The Maltonian Web

Timeline - Education

  • 1870 The Education Act required the establishment of non-denominational elementary schools for children aged five to 13 – nationwide. Schools could charge parents no more than nine pence a week to educate a child.
  • 1880 Compulsory education up to the age of 10.
  • 1881 Elementary education became free.
  • 1918 School Certificate Examinations were established. Generally taken at age 16, with Fail, Pass, Credit or Distinction grades being awarded. Six subjects including maths and English were required for a cetificate to be awarded. Higher School Certificate was generally taken at age 18. Both were aimed at grammar schools.
  • 1918 The school leaving age was raised to 14.
  • 1944 The 1944 Education Act is passed under Rab Butler's guidance. It raises the leaving age to 15, and sets up the grammar, secondary modern and technical system.
  • 1965 CSEs (Certificate of secondary education) were introduced, essentially for secondary modern pupils
  • 1951 GCE O-level and A level examinations replace the School Certificate and Higher School Certificate
  • 1974 The first year of the Raising of the School Leaving Age (RoSLA).
  • 1974 The Houghton Report. Set up a unit points system to determine school staffing.
  • 1974 The new O level grading system appears in results for first time. It changes from a 1 to 9 scale, to an A - E scale.
  • 1988 The National Curriculum is introduced in the Education Act 1988. It defined a common curriculum for all students, who must study English, Maths, Science, Art, Information Technology, History, Geography, Music, Design Technology and Physical Education, PSHE (Personal Social and Health Education). The Act also re-defined what we were to call year groups. 1st years became "Year 7", 5th Years "Year 11". As so often is the case in Britain, consistency did not prevail, so Lower and Upper Sixth Formers became Year 12 and Year 13, but were still referred to as the Sixth Form, and there are still Sixth Form Colleges in abundance across the country.
  • 1988 The GCSE qualification replaces O level and CSE
  • 1994 An A* grade is introduced at GCSE
  • 1995 The government introduces National Curriculum Tests, often called SATs, for all children aged seven, 11 and 14 (tests for seven year olds were first tried in 1991).
  • 1996 General National Vocational Qualifications (GNVQs) are offered as a more work-based alternative for non-academic students.
  • 1997 The National Literacy Strategy, aimed at raising standards to those of the UK's main competitors, is introduced for primary schools in England.
  • 2000 Advanced Subsidiary (AS-level) exams are brought in for 17 year olds. These are qualifications in their own right but also a halfway stage in the A-level course, unlike the Advanced Supplementary exams they replace.
  • 2010 An A* grade is introduced at A level.
  • 2013 The final year of modular exams. GCSE, AS, and A level revert to a single terminal exam at the end of the year (well, May or June)

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