Educational Time-line

  • Butler Act 1944

    Butler Act 1944
    All children are entitled to receive a free secondary education. The 1944 act established the tripartite system of grammar, secondary modern and secondary technical schools. Grammar schools were for the academically gifted. If the selection exam was not passed, students went to one of the other 2. The school leaving age was increased from 14 to 15.
  • 1946 Milk Act

    1946 Milk Act
    Free milk provided for all pupils!
  • GCE

    The General Certificate of Education (GCE) was introduced in 1951, replacing the old School Certificate ('matriculation'). It was designed for the top 25 per cent of the ability range. GCE exams were normally taken at 16 (Ordinary Level) and 18 (Advanced Level), mostly in the grammar schools and the independent (public or private fee-paying) schools.
  • 1959 Education Act

    Grants and loans to aided schools and special agreement schools.
  • 1962 Education Act

    This act required LEAs to provide students with grants for living costs and tuition fees; placed legal obligation on parents to ensure that children received a suitable education at school or otherwise - failure to comply could result in prosecution; made LEAs legally responsible for ensuring that pupils attended school.
  • 1964 Education Act

    Permitted transfer at ages other than 11 and granted limited experimental status to the middle school. It enabled 'excited LEAs to dispense with the 11-plus without creating over-large "all-through" comprehensives'
  • 1965 CSE

    1965 CSE
    Certificate of Secondary Education (CSE) introduced in England and Wales
  • Circular 10/65

    Circular 10/65
    Circular 10/65 was a government circular issued in 1965 by the Department of Education and Science (DES) requesting LEAs to begin converting their secondary schools to the Comprehensive System. For most of England and Wales, it marked the abolition of the old grammar schools and secondary moderns, and the Eleven Plus examination.
  • 1971 Milk Act

    1971 Milk Act
    The decade began with a Conservative administration led by Ted Heath. Heath needed to make cuts in public expenditure and his new secretary of state for education - Margaret Thatcher - offered, among other things, to abolish the universal provision of free school milk. The 1971 Education (Milk) Act led to the jibe 'Thatcher, Thatcher, milk snatcher'.
  • Education (Work Experience) Act 1973

    Education (Work Experience) Act 1973
    School-based work experience was originally permitted and regulated by the Education (Work Experience) Act 1973. School leaving age raised to 16.
  • 1974 APU

    In 1974 the DES established the Assessment of Performance Unit (APU) to 'promote the development of methods of assessing and monitoring the achievement of children at school, and to seek to identify the incidence of under-achievement'.
  • 1976 Education Act

    No selection: LEAs shall, in the exercise and performance of their powers and duties relating to secondary education, have regard to the general principle that such education is to be provided only in schools where the arrangements for the admission of pupils are not based on selection by reference to ability or aptitude.
  • I was born

    I was born
    Pope John Paul drops in on Ireland for a visit
  • 1979 Education Act

    Thatcher's first act- gave back to LEAs the right to select pupils for secondary education at 11. However the popularity of comprehensives was underestimated and and attempts to reintroduce selection in many areas failed as a result of strong local opposition.
  • 1980 Education Act

    1980 Education Act
    A major act which instituted the assisted places scheme (public money for children to go to private schools), gave parents greater powers on governing bodies and over admissions, and removed the obligation on LEAs to provide school milk and meals.
  • SSCR

    The Schools Council set up the Secondary Science Curriculum Review to raise science teaching standards and balance the science curriculum across the 3 subjects.
  • TVEI

    Technical and Vocational Education Initiative began in 1983 with the aim of improving technival and vocational education for 14-18 year-olds.
  • Primary school

    Primary school
    Begin at Convent Primary School Listowel. Primary education in Ireland is for 8 years usually ages 5 to 13. This is a girls catholic school, mass attendance every Friday is mandatory. There was no other primary school for girls in Listowel at that time.
  • 1986 GCSE

    1986 GCSE
    General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE): common 16+ exam system replaced GCE O Level and CSE
  • 1986 Education Act (No. 2)

    Required LEAs to state policies, governors to publish annual reports and hold parents' meetings; laid down rules on admissions, political indoctrination and sex education; abolished corporal punishment.
  • 1998 Teaching and Higher Education Act

    The Teaching and Higher Education Act established the General Teaching Council (GTC), allowed the secretary of state to make regulations concerning the induction period for teachers, extended the duties of HM Chief Inspector to include teacher training and in-service courses, and provided for new rules relating to student maintenance grants and loans.
  • 1988 Education Reform Act

    Having failed to get selection reinstated in 1979, the Tories used other devices as attempts to introduce selection by the back door. It introduced: The National Curriculum; new rules on religious education and collective worship; admission of pupils to county and voluntary schools; local management of schools (LMS)
  • 1990 Education (student loans) Act

    1990 Education (student loans) Act
    Thatcher's last education act which introduced 'top-up' loans for HE students and so began the diminution of student grants.
  • Scoil na nOg

    Scoil na nOg
    My last year of primary school (6th class) was at a Gaelscoil (Irish College). It was about 70 miles from my home so I boarded. English was not permitted to be spoken at any time.
  • Tarbert Comprehensive

