Contents: Foreword. 1. The eighteenth century. 2. The education of the poor in the eighteenth century. 3. Day schools for the poor. 4. Educational ideas to the time of the reform bill. 5. The state and elementary education. 6. The committee of privy council on education. 7. The conflict of parties. 8. Payment by results. 9. Universal compulsory education. 10. The completion of a national system. Index.
From the foreword: "The story of the development of our national system of elementary schools in the nineteenth century has a special value. If the period is poor in the names of great educators, it has the advantage of showing how the religious, social, political and economic factors in the national life have influenced the evolution of the people’s schools, and of illustrating the origins of problems and controversies whose echoes are still heard. It was this view that determined the starting point, and which led to the inclusion of a wider range of social and economic data than are usually found in a book on the history of education."