, and the need to create a more extensive and flexible system of cultural and recreative provision for adolescents and adults.

79. The provision of further education is at present a power and not a duty of Local Education Authorities and, despite what many Authorities have done, technical education has not hitherto made that advance which the needs of a highly industrialised community demand. In particular, the standards of the buildings and equipment in use have often been deplorably low, and comparison with what can be seen in many other countries which have been our competitors in the world markets, can leave little cause for satisfaction.

80. Plans were in hand immediately before the war to increase the provision of technical, commercial and art colleges and to expand and bring up to date, where necessary, those already in existence. For this purpose a programme of capital expenditure of some 12,000,000 was contemplated. The post-war cost of such a programme will inevitably be higher, but it will be of the first importance that these plans should be revised and expanded to meet new requirements, and, as soon as possible, carried into effect. Provision will accordingly be made to place a duty on Education Authorities to provide adequate facilities for technical, commercial and art education, both full-time and part-time. This general duty will be translated into concrete terms by requiring Authorities to submit schemes for further education which, when approved by the Board, Authorities will be required to put into effect by such stages as the Board may determine.

81. The provision of facilities for vocational training will, by itself, not be enough. The country cannot afford to rest content with a system under which the technical education of its potential skilled workers, industrial leaders, or commercial executives is left so largely to the initiative of the young employees themselves. The vocational training that has come into being within the system of public education has in the main not come in response to any demand from industry or commerce, but has depended on the enterprise and tenacity of individual students anxious to equip themselves more fully to advance in life.

82. No doubt this system - if it can be called a system - has brought forward many young men and women of high intelligence and sturdy character. But a much closer collaboration between industry and commerce and the education service is essential if the country is to develop a national system and to secure a personnel with a training and knowledge adequate to the needs of the future. The country has moved a long way from the days when the craftsman learned his trade from the master. Under modern conditions of production it becomes increasingly difficult to secure the full education necessary for the skilled

[page 20]

tradesman, and that background knowledge which will enable him to keep pace with the march of science and invention. The subdivision of labour, the conveyor belt and the demands of production - all these tend to diminish the value of training afforded by the normal course of employment. It will be by a combination of experience in the factory, farm or office and attendance at the school or institute that it will be possible to establish the belief that it is quality, and not cheapness, of labour that is sought.

83. During the war, the technical colleges have made a contribution to the specialised training of the personnel required in various departments of the war effort, the value of which cannot easily be overrated. Given the opportunity, they have shown - notwithstanding the handicaps imposed by war conditions - that they can assist in effective training to a degree and, in a way, the possibilities of which industry has not hitherto generally appreciated. What is wanted, if the full value is to be obtained from the developments envisaged is that industry and commerce should review their arrangements for training, and should co-operate in associating the technical colleges and art schools more fully with the industrial and commercial life of the country.

84. Already there is a stirring in a number of industries which are addressing themselves to these important questions, and consultations have been initiated with various industries by the Board of Education and the Ministry of Labour and National Service with a view to working out more ordered systems of training and apprenticeship adapted to the conditions of today and suited to the very differing requirements of different branches of industry. In this way it is hoped to build up in each major industry a system which will be accepted and applied, not by individual firms here and there, but on a national basis throughout the industry.


85. Without provision for adult education the national system must be incomplete, and it has been well said that the measure of the effectiveness of earlier education is the extent to which in some form or other it is continued voluntarily in later life. It is only when the pupil or student reaches maturer years that he will have served an apprenticeship in the affairs of life sufficient to enable him fully to fit himself for service to the community. It is thus within the wider sphere of adult education that an ultimate training in democratic citizenship must be sought.

86. A start will have been made by the extension of secondary education and by continued part-time education. By these means increased educational interest in later years should be stimulated. More immediately, the education services that have operated in the Forces, and the interest in inquiry and discussion developed by the Army Bureau of Current Affairs, and by similar developments among Civil Defence personnel, are likely to produce a much larger public anxious to pursue a variety of subjects on informal lines. The activities of C.E.M.A.[*] in war time have also created a new interest in all that is best in music and the arts.

87. While the more serious and solid studies that have formed the backbone of adult education at its best in the past must be maintained, there will be room for new methods and new approaches to meet new demands. In particular, there will need to be developed appropriate centres, including a number of residential colleges, which will not only provide the educational courses which the adult population may need, but will add to them the values associated with the life of a corporate institution.

[*The Council for the Encouragement of Music and the Arts was set up during the second world war to provide entertainment for the civilian and military population.]

