Education in England:
a brief history

Introduction, Contents

Chapter 1 600-1800
Beginnings
Chapter 2 1800-1860
Towards a state system
Chapter 3 1860-1900
Class divisions
Chapter 4 1900-1944
Taking shape
Chapter 5 1944-1951
Post-war reconstruction
Chapter 6 1951-1970
The wind of change
Chapter 7 1970-1979
Recession and disenchantment
Chapter 8 1979-1990
Thatcherism: marketisation
Chapter 9 1990-1997
John Major: more of the same
Chapter 10 1997-2007
The Blair decade
Chapter 11 2007-2010
Brown and Balls: mixed messages
Chapter 12 2010
What future for education in England?

Timeline
Glossary
Bibliography


Education in England: a brief history
Derek Gillard

copyright Derek Gillard 2011
Education in England: a brief history is my copyright. You are welcome to download it and print it for your own personal use, or for use in a school or other educational establishment, provided my name as the author is attached. But you may not publish it, upload it onto any other website, or sell it, without my permission.

Citations
You are welcome to cite this piece. If you do so, please acknowledge it thus:
Gillard D (2011) Education in England: a brief history www.educationengland.org.uk/history




Glossary


Abbreviations

APU Assessment of Performance Unit
ASCL Association of School and College Leaders
ATL Association of Teachers and Lecturers
ATO Area Training Organisation

BEd Bachelor of Education
BIS Department of Business, Innovation and Skills
BSF Building Schools for the Future
BTEC Business and Technology Education Council

CABE Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment
CACE Central Advisory Council for Education
CATE Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education
CE Church of England (as in 'St Jude's CE Primary School')
CEO Chief Education Officer
CPR Cambridge Primary Review
CSE Certificate of Secondary Education
CSFC House of Commons Children, Schools and Families Select Committee
CTC City Technology College
CVA contextualised value added

DCSF Department for Children, Schools and Families
DES Department of Education and Science.
DFE Department for Education
DfEE Department for Education and Employment
DfES Department for Education and Skills
Dip HE Diploma in Higher Education
DIUS Department of Innovation, Universities and Skills

EACT Edutrust Academies Charitable Trust (academies sponsor)
EAZs Education Action Zones
EDS Education Data Surveys
EiC Excellence in Cities
EMA Education Maintenance Allowance
ESGs Education Support Grants
EYFS Early Years Foundation Stage

FE Further education
FEFCs Further Education Funding Councils

GCE General Certificate of Education
GCSE General Certificate of Secondary Education
GLC Greater London Council
GM Grant-maintained
GTC General Teaching Council

HE Higher education
HEFCs Higher Education Funding Councils
HMCI Her Majesty's Chief Inspector
HMI Her Majesty's Inspectorate
HND Higher National Diploma

ICT Information and Communication Technology
ILEA Inner London Education Authority
INSET In-service training
IPPR Institute for Public Policy Research (left-leaning think tank)
IQ Intelligence quotient
IRPC Independent Review of the Primary Curriculum

KS Key stage

LA Local Authority
LEA Local Education Authority
LCC London County Council
LMS Local Management of Schools
LSC Learning and Skills Council

MSC Manpower Services Commission

NAA National Assessment Agency
NAHT National Association of Head Teachers
NASUWT National Association of Schoolmasters/Union of Women Teachers
NC National Curriculum
NCC National Curriculum Council
NCSL National College for School Leadership
NCVQ National Council for Vocational Qualifications
NUT National Union of Teachers
NVQs National Vocational Qualifications

OECD Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
Ofqual Office of the Qualifications and Examinations Regulator
Ofsted Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills

PFI Private Finance Initiative
PGCE Postgraduate Certificate in Education
PISA Programme for International Student Assessment (run by OECD)
PPP Public private partnership
PRU Pupil Referral Unit
PSE Personal and social education
PSHE Personal, social and health education

QCA Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (replaced by QCDA)
QCDA Qualifications and Curriculum Development Agency
QTS Qualified Teacher Status

RC Roman Catholic
RE Religious Education
RoA Record of Achievement

SACRE Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education
SATs Standard Assessment Tests
SCAA School Curriculum and Assessment Authority
SCDC School Curriculum Development Committee
SEAC School Examinations and Assessment Council
SEC School Examinations Council
SEN Special educational needs
SENCO Special educational needs coordinator
SHA Secondary Heads Association
SIPs School Improvement Partners
SLA School leaving age
SLTs Single Level Tests
SRC School Report Card
SRE Sex and Relationships Education
SSAT Specialist Schools and Academies Trust
STRB School Teachers' Pay and Review Body

TDA Training and Development Agency for Schools
TES The Times Educational Supplement
TGAT Task Group on Assessment and Testing
TTA Teacher Training Authority
TVEI Technical and Vocational Education Initiative

UCAS Universities and colleges admissions service
UDE University Department of Education
UKLA United Kingdom Literacy Association
ULIE University of London Institute of Education
ULT United Learning Trust (academies sponsor)

VA Voluntary aided
VC Voluntary controlled

YTS Youth Training Scheme


Words and phrases

Academies (originally called City academies). Effectively, private schools funded by the taxpayer. Announced in 2000, the first 3 opened in 2002. Very controversial.

