The story of secondary modern schools
Were they much maligned or a monstrous mistake? My book answers that question based on facts, not prejudice
It’s an alternative narrative to the establishment’s simplistic notion that these schools were a scar on the country’s educational history.
You will discover that the accepted stories about the selective education system, the workings of the 11+ and comprehensive schools are a simplistic distortion of the truth. Worse still, the mistakes the education establishment made in the past still determine how children are educated today.
The story of secondary moderns starts during WWI and ends in 2004
From the midst of one world war to another (1916 – 1943)
1916 – 1943
From the midst of one world war to another
School leaving age raised so children leave when they are 14.
The Hadow Report outlines the future shape of secondary schools.
Improvements to schools halted by the ‘Great Depression’.
Evacuation of children from major cities.
Bombing of the major cities wreaks havoc on children’s education.
The Norwood Report defines the secondary modern child.
From their birth to their death (1944 – 1974)
1944 – 1974
Secondary moderns from birth to death
Butler’s Education Act puts the LEAs and teachers in control.
The Beloe Report recommends a new exam for the ‘less academic child’.
Majority of children educated in secondary mods.
Labour commits to ‘go comprehensive’, ending selection.
School leaving age raised so children leave when they are 16.
Secondary moderns in terminal decline.
Troubled times for comprehensives (1975 – 2004)
1975 – 2004
Troubled times for comprehensives
Callaghan’s speech highlights the problems besieging schools.
Publication of the final Black Paper, criticising ‘progressive’ schooling.
Sir Keith Joseph creates the foundations for the Tory Party’s education policy.
‘There is going to be a revolution in the running of the schools.’
Ofsted established to inspect and report on schools.
Blair becomes PM and radically changes Labour’s education policies.
Labour announces plans for city academies.
Video, podcast and supporting documents
The author discussing the book