The development of a national public system of education in England and Wales lagged behind much of Europe and USA and neither was it organised. At some point the nature and purpose of education was more religious than secular. Not all children received education with some attending schools created and run by churches or charities, and some children if their parents could afford it attended fee paying schools. Meanwhile the Laissez-faire doctrine within the society did not help much to make education a nationwide commodity. Attention was paid more to economic development and the increase of wealth. There have been a number of major developments in the educational system of England and Wales that came through the 1870 Education Act, 1944
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It compelled the Local Education Authority (LEA) to provide school meals, free milk, medical and dental treatment as well as various support services such as transport and clothing grants. The education system became a Welfare State issue. For each child to get the chance to succeed based on their ability, the education system proposed three types of schools: grammar, secondary modern and technical. Children were assessed and using the results of the 11+ tests children were then placed to the type of school that suited best: academic students went to grammars, technically minded students went to technical schools and the rest went to secondary moderns. Also through this act the school leaving age was increased to 15. After a while the 11+ exam was regarded unreliable; the rate of children that moved between the schools was low, working class children suffered greatly from this educational system.
The 1988 Education Act was the most important act since 1944. The act set up a state centralised system of education and introduced a national curriculum. Power shifted away from teachers, schools, LEAs and exam boards to the government. The annual league tables of schools became published and (theoretically) parents had free choice as to where to send their children. Some budgetary power was granted to the schools