Education Act 1918

Discover the story of the 1918 Education Act and the impact it had on British society during the 20th century.

What did the act achieve?

The 1918 Act raised the school leaving age from 12 to 14. It abolished all fees in state elementary schools and widened the provision of medical inspection, nursery schools, and special needs education.

The greater part of the financial burden of education - some 60 per cent - was transferred from the local authorities to central government. This was partly to foster a greater sense of professionalism among teachers by allowing them improved salaries and pensions.

However, many of these innovative changes could only be implemented in part, or not at all, due to cuts in public expenditure forced by the economic depression of the 1920s.

A series of reports commissioned by the board of education considered how secondary education should be shaped for the future. But a lack of resources prevented any significant change until after the Second World War.

Lives of the First World War

Parliament has partnered with Lives of the First World War to help bring material from museums, libraries, archives and family collections from across the world together in one place. Help IWM link together items you may have to start telling the stories of those who served in uniform and worked on the home front.

Medals and Coins

The House of Commons collection of medals and coins has been built up over the last 100 years and is substantially formed by donations from three Members of Parliament