Timeline: A history of education

1st November 2015 at 11:33
Education history
The TES was founded in 1910. Here is a timeline of all the events that have transformed the educational landscape in the 105 years since
  • 1910 - The Times Educational Supplement begins publication on September 6 as a free monthly with The Times.
  • 1911 - Consultative Committee on Examinations in Secondary Schools report recommends that children take public exams at 16. More than 80 per cent of 14 to 18-year-olds receive no education at all.
  • 1912 - Maria Montessori publishes The Montessori Method.
  • 1913 - The National Union of Teachers campaigns for a national salary scale.
  • 1914 - The TES becomes a separate paper, priced 1d. The First World War begins in the summer.
  • 1915 - John and Evelyn Dewey publish Schools of Tomorrow.
  • 1916 - The TES becomes a weekly paper.
  • The Lewis committee examining plans for post-war education of adolescents recommends leaving age of 14.
  • 1917 - Exam council set up for secondaries: School Certificate examinations begin. Conscription causes teacher shortages.
  • 1918 - Fisher Education Act raises school leaving age from 12 to 14 and ends all fees for elementary education.
  • 1919 - The Burnham Committee introduces national pay scales for elementary teachers.
  • Bradford uses intelligence tests in secondary selection.
  • 1920 - State scholarships to universities introduced: 200 initially, 360 by 1936.
  • 1921 - Free milk provided for all children in need.
  • Geddes report on national expenditure leads to 6.5 million cuts in education.
  • 1922 - Crisis hits economy. Teachers forced to accept 5 per cent pay cut and to contribute 5 per cent of salary towards superannuation. Times newspapers, including The TES, are sold to the Astor family.
  • 1923 - Pay for certificated teachers in England and Wales averaged 310 for men and 254 for women.
  • The first photographs appear in The TES.
  • Jean Piaget publishes The Language and Thought of the Child. A S Neill founds Summerhill School.
  • 1924 - “Black list” of worst buildings in urban areas is produced. More than 16,000 classrooms in England and Wales still accommodate two or more classes.
  • 1925 - Educational broadcasting begins on the radio (John Logie Baird does not begin demonstrating television until the following year).
  • 1926 - Hadow Report on the Education of the Adolescent recommends separation of primary and secondary education at 11. “Modern” as well as grammar schools to be established. Direct grant schools begin.
  • 1927 - Bertrand Russell founds Beacon Hill School with his wife Dora. Cyril Burt publishes The Measurement of Mental Capacities.
  • 1928 - The Board of Education reports 21 LEAs are using IQ tests for secondary selection, and notes that this is premature.
  • 1929 - Open-air schools prove popular; 170 classes are held in London parks all-year round - these were thought to combat tuberculosis and other childhood infections.
  • 1930 - Undergraduate population reaches 30,000 as more state university scholarships provided.
  • 1931 - House of Lords defeats bill raising leaving age to 15.
  • Teacher pay slashed by 10 per cent.
  • 1932 - Grammar schools open to all according to ability, rather than giving a proportion of places to the brightest elementary pupils.
  • 1933 - Hadow Report on nursery and infant education emphasises need for new open air schools.
  • 1934 - Cyril Burt’s interpretation of intelligence tests refuted by research at the London School of Economics.
  • 1935 - Marion Richardson publishes Writing and Writing Patterns.
  • 1936 - Education Act calls for raising of leaving age to 15 in September 1939 (postponed by the outbreak of war).
  • 1937 - Handbook of Suggestions for Teachers emphasises the need for child- centred primary education.
  • 1938 - The Spens Report on secondary education recommends: expansion of technical and vocational courses; a leaving age of 16; and tripartite system of grammar, technical and secondary modern schools.
  • 1939 - Evacuation after the outbreak of the Second World War in September means that, by the end of the year, a million children have had no schooling for four months.
  • 1940 - A ship evacuating 90 London children to Canada is sunk by a torpedo. Herwald Ramsbotham, president of the Board of Education, refuses to ban conscientious objectors from teaching. H C Dent, a former headteacher, becomes acting editor of The TES.
  • 1941 - Gas mask practice is held for children every week or fortnight. 425,000 London children now evacuated.
  • 1942 - A call to schools to keep rabbits for food. Plus Labour proposes leaving age of 15, multilateral schools, free lunches, and nurseries for under-fives. Paper shortages force The TES to discontinue publication of School Certificate results.
  • 1943 - The Norwood Report supports tripartite division of secondary education into grammar, technical and modern schools.
  • 1944 - The Butler Education Act creates a Ministry of Education; ends fee- paying in maintained schools; organises public education into primary, secondary and further; and introduces the tripartite system.
  • 1945 - The Minister of Agriculture calls for 100,000 older schoolboys and girls to help in the fields.
  • 1946 - Free school milk is introduced, and free school dinners postponed. 90 per cent of university places reserved for men of HM Forces.
  • 1947 - The leaving age raised to 15 in England and Scotland. Secondary Schools Examination Council recommends General Certificate of Education at O, A and S-level.
