Acts of Parliament

Index to the Acts

See the index for the full list of Acts relating to children, schools and education and for notes on the texts.

Board of Education Act 1899

This Act established the Board of Education (replacing the Education Department) and set out its powers and duties. The board came into being, and its first President, Spencer Compton Cavendish, took office, on 3 March 1900.

It also provided for a Consultative Committee to frame regulations for a register of teachers and to advise the Board on educational matters. During the first half of the twentieth century the Consultative Committee produced many notable reports under a number of chairmen (it was always men) including Dyke, Acland, Hadow and Spens.

The text of the Board of Education Act 1899 was prepared by Derek Gillard and uploaded on 7 April 2013.

Board of Education Act 1899

© Crown copyright material is reproduced with the permission of the Controller of HMSO and the Queen's Printer for Scotland.

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An Act to provide for the Establishment of a Board of Education for England and Wales, and for matters connected therewith. [9th August 1899.]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

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Establishment of Board of Education.

1.-(1.) There shall be established a Board of Education charged with the superintendence of matters relating to education in England and Wales.

(2.) The Board shall consist of a President, and of the Lord President of the Council (unless he is appointed President of the Board), Her Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State, the First Commissioner of Her Majesty's Treasury, and the Chancellor of Her Majesty's Exchequer.

(3.) The existing Vice-President of the Committee of the Privy Council on Education shall also be a member of the Board, but on the next vacancy in his office the office shall be abolished, and the enactments mentioned in the schedule to this Act shall be repealed.

(4.) The President of the Board shall be appointed by Her Majesty, and shall hold office during Her Majesty's pleasure.

(5.) The Board shall be deemed to be established on the appointment of the President thereof.

Duties and powers of Board of Education.

2.-(1.) The Board of Education shall take the place of the Education Department (including the Department of Science and Art), and all enactments and documents shall be construed accordingly.

(2.) It shall be lawful for Her Majesty in Council, from time to time, by Order, to transfer to, or make exerciseable by, the Board of Education any of the powers of the Charity Commissioners or of the Board of Agriculture in matters appearing to Her Majesty to relate to education, and the Order may make such provision as appears necessary for applying to the exercise of those powers by the Board of Education the enactment, relating to the Charity Commissioners or to the Board of Agriculture.

Provided that any question as to whether an endowment or any part of an endowment is held for or ought to be applied to educational purposes shall be determined by the Charity Commissioners.

Inspection of secondary schools.

3.-(1.) The Board of Education may by their officers, or, after taking the advice of the Consultative Committee herein-after mentioned, by any University or other organisation, inspect any school supplying secondary education and desiring to be so inspected, for the purpose of ascertaining the character of the teaching in the school and the nature of the provisions made for the teaching and health of the scholars, and may so inspect the school on such terms as may be fixed by the Board of Education with the consent of the Treasury: Provided that the inspection of schools established by scheme under

52 & 53 Vict. c. 40.

the Welsh Intermediate Education Act, 1880, shall, subject to regulations made by the Treasury under section nine of that Act, be conducted as heretofore by the Central Welsh Board for Intermediate Education, and that the said Board shall be recognised as the proper organisation for the inspection of any such schools as may be desirous of inspection under this section.

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(2.) The council of any county or county borough may out of any money applicable for the purposes of technical education pay or contribute to the expenses of inspecting under this section any school within their county or borough.

Consultative Committee.

4. It shall be lawful for Her Majesty in Council, by Order, to establish a Consultative Committee consisting, as to not less than two-thirds, of persons qualified to represent the views of Universities and other bodies interested in education, for the purpose of -

(a) framing, with the approval of the Board of Education, regulations for a register of teachers, which shall be formed and kept in manner to be provided by Order in Council: Provided that the register so formed shall contain the names of the registered teachers arranged in alphabetical order, with an entry in respect to each teacher showing the date of his registration, and giving a brief record of his qualifications and experience; and

(b) advising the Board of Education on any matter referred to the committee by the Board.

Orders to be laid before Parliament.

5. The draft of any Order proposed to be made under this Act shall be laid before each House of Parliament for not less than four weeks during which that House is sitting, before it is submitted to Her Majesty in Council.

Staff, remuneration and expenses.

6.-(1.) The Board of Education may appoint such secretaries, officers and servants as the Board may, with the sanction of the Treasury, determine.

(2.) There shall be paid, out of moneys provided by Parliament, to the President of the Board, unless he holds another salaried office, such annual salary not exceeding two thousand pounds, and to the secretaries, officers and servants of the Board such salaries or remuneration, as the Treasury may determine.

Style, seal and proceedings of Board of Education.

7.-(1.) The Board of Education may sue and be sued and may for all purposes be described by that name.

(2.) The Board shall have an official seal, which shall be officially and judicially noticed, and that seal shall be authenticated by the signature of the President or some member of the Board, or of a secretary, or of some person authorised by the President or some member of the Board to act on behalf of a secretary.

(3.) Every document purporting to be an instrument issued by the Board of Education, and to be sealed with the seal of the Board, authenticated in manner provided by this Act, or to be signed by a secretary or any person authorised by the President or some member of the Board to act on behalf of a secretary, shall be received in evidence, and be deemed to be such an instrument without further proof, unless the contrary is shown.

(4.) A certificate signed by the President or any member of the Board of Education that any instrument purporting to be made or issued by the President or some member of the Board is so made or issued shall be conclusive evidence of the fact.

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Power for President or secretary to sit in Parliament.

8.-(1.) The office of President of the Board of Education shall not render the person holding it incapable of being elected to, or of voting in, the Commons House of Parliament, and shall be deemed to be an office included in Schedule H. of

30 & 31 Vict. c. 102.

the Representation of the People Act, 1867; in Schedule H. of

31 & 32 Vict. c. 48.

the Representation of the People (Scotland) Act, 1868; in Schedule E. of

31 & 32 Vict. c. 49.

the Representation of the People (Ireland) Act, 1868; and in Part I. of the schedule of

31 & 32 Vict. c. 72.

the Promissory Oaths Act, 1868.

(2.) After the abolition of the office of the Vice-President of the Committee of the Privy Council on Education, one of the secretaries of the Board of Education shall not by reason of his office be incapable of being elected to or of voting in the Commons House of Parliament.

Extent, commencement, and short title.

9.-(1.) This Act shall not extend to Scotland or Ireland.

(2.) This Act shall come into operation on the first day of April one thousand nine hundred.

(3.) This Act may be cited as the Board of Education Act, 1899.



Session and Chapter.Short Title.Extent of Repeal.
19 & 20 Vict. c. 116.The Education Department Act, 1856.The whole Act.
21 & 22 Vict. c. 97.The Public Health Act, 1858.In section seven the words "the Vice- President of the Committee of the said Privy Council on Education being one of them."