The 1870 Forster Education Act was the primary piece of legislation which dealt directly with the provision of education in Britain. It made education compulsory, up to the age of 10. It was paired with the 1870 Factory Act, which took children out of employment, mainly from mining and factory work. This act was passed by the government to educate its work force and create a more skilled and literate labour market. Education was also seen as anti- revolutionary, by giving the working class improvements in conditions, and thus reducing the chance of a working revolt. It created a greater amount of social control, school was seen a tool to regulate the new generation. All these were beneficial to the state. But Philanthropists, Dr Banardos and Lord Shaftbury concluded the Act was beneficial for the poor and working class. Due to the fact it created a fairer society. Before this act only those who could afford school and religious people were educated. (Guy. 2014.1)
Ball (1989) suggests it was bought about as a response to Britain’s decline within the industrial sector, he believed it was a technological requirement. The Act created a structure of ‘School boards’ which were formed to manage these schools. This act also created non-denominational schools unlike others schools at the time. (parliament.uk. No Date)
Many families at this time disagreed with the bill, due to the fact it meant a loss of income for them. For the majority families this was the first generation to be educated which created tension within families. Val Rust (1991) proposes that the education system was not just created for a modern economy, but for contemporary society in its entirety. The act was designed to encourage national pride and a sense of belonging, trying to create a unity within different groups of society. (Lawson, Heaton and Brown, A. 2010)
But Heaton and Lawson (1996) argued that this Act actually multiplied the gap between classes. This was due to the fact that there
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