Agreed Syllabus syllabus for religious education adopted by an LEA as required by law.

Aided schools see Faith schools.

A Level Advanced Level - the exams usually taken at age 18 and often required for university entrance.

Area Training Organisation set up in 1947 to co-ordinate the provision of teacher training. Long since defunct.

Assembly the name often used in schools for the collective act of worship, required by the 1988 Education 'Reform' Act to be 'mainly Christian'.

Assessment of Performance Unit set up in 1974 to look at national attainment in six curriculum areas. Long since defunct.

Bachelor of Education Four year degree course introduced in 1965.

Banding see Pupil grouping.

Black Papers a series of papers published by traditionalists between 1969 and 1977 condemning 'progressive' education.

Central Advisory Councils for Education (one for England, one for Wales). Established by the 1944 Education Act, they produced, among others, the Plowden Report. Long since defunct.

Certificate of Secondary Education (CSE) introduced in 1965 for less academic children. See GCSE.

Chief Education Officer the senior officer of a local authority with responsibility for education. Sometimes called Director of Education.

Child-centred a style of education which focuses on children's abilities, aptitudes and interests.

Church of England see Faith schools.

Church schools schools run by the churches - mostly CE, some RC. See Faith schools.

City academies see Academies.

Combined schools schools with children aged from 5 to 12 in authorities with three-tier systems. Few (if any) now left.

Comprehensive school non-selective school, usually for 11-18 year olds.

Consultative Committee established by the 1899 Board of Education Act. Produced many reports, including the Hadow reports. Replaced following the 1944 Education Act by the Central Advisory Councils for Education.

Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education established 1984 to set standards for initial teacher training courses. Long since defunct.

Department of Education see Education Department

Deschoolers those who believe children should be educated at home rather than in school.

Direct Grant Schools schools (mostly grammar schools) funded directly by central government. Phased out in 1970s.

Education Action Zones established by 1998 School Standards and Framework Act.

Education Department the name of the government department responsible for education has been changed several times since it was established in 1944:

1944 Ministry of Education
1964 Department of Education and Science (DES)
1992 Department for Education (DFE)
1995 Department for Education and Employment (DfEE)
2001 Department for Education and Skills (DfES)
2007 Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF)
2010 Department for Education (DfE).
Eleven plus the exam(s) used to select eleven year olds for grammar schools in LEAs which still operate selection at 11.

Education Maintenance Allowance introduced in 1999 to promote greater take-up of post-16 education.

Education Support Grants central government funds given to LEAs for specific purposes (began in 1984).

Excellence in Cities three year initiative which began in 1999.

Faith schools schools run by a religious group. May be independent or funded by the state. Those funded by the state are either Voluntary Aided (more faith group control, especially over religious education) or Voluntary Controlled (less faith group control).

First school see Three tier system

Foundation schools the name given by the New Labour government to schools which were previously grant-maintained.

Further education generally refers to non-university education for school-leavers (often vocational). See also Higher education.

Further Education Funding Councils established by 1992 Further and Higher Education Act.

General Certificate of Education (GCE) see General Certificate of Secondary Education.

General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) the exam normally taken at age 16. Introduced in 1986 when it combined and replaced the previous GCE O Level (Ordinary Level) and the CSE.

General Teaching Council established by 1998 Teaching and Higher Education Act.

Grammar school selective school, usually for academic 11-18 year olds who pass the eleven plus exam.

Grant-maintained schools which, under the 1988 Education 'Reform' Act, opted out of LEA control. See Foundation schools.

Greater London Council created in 1964; abolished, along with ILEA, on 31 March 1986.

Green Paper government consultation document.

Her Majesty's Inspectorate school inspectors, still operating but much reduced in number and role since the introduction of Ofsted.

Higher education degree courses, usually at universities.

Higher Education Funding Councils established by 1992 Further and Higher Education Act.

Independent school see Public school.

Inner London Education Authority created in 1964; abolished on 1 April 1990.

Key Stage the National Curriculum is divided into five Key Stages:

KS1 age 5 - 7 years;
KS2 age 7 - 11 years;
KS3 age 11 - 14 years;
KS4 age 14 - 16 years;
KS5 age 16 - 18 years.
Local Authority (LA) see Local Education Authority

Local Education Authority (LEA) established under the 1902 Education Act to administer education provision within the area of a local authority. Section 162 of the 2006 Education and Inspections Act removed the word 'education' so that all legislative references are now to 'local authorities'.

Local Management of Schools the management by schools of their budgets, introduced in the 1988 Education 'Reform' Act.

