20th Century Education and History

By: Taylor Besch


The Start of 20th Century Education

  • The 1870 Elementary Education Act established school boards that were in charge of the schools.
  • The Cockerton Judgment was also formed. This was important because it "sealed the fate of advance, or secondary, teaching fostered by the more radical and enterprising School Boards." (Gillard). It also established higher elementary schools which would be now known as high schools.
  • By 1905, "Infant Schools" were established. Educationists and doctors discussed that child development and education needed to be started early.
  • On August 28, 1907, the Education Administrative Provisions Act was established. This gave promising children the opportunity to go to secondary schools and established the beginning of medical inspections of children in public schools.

The 1921 and 1936 Education Act

  • In 1921, The Education Act of 1921 raised the school leaving age from twelve to fourteen. Once again in 1936, the age was raised again to fifteen because of the Education Act of 1936.
  • The 1921 Education Act also stated that no pupil can attend "Sunday school" while attending a public school, parents are required to send the blind and deaf children to school, and the Act also required medical and inspections and treatments.
  • The Education Act of 1936 not only raised the age but also submitted requests and proposals for 230 new public schools and 289 Catholic schools.

The Effects of World War II

  • World War II had effected education and children significantly. Because of the war, families evacuated the large cities and children were no longer educated.
  • For the children who attended school, they regularly practiced with the gas masks and did drills to prepare in case anyone invaded.
  • The war also brought the 1943 Norwood report. This report expressed three types of education and schooling.
  • The first was the type who is interested in argument and causes.
  • The second is the type interested in the field of applied science or applied art.
  • The third, and final, was the group who would study concrete facts instead of ideas.


The Beginning of the 20th Century

  • At the start of the 20th century, about 15% of the population was living at bare survival conditions and about 8% were living below survival conditions.
  • In 1908, miners were limited to working only 8 hours a day. The minimum wages were also changed for the very low paying jobs.
  • Starting in 1908 elders over 70 were given a pension. The pension wasn't very large but it was at least a start.
  • In 1911, the National Insurance Act was passed. This was important because it gave workers free treatment if they were ill and if they were too ill to work, they would receive a small amount of money to live on.
  • In 1918, women received the right to vote. They had to be over 30, but the age soon changed in 1928 to 21.

World War I

  • On August 4, 1914, Britain declared war on Germany.
  • A British expeditionary force fought Germany at Mons on August 23. The French and British stopped the Germans at the Battle of Marne in September.
  • In 1917, the Germans started a unrestricted submarine warfare. They would sink any ship from any country that attempted to reach Britain.
  • In the spring of 1918, Germany continued to fight and attack France. The British along with France counter-attacked Germany.
  • On November 11 the Germans were pushed back and forced to sign a armistice which is also known as a cease-fire.

The Great Depression

  • The Great Depression was a time of severe economic recession.
  • In 1932, 22.8% of insured workers were unemployed gradually fell to around 10% in 1938.
  • In the North of England, coal mining and textiles were the most affected by the Great Depression.
  • However in the Midlands and South of England, unemployment went down because new industries were forming such as making cars, aircrafts and electronics.
  • In the depression areas, hunger marches formed. The most famous march was the Jarrow march of 1936. 200 shipyard men marched to London from Jarrow but did not succeed in reducing unemployment.
  • Because of the fall in prices, late 1930s became much more comfortable and affordable.

World War II

  • World War II began on September 3, 1939.
  • Once again, children were evacuated to the countryside for protection. About 827,000 children and 103,000 teachers left the big cities.
  • The Germans first bombing on the British failed. The most severe was between 1940 and 1941.
  • Britain started rationing as the war continued. It became stricter and stricter as the war went on longer. Some things that were rationed were sugar, bacon, butter, ham, petrol, tea, cheese, eggs, clothes, and sweets.
  • On September 7, 1940 the Germans began bombing London. Over 13,000 Londoners were killed and other cities were too heavily bombed such as Birmingham, Coventry, Bristol, Portsmouth and Plymouth.
  • After Hitler invaded Russia, the German bombing lessened.

The 70s, 80s and 90s

  • In 1972 and 1974, coal miners went on strike. The government was forced to give the miners their demands.
  • The unemployment was about 1 million in the spring of 1975. It had covered over almost 5% of the workforce in 1975, 5.5% in 1977, and 5.3% in 1979. Inflation also started to rise.
  • Unemployment increased dramatically between 1980 and 1982. It was nearly 11.5% which was more than double the rate in 1979.
  • The war between the Argentinians and the British boosted the economy and government.
  • Once again, miners went on strike in 1984. However Arthur Scargill refused to produce a national ballot meaning it was left to each region to decide. Some miners stayed at work which meant the strike did not succeed.
  • In 1990, a new tax was formed called the community charge, also known as the poll tax. It was replaced with the council tax in 1993 because it was so unpopular.
  • Also in 1990, unemployment increased once again but economic recovery came 3 years later in 1993.