[page 21]

88. It is clear that many agencies will be involved. Already a substantial contribution is made to what is termed in the Board's Regulations "the liberal education of adults" by the tutorial classes, extension courses and lectures provided by university bodies, and by other courses conducted by voluntary agencies. Among these, the Workers' Educational Association holds a long established position. Provision is also made for adults over a wide range of non-vocational and cultural subjects by Local Education Authorities. This variety of elements is very necessary both to meet the diversity of interests that ask to be catered for, and to bring into being a truly democratic system of public education. Local Authorities will undoubtedly be called upon to play a larger part than heretofore in this field, and it is clear that there must not only be consultation and co-operation between Authorities in contiguous areas but also between them and the other bodies concerned. Provision will be made to extend to adult education the same type of scheme procedure as to the technical side and to secure that Authorities shall consult with other agencies concerned before schemes are submitted for the consideration of the Board.


89. Since the Act of 1918 it has been recognised that the education service has a concern to provide opportunities for the healthy use of leisure by children and young people to supplement and reinforce the values of more formal education. This recognition has grown and extended. At first the activities of Local Education Authorities in this direction were confined to the needs of those attending some school or other educational institution and under the age of 18, but by an amendment made in 1937 this limitation to those attending school, together with the age limitation, was removed. In effect, the promotion of facilities to enable both young persons and adults to use their leisure to advantage in a wide variety of activities covered by the general terms "social and physical training" is now recognised as standing by itself as an appropriate element in the education service.

90. In this sphere, particular attention is naturally due to the interests and requirements of those young persons who have left school and entered on employment, and who so largely pass outside the confines of formal training. Especially with the upheaval of war has it been felt necessary to maintain and extend those influences which can contribute both to the steadiness and satisfaction of the young life of the nation. Shortly after the outbreak of war, the Youth Service was brought into being to extend the recreational training of young people by assisting the national voluntary organisations which have worked so long and so well in this sphere, and by enlisting the assistance of Local Education Authorities in increasing the opportunities open to young persons to use their leisure wisely to their own advantage and, in great measure, to the advantage of the war effort.

91. Notwithstanding the restrictions inevitably imposed by war conditions on the available supply of leaders, premises and equipment, the service has shown a remarkable expansion during the past three and a half years. There is now a far higher proportion than at any previous time of young people associated with healthy leisure-time training and recreation without compulsion or regimentation of any sort.

92. It was made clear from the start that the service was not to be regarded simply as a wartime expedient, but that it should take its place as an integral part of the national system of education. This principle was reinforced by the registration of young persons of 16-18 years of age, the follow-up of which was made the responsibility of the Local Education Authorities. With the

[page 22]

extended period of full-time education and the introduction of compulsory part-time education, it may be anticipated that the interest of young people in worth-while pursuits will be further stimulated, and that there will be an increased demand for the facilities offered by clubs, youth centres and the national associations of the various voluntary bodies, which the Youth Service is designed to expand. The young people's colleges will develop, their social and community life and will make provision for a wide range of leisure-time interests. The partnership that is now being established between the voluntary agencies and the Education Authorities through the Local Youth Committees should be of the greatest assistance in securing, on a widely extended scale, a variety of opportunities suited to diverse interests, which will enable young people to obtain the experience of community life, self- government and individual self-discipline which are the foundations of democratic citizenship.


Medical Inspection and Treatment

93. At the present time Local Education Authorities are under an obligation to provide for the medical inspection of all children in public elementary schools, secondary schools and certain other schools. Their obligation to make arrangements for the medical treatment of the children extends only to children in public elementary schools, and even in the case of these children the Authorities are required by statute to recover the cost of the treatment except where they are satisfied that it would be unreasonable to do so. The provision made by the Local Education Authorities varies considerably from area to area. In some few areas it includes only treatment for defects to teeth, eyes, ears, nose and throat and for minor ailments; in others it extends to orthopaedic treatment, certain forms of chronic as distinct from acute illnesses, the supervision and convalescent treatment of rheumatism and its effects, and the treatment of maladjusted children through child guidance clinics or otherwise.

94. The setting up of a comprehensive national health service will eventually ensure that all forms of treatment which school children require will be available for them through that service. When this stage is reached it will no longer be necessary for Local Educational Authorities to provide treatment, and their functions will be confined to providing medical inspection and seeing that the children and parents are properly advised and encouraged to seek through the new health channels any treatment the children may need. Pending the completion of the new service it will be necessary for Local Education Authorities to continue their present provision and indeed to provide additional facilities for treatment. It is proposed, therefore, to make it the duty of Local Education Authorities to provide for the medical inspection of all children and young persons attending grant-aided schools and to take such steps as may be necessary to ensure that those found to be in need of treatment, other than domiciliary treatment, shall receive it. No charge will be made for medical treatment for any of these children or young people.

