Ministry of Education and predecessors files concerning the provision and improvement by local authorities of facilities for progressive post-elementary education in England, Wales, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.
The series includes draft schemes for the organisation of education other than elementary, submitted by local authorities under the Education Act 1918, together with related minutes, correspondence, and the detailed area records necessary for the consideration of such schemes.
Some earlier papers relate to the higher-grade elementary schools and science classes in grammar, higher-grade and evening continuation schools which, prior to the passing of the Education Act, 1902, provided post-elementary education with the assistance of grants from the Education and Science and Art Departments respectively, and there are a few papers for the period 1869 to 1894 dealing with the re-organisation of endowed schools under the Endowed Schools Acts, 1869, 1873 and 1874.
Other material relates to the provision of facilities for secondary education under the Education Act 1902, the submission of schemes for the training of teachers, the administration of the board's free place system introduced in 1907, proposals for the acquisition of land for purposes of secondary and further education submitted under the Education Act 1921, and the reorganization of secondary education after the passing of the Education Act 1944.
Some earlier papers in the series concern higher elementary schools and other institutions which provided post elementary education with the assistance of the Education Department and the Science and Art Department.
In 1921 (1924 for Welsh authorities) separate series of subject files were started for school grants and free places (which were destroyed during the Second World War).
In 1945 the present series ceased to have a separate identity and became merged in the various series of local education authority files dealing with both primary and secondary education.
The papers relating to the period of the Second World War are almost entirely concerned with the educational difficulties caused by the emergency and the means by which they were mitigated or overcome. These problems arose from such causes as damage to school buildings, evacuation of pupils, and the rationing of food and materials.
Finally, the papers in this series are concerned with the far-reaching changes in the educational system introduced by the Education Act, 1944, and in particular, the resulting proposals for the re-organisation of secondary education submitted by Local Education Authorities. Inevitably the period of transition which followed brought many problems and in undertaking their new obligations the Authorities had frequent cause to consult the ministry.