Powys Digital History Project

Education in Wales 6


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 school.)

In 1969 the school leaving age was raised (for the last time?) to 16.
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 pages.

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