School Meals and Milk

95. No less important is the proper feeding of the children. In its origin the power entrusted to Local Education Authorities to provide school meals was designed to prevent the value of education being lost through the inability of children to profit from it through insufficiency of food, and, until as late as the beginning of the war, school meals were provided mainly for under-nourished

[page 23]

children whose parents were necessitous, and for those who found it difficult or impossible to get back to their homes at midday. Since the war the school meals service has been greatly expanded in order to ensure that in these days of food rationing the health and nutrition of the younger generation are fully maintained, and to meet the situation created by the large scale employment of married women in war work. The development of this service is being pressed forward and has been facilitated by the recent decision to provide accommodation and equipment without any charge to local funds. The Milk in Schools Scheme, whereby children can get milk daily at a cost of a half-penny for one-third of a pint, or free in cases of poverty, has also been very valuable in underpinning the physical well-being of the children. The extension of both these services will follow from the conversion of the present power of Authorities to provide school meals and milk into a duty.

Boots and Clothing

96. There are still many children, especially in the large towns, who are inadequately clothed or shod and voluntary funds no longer suffice to meet this need. Local Education Authorities will, therefore, be empowered to supply or aid the supply of clothing and footwear for children and young persons attending grant-aided schools (nursery, primary, secondary and special schools), provided they recover the cost in whole or in part from those parents who can afford to pay. The position in England and Wales will thus be brought into line with that in Scotland.

Handicapped Children

97. Provision for the blind, deaf and other handicapped children is now made under Part V of the Education Act, 1921. This Part of the Act will require substantial modification.


98. The path of the poor scholar to the university has been made broader and less difficult during the past twenty years. That the expenditure by the Board through the system of state scholarships and by Local Education Authorities through their major awards has been a profitable investment is shown by the successes achieved at universities by the beneficiaries. None the less, it has to be admitted that the provision of scholarships and bursaries is still inadequate in total and uneven in its incidence. The making of these major awards is a power and not a duty of Local Education Authorities, and there is a very wide disparity as between one Authority and another in the extent to which the power is exercised. The aim of a national policy must be to ensure that high ability is not handicapped by the accidents of place of residence or lack of means in securing a university education. The problem how best to attain this end is an administrative one which does not call for legislative changes, and the Norwood Committee's advice on this question will be immediately available for the guidance of the Government.

99. It will also be possible, from another direction, to provide a university education under the Government Scheme of Further Education and Training for large numbers of men and women whose further education has been prevented or interrupted by war service. The scheme is designed to secure to the country the service of those highly trained in the humane studies, and to ensure an adequate supply of men and women equipped to fill the higher posts in industry (including agriculture), commerce and the professions. Awards to applicants for a full-time course of education at Universities and University

[page 24]

Colleges in England and Wales will be administered by the Board in collaboration with the Ministry of Labour and National Service, agricultural awards being dealt with by the Ministry of Agriculture. The scheme may be expected to make large demands upon the administrative and teaching staffs of the Universities, whose goodwill and support are confidently looked for in the light of the invaluable help rendered by them under the somewhat similar scheme in operation after the War of 1914-18.


100. Legislation can do little more than prepare the way for reform. It will rest with the Board and the Local Education Authorities and, not least, with the teachers working in the schools, to translate its aims into practice. That there will be needed the services of a large body of teachers with very varied qualifications is obvious. But it is not merely a larger number of teachers that will be required but a larger number of teachers of the right calibre. It would be deplorable if the necessary corps of teachers could be obtained only at the expense of lowering existing standards. It depends almost entirely upon the quality of those who staff the schools whether the reforms proposed will be merely administrative reforms or whether they will, in practice, work out as real educational reforms.

101. These questions of the supply and the training of teachers for the future are now being investigated by the McNair Committee. It is not possible to predict what the recommendations of this Committee will be. Some things, however, are so patently wrong with the present system of recruiting and training teachers that an expert inquiry was long overdue.

102. The teaching profession is at present recruited almost exclusively from those boys and girls who enter grammar schools and remain there until they are 17 or 18 years of age. But only about one in seven of the nation's children reach the grammar schools and of these only about a quarter stay until they are 17. There is at present no systematic provision to enable boys and girls in senior schools to continue their education and subsequently prepare for the teaching profession if at, say, 15 years of age they express a desire to do so; and yet the war has revealed that the ability and the character required of teachers is not to be found exclusively in the boys and girls in the grammar schools. Steps must also be taken to ensure that potential teachers in the grammar schools shall not be lost to the profession, as they frequently now are, because owing to straitened financial circumstances parents feel the necessity of withdrawing their children early from school.

103. Further, the educational history of too many teachers is alike; school to training college or university and back to school, without any break. Few teachers, except those in technical colleges, have had experience of life other than as students and teachers. Plans must be laid to secure that the teaching profession represents, so far as is practicable, a cross section of the interests and experiences of society at large. Travel, experience of affairs, participation m some form of social service - all these enhance the contribution which a man or woman can make to the schools. Industry, commerce and other callings should contribute their quota to the teaching profession; and it should not be so true as it is today that once a teacher means always a teacher. It is not reasonable to suppose that, if the country treats its teachers well, there will be any dearth of men and women of ability and character to meet the demands of a reconstructed educational system.

