When was education compulsory?

Items of general interest

Moderators: Global Moderators, Pandabean

Post Reply
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Feb 08, 2018 2:12 am

When was education compulsory?

Post by GordonFindlay » Thu Mar 15, 2018 6:31 am

I never cease to be amazed (and perhaps horrified) at the lives of children in earlier decades. But when did they go to school?

Education became compulsory in Scotland to age 13 in 1872, to 14 in 1901 and to 16 in 1973. But what about earlier? Was it compulsory earlier?

And to what extent were the rules obeyed? For example my father was working on farms (an orraman if you will) when he was 13, despite being born in 1919. And several other ancestors who were fishing at 11 or 12, or domestic servants at 12, in the 1800 and 1900s.

Any pointers to information?

Gordon Findlay
Christchurch, NZ.

Auchmithie/ St Vigeans in general.

Site Admin
Posts: 2418
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2005 7:56 pm
Location: Ontario, Canada

Re: When was education compulsory?

Post by paddyscar » Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:15 pm

Hi Gordon:

Not one to refer people to Wikipedia, I checked the education sites for UK and Scotland, but ended up not finding a comprehensive history. Dept of Ed sites seem mainly to focus on the opportunities and regulations. At one point, from one of these sites, I was directed to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_o ... n_Scotland

Hope this is enough help to allow for verification.

John Kelly (b 22 Sep 1897) eldest child of John Kelly & Christina Lipsett Kelly of Glasgow

Posts: 3721
Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2007 3:20 am
Location: Australia

Re: When was education compulsory?

Post by Currie » Fri Mar 16, 2018 7:05 am

It appears that exemptions could be made.

Manual of the Education Act for Scotland etc, 1872
https://books.google.com.au/books?id=SI ... AJ&pg=PR45

A certificate of ability to read and write, and of a knowledge of elementary arithmetic, granted by one of H.M. Inspectors in favour of any child, exempts parents and employers of the child from prosecution, or from any proceeding under the Act, for neglecting to provide for his education.

There's a comprehensive index at the back.

There was also various legislation regarding the minimum age of employment of children including the Children and Young Persons (Scotland) Act 1937. https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/Edw8and1Geo6/1/37

Hope that helps,

Post Reply