Acland (1909)

1909 Acland Report (text)

Appendices (image-only pdf file)

Index (image-only pdf file)

The Acland Report (1909)
Consultative Committee Report on Attendance, Compulsory or Otherwise, at Continuation Schools

London: HM Stationery Office

Background notes

The 1899 Board of Education Act established a Board of Education 'charged with the superintendence of matters relating to education in England and Wales' (section 1). It provided for the establishment of a Consultative Committee to keep a register of teachers and to advise the Board 'on any matter referred to the committee by the Board' (section 4).

The Consultative Committee produced many reports - including this one - during its lifetime, including the six Hadow Reports of the 1920s and 30s and the 1938 Spens Report. It was replaced following the 1944 Education Act by the Central Advisory Council for Education (CACE).

The Chair of the Committee for this report, the Right Hon. Arthur Herbert Dyke Acland (1847-1926), had been MP for Rotherham between 1885 and 1889 and Vice-President of the Committee of the Council on Education from 1892 to 1895.

Summary of the report's main recommendations

  • increased attention should be given to the connection between the Continuation School and the Public Elementary School in order that there may be less discontinuity of attendance;
  • in rural areas Local Education Authorities should have the option of allowing girls whose assistance is required at home to attend the Day School half-time from 13 to 15 instead of whole-time up to 14;
  • in special cases, Local Education Authorities should have the power to grant exemption from Day School attendance;
  • for under 16s, exemption from full-time attendance at Day Schools should be allowed only where the children are suitably employed;
  • Junior Employment Registries should be established to advise parents, managers and teachers on suitable occupations for children between leaving the Day School and their 17th birthday;
  • Local Education Authorities should run classes for Day School teachers on the work of Continuation Schools;
  • much could be done to enhance the educational efficiency of Continuation Schools, and to improve attendance at them, on the present voluntary basis;
  • compulsory attendance at Continuation Schools should be enforced;
  • Local Education Authorities should be required to make suitable provision of Continuation Classes for the further education of young persons from the time they leave the Day School up to their 17th birthday;
  • Local Education Authorities should be empowered to make bye-laws requiring attendance at Continuation Classes for under 17s who are not otherwise receiving a suitable education;
  • employers should be required to facilitate the attendance of under 17s at Continuation Classes;
  • Local Education Authorities should fix the hours and seasons at which compulsory Continuation Classes would be held and should ensure that young people are protected from overstrain;
  • the curriculum of Continuation Schools should include the duties of citizenship, practical and manual instruction and systematic physical training as part of a general education;
  • in planning courses, Local Education Authorities should establish advisory committees including representatives of employers and workpeople as well as teachers;
  • the government should consider paying larger grants for Continuation Schools to Local Education Authorities which required compulsory attendance.

The report online

The Report on Attendance, Compulsory or Otherwise, at Continuation Schools was published in two volumes.

Volume I, the report itself, is presented here as searchable text in a single web page, with the exception of the Appendices (pages 238-299) and the Index (pages i-xxvii), which are image-only pdf files. (For some unknown reason, there was no Appendix J).

Volume II is not online: it contained summaries of evidence presented to the Committee.

I have simplified some of the punctuation and corrected a handful of printing errors and the positioning of some speech marks. I have updated some archaic usage: 'employé' is rendered here as 'employee' and l as .

Otherwise, the text presented here is as printed in the report. Blank pages have been omitted.

The tables are presented as images and are embedded in the text where they were in the printed version.

The report contains many references to Britain's pre-decimal currency, in which the pound () was divided into 20 shillings (s.). A shilling was further divided into 12 pence (d.). I have given the modern equivalents in a few cases but it would have been cumbersome to translate them all.

For more on the employment of children and young people at this time, see also:

the 1909 Trevelyan Report Partial Exemption from School Attendance.

the 1917 Lewis Report Juvenile education in relation to employment after the war.

The above notes were prepared by Derek Gillard and uploaded on 9 July 2012.