[page 25]

104. A larger number of teachers means more training facilities. What the future relationship of the universities to the training of teachers and what the future of the training colleges should be cannot be predicted in advance of the results of the McNair inquiry. But two things can be said without fear of contradiction. In the first place it is clear that, if teachers are to meet the needs of children and young persons under the reformed educational system, they must be educated men and women of responsibility whose training has introduced them to a full life which they will be encouraged to maintain, and indeed develop, during their professional careers. In the second place, it is a matter of history that the training college system has links with a past which by no means offered prospective teachers such a life; and it is well known that some colleges are reluctant to break with these narrow traditions.

105. Many improvisations will have to be made immediately after the war in order to secure the teachers required for re-establishing the schools on a firm basis and so laying the foundations for permanent reforms. There are many men and women now serving in the Forces or elsewhere whose experience and devotion would greatly enrich the education of children. Short intensive courses of training will be provided for them, and also for those whose training before they were called up was so slight as not to justify their taking up work in the schools immediately on demobilisation. Generous financial provision will be made under the "Further Education and Training Scheme" to which reference has been made in paragraph 99, to enable them to prepare for the profession. The problem of adjusting the supply of teachers to rises and falls in the school population is one with which the Board are familiar. Though the magnitude of the problem on this occasion differentiates it in degree from similar ones with which they have had to deal in the past, the fact that the various reforms necessitating increases of staff will be introduced by stages will make it one of manageable proportions.

106. The task is to present the challenge of the educational service to as wide an audience as possible, to ensure that those in the Services and elsewhere whose minds are turning to teaching get opportunities for study arid discussion which will keep their interest alive, and to have available, when their release from military or other duties arrives, a wealth and variety of training facilities to meet all needs. These matters are already being taken in hand, but final plans cannot be made until the course of events is clearer. With a reformed system the power and influence of those who educate the young will be much increased, and the teachers of the future must therefore be of the calibre to discharge their great responsibilities to the lasting benefit of children and of society.

107. It is relevant to the recruitment of teachers to note that it is proposed that the salaries of all teachers in schools for the maintenance of which Local Education Authorities are responsible should conform with such scales as may be decided upon by the Burnham Committee and approved by the Board. The existing arrangements for dealing with cases where salaries exceed, or fall short of, the Burnham Scales are cumbersome and unsatisfactory.


108. While the State does not claim a monopoly in the conduct of education, it cannot divest itself of all responsibility for those children whose parents prefer to have them educated in schools outside the public system, and such parents are entitled to have some assurance that the independent schools of their choice are sufficiently well-found and staffed to

[page 26]

fulfil the educational purposes which they purport to do. This principle received some recognition in the Education Act of 1918. Under that Act the proprietors of all independent schools were required to furnish certain information to the Board, and it was laid down that it should not be a defence in school attendance proceedings that the child was attending an independent school unless the school was open to inspection either by the Local Education Authority or by the Board.

109. If the purpose of these provisions was to bring independent schools under satisfactory supervision, they have proved ineffective. At the present time anybody, whatever his or her qualifications, can start an independent school in any building and, unless the use of the building constitutes a nuisance under the Public Health Act, its improvement or closure cannot be obtained. A Departmental Committee which investigated the matter in 1931-32 found that, while many independent schools were doing excellent work and the majority were above serious reproach, there were a number which were so defective, both structurally and educationally, as to be harmful to the mental and physical welfare of their pupils. A larger number were seriously deficient and inefficient. The gross scandal of Dotheboys Hall has disappeared, but from time to time prosecutions in the Police Court reveal isolated instances of cruelty and neglect. It is only fair to reputable institutions that these unworthy survivors of a bygone age should be cleared away.

110. In accordance with the principles advocated in the Departmental Committee's Report it is proposed to require that every independent school shall be open to inspection by the Board and registered on a list kept by them. Schools which are considered by the Board to be open to objection because the premises are unsuitable, the accommodation inadequate, the instruction inefficient or the proprietor or a member of the teaching staff not a fit person to have the charge of children, will not be allowed to continue unless the defects complained of are remedied within a specified period. To ensure that reasonable liberty shall remain for these schools outside the state system, the proprietor will have the right to appeal against the Board's decision to an independent Tribunal.


