Ignorance 5th Year Higher Ignorance (Education) The Labour government inherited and implemented: 1944 Education Act (Butler Act passed by the wartime coalition govt. 1944 Act: 1. Raised leaving age to 15 by 1947 and to 16 ASAP. 2. School system: 3 tiered a. Nursery voluntary b. Primary compulsory c. Secondary compulsory 3. Secondary stage: 3 levels a. Senior secondary b. Junior secondary c. Technical schools to suit pupil’s abilities and aptitudes 4. Decided by an exam at the end of primary – 11 plus. 5. Provision of: Meals, Milk and compulsory medical service. Implementing the Act: Problems Shortage of teachers Shortage/poor condition of school buildings 20% of schools damaged by bombing Due to economic difficulties & the scale of the problem:- Government concentrated on replacing the bombed out schools and building primaries to accommodate the “baby boom” By 1950 1176 new schools built or underway – 928 primaries. Very few Technical schools – So: 3 tier system reduced to two: Senior Secondary (for about 20% of the population) Junior Secondary for the rest. Criticisms of the Act Many believed:- To set up a first and second rate school system reflected the class divisions in Britain. 11 plus supposed to be objective and fair test irrespective of social class background. In practice socially divisive and highly contentious selection procedure fo limited places at secondary schools. Junior Secondaries offered inferior opportunities to the bulk of the nations children. This unfairness was only dealt with by the introduction of comprehensive education. Labour did little for educational welfare of the working classes compared to the eqality of opportunity and provision being implemented in social security and health.