Dyke (1906)

1906 Dyke Report (complete)

The Dyke Report (1906)
Report of the Consultative Committee upon Questions Affecting Higher Elementary Schools

London: HM Stationery Office

Notes on the text


The 1899 Board of Education Act established a Board of Education 'charged with the superintendence of matters relating to education in England and Wales' (section 1). It provided for the establishment of a Consultative Committee to keep a register of teachers and to advise the Board 'on any matter referred to the committee by the Board' (section 4).

The Consultative Committee produced many reports - including this one - during its lifetime, including the six Hadow Reports of the 1920s and 30s and the 1938 Spens Report. It was replaced following the 1944 Education Act by the Central Advisory Council for Education (CACE).

The Chair of the Committee for this report, the Right Hon. Sir William Hart Dyke (1837-1931), was educated at Harrow and Christ Church, Oxford. He became a Conservative MP and held several ministerial posts in the governments of Disraeli and Lord Salisbury. He was Vice-President of the Committee of the Council on Education from 1887 to 1892. He was also an enthusiastic tennis player.

For this report, the Committee was asked to consider the curriculum of Higher Elementary Schools, which, under the Code of 1904, was required to be of a predominantly scientific type, and to determine 'the nature and amount of that special instruction which marks it off from the upper part of an ordinary Public Elementary School'.

The report online

The Dyke Report was published in a large format - roughly A4 size.

The complete report (including the Appendices) is online in a single web page.

The formatting of the text (bold, italics, centred etc) is a reasonably accurate representation of the printed version, but the pages presented here are not exact facsimiles of the original: the font (Times, Arial etc) and size of print - and therefore the number of words to a line and lines to a page - are determined by the settings you have chosen for your web browser. However, the page breaks are correct. In other words, if something is shown here as being on, say, page 103, you can be sure it appeared on page 103 in the original.

I have made one change to the page layout: the section headings, which in the original were printed in the margins, are shown here in bold type in the body of the text. In one case (Their disadvantages on page 24) this has meant dividing a paragraph in two.

The page headers (chapter title on both left and right hand pages) have been omitted.

I have simplified some of the punctuation and corrected the positioning of some speech marks.

The five tables (in the Appendices) are presented as images. They are shown as links: clicking on one opens the table in a new window.

Anything added by way of explanation is shown [in square brackets].

One final point: the print quality of this report - being more than 100 years old - was very poor, with much speckling and indistinct lettering. My OCR software therefore had problems rendering it as text and some pages had to be completely retyped. I've proof-read the text as carefully as I can, but if you spot any errors, do please let me know. Contact details are here.

Some points from the report

  • a good general education is of paramount importance;
  • a Higher Elementary School should educate for life as well as for livelihood;
  • the curriculum should have a practical bias, with subjects illustrated by practical examples that are familiar to the children;
  • the course should be planned with the school's context in mind, especially in rural areas;
  • in small towns Higher Elementary Schools should not be established - the need for higher primary instruction should be met by Supplementary Courses in elementary schools;
  • in large towns there is a need for Higher Elementary Schools;
  • Higher Elementary Schools should be staffed by good elementary school teachers with an interest in science and technology and the training colleges should offer appropriate courses for them.

The 1906 Dyke Report and the above notes were prepared for the web by Derek Gillard and uploaded on 24 September 2012.

1906 Dyke Report (complete)