111. The recasting of the statutory system of public education will involve a revision of the present system of local educational administration. This system was established by the Act of 1902 which provided for two separate types of Local Education Authority - one for elementary education and another for higher education. These are:

Authorities for elementary education (Part III Authorities): (315 in number):

1. Non-County Boroughs with a population of over 10,000 according to the census of 1901.
2. Urban Districts with a population of over 20,000 according to the census.
3. County Boroughs.
4. Counties in respect of the County areas, exclusive of the areas mentioned in 1, 2 and 3.
Authorities for higher education (Part II Authorities): (146 in number):
1. County Boroughs.
2. Counties in respect of the County areas, exclusive of County Boroughs.

[page 27]

112. The system thus established is open to two serious objections. In the first place an arrangement whereby in a county area some of the stages of a child's education are entrusted to one Local Education Authority and others to another is a barrier to the establishment of a proper unity in educational organisation, the disadvantages of which have been progressively realised since the Act of 1902. It is not, therefore, surprising that body after body has recommended that the proper arrangement would be to have a system whereby all Local Education Authorities are charged with all educational functions. The reconstruction of the educational system on the lines described in the earlier paragraphs will make such a change inevitable. Suitable arrangements for the transfer of a child from the primary to either a modern school or a grammar school or a technical school can only be made if the same Authority is responsible for all three types of education. At present, however, modern schools are the concern of the Part III Authority; grammar and technical schools the concern of the Part II Authority.

113. The second defect is that the determination of the Authorities for elementary education according to criteria of population figures as they were over 40 years ago has led, as it was bound to lead in the course of time, to the most incongruous results. Thus, whereas Harrow Urban District, which had in 1938 an estimated population of 183,000, has no educational powers because its population in 1901 was under 20,000, Tiverton Borough, which in 1938 had an estimated population under 10,000, remains an Authority for elementary education because in 1901 its population exceeded that figure.

114. These considerations suggest that any review of the units of educational administration must be informed by three principles:

(a) that all Local Education Authorities should be charged with all educational functions;

(b) that the population of any area as it was in 1901 should not now be regarded as relevant to the question whether its council should be a Local Education Authority;

(c) that however Local Education Authorities may be constituted, there should be arrangements for preserving and stimulating local interest in education.

115. On the basis of these principles there are two ways in which eligibility for the status of a Local Education Authority could be determined. On the one hand, the status could be conferred on all county districts which, according to the latest census figures, had a population of not less than a prescribed figure, e.g. 75,000. On the other hand, those Local Education Authorities which at present have experience of all types of educational administration, i.e. counties and county boroughs, could, subject to certain modifications referred to later, be constituted as Authorities with provision, in order to secure the third principle, for delegation of certain duties and powers to county districts or combinations of them.

116. In favour of the first solution it can be said that the size and financial resources of many county districts with such a minimum population as has been suggested would be as great or greater than those of many existing counties and county boroughs. But there are serious objections to this alternative. In the first place, to determine eligibility for the status of a Local Education Authority according to the population at a given date would sooner or later lead, owing to movements of population, to precisely those anomalies to which reference is made in paragraph 113. Again, the ultimate responsibility for the higher forms of education such as that given in grammar schools and major

[page 28]

technical institutions rests more conveniently with the county Authority than with the councils of county districts, since schools of these types usually serve a wider population than that of the districts themselves. In general, Government policy has been against the creation of new Local Education Authorities, as is shown by the Education (Local Authorities) Act, 1931, which prohibited the creation of new Part III Authorities in consequence of a combination of two or more urban districts with a combined population which, according to the census of 1901, would entitle them to that status. It is equally undesirable that full educational powers should be given to the councils either of those districts which at present have no educational powers or of those whose powers extend only to elementary education. Lastly, to create as Local Education Authorities the councils of a substantial number of county districts would tend, particularly in some areas, to reduce the child population and the financial resources of the counties in which they are situated to an extent that would prejudice the efficiency of those counties as units of educational administration.

117. It is accordingly proposed that in future the Local Education Authorities shall be the councils of the counties and county boroughs only. At the same time, since certain of these councils will be unable, owing to their size or financial resources, to undertake the increased responsibilities which would be laid upon them, powers will be taken to combine for educational purposes the areas of two or more county or county borough councils where this would be conducive to efficient or economical administration or would otherwise be of national or local advantage.

118. As indicated in paragraph 114, any scheme for the constitution of Local Education Authorities must be such as to preserve and stimulate local interest in educational affairs. It is therefore proposed to require county Authorities to prepare schemes for the constitution and functions of district Education Committees. For this purpose, the county will be divided into areas, each area consisting of one or more county districts, provided that any county district with a minimum total population of 60,000, or a minimum elementary school population of 7,000 children, will have the right to have a separate district committee for its area. District committees will be entrusted with the general duty of keeping the educational needs of the area under review and making recommendations to the county education committee, and with such other functions as may be delegated to them by the county education committee. Some county Authorities, realising the advantages of relying on local knowledge and interest, already delegate many functions to local committees both in respect of elementary and higher education. Under the arrangements proposed it will be open to district committees to make representations to the Board if they are dissatisfied with the extent of the delegation to them proposed by the county Education Committee. This system of district committees will not be confined to the areas of the present Part III Authorities, but will cover the whole of the administrative area of the county. Local interest in educational affairs will, therefore, not only be maintained in the areas where it exists at present, but will be stimulated and extended over a much wider field.


