Demitri Coryton, CF patron, and Editor of Education Journal Review has kindly shared his paper on the introduction of secondary education for all from the passage of the Education Act 1944 to the establishment of the Labour government in 1945 and the development of its policy for secondary education.

This interesting history of comprehensive education can be read in full HERE.

Abstract: The Education Act of 1944 was a major landmark piece of legislation. It was carefully crafted by the Conservative President of the Board of Education R A Butler, and his Labour junior minister James Chuter Ede to gain maximum support in Parliament and outside it. The Act did not mandate any particular type of secondary reorganisation, although the White Paper that proceeded it did indicate a preference for the selective tripartite system that was eventually adopted by the Labour government elected in 1945. The Act required each local education authority (LEA) to submit a development plan outlining how the authority planned to introduce secondary education for all. As the Act did not specify which type of scheme was to be adopted, LEAs were free to choose their own scheme. Many took the steer from the Norwood report of 1942, the White Paper and the Ministry of Education’s Pamphlet No.1, The Nation’s Schools, Their Plan and Purpose, all of which favoured the tripartite selective system, which was the preferred option of senior officials at the Ministry of Education (as the Board of  Education had been renamed by the 1944 Act.) But some did not, preferring a non-selective option. Most of these LEAs opted for multilateral schools, with only a small number
choosing the American model of large comprehensive schools.

However, in the end local choice was not to be. While opinion in the Labour Party was divided, Ministers went for the selective system. This paper looks at the development of thinking on selective education before the Second World War, examines the development plan proposals of one LEA, Surrey, in some detail and then considers the surveys of almost all LEAs conducted by the Fabian Society and published in two reports produced in 1947 and 1952.

Key words: Multilateral School, Grammar School, Technical School, Modern School, Central School, Upper Elementary School; Butler, Chuter Ede, selection.

Read the paper HERE.