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The Education System In The Nineteenth Century

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Education
Wordcount: 2681 words Published: 18th May 2017

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For one, the complicated nature of Britain particularly in England schooling and current educational controversies have their roots in schooling development. State involvements in education come late and first attempt to establish unified system of state funded elementary schools was made only in 1870 for England and Wales (1872 for Scotland and 1923 for Northern Ireland) yet it was not until 1944 that the state provided a comprehensive and national apparatus for both primary and secondary state schools, which were free and compulsory. However some church schools long existed. After England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales were gradually converted to Christianity by the fifth and sixth centuries, the church’s position in society enabled it to create the first schools. These initially prepared boys for the priesthood, but the church then developed a wider educational role and its structures influenced the late state system. For example, some schools were periodically established by rich individuals or monarchs. These were independent privately financed institutions and were variously known as high, grammar and public schools. They were late associated with both the modern independent and state educational sector. But such schools were largely confined to the sons of rich, aristocratic and influential. Most people received no formal schooling and remained illiterate and innumerate for life.

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As this shows, in later centuries, more children benefited as the church schools were provided by wealthy industrialist and philanthropists for working-class boys and girls; and some other poor children attended a variety of schools organized by voluntary societies, women (dames); workhouses and the ragged school union, but the minority of children attending such institution in reading, writing and arithmetic. The majority of children received no adequate education. By the nineteenth century, in Britain (expect Scotland) had haphazard school structure. Protestant churches had lost their monopoly of education and competed with the Roman Catholic Church and other faiths. Church schools guarded their independence from state and secular interference and provided much of available schooling. The ancient high, grammar and public schools provided continued to train the son of the middle and upper classes for professional and leadership role in society, but, at a time when industrial revolution were proceeding rapidly and the population was growing strongly, the state did not provide a school system which could educate the workforce. Most working class still received no formal or sufficient education.

However, local and central government did begin to show some regard for education in early nineteenth century. Grants were made to local authorities for school use in their areas and in 1833 parliament funded the construction of school building. But it was only in 1870 that the state became more actively involved. An education Act (The Foster Act) created local school boards in England and Wales which financed and built elementary schools in their areas. Such state schools supplied non-denominational training and existing religious voluntary (or Church) school served denominational needs. By 1870 the state system was providing free and compulsory elementary schooling in most parts of Britain for children between the ages of five and ten (Twelve in 1899). The Balfour Act (1902) abolished the school boards, made local government responsible for state education, established some new secondary and technical schools and funded voluntary schools. But, although states school provided education for children up to the age of fourteen by 1918, this was still limited to basic skills.

In addition to this, adequate secondary school education remained largely the province of independent sector and few state schools. But generally people had to pay for these services. After a period when old public (private) schools had declined in quality, they revived in nineteenth century. Their weakness, such as the narrow curriculum and indiscipline, had been reformed by the progressive head-masters like Thomas Arnold of Rugby, and their reputations increased. The private grammar and high school, which imitated the classic-based education of the public schools, also expanded. These schools drew their pupils from son of the middle and upper classes and use the training ground for established elite and the professions state secondary school education in early twentieth century was marginally extended to children who parents could not afford school fees- scholarships (financed grants) for clever poor children become available; some state funding was provided and more schools were created. But this state help did not appreciably expand secondary education, and by 1920 only 9.2 per cent of 14 years-old children in England and Wales were able to enter secondary schools on a non fee-paying basis, the school system in early twentieth century was still inadequate for the demands of society; working-and lower middle class children lacked extensive education; and hard-pressed government avoided any further large- scale involvement until 1944. In 1944, an education Act (The Butler Act) reorganized state primary and secondary schools in England and Wales (1947 in Scotland and Northern Ireland) and greatly influenced future generations of school children. State schooling became free and compulsory up to the age of fifteen and was dived into three stages; primary (5-11 years), secondary schools (11-150 and further post- school training. A decentralized system resulted, in which Ministry of education drew up policy guidelines and local education authorities (LEAs) decided which forms of schooling would be used in their areas.

It is been proven that, at the beginning of nineteenth century, European states showed little interest in primary education only in Germany states was a state-run system for it. In 1883, the French government created a system of a system of state-run secular schools by instructing local government to establish an elementary school for both boys and girls. None of these primary schools required attendance, however, which tended to be irregular at best. In rural society children were still expected to work in fields. In industrializing countries like Britain and France, both employers and parents were eager to maintain the practice of child labor. In the decades after 1870, the functions of the state were extended to include the development of mass education in state-run systems. Most western government began to offer at least primary educator to both boys and girls between ages of six and twelve, in most countries it was not optimal. Austria had established free, compulsory elementary education in 1869, In France an 1882 law made primary education compulsory for all children between sic=x and thirteen. Elementary education was made compulsory in Britain in 1880, but it was not until 1902 that an act of Parliament brought all elementary schools under county and town control, states also assumed responsibility for all quality of teachers by establishing teacher-training schools. By 1900, many European states, especially in Northern and Western Europe, were providing state-financed primary schools, salaried and trained teachers, and free, compulsory elementary education for the masses.

