The Impact Of The Beveridge Report Truro College Essay

1540 words - 7 pages

“To what extent was the Beveridge Report implemented by the Labour governments from 1945-51?”
When the Beveridge report of 1942 was produced it identified “five giants” that were plaguing Britain, these included; want, squalor, ignorance, disease and idleness. One of the big tasks for Clement Attlee’s labour government of 1945 was to address these giants and repair the damage done by war. Although progress was made through the creation of NHS and the establishment of a cradle to grave welfare state it was still far from perfect. With complaints over the extensiveness of the national insurance act and divisions in education, implementing the Beveridge report was not all plain sailing for Labour.
One of the key aspects of society that needed addressing was the state of secondary education. This was addressed with the implementation of the 1944 Butler Act which looked to try and set up high quality nationwide provision of education. Prior to the act many working class children left school with only a very basic primary education as the pressure to choose a job over education was high due to the fact quality secondary school often required the payment of fees. Which led to secondary schooling only being open to those who could afford to pay for fees. The Butler Act looked to set up three levels of secondary education, technical schools, grammar schools and secondary modern schools with the aim being that it would provide everyone, regardless of class the access to quality education in an effort to tackle ignorance. However this didn’t prove to be the case, education still very much remained a segregated system due to the presence of the 11+ test which decided whether children went to a grammar school or technical school, more often than not only the rich well educated kids passed the test so only the rich, upper class kids went to grammar school where they received access to the best education which le to them then going to university. Meanwhile those who failed went to technical colleges where they learnt more practical skills such as woodwork. This system effectively meant that the working-class youth of Britain were effectively destined to be stuck in the same low paying working class jobs that there parents had before them. Secondary Modern schools were limited with only about 30 being set up by 1938 so as a result education remained a very segregated part of society with poor children receiving lower quality teaching. It can be viewed then that efforts to try and tackle ignorance by changes to the education system were largely ineffective. Poor children still didn’t have access to the same quality of education that middle class and upper-class children had and were still not being presented with equal opportunities which meant the problem working class children faced of an education system that couldn’t provide them with good enough opportunities to pursue better jobs was still prevalent as it had been prior to the war meaning the issue of...

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