The Church of England and the elementary education conflict in England and Wales, 1870-1908

Hillyard, Lloyd (1974) The Church of England and the elementary education conflict in England and Wales, 1870-1908. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the Church of England was, in its claim to dominate the educational system of the nation, confronted by the prevailing forces of liberalism and secularism. This thesis examines the efforts of the Church of England to maintain her control over national education in the face of these opposing trends in the period 1870 to 1908. -- The state system of schools established by the Forster Act of 1870, because of superior financial resources, threatened to supersede the Church schools. The failure of voluntary contributions to increase in proportion to educational costs, and the advent of the Free Education Act of 1891 which deprived the urban schools of substantial support from school fees caused many Church schools to be abandoned while the rate-aided state schools system in which Anglican teaching was disallowed grew rapidly. The efforts of the Church to get a better deal for her schools resulted, in part, in the Education Act of 1902, which proposed to extend to the Church schools financial support identical to that enjoyed by the state schools and so perpetuate the Church schools system. But the Church was unable to placate the Nonconformists who objected to paying rates in support of Church schools, and only the Conservative-dominated House of Lords prevented the enactment of the Liberal Bill of 1906, which would have incorporated most of the Church schools into a system of state schools with undenominational religious teaching. It was ironical that, in spite of the controversy over it, the Act of 1902 did not halt the decline of the Church schools, or provide new schools for the Anglican children who attended state schools and received no denominational teaching. -- Consequently, efforts were made to arrange a settlement of the education question satisfactory to both Nonconformists and Anglicans, the most significant of which was the abortive agreement of 1908, through which the Church would have surrendered the majority of her schools to the state in exchange for doctrinal teaching supplementing Bible teaching in both the state and former Church schools. But this concordat was rejected mainly because of the influence of the High Church Party who wanted denominationally controlled schools for the effective teaching of religious doctrines. It was mostly because of the prominence of the Anglo-Catholics that the education conflict was not solved during the first decade of the twentieth century, to the detriment of secular as well as religious education.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/7481
Item ID: 7481
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 178-187.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > History
Date: 1974
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Great Britain
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Church and education--Great Britain; Education and state--Great Britain

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