Schooling before the 19th Century

In the absence of a national system of education before the 19th century, schools depended entirely on local initiative and charity

Elementary education in the 19th century

The early 19th century saw the beginnings of a national system of education as charitable societies were formed with the aim of developing better access to schooling

The 1870 Education Act

The 1870 Education Act was the first item of parliamentary legislation to deal with the provision of education in Britain

Further reform, 1902-14

Local authorities were encouraged to provide secondary education in the 1902 Education Act

Extension of education, 1914-39

Elaborate plans to expand state education were curbed during the inter-war years due to the effects of economic depression€™

The Education Act of 1944

After the Second World War secondary education was made freely available to all pupils up to the age of 15

Education Reform Act 1988

Further changes took place to the education system in the second half of the 20th century

Also within Living Heritage

Also in this section

Follow the chief stages and developments in the creation of Britain's state schools