Hadow (1923)

1923 Hadow Report (text)

The Hadow Report (1923)
Differentiation of the Curriculum for Boys and Girls Respectively in Secondary Schools

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. It was replaced following the 1944 Education Act by the Central Advisory Council for Education (CACE).

Sir Henry Hadow was an educationist (Vice Chancellor of the University of Sheffield from 1919 to 1930), a well-known music critic and a prodigious writer. He chaired the Consultative Committee for six reports between 1923 and 1933:

1923 Differentiation of the Curriculum for Boys and Girls
1924 Psychological Tests of Educable Capacity
1926 The Education of the Adolescent
1928 Books in Public Elementary Schools
1931 The Primary School
1933 Infant and Nursery Schools

For more about Hadow and other Committee members and summaries of the reports, see my article The Hadow Reports: an introduction.

The report online

The full text of the report (including the Appendices) is presented in a single web page. Unlike the other Hadow reports, the 1923 report did not include an alphabetical subject index.

I have modernised some of the punctuation and updated one or two spellings (timetable instead of time-table, today instead of to-day etc).

I have added explanations to a few archaic words which are no longer in common use and given metric equivalents of imperial measures. Anything added by way of explanation is shown [in square brackets].

Summary of the report's main recommendations

The report lists 24 recommendations including:

  • there should be greater freedom in the curriculum of both boys' and especially girls' schools, with more time for pupils to develop their own individual interests, more flexibility in advanced courses and the relaxation of some university matriculation requirements;
  • there should be greater emphasis on aesthetic subjects, both in school and in examinations;
  • maths and physics teaching and the provision of manual instruction should be improved in girls' schools;
  • English teaching should be given greater priority in boys' schools;
  • girls should have the same freedom as boys to organise their own games;
  • girls should be protected from 'physical fatigue and nervous overstrain' - they should take the First School Examination a year later than boys;
  • further research should be undertaken into the relative susceptibility of boys and girls to mental and physical fatigue, and into the intellectual and emotional differences between the sexes and their implications for the curriculum;
  • curriculum subjects should be more closely interrelated;
  • women should be adequately represented on committees and examining bodies dealing with girls' education.

The 1923 Hadow Report and the above notes were prepared for the web by Derek Gillard. The report was uploaded on 9 July 2006; the revised notes on 4 November 2012.