  • 1948 - A five-year plan is launched to train 96,000 teachers, 60,000 of them women, to reduce secondary classes to 30 and primary to 40 by 1951.
  • 1949 - The Conservative Teachers’ Association asks the government to act on teachers alleged to be spreading communist propaganda.
  • 1950 - A Schools Code (for Scotland) reduces maximum primary class to 45 from 50.
  • 1951 - O and A-levels are introduced.
  • The TES goes up to 4d, its first price increase since 1923.
  • 1952 - The BBC launches pilot schools television scheme.
  • 1953 - The Labour manifesto, “Challenges to Britain”, proposes abolition of selection at 11. Middlesex education committee bans known communists and fascists from headship.
  • 1954 - The 11-plus is said to be wrongly allocating one in three pupils.
  • 1955 - The last gas lamps are removed from London schools by the London County Council.
  • 1956 - Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme for boys launched (girls begin in 1958).
  • 1957 - Britain’s first school TV programmes are broadcast by Associated Rediffusion in May, with the BBC following in September.
  • 1958 - The first aided comprehensive for Jewish pupils opens in London. Brighton probation officers blame coffee bars for an “unprecedented rise” in juvenile delinquency.
  • 1959 - The Crowther Report on 15-18s recommends leaving age of 16 by 1968, and a target of half of children in full-time education to 18 by 1980 (by 1980/81, 29 per cent were).
  • 1960 - The Beloe Report proposes Certificate of Secondary Education.
  • Berkshire primary survey reveals 46 schools still with earth closets; 35 without mains water; six lit by gas; eight lit by oil; 22 with open fires.
  • 1961 - A campaign to persuade 50,000 married women back into teaching is launched. The TES publishes a complete Billy Bunter story. In Latin.
  • 1962 - Leeds experiments with primary French.
  • A S Neill’s Summerhill published.
  • 1963 - London and Manchester end 11-plus.
  • 1964 - The Ministry of Education becomes the Department of Education and Science (DES).
  • TES Scotland launches.
  • 1965 - Circular 10/65 requires LEAs to propose schemes for comprehensive reorganisation on lines laid down by the DES. The General Teaching Council for Scotland is established.
  • 1966 - The Schools Council calls for 16-plus exam to replace CSE and GCE. A disaster in British education: landslide engulfs Aberfan schools, killing 144. The TES and sister papers are taken over by Lord Thomson.
  • 1967 - The Plowden Report advocates expansion of nursery schooling and introduction of educational priority areas.
  • 1968 - The Newsom Report on public schools calls for integration with state schools and an assisted places system.
  • 1969 - The first of the “Black Papers” published, which criticises what the authors believed was excessive progressivism in education.
  • 1970 - Margaret Thatcher is appointed education secretary.
  • The Conservative government replaces Circular 10/65 with Circular 10/70, leaving LEAs to decide future of secondary education in their areas.
  • 1971 - The Times Higher Education Supplement launches, a spin-off of The TES.
  • Controversy over the sex education film Growing Up and The Little Red School Book. Mrs Thatcher abolishes milk for the over-sevens.
  • 1972 - The school-leaving age is raised to 16. Pupil governors are appointed in Hounslow, Brighton and Wolverhampton. UK schools have 570 video recorders.
  • 1973 - The NUT strikes for a better London allowance.
  • Roy Hattersley reveals Labour plans to abolish public schools.
  • 1974 - Coronation Street’s Ken Barlow quits teaching for a better-paid job as a warehouse administrator. The Houghton Report increases teachers’ pay by 30 per cent.
  • 1975 - A black paper proposes exams at seven, 11 and 14.
  • William Tyndale School in north London taken over by inspectors. Chancellor Denis Healey cuts 76 million from the education budget.
  • The TES sponsors the first Schools Prom.
  • 1976 - Prime minister James Callaghan’s Ruskin College speech launches the “Great Debate” on education.
  • 1977 - HMI criticises teaching of maths, science and languages and calls for political education for all 11 to 16-year-olds. A TES poll finds most teachers in favour of caning, tests at eight, 11 and 15, and grammar schools.
  • 1978 - The Warnock Report on special education gives rise to the 1981 Education Act requiring local authorities to assess pupils and identify the provision they require.
  • The TES and other Times newspapers suspend publication during strike action.
  • 1979 - Strikes during the “winter of discontent” cause some school closures and 280 million is cut from education.
  • The TES resumes publication in November.
  • 1980 - Assisted places at independent schools are introduced.
  • Anti-corporal punishment group STOPP criticises The Beano for its preoccupation with caning. Rupert Murdoch buys Times newspapers, including The TES.
  • 1981 - The Government launches a programme to put a computer in every school. The Rampton Report blames teachers for ethnic underachievement and calls for more black teachers.
  • 1982 - Sir Keith Joseph, education secretary under Margaret Thatcher, demands that “ineffective” teachers are sacked.
  • 1983 - The Schools Council is replaced by the Secondary Examinations Council and School Curriculum Development Committee.