    Tarbert Comprehensive
    Secondary school in Ireland is usually 5 years from the ages of 13 to 18, with 2 state exams; the Junior Certificate at the end of 3rd year and the Leaving Certificate at the end of 6th year. 4th year is usually optional, giving students a year to mature.
  • 1992 Further and Higher Education Act

    Established the Further Education Funding Councils (FEFCs); removed further education and sixth form colleges from LEA control; unified the funding of higher education under the Higher Education Funding Councils (HEFCs); introduced competition for funding between institutions; and abolished the Council for National Academic Awards (CNAA).
  • 1992 Education (Schools) Act

    1992 Education (Schools) Act
    This act made provision for the establishment of Ofsted (the Office for Standards in Education). The agency was to employ private contractors to inspect schools and its reports on individual schools would be published.
  • GNVQs

    General National Vocational Qualifications were pioloted from 1992 and launched nationally in 1993 to improve the allegedly low quality of vocational education and training.
  • 1993 Education Act

    Dealt with Responsibility for education (roles of the secretary of state and funding authorities; new rules about school places, admissions and religious education); Grant-maintained schools (changes in funding and new rules to make it easier for schools to become grant-maintained); Children with special educational needs and School attendance
  • 1994 Education Act

    The 1994 Education Act (21 July 1994) made provision for the establishment of the Teacher Training Agency (TTA) and laid down regulations concerning the conduct of student unions.
  • 1996 Education Act

    Mainly consolidated all previous education acts since 1944.
  • 1997 Education Act

    Among many others: allowed teachers to use 'such force as is reasonable' to restrain pupils; allowed teachers to detain pupils after school without parents' consent; amended the admission rules for selective schools; provided for 'baseline assessment schemes'; abolished the National Council for Vocational Qualifications (NCVQ) and the School Curriculum and Assessment Authority (SCAA) and replaced them with the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA)
  • University of Limerick

    University of Limerick
    My 3rd level education was undertaken at the University of Limerick. I entered a 4-year BSc in Equine Science but took a year out to work on an influenza vaccine trial and to train as a laboratory technician. Registration fees were only about £200 when I attended but have now risen to approximately €3000.
  • Teaching and Higher Education Act 1998

    Teaching and Higher Education Act 1998
    Establishment of statutory General Teaching Councils (GTC's), provision for the new system of student loans that were introduced, and paid leave from work for training towards a qualification.
  • 1998 School Standards and Framework Act

    Encouraged selection by specialisation, changed the names of types of schools, limited infant class sizes, established Education Action Zones etc.
  • 1998 Beacon Schools programme

    Identify high performing schools - examples of effective practice for other schools
  • Learning and skills Act 2000

    This act established the Learning and Skills Councils and allowed city technology colleges to be renamed city academies.
  • 2000 City Academies

    A network of academies created-effectively private schools paid for by the state.
  • 2002 Education Act

    Significant legislaion related to academies and the independence of schools related to curriculum, teacher pay etc.
  • Every Child Matters

    Green paper which built on existing plans to strengthen children's services and led to the 2004 Children Act.
  • 2004 Higher Education Act

    2004 Higher Education Act
    Controversial Act allowing universities to charge variable top-up fees.
  • 2004 Children Act

    Established a Children's Commissioner to champion the views and interests of children and young people, and required local authorities to make arrangements to promote co-operation between agencies and other appropriate bodies in order to improve children's well-being.
  • 2006 Education and Inspections Act

    2006 Education and Inspections Act
    A controversial act amending the rights of teachers regarding disciplining pupils, confiscating items as a disciplinary measure or when used in illegal or disruptive means. Parents must be given 24 hours' notice of detentions outside of school hours. Teachers given the right to search for weapons.
  • Extend School Leaving Age

    Plans to extend the school leaving age in England to eighteen by 2013 (raise age for the first time since 72). This change would include training such as apprenticeships and work based training rather than exclusively offering continued academic learning
  • 2008 Education and Skills Act

    Raised the education leaving age to 18; Key Stage 3 SATs effectively abolished.
  • 2009 Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act

    Created a statutory framework for apprenticeships and a right to an apprenticeship for suitably qualified 16-18 year olds; transferred responsibility for funding education and training for 16-18 year olds to local authorities; created the Young Person's Learning Agency, the Skills Funding Agency, the Office of the Qualifications and Examinations Regulator (Ofqual), and a new agency to carry out the non-regulatory functions currently performed by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority;
  • 2010 Academies Act

    It aims to make it possible for all publicly funded schools in England to become academies, still publicly funded but with a vastly increased degree of autonomy in issues such as setting teachers' wages and diverging from the National Curriculum.
  • 2011 Education Act

    Made changes to many areas of educational policy, including the power of school staff to discipline students, the manner in which newly trained teachers are supervised, the regulation of qualifications, the administration of local authority maintained schools, academies, the provision of post-16 education, including vocational apprenticeships, and student finance for higher education. The Act also brought about the abolition of the General Teaching Council for England amongst other bodies.
  • Proposed GCSE Changes

    Single exam board for each subject; terminal exams; more essay style questions.