tripartite system

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The division of the secondary sector into three types of school: grammar schools, technical schools, and modern schools, as suggested in the Spens Report (1938). Following the Education Act 1944 (Butler Act), local authorities were permitted to provide a range of secondary schooling. Some opted for the tripartite system, while others established a dual system of grammar and secondary modern schools. Both involved the selection of pupils by ability at 11, which aimed to provide each child with the secondary education best suited to their abilities and aptitudes. Within authorities operating a tripartite system these abilities were classified as academic (grammar schools), technical (technical schools), and practical (secondary modern schools). The system was replaced by non‐selective, comprehensive secondary education in most local authority areas during the 1970s following the Education Act 1976. See also bipartite system.

Subjects: Education.

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