The relationship of the 1918 and 1872 Education (Scotland) Acts

In: Scottish Educational Review
Lindsay Paterson University of Edinburgh

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Two large changes link the 1872 and 1918 Education (Scotland) Acts. One is the development of secondary education, which happened gradually between the two dates, with searching debates about the meaning, purpose, and demographic reach of advanced education of this kind. The main purpose of the 1918 Act was to make secondary provision more coherent, ensuring that its gradual extension to female, Catholic and working-class students would be sustained. The other is modernising educational governance, which meant combining a partly democratic oversight with the growing professionalism of teachers. These changes laid the basis for Scottish school education in the welfare state. So 1872 started a process which 1918 made into a stable system that, in significant respects, persists to the present.

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