119. Careful perusal of what is already contained in this Paper makes it clear that developments for which educational bodies in the Principality have been pressing for years are now in sight. Ever since the passing of the Welsh Intermediate Education Act, 1889, a system of secondary education has been provided and vigorously developed in Wales and within recent years expressions

[page 29]

such as "free secondary education" and "secondary education for all" have had the force of a popular demand. These national aspirations are now within reach, and the re-casting of the statutory system of public education for the first time into three successive stages, to be known as primary, secondary and further education, will give a clear definition to the course of a child's education in its various stages and provide a perspective of the whole process.

120. In the past, emphasis on secondary education has encouraged developments in Wales which, though advantageous to some children, have neglected many others. Now the claims of all three stages are to be regarded as equally important. Up to today the children in the primary schools are often educated in poor buildings which suggest little in the way of happiness, and these buildings must be modernised or altogether replaced. The provision of nursery schools will afford a pleasant and healthy start to school life. At the post-primary stage Authorities will be asked to plan for the varying aptitudes of children and will be expected to make the appropriate provision so that the word "secondary" will divide into the more significant terms grammar, modern, or technical. Schools of each type are to be established in which the curricula will be better adapted to the needs of the pupils and to their future vocations.

121. What has been said about technical education in this Paper applies with equal force to Wales where there is much leeway to be made up in the industrial and in the rural areas; nor is it necessary to argue the desirability of the introduction in Wales of the reforms proposed in the field of further education and of the health and physical well-being of the child.

122. It would be out of place to discuss here all the subjects which will have a place in the curriculum at various stages in a child's education, but in Wales two subjects, namely religion and the language, have always inspired deep feeling, and about their future there is much concern.

123. What has been said previously in this Paper about religious education will allay some apprehensions, and it will be regarded as fitting that the importance of the subject should now be marked by giving it a more defined place in the life and work of the schools.

124. Religion and language are today, as ever, closely intertwined, and in Wales the hearth [i.e. the home] and all forms of public worship have in large measure preserved the language as a living source of power. For years past, and particularly within the last twenty-five years, the schools have come to the aid of the home and worship. Increasing attention has been paid to the importance of improved method, both in religious education and in the teaching of the language. In 1942 the President of the Board invited Local Education Authorities to give even closer attention to these matters, and they have in different ways responded to this invitation. The policy of the Board has now been officially disassociated from the views about the Welsh language expressed by the Commission of Inquiry in 1846. It is now hoped that the encouragement of studies which are traditional in Wales will not be developed so as to form a barrier between Wales and its neighbours but will provide a livelier association in the world of thought and culture. The place of the language in the schools is not that of one additional subject in the curriculum, but, if it is to be handled hopefully and successfully, it must be related to the background of local and national history and geography and thus become a live part of the social as well as the intellectual life of each pupil. Courses for teachers and other measures recently taken have brought this aspect of the question into new prominence. In view of the increased unity which it is proposed to introduce into the administration of education in all its

[page 30]

stages it is clear that the right treatment of this subject from stage to stage is vital, and this will call for decision and resource on the part of each Local Authority.

125. One feature in the developments outlined above is the increased responsibility and power of each Local Education Authority, and the duties now assigned to them including a careful survey, wise planning and devolution will engage all their energies and attention for some time. Ready and complete acceptance of their powers on the part of the Local Education Authorities in Wales can be assumed, and new developments will also demand co-operation between Authorities to a greater degree than has been previously necessary. The Welsh Authorities have on occasion in the past achieved a high measure of co-operation even though perhaps only for limited purposes. Much discussion and thought have been given in more recent years to further development on these lines, but the schemes and proposals which have been brought forward from time to time have not hitherto met with general approval. They have tended to be based on the experience and investigation of years gone by. Attention should now be given to the possibility of collaboration within the new administrative framework set out in this Paper. The importance now attached to closer collaboration between Authorities may render it advisable to consider the establishment of some appropriate advisory body for Wales should there be good ground for belief that this would be generally welcomed in the Principality. Thus a form of true national development may be realised, not by a scheme imposed from above, but by experience gained in co-operative work successfully achieved. In this direction, as in others, the Welsh Department of the Board of Education can be relied upon to assist, as it has done in past years, through its various publications, in conference, by suggestion and generally by means with which the Local Education Authorities are now familiar, and which there is good reason to believe have been found helpful.


