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In educational history, the 1944 Education Act has a significant high moment of various far-reaching reforms made to provide governing of English schools. In England, the board of education got replaced by a minister who intended to direct or control local education systems to ensure a more standard opportunity. By so doing, all local education authorities were required to submit a development plan for approval by the minister pertaining primary and secondary education. There were two advisory councils constituted for England and Wale who had the power to deal with issues set by the minister as well as tendering advice on their initiatives. Out of such strategies, the education system took a different shape to becoming what it is in recent times.
In the year 1940, Britain was battling with Nazi Germany, where a prime minister, Neville Chamberlin lost the confidence of party, resigned and got replaced by Winston Churchill. In the same year, Herwald Ramsbotham, president of the board of education met with board's senior officials to discuss educational measures. The discussion aimed at reaching plans to achieve the ideal of the prime minister, to establish a society with privileges or advantages enjoyed by men and youths of nations. The proposals of the board were set out in a green book, education after the war, which was circulating confidentially (Ku, 2013, p. 581). The recommendations formed what was to be the 1944 Education Act. As some of the proposals, it became agreed that the differentiations which existed between secondary and elementary were to get abolished so that to have three stages instead. Also, instead of terminating the dual system, further financial aid was to get availed to voluntary schools to ensure conservative organizations. In 1941, Rab Butler became appointed as president of education board as the coalition government commenced in making plans for the ambitious program.
Reasons and Aims of 1944 Education Act
One of the strands for the introduction of this act was to distinctly distinguish between secondary and primary education systems, by eliminating previous all age elementary. The system was to follow stages such as primary, secondary and further studies. All local education authorities had a duty to provide secondary education, subject to a single regulation code of availing equality of treatments in areas like accommodations or class sizes. Other aims were to end fee charged for kids who attended public or grant schools, introduce more equitable funding to local schools and other sectors. The act also served a purpose of enabling additional provision of nursery and further education levels, with systems to determine teachers' salaries in so established areas. Briefly, 1944 Education act was a post-war plan which aimed at removing inequalities in the systems.
Changes to the Education System
After the introduction of 1944 education act, a proportion of free accommodations at grammar England and Wales school increased significantly. However, there was some extra cost involved, and this made parents turn down their poor children even with the provision of free places (Whitty & Wisby, 2016, p. 317) Another change is that, after steering the act through the parliament, a similar bill in Scotland followed which targeted to provide free secondary educations. Using power, the national education system introduced by the act impacts changes on local education authorities. Chief officers like Alec Clegg toured in all counties to inspires teachers and to make clear on who drive education in his areas, an era regarded as teacher autonomy (Parker & Parker, 2018, p. 181). In recent times, minister claim that such independence has been evolved where teachers can now choose to educate in return for high accountability. Following the education act of 1944, many schools in England and Wales became divided into grammar and secondary modern institutions. The type of school that a student can attend depended on his or her result of eleven-plus tests. Those who passed the examination went to grammar while the rest joined modern secondary. To some extent, the act almost replaces the previous legislation.
The Success of Reaching Aims and Impacts
The 1944 education act is not only a landmark but also a piece of social welfare regulation designed to address academic development. The legislation took account of every kid in the society and England had to adapt in various ways in ensuring past years. In Britain, there is no longer an empire, but instead expanded communities made up of European nations, and that way a significant demand for skills. As the success of the act, there is increased school population encompassing many cultures or faiths. Additionally, many principles and areas like curriculum or personalized learning held by the law are still in place as they were in the year 1944.
When it comes to a selection process, the 1944 education act was a perfect policy in allocating students to different levels depending on their ability. There were three models of school; grammar, technical and secondary. The grammar school required all students at the age of 15, technical offered more vocational training, and only a small percent of pupils got admitted. In secondary moderns, about eighty percent of pupils attended this level. The act impact introduction of compulsory free education in age gap of five to fifteen and this led to the creation of tripartite systems. There was a stereotyping where grammar school was viewed as superior while pupils at the secondary school were seen as failures. As an impact on gender, second-wave feminism got introduced by the act to ensure that every girl child managed to complete secondary school. The law also led to the emergence of professional education in colleges or universities like teachers training institutions. According to Bruley (2017, p. 1) A feminist movement controlled by the act such as female residential organizations encouraged women empowerments or achievements.
Bruley, S., 2017. 'It didn't just come out of nowhere did it?'The origins of the women's liberation movement in 1960s Britain. Oral History, 45(1), pp.67-78.
Ku, H 2013, 'Education for liberal democracy: Fred Clarke and the 1944 Education Act', History of Education, 42, 5, pp. 578-597, Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost, viewed 30 April 2018.
Parker, F. & Parker, B.J., 2018. Education in England and Wales: an annotated bibliography. Routledge.
Whitty, G, & Wisby, E 2016, 'Education in England - a testbed for network governance?', Oxford Review of Education, 42, 3, pp. 316-329, Professional Development Collection, EBSCOhost, viewed 30 April 2018.
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