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The Elementary Education Act

Posted in Anniversary, History, Law on Friday, 30 July 2010

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picture, school, schooling, Middle Ages

Schooling in the Middle Ages. Illustration by Peter Jackson

9 August marks the anniversary of the enactment of the Elementary Education Act in 1870. The Act, sometimes known as Forster’s Education Act after William Forster, the Liberal MP who introduced it to Parliament, guaranteed elementary education for all children aged 5 to 12.

The Act did not immediately take effect as factory owner’s did not want to lose a source of cheap labour. Delays and problems implementing the Act caused by arguments between board schools, church schools and the National Education League led to the 1902 Education Act being introduced which set up 300 Local Education Authorities.

Many more pictures relating to schools and education can be found at the Look and Learn picture library.

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