126. The changes described in this document may be summarised as follows.

A. The legislative changes proposed will include:

(a) the improvement of the facilities for the training of children below compulsory school age by the provision of nursery schools wherever they are needed;

(b) the raising of the school leaving age to 15 without exemptions, with provision for a later raising to 16;

(c) the completion of the reorganisation of the present public elementary schools, so that well-designed and equipped primary schools are available for all children up to the age of 11 and secondary schools, with varied facilities for advanced work, for all children over that age;

(d) an amendment of the existing law so as

(i) to emphasise the position of religious instruction as an essential element of education; and

(ii) to enable the schools provided by voluntary bodies to play their part in the proposed developments;

(e) the introduction of a system of compulsory part-time education in working hours for young persons up to the age of 18;

(f) the provision of adequate and properly co-ordinated facilities for technical and adult education;

(g) the extension of the existing facilities for securing the health and physical well-being of children and young persons;

[page 31]

(h) the introduction of a system of inspection and registration of all independent schools which cater for children of compulsory school age;

(i) the adjustment of the present system of local educational administration to the new educational layout.

B. The changes to be effected by administrative action, include:
(a) a progressive decrease in the size of classes in primary schools;

(b) the abolition of the present Special Place examination and the adoption of other arrangements for the classification of the children when they pass from primary to secondary schools;

(c) the introduction of a common Code of Regulations applicable to secondary schools of all types, so framed as to secure that standards of accommodation and amenities generally are raised to the level of those of grammar schools;

(d) the remodelling of the curriculum of secondary schools;

(e) the further expansion of the Youth Service;

(f) the improvement of the facilities for enabling poor students to proceed to the universities;

(g) the reform of the present methods of recruiting and training teachers.

[page 32]



1. Expenditure on education prior to reforms. In 1938-39 the net expenditure of Local Education Authorities in England and Wales on Elementary and Higher Education was 93.8 million, of which 45.5 million was met from taxes and the remainder, 48.3 million, from rates.

2. Effect of rising costs. These figures do not, however, represent the cost of existing services as it is likely to be immediately before the introduction of any of the proposed reforms. Two adjustments are necessary. The first is an addition to meet the general rise in costs. This rise will vary with the different items of expenditure and an average of 15 per cent has been assumed. The second adjustment relates to the provision of school meals and milk, which have expanded considerably during the war in accordance with Government policy and have recently received a new and powerful stimulus. It is necessary, therefore, to make a further addition to the figures for the year 1938-39 in order to arrive at the expenditure on education in an unreformed post-war year. The total thus reached will be 123 million, of which 66.5 million will be met from taxes and 56.5 million from rates. It is to these figures, representing the assumed expenditure in an unreformed post-war year, that the cost of the proposed reforms dealt with in the following paragraphs must be added.

3. Cost of proposed reforms. The proposals for educational reform involve the additional public expenditure shown in Table I below which must be considered in the light of the following factors.

In the first place it is not proposed to introduce any of the proposals until the end of the war in Europe. Thereafter the first step will be to set up the new Local Education Authorities, a process which could not be completed in less than six months. The first substantive step in educational reform, as distinct from the reform of educational machinery, will be the raising of the school leaving age to 15. It will be understood that if this step were taken within a short period after the end of the war before reorganisation is completed, with the primary object of taking children of 14-15 off the labour market, the arrangements for their education would necessarily be of an improvised and makeshift character. If industrial considerations were held to be paramount, the earliest date by which sufficient additional teaching staff could be made available as the result of demobilisation, and accommodation for the extra age-group provided by such temporary measures as hutments and the repair of war damage, would be one year after the new Local Education Authorities come into being.

On the other hand the expansion of Nursery Schools will not present the same difficulties and provision is accordingly included for a substantial and early development of this service.

On these assumptions no material increase in expenditure will begin to accrue until at least 18 months after the end of the war, though there will be some addition in respect of the training of teachers as soon as men and women are released from war service. For the purposes, therefore, of the following tables the first year should be understood as meaning the year in which the leaving age is raised to 15.

The recasting of the system of full-time education and the reform of the dual system will not start to operate until the Local Education Authorities have submitted their development plans and the Board have made their education orders. Apart from expenditure on the acquisition of sites, no expenditure on these reforms, other than that necessitated by raising the school leaving age, will accrue until the third year. The rate of development in that and the succeeding years will depend upon the availability of building labour and materials.

Similarly, the appropriate time for abolishing fees in all secondary schools maintained by Local Education Authorities will come when the Board's education orders have prescribed which schools are to be so maintained. The cost of abolishing fees will not, therefore, show itself until the third year.

The next step for which Local Education Authorities will need to be preparing will be the drawing up of plans for young people's colleges. Substantial expenditure under this head will not accrue until the fourth year.

