Feminists and Bureaucrats: A Study in the Development of Girls' Education in the Nineteenth Century

Feminists and Bureaucrats: A Study in the Development of Girls' Education in the Nineteenth Century

by Sheila Fletcher


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A radical measure, the Endowed Schools Act of 1869, empowered Commissioners to prise endowment from the old grammar schools and to set up, for the first time, grammar schools for girls. Sheila Fletcher shows how, in practice, such attempts met determined opposition and argues that what was actually secured for girls depended largely on the zeal and persistence of the civil servants administering the Act. The first of these, the Endowed Schools Commissioners, presided over by Gladstone's friend and relative Lord Lyttelton, were staunch supporters of Women's education, but zeal proved their undoing. In 1874 they were dismissed by the Conservatives and the working of the Act was placed in the 'safe' hands of the Charity Commissioners. Feminist concern that girls would suffer from this changeover proved well founded; their share in endowments fell sharply in the reign of the Charity Commissioners which lasted until the end of the century. Indeed, the contrast between the two Commissions highlights the extent to which progress in an area dear to the heart of the women's movement was determined by administrators.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780521080484
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 08/25/2008
Pages: 264
Product dimensions: 5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.59(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Endowed Schools Act; 1. The shaping of Section 12; 2. The men who rejected the dead hand; 3. The money problem; 4. Opponents; 5. Supporters; 6. What was achieved; 7. The changeover of 1874; 8. The long haul; 9. The Charity Commission spirit; 10. The women's movement in the later years.

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