Educating Bradford

Educating Bradford

10. Key Developments

“The subject of primary education is, indeed, one of great and serious importance, and I believe we approach it with a due regard to its importance.”

W. E. Forster in 1870

Even before and continuously since the 1870 Education Act, there have been significant changes to Britain’s education system, not only nationalising and standardising it, but revolutionising it with innovative methods and measures. In many of these developments, Bradford has been a trailblazer.

1548Bradford Grammar School founded.
1662Bradford Grammar School re-established by Royal Charter as the Free Grammar School by King Charles II.
1699Society of the Propagation of Christian Knowledge founded, providing education for the poor.
1811National Society for Promoting the Education of the Poor is founded to provide education in the Anglican faith to the poor.
1814British and Foreign School Society is established to cater for children from dissenting backgrounds.
1819Factory Act bans employment of children under the age of 9 and limits the working day of under 16 year old to no more than 12 hours a day in cotton mills only.
1832Bradford Mechanics’ Institute opens, providing adult education to working class scholars.
1833Factory Act, known as Althorp’s Act, restricts child labour in textile mills so children under the age of 9 cannot be employed (unless in a silk mill) and children aged 9 to 13 can only be employed if they have two hours of education per day the previous week.
First of a series of government grants to voluntary societies providing education which increases significantly over the years.
1840Grammar School Act allows Grammar Schools to widen the range of subjects on the curricula to go beyond the classical languages.
1843Lord Graham’s Factory Education Bill, proposing factory schools for working children and that children splitting their time between work and school, is abandoned by Parliament.
1844Factory Act, known as Graham’s Factory Act, establishes that children aged 9 to 13 can work 9 hours a day with a lunch break, with those over 13 to work no more than 12 hours on a weekday, including one and half hours for meals.
1847Factory Act, known as the Ten Hour Act, limits the working week in textile mills (except lace and silk) for all women and children under 18 years old.
1850Factory Act, known as the Compromise Act, enforces the start and finish time of 12 hour shifts for all women and young people.
1850Factory Act, known as the Compromise Act, enforces the start and finish time of 12 hour shifts for all women and young people.
1857Bradford Female (Education) Institute opens to provide adult education opportunities specifically for working class women.
1858-61Parliamentary commission on education.
1867Factory Extension Act extends all the existing labour legislation to all manufacturing workplaces employing 50 or more employees and enforces that no child under the age of 8 can be employed and working children aged 8 to 13 have to receive at least 10 hours of education per week.
1869National Education League established to campaign for compulsory, free and non-religious education for all.
Endowed Schools Act remodels endowed schools, such as grammar schools.
1870Elementary Education Act, known as Forster’s Education Act, sets out a national education framework for children aged 5 to 12 in England and Wales, and establishes local authority school boards to supervise and manage new school board schools as well as existing voluntary society schools.
1874Factories (Health of Women, &c.) Act limits hours of work for women and children to 10 hours a day with two hour-long meal breaks; provisions for children now applies to 13 year olds; and the minimum working age for children raised to 10 years.
1876Elementary Education Act, known as Lord Sandon’s Act, enforces parents to ensure their children receive some form of education.
1878Factory and Workshop Act enforced compulsory education for working children up to 10 years old while 10 to 14 year olds can only be employed for half days.
1879Bradford Mechanics’ Institute opens a Weaving School, a predecessor of Bradford Technical School (later College).
1880Elementary Education Act, known as the Mundella Act, enforces compulsory school attendance for children aged 5 to 10 in England and Wales.
1882Bradford Technical School opens its first building.
1889Technical Institutes Act
1891Factory Act increases the minimum age children can work to 11 years.
Education Act makes elementary schooling free in board and voluntary (church schools).
1892Bradford Education Committee appoints the country’s first full time school medical officer, Dr. James Kerr.
Margaret McMillan and Dr. James Kerr investigate health of school children, propose changes, including the introduction of school swimming baths and school meals.
1893Elementary Education (School Attendance) Act makes school attendance compulsory up until the age of 11.
Elementary Education (Blind and Deaf Children) Act establishes compulsory, specialist education for blind and deaf children aged 7 to 16 provided by local authorities.
1897Country’s first school swimming pool opens at Wapping Road Infant School, Bradford.
1899Elementary Education (School Attendance) Act makes school attendance compulsory up until the age of 12.
Elementary Education (Defective and Epileptic Children) Act made local authorities provide schooling for physically and mentally impaired children.
1901Factory Act increases the minimum age children can work to 12 years old and children could work fulltime from 13 years old.
1902Education Act, known as the Balfour Act, abolishes school boards and replaces them with local education authorities (LEAs) which are now responsible for secondary education.
1904Bradford becomes one of the UK’s first local authorities to provide free school meals.
1906Education (Provision of Meals) Act allows local authorities to provide school meals and milk if deemed necessary.
1908Thackley Open Air School opens – Bradford’s first open air school.
Bradford is the country’s first local authority to establish a school-based clinic.
1918Education Act, known as the Fisher Act, raises the school leaving age from 12 to 14 years old and introduces a system of part-time ‘continuation day’ classes for those in work aged 14 to 18 years old.
1920Factory Act increases the minimum age children can work to 14 years old.
1933Children and Young Persons Act abolishes the half-time system and raises the minimum age children can work to 14, which is still in place today.
1944Education Act, known as the Butler Act, introduces a system consisting of grammar, secondary modern and secondary technical school; it split primary and secondary education; introduces the Eleven Plus exam; raises the school leaving age to 15 (enforced from 1947).
National School Meals Policy makes it compulsory for local authorities to provide school dinner and milk.
1965Introduction of the Comphrehensive System
1970Education Act Special Education
Bradford adopts the three-tier Primary-Middle-Secondary school system
Education in Bradford, 1870-1970 is published; a book to celebrate the centenary of the W.E. Forster’s Education Act
1981Education Act Special Education
1983      Bradford becomes the first local authority in the country to provide halal school meals.
1988Introduction of the National Curriculum.
1993Education Act Special Education
1996School leaving age raised to the end of the academic year for children aged 16; home education accepted.
2000Bradford re-adopts the two-tier Primary-Secondary school system

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