Plowden Report (1967)

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An advisory report into primary education and progression to the secondary phase, carried out by the Central Advisory Council, chaired by Lady Plowden (1910–2000). Among its recommendations was to replace infant and junior schools with a system of first schools and middle schools, thus raising the age at which the pupil began their secondary education to at least 12. This was not, however, widely implemented. The Report also advocated more parental involvement with schools, the setting up of educational priority areas where social disadvantage could be specifically addressed, and more flexibility in the age at which children start school. It is perhaps most famous for having advocated putting the child at the centre of the educational process, a recommendation which does not on the face of it appear contentious, but which subsequently led to criticisms from right‐wing educators that the Plowden Report had endorsed and encouraged a progressive approach to education which was ultimately to prove counterproductive. This negative view is challenged, however, by the majority of educationalists, who view the Report as ground‐breaking for its time. See also Black Papers.

Subjects: Education.

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