Catalogue description Secondary Education Fees and Special Places: Local Education Authority Files

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Details of ED 110
Reference: ED 110
Title: Secondary Education Fees and Special Places: Local Education Authority Files

Proposals submitted by local education authorities to the Board of Education in respect of the fees and special places system and the application of such proposals in accordance with the revised draft Regulations for Secondary Schools, to local reaction to this policy change (from the free place system to the fees and special places system) and to the financial saving thereby achieved.

The files also contain reports by H.M. Inspectors into free (special) place examinations and for free places files for the period 1907 to 1921.

The series closed with the introduction of the Education Act 1944.

Date: 1932-1946

By counties and county boroughs in England and Wales.

Related material:

See also Records of the Inspectorate Division within ED

See also the Secondary Education general files in ED 12

Separated material:

Subsequent material up to 1932 was housed on the secondary education 'free places' sub-file G and was destroyed during the Second World War.

Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English
Physical description: 147 file(s)
Administrative / biographical background:

'Fees and Special Places' introduced under the Board of Education Regulations for Secondary Schools Grant Regulations No.10, 1933, superseded the 'Free Place' system which came into being in 1907.

Circular 1421 of the 15th September, 1932 (170 Wales) issued to Local education authorities, enclosed the revised draft Regulations for Secondary Schools which became operative in April 1933. In the revision of the regulations the board took into account two criticisms, namely, that the system of admitting pupils to secondary schools without regard to the parents' income was needlessly wasteful of public funds, and that fees charged often bore but a small proportion to the cost of the education provided and were frequently not adequate having regard to what parents could afford to pay.

It was proposed to charge fees in all secondary schools and whilst places (in future to be called 'special places') would continue to be filled by open competition, the parents of successful pupils would be expected to pay the school fee if their financial circumstances justified it. It was expected that the number of 'special places' offered in any one area, of which a minimum of 25% had to be awarded to successful public elementary school pupils, would normally be similar to the number of 'free places' previously provided.

Local education authorities and governors of schools not in receipt of direct grant were, therefore, required to submit their proposals to the board who, whilst not wishing to lay down any definite standards, contemplated, in the first place, complete exemption from fees in the case of a family with an income limit of £3 to £4 per week and one child, plus an addition of 10s. for each additional child or any alternative scheme having equivalent effect. Secondly, while necessarily having regard to the fees charged, the board did not contemplate approving a fee below 9 guineas per year and considered it reasonable that some increases should be made where fees were less than 15 guineas per year. Their proposals should aim to cover not only fees and maintenance but the whole field of aid available to 'special place' holders.

The Education Act 1944 extended the provision of free education to all maintained secondary schools and 'free' or 'assisted' places were related solely to direct grant grammar schools.

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