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Access and exclusivity in nineteenth-century Victorian schools

Access and exclusivity in nineteenth-century Victorian schools Purpose– In the mid nineteenth-century Victorian government-aided schools were patronised by a broad spectrum of the community, many of whom sought a higher, or “middle-class”, education for their children. The various educational boards responsible for the administration of the public system, while not objecting to the provision of advanced tuition, were determined to ensure it was not offered on a socially selective basis. The purpose of this paper is to examine how accusations that some schools had engaged in socially selective practices led to the eventual removal of higher subjects from the curriculum. Design/methodology/approach– Documentary evidence, particularly the correspondence between the central educational boards and the local school committees, is examined to assess the validity of the claims and counter claims made by those involved. Findings– It appears that administrators used accusations of social exclusion to justify the removal of advanced subjects from the curriculum; with the result that it was not until state high schools were established early in the twentieth century that a higher education was again offered in the public sector. Originality/value– The paper looks at an area of educational provision that has attracted little attention from researchers. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png History of Education Review Emerald Publishing

Access and exclusivity in nineteenth-century Victorian schools

History of Education Review , Volume 45 (1): 12 – Jun 6, 2016

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
0819-8691
DOI
10.1108/HER-02-2014-0010
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose– In the mid nineteenth-century Victorian government-aided schools were patronised by a broad spectrum of the community, many of whom sought a higher, or “middle-class”, education for their children. The various educational boards responsible for the administration of the public system, while not objecting to the provision of advanced tuition, were determined to ensure it was not offered on a socially selective basis. The purpose of this paper is to examine how accusations that some schools had engaged in socially selective practices led to the eventual removal of higher subjects from the curriculum. Design/methodology/approach– Documentary evidence, particularly the correspondence between the central educational boards and the local school committees, is examined to assess the validity of the claims and counter claims made by those involved. Findings– It appears that administrators used accusations of social exclusion to justify the removal of advanced subjects from the curriculum; with the result that it was not until state high schools were established early in the twentieth century that a higher education was again offered in the public sector. Originality/value– The paper looks at an area of educational provision that has attracted little attention from researchers.

Journal

History of Education ReviewEmerald Publishing

Published: Jun 6, 2016

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