The Coercion of Wales Act
The local authorities demanded absolute control over the Non
Provided (Church) schools and an end to religious tests for teachers.
By 1904, only Breconshire and Radnorshire out of all the counties
of Wales were prepared to implement the 1902 Act, and give rate
aid to Non Provided schools. But after the local council elections
in May they fell into line with all the other councils in Wales
and refused to implement it.
The government responded with the Education (Local Authority
Default) Act, 1905, also known as the "Coercion of Wales
Act". The Conservative government under Balfour fell in
December 1905 and Campbell-Bannerman's Liberals came to power.
The new government withdrew the "Coercion Act".
Secondary Education for all
In 1918 the school leaving age was raised to 14.
By R.A. Butler's Education Act of 1944 every effort was made
to ensure that every child should attend a secondary school without
having to pay fees. Following the act the school leaving age
was raised again, to 15. The Eleven Plus examination was retained:
those who passed went to grammar schools, and secondary "modern"
schools were built to educate those who failed. (Before the 1944
Act, those who failed the Eleven Plus had had to stay on at junior
In 1969 the school leaving age was raised (for the last time?)
The Labour government of 1974-79 abolished the distinction between
grammar and secondary modern schools and by the end of the 1970s
the Eleven Plus was almost gone in Wales.
There are 6 pages on the origins
of education in Wales. Use the box links below to view the other