Traditionally, the private sector has played a significant role in education, only since late 19th century state has guaranteed education as a compulsory service for all citizens’ i.e. primary education became compulsory for children aged 5 and 10 in 1870. The top age for leaving school was raised in 1944. Education beyond 11 was considered secondary. Universal elementary education required a degree of compulsion, especially as young people were able to begin their working careers much earlier than they can today, at least in the developed world. To commence work at the age of 12 was uncommon. For many poor families educating a child meant the loss of a potential earner in the household, laws that made school attendance compulsory ere passed in the Massachusetts in 1864 and 1890 ( with exception of southern states, which delayed compulsion until the early twentieth century). In Europe, compulsion was applied in 1868 in Prussia, in England and Wales in the 1870s (Scotland and Northern Ireland), and France and other countries in the 1880’s. Secondary schools had been state institutions in France as in Prussia from the early nineteenth century although they were fee-paying. In England they remained private institutions until much later, opportunities for free secondary education for some talented children from state primary schools were provided from the late nineteenth century, but universal secondary education did not become general in most European countries until after 1945. It is salutary to contemplate that this was only so recent. The exponential increase in technology since 1945 could not have accrued without a comprehensive system of universal education. In the much more egalitarian social conditions of the late twentieth century, knowledge and expertise could not be confined to a select few.

As this shows, In great Britain, early nineteenth- century reforms were stimulated by the philosophic Radicals led by Jeremy Bentham, who advocated dealing with public problems in a rational and scientism way, a reform movement utilizing parliamentary, legal and educational means economic and social philosophers in Britain, including Adam smith and Jeremy Bentham argued for liberalism, rationalism, free trade, political rights and social reform all contributing to the greatest good for the greatest number” labour law reforms ( the mines and the factory acts) banning mines children and women from underground work in the mines and regulating reduction in workday to 10 hours were adopted by the British Parliament in the 1830’s to 1840. The spread of railroads and steamship the penny post (1840), and telegraphs (1846).Combined with growing literacy and compulsory primary education introduced in Britain in 1876,. This dramatically altered local and world communication. During the 18 and 19 centuries European countries also began as American who started to develop examination for selection into professional civil service. The purposes of the examinations were to raise the competency level of public functionaries, lower the patronage and nepotism. Prussia began using examinations for filling all government administrative posts staring as early as 1748, and the competition for university entrance as a means to prepare for these examinations for all civil service appointment in 872. Public examination system in Europe therefore, developed primarily for selection, and when mass secondary schooling expanded following World War 2, entrance examinations become the principal selection tool setting students on their educational trajectories. In general, testing in Europe controlled the flow of young people into the varying kinds of schools that followed compulsory primary schooling. Student who did well moved on to the academic track, where study of classical subject led to university education others were channelled into vocational or trade schools.

In addition to this, in last decades the duration of compulsory schooling has become longer. The trend has in most EC countries curriculum is prescribed by a central authority (usually the ministry of education). In Germany, curricula are determined by each of its states. In France the curriculum is quite uniform nationwide, and in Denmark individual schools enjoy considerable discretion in the definition of curricula. The trend in several countries has been to allow schools a greater say in the definition of curricula during the compulsory period of schooling; school-based management and local control are not uniquely American concept However, the level of prescription varies from system to system. In the Britain’s systems seems to be moving in other direction. In the past, curricula in Britain were determined by local education authorities and even individual schools, independent regional examination boards exerted a strong influence on the curricula of secondary schools. The central government significantly tightened to gap around the regional boards beginning in the middle 1880’s and since the education reform Act 1988 the UK has moved toward adoption of national curriculum.

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It is obviously from this that, since 19 century education (Primary school) has been important political and social too to educate a useful and skilled workforce, to maintain social rest, to create social equality and or secure economic success and innovation. The British government spent most its budget to build new schools after the implementation of Education Acts. The government’s aim was to address the state as well as politician and employers rather than children; this was due to poverty and how much the country was destroyed by the war and industrialization. But why education and why education is’s young children is mainly concern of the state rather than individual whose learning and life chances. It is about education specially Primary school that could be viewed as parents’ responsibility to make sure children receive a basic knowledge form early schooling age and for it is also government duties to ensure the schools are all under perfect condition and teachers are paid fairly therefore the country will be able to stay in competition with other most powerful nations in the world. Education can be viewed as an individual choice and investment for the future career opportunities and was indeed the case until around 1870 when Education Act of

that year introduced” state primary school” (age 5-11) until then, education had been a matter of mainly for the upper class in public schools and middle classes in grammar schools. For the working class only some voluntary of church or church schools had attended to the teaching of reading, writing and rithmetic Universal post 11 educations was not introduced until momentous 1944 education Act, probably the most crucial element of the new welfare state to come out of the Second World War Significantly, the provision of free school meals, milk, dental and medical care was also part of the system reform to encourage children attending schools and most significantly this reform was designed to very much help the poor families who did not have anything to feed their children and would rather sent their children to work.


During 19 century children of Britain faced a period of industrialization which as result the parents to send their children to work instead of going to schools, it was very depressing period for the country as whole. Education for children was not an option for poor families who were living in terrible condition; schools were only designed for rich. The establishment of education act injected the believe and hope of Britain children with a promise of bright future, by providing equal education to all children boys and girls. This development guaranteed Britain as a nation to improve the skills of children who are the future of the country and also maintaining and competitiveness with other top countries in the world. I personally think it is very clear that the development of education produces important foundation on many levels. Individual benefits by increasing knowledge and future earning and high living standard regardless of your background status. Business will gain more profit the country will get out the poverty by being able to improve productivity and society will growth stronger by having a much secured level of civil contribution.

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Testing in American Schools: Asking the Right Questions. Washington, DC: Congress of the U.S., Office of Technology Assessment, 1992. Print.


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