Although the development of technical and adult education is not included among the matters to be dealt with in the first four year plan, some allowance has been made for preliminary expenditure in respect of technical education.

The expenditure shown in respect of medical inspection and treatment during the first four years is consequential on raising the school leaving age and the institution of young people's colleges, and allows for some preparatory work in anticipation of the date when the provision of medical treatment will be a duty and not, as at present, a power, of Local Education Authorities.

[page 33]


Additional expenditure from public funds attributable to the proposed as compared with unreformed post-war year

4. Revision of Grant System. In order to enable Local Education Authorities generally to play their part in the proposed reforms it is proposed so to modify the present grant formulas that the proportion of the aggregate net expenditure of Local Education Authorities borne by the Exchequer will be increased to 52 per cent in the 1st year and will rise to 55 per cent by the 4th year, the rate of grant to individual Authorities being adjusted, as is the present grant for elementary education, to their varying circumstances. The new grant will apply to expenditure on existing services as well as to expenditure on the proposed educational reforms. Expenditure on school meals and milk will fall outside this formula and will continue to attract the present rates of grant.

Accordingly the total net expenditure in England and Wales on the reformed system of education and the proportions met from taxes and rates respectively would compare with the unreformed post-war position as shown in the following table:


Total expenditure from public funds in England and Wales

5. Total increased cost for Great Britain. The above figures relate only to England and Wales. The statutory grant to the Education (Scotland) Fund would be automatically increased by 11/80ths of any increase in the cost of education falling on the Exchequer in England and Wales. Thus the total increase in the cost of education to the taxpayer resulting from the increase in costs, from the revision of the grant formula and from the proposed reforms would be:


Increase in Exchequer charge over unreformed post-war year

[page 34]

6. Minor changes proposed. There are four minor changes proposed in the present financial arrangements which have not been included in the above tables. The expenditure involved is, however, relatively inconsiderable and will, therefore, not appreciably affect the earlier calculations:

(a) Boots and clothing. It is proposed to give Local Education Authorities in England and Wales the same powers as Scottish Education Authorities have for the provision of boots and clothing in suitable cases. As this will be a power conferred on Local Education Authorities and not a duty imposed upon them, it is impossible to make a firm estimate of the additional expenditure in respect of it. It is, however, unlikely that for some time to come the new expenditure on this item in any one year would exceed 200,000, of which 110,000 would fall on taxes and 90,000 on rates.

(b) Aid to Research. Provision will be made for aid by the Board to institutions specifically devoted to educational research as distinct from institutions for education. It is also proposed that the rather limited powers of Local Education Authorities under Section 74 of the Education Act, 1921, should be expanded so as to enable them to aid such institutions. No firm estimate can be given of the probable expenditure from public funds as a whole on this development, but it is not considered likely to exceed 100,000 in any one year.

(c) Exemption from Rating. It is proposed to extend to all auxiliary schools, both primary and secondary, the exemption from rating at present enjoyed by non-provided public elementary schools. The result of this will be that auxiliary secondary schools of grammar school or technical school type as well as those schools of modern school type will enjoy this exemption. The financial effect will be that since rates will not have to be paid on the premises of the schools the cost to Local Education Authorities and Governors will be reduced. It is difficult to frame a firm estimate of the financial effect upon the Board's Vote, but it may be expected to relieve the Exchequer of some 50,000 a year.

(d) Endowment Money. It is proposed to repeal Section 41 of the Education Act, 1921. The effect will be that the income of certain school endowments which under that Section is payable to Local Education Authorities for application as therein provided will cease to be so payable. Steps will be taken by means of amending schemes to make the income available for other purposes. The amount of income paid to Local Education Authorities under Section 41 was of the order of 16,000 in the last years for which figures are available.

Similarly, in the case of grammar schools, the income from endowment which is at present available for educational maintenance will cease to be so available in the case of controlled or aided schools, where the cost of educational maintenance will fall wholly on the Local Education Authority. It is estimated that the consequential loss to Authorities will be of the order of 150,000 a year, 55 per cent of which will be met by Exchequer grant.

7. Raising the school leaving age to 16. It is estimated that the gross cost of raising the school leaving age from 15 to 16 would, when it became fully operative, amount to 8.95 million, of which 4.9 million would fall upon the Exchequer. To the latter figure should be added 0.7 million in respect of Scotland.

It is not easy to say whether any compensating saving will result from the fact that, when that step is taken, the period of attendance at young people's colleges will become two years instead of three. On the one hand reduced numbers in attendance would, in the absence of any counteracting factor, reduce the running costs. On the other hand, it may well be that experience of the advantages of day-time attendance of young employees will result in the period of attendance being increased beyond one day a week, whether on a voluntary or a statutory basis.