The End of an Era
The 1944 Act also brought about the creation of the tripartite system of grammar, technical and secondary modern schools for 11 year olds. The secondary schools, although of ‘diversified types’, were intended to be of equal standing. Children were to be educated to ‘their age, aptitude and ability,’ but the economic depression of the late 1950s and drastic cuts in public expenditure, resulted in reductions in investment in technical education (Peers, 1963) and the tripartite system became, in effect, a bipartite system of grammar and secondary modern schools in many areas of the country. Children who passed the ‘eleven-plus’ went to grammar school, those who ‘failed’, to a secondary modern school.