Monday, December 04, 2006

A small apology

Readers of Political may have got the impression from this post of mine here that a Conservative government introduced universal primary education.

It appears from this article on wikipedia that this may not have in fact been the case.

I humbly beg forgiveness.


f.r. said...

One or two slips are inevitable when fighting an almost lone battle for sane conservatism in the weird world of blog politics. Did you read to the bottom of the article which states the number of voluntary schools compared to Board schools. The reviled CofE Tories were educating more of the poor, out of their own pocket, and paying for the Board schools through their taxes.

Benedict White said...

Yes it certainly was the case that many schools were around in the voluntary sector and in some ways that sector could and would have expanded over time to educate people. What is interesting though is the position of factory owners worried about the removal of cheap child labour that education would involve.

I may be wrong but I suspect factory owners of the time were more Liberal than Conservative.

observer said...

You did have a degree of right on your side, Benedict. Salisbury and Balfour, in various education Acts from 1891 to 1902, vastly expanded the reach of schools for the general public by effectively abolishing the fees they charged and creating the modern LEA as part of the council.

billy said...

I doubt that William Forster, Liberal MP would recognise his party now.

Benedict White said...

Many thanks Observer. Did not the earl of shafstbury have something to do with it as well?

Re Billy, Quite possibly not. Mind you they did merge with the SDLP.