London County Council replaced by Greater London Council in 1964.

Lower school see Three tier system

Maintained school a school funded by the state.

Manpower Services Commission set up in 1974 to oversee the vocational training of young people. Long since defunct.

Middle school see Three tier system

Ministry of Education see Education Department

Mixed ability see Pupil grouping.

National Association of Head Teachers union for (mainly primary) head teachers.

National Association of Schoolmasters/Union of Women Teachers the second largest teacher union, representing mainly teachers in secondary schools.

National Council for Vocational Qualifications abolished in 1997 Education Act - see Qualifications and Curriculum Authority.

National Curriculum statutory curriculum in all state schools, introduced in the 1988 Education 'Reform' Act and modified several times since.

National Curriculum Council set up to manage the National Curriculum under the 1988 Education 'Reform' Act, now defunct.

National Union of Teachers the largest teacher union.

O Level see General Certificate of Secondary Education.

Office for Standards in Education established by the 1992 Education (Schools) Act to manage privatised school inspection teams. Became the Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills in the 2006 Education and Inspections Act.

Polytechnics institutions created in 1966 to provide HE and FE with a technical bias - granted university status in 1991.

Postgraduate Certificate in Education a year of professional training for graduates wanting QTS.

Primary school for children aged 5 to 11.

Public school confusingly, this term usually refers to private schools - schools not funded by the state but for which parents pay fees. Sometimes referred to as independent schools.

Pupil grouping four main types:

streaming, where a class consists of pupils selected on the basis of overall ability;
setting, where a class consists of pupils selected on the basis of ability in a particular subject;
mixed ability, where a class consists of pupils representing the full range of abilities;
banding (usually in large secondary schools), where pupils are organised into groups of classes on the basis of overall ability.

Qualifications and Curriculum Authority established in 1997 by the amalgamation of the National Council for Vocational Qualifications and the School Curriculum and Assessment Authority.

Religious Education required by the 1988 Education 'Reform' Act to be 'mainly Christian' but to include the study of other world faiths.

Roman Catholic see Faith schools.

School Curriculum and Assessment Authority abolished in 1997 Education Act - see Qualifications and Curriculum Authority.

School Curriculum Development Committee set up in 1984. Now defunct.

School Examinations and Assessment Council set up to manage assessment arrangements under the 1988 Education 'Reform Act'. Now defunct.

School Examinations Council set up in 1984. Now defunct.

School leaving age the age at which children may leave full-time education. It was set at:

11 in 1893
12 in 1899
14 in 1921
15 in 1947
16 in 1973.
In March 2007 the government announced its intention to raise the SLA to 18, possibly in 2013.

Schools Council set up in 1964 to disseminate ideas about curricular reform in England and Wales. Abolished in 1984.

Secondary school for children aged 11 to 18.

Secondary modern school for children aged 11 to 16 or 18 who did not pass the eleven plus exam. (Now largely defunct).

Secretary of State for Education the government minister heading the education department. (The Minister of Education until 1964).

Section 11 the part of the 1966 Local Government Act which dealt with the funding of education for immigrant children.

Section 28 infamous section of the 1988 Local Government Act which forbade local authorities from 'promoting teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship'. Repealed by New Labour in November 2003.

Selection the separation of children into different schools (usually at age 11) on the basis of intelligence and/or ability tests.

Setting see Pupil grouping.

Sixth form the traditional name (still used) for students aged 16-18 years who have taken their GCSE exams and are (usually) studying for A Levels.

Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education an LEA body responsible for the conduct of religious education.

Statementing the process, required by law, of creating a statement of the special educational needs of a pupil and the ways in which those needs will be met.

Streaming see Pupil grouping.

The Times Educational Supplement weekly publication now calling itself the TES.

Task Group on Assessment and Testing produced the 1988 Black Report which set out the structure of National Curriculum tests.

Teacher Training Authority established by the 1994 Education Act; replaced by the Training and Development Agency for Schools.

Technical and Vocational Education Initiative launched in 1982. Long since defunct.

Three tier system organisation of schools into three tiers, usually consisting of First (or Lower) schools catering for 5-8 or 5-9 year olds, Middle schools for 8-12 or 9-13 year olds and Upper schools. Most authorities have now reverted to two-tier systems with transfer at age 11.

Training and Development Agency for Schools replaced the Teacher Training Authority.

Trust schools independent state schools backed by private sponsors. The 2006 Education and Inspections Act envisages all primary and secondary schools eventually becoming trust schools.

Upper school see Three tier system

Voluntary aided see Faith schools.

Voluntary controlled see Faith schools.

Voluntary schools see Faith schools.

White Paper sets out proposals for inclusion in a government Bill.

Workforce remodelling a government initiative, begun in 2003, which aimed to reduce teachers' workload by employing more unqualified classroom assistants.

Youth Training Scheme set up in 1983. Long since defunct.

Bibliography