  • 1984 - A race row breaks over the views of Bradford headmaster Ray Honeyford, who outlined concerns about multiculturalism in The TES and the Salisbury Review. He is sacked and reinstated.
  • 1985 - Schools are disrupted by a teachers’ pay dispute.
  • 1986 - The GCSE is introduced for teaching, replacing O-levels and CSEs.
  • Education Act (2) sets down rules on sex education, admissions and political indoctrination. It also abolishes corporal punishment and requires governors to publish annual reports and schools to hold parents’ meetings.
  • 1987 - The Teacher Pay and Conditions Act marks the end of the Burnham committee, which negotiated teachers’ pay.
  • 1988 - The Education Reform Act ushers in the national curriculum; national testing at seven, 11 and 14; Ofsted; local management of school budgets; grant maintained schools and city technology colleges.
  • 1989 - The first teacher supply agency, Time Plan, is launched. Education secretary Kenneth Baker sets out plans for articled teachers who would train on the job after university rather than taking a PGCE.
  • 1990 - The Inner London Education Authority is replaced by 13 new education authorities.
  • 1991 - The New Schools Bill proposes privatisation of the local school inspection service.
  • 1992 - General National Vocational qualifications are introduced.
  • 1993 - The NASUWT teaching union achieves a landmark victory when the Appeal Court rules its boycott of national curriculum tests is a legitimate trade dispute. Education secretary John Patten announces that tests will be slimmed down.
  • 1994 - Tony Blair is elected leader of the Labour Party and faces controversy over his and his wife Cherie’s decision to send their son Euan to the London Oratory School, a high-performing faith school a long way from Downing Street.
  • 1995 - A mini-riot breaks out at the NUT conference, with shadow education secretary David Blunkett forced to retreat into a cupboard.
  • 1996 - The Dunblane massacre: Thomas Hamilton shoots dead 16 pupils and their teacher at a Scottish primary school before turning the gun on himself. The BBC broadcasts controversial Panorama programme on the Ridings School in Halifax.
  • 1997 - The New Labour government scraps assisted places. Education minister Stephen Byers “names and shames” 18 failing schools.
  • 1998 - Introduction of Literacy Hour and the National Year of Reading. The first serving heads are knighted.
  • 1999 - Former IRA leader Martin McGuinness appointed education minister for Ulster. First state-funded Sikh school opens in Hayes, north-west London.
  • 2000 - The death of Victoria Climbie leads to an inquiry and changes to the running of schools and local authorities. The General Teaching Councils in England and Wales begin registering teachers.
  • 2001 - New AS levels are introduced as a result of Curriculum 2000. Alastair Campbell, the prime minister’s press secretary, announces that the days of “the bog standard comprehensive” are over.
  • 2002 - A row over grading of the A2 and AS levels leads to changes in results for 10,000 students. The first academies open their doors.
  • 2003 - A teacher workload agreement is signed by employers, the government and teacher unions (except for NUT). Teach First teachers start to work in schools.
  • 2004 - The Children Act - the legislative part of Every Child Matters - is designed to get education and social services working more closely together. In Wales, pupils take key stage 2 and 3 tests for the last time after the Assembly votes to scrap them - and TES Cymru is launched.
  • 2005 - The Tomlinson proposals for overarching diplomas are rejected by Ruth Kelly, then education secretary, who proposes a separate work-based diploma instead. Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver campaigns for better school dinners.
  • The TES is sold by Rupert Murdoch’s News International to Exponent, a private equity group.
  • 2006 - Des Smith, a former headteacher and member of the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust, is caught promising an undercover reporter that businessmen could gain a peerage by sponsoring an academy. A row over whether Muslim teachers should wear the veil is sparked by the sacking of a part-time teaching assistant, Aishah Azmi.
  • 2007 - The Department for Education and Skills is split, with schools moved into the Department for Children, Schools and Families. The TES is sold to Charterhouse, another private equity company.
  • 2008 - The TES reveals major problems with the marking of key stage 2 and 3 tests. Ed Balls, then schools secretary, later announces he is scrapping KS3 tests.
  • 2009 - The Charity Commission issues first reports on independent schools, examining how well they meet tests for public benefit. City workers who have lost their jobs as result of the global financial downturn are targeted to become teachers.
  • 2010 - The new Coalition government's education secretary Michael Gove announces he is scrapping a range of educational schemes and quangos to save money, including the GTC for England, QCDA, Becta, and Building Schools for the Future.
  • 2011 - The Academies Act becomes law signalling the way for the transformation of the landscape of English education.
  • The TES is relaunched as a magazine
  • 2012 - Michael Gove's DfE reveals plans to rethink GCSEs, originally planning to rebrand them O-levels.
  • 2013 - The new National Curriculim is published.
  • 2014 - Michael Gove is reshuffled out of the DfE and replaced by Nicky Morgan.
  • 2015 - The Education and Adoption Bill is published, signalling the introduction of the "coasting" category of school.

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