The 1870 Education Act was described by the Secretary of the League as “a compromise upon a compromise.” Describe the main achievements of the Act and explain why it was a disappointment to some of those campaigning for state elementary schooling.
The 1870 Education Act, also known as The Forster’s Act set up the idea of schooling for children, ages 5-13. This was set up on account to let children of the working classes, have the chance for a place in a school, also to progress the learning abilities of the workforce in Britain at the time and educate the minds of citizens around Britain. This Act gave the authority to school boards to take control of schools. These boards were given the power to enforce attendance and decide religious instruction; they could also fine parents for a child’s absence at school, unless the child was sick or had trouble commuting from afar.
This Act was a disappointment to many people around this time as children of middle and upper classes were favoured and the churches saw this Act as an attack on their schools as they had been exclusively in control and the Act gave parents the ability to remove their child from religious education if they so wished to even in church schools which caused a huge controversy. People also agreed that the idea of voluntary school at the time was successful enough, and to have the government intervene wouldn’t be right. The Act also brought about a clash between the National Education League, churches and private schools. Factory owners were also affected as they were concerned about the amount of ‘cheap’ young labourers they would have to lose.
Though the act was a disappointment to many, main achievements of the Act were that poorer children would still get the chance to go to school, even if they couldn’t afford it as the Boards would pay for the fees, though it was always upto the school boards. Before 1870, children only went to school to learn well if their parents paid fees for them to...