School Attendance Milestones

1870 The Elementary Education Act set out the framework to offer schooling for all children between the ages of 5 and13. A similar Act in Scotland in 1872 enforces compulsory attendance.
1876 Lord Sandon’s Education Act makes parents responsible for ensuring that their children attend elementary school.
1878 The Factory and Workshop Act forbids children under the age of 10 from factory work. Workers aged 10-13 must attend school halftime.
1880 The Elementary Education Act (Mundella Act) makes schooling compulsory for those aged 5-10 in England and Wales. School Attendance Officers are empowered to take action if children do not attend.
1891 Another Elementary Education Act abolishes fees for elementary schools and makes them free for the first time.
1893 The Elementary Education (School Attendance) Act increases the school leaving age to 11. Six years later another Act increases it again to 12.
1911 Children walk out of a school in Llanelli in protest over corporal punishment. This leads to pupils briefly going on strike across the UK including Shoreditch.
1918 An Education Act drawn up by the President of the Board of Education, Herbert FISHER, makes the school leaving age 14.
1944 Richard BUTLER’s Education Act creates a Ministry of Education. The leaving age becomes 15, and the system of elementary, secondary, and further education is formalised. A similar Act for Scotland follows in 1945.