Marjory Allen, 1897–1976

Bob Holman

in Champions for children

Published by Policy Press

Published in print October 2001 | ISBN: 9781861343536
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447301653 | DOI:
Marjory Allen, 1897–1976

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Marjory Allen became known for her concern with the substantial minority of children who were separated from their own parents. Like Eleanor Rathbone, she made significant contributions to major pieces of child-care legislation in the 1940s. At the age of thirteen, Allen's parents sent her to a progressive and mixed boarding school called Bedales. She worked for a well-known gardener, Edwin Beckett, as a ‘pot-boy’, earning ten shillings a week, picking up a great deal of practical gardening knowledge as a result. After a year, Allen became confident enough to apply for the Diploma in Horticulture course at the University College of Reading. After marrying Clifford Allen, her career continued to blossom. Marjory Allen's concern for nursery education led her to join the Nursery School Association in 1933. During World War II, she was on the executive of the Nursery Schools Association and began to campaign for nursery provision for evacuees. The passing of the Children Act of 1948 was probably the high point of Allen's public life.

Keywords: Marjory Allen; Bedales; child care; children; Clifford Allen; nursery education; Nursery School Association; World War II; Children Act

Chapter.  10525 words.  Illustrated.

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