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Education in Norfolk

The Education Act 1918 and the Hadow Reports

The Education Act 1918 (Fisher’s Act) raised the school leaving age to 14 and increased restrictions on child labour.

It also allowed for the provision of ancillary services, including medical inspection, nursery schools and centres for children with special educational needs.

However, in practice the leaving age was not immediately raised and had to wait until the Education Act 1921.

A consultative committee on education chaired by Sir Henry Hadow made several influential reports during the 1920s and early 1930s and its findings led to major changes in the structure of education nationally.

The reports recommended education should be more child-centred in approach and class sizes should be reduced to under 30 pupils.

One of its key recommendations was that the term ‘elementary education’ should be abolished and redefined as ‘primary education’, which ended at the age of 11.

This was divided into an infant stage, from five to seven years, and a junior stage, from seven to 11.