Dyke (1906)

1906 Dyke Report (text)

The Dyke Report (1906)
Report of the Consultative Committee upon Questions Affecting Higher Elementary Schools

London: HM Stationery Office

Background notes

Historical context

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. Sir William Hart Dyke (1837-1931), was educated at Harrow and Christ Church, Oxford. He became a Conservative MP and held several ministerial posts in the governments of Disraeli and Lord Salisbury. He was Vice-President of the Committee of the Council on Education from 1887 to 1892. He was also an enthusiastic tennis player.

For this report, the Committee was asked to consider the curriculum of Higher Elementary Schools, which, under the Code of 1904, was required to be of a predominantly scientific type, and to determine 'the nature and amount of that special instruction which marks it off from the upper part of an ordinary Public Elementary School'.

Some points from the report

  • a good general education is of paramount importance;
  • a Higher Elementary School should educate for life as well as for livelihood;
  • the curriculum should have a practical bias, with subjects illustrated by practical examples that are familiar to the children;
  • the course should be planned with the school's context in mind, especially in rural areas;
  • in small towns Higher Elementary Schools should not be established - the need for higher primary instruction should be met by Supplementary Courses in elementary schools;
  • in large towns there is a need for Higher Elementary Schools;
  • Higher Elementary Schools should be staffed by good elementary school teachers with an interest in science and technology and the training colleges should offer appropriate courses for them.

The report online

The Dyke Report was published in a large format - roughly A4 size.

The complete report (including the Appendices) is online in a single web page.

I have made one change to the page layout: the section headings, which in the original were printed in the margins, are shown here in bold type in the body of the text. In one case (Their disadvantages on page 24) this has meant dividing a paragraph in two.

I have simplified some of the punctuation and corrected the positioning of some speech marks.

The five tables (in the Appendices) are presented as images.

Anything added by way of explanation is shown [in square brackets].

The above notes were prepared by Derek Gillard and uploaded on 24 September 2012.