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By Susanne Wiborg (auth.)

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Additional info for Education and Social Integration: Comprehensive Schooling in Europe

Sample text

With this statute, which required the establishment of at least one school in every parish within five years, schooling soon became universal. The Normal Plan of 1878 and the School Act of 1882, which made education truly universal, mark the close of the buildup phase of a national system of education. By that time, approximately 84 percent of school-age children went to the elementary school (Rohde, 1994). Like the Danish and Norwegian cities, some Swedish cities also had both a public and a private school system.

By the end of the Seven Years’ War against France in 1763, Britain had become the world’s greatest colonial power. Repeated mobilizations for war with France, especially between 1793 and 1815, greatly expanded taxation, national debt, and state intervention in the economy while causing a shift in influence from the king and his ministers in Parliament. By the early nineteenth century Britain had become a parliamentary monarchy dominated by landlords, financiers, and merchants. Yet, the state bureaucracy remained small and there was no need seen for its expansion (158).

The dominant tradition that remained was a voluntary system characterized by great diversity of schools and a lack of integration between them. The foundation of a national system of education was not laid until 1870, and even then the system was only a compromise with the past practice of voluntary education, since the role of the state was just to “fill up the gaps” not covered by the existing system. This implied that the state would step in where the voluntary efforts did not reach. Moreover, the state did not establish a public system of secondary schools until 1902; prior to this, only private grammar schools serving mainly the middle classes existed throughout the country.

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