Forster's Act

The Elementary Education Act of 1870 (Forster's Act) set up the first state schools (called Board Schools) for children up to ten years old in England and Wales. This doubled the number of pupils in elementary schools, and most of their teachers were women.

This act placed an even greater emphasis on the teaching of domestic subjects for girls. In 1878 Domestic Science was made compulsory for girls: it included how to look after a house, wash clothes, take care of a budget and prepare and cook food. In 1904 women inspectors were appointed in domestic subjects to ensure that girls were given a thorough domestic training for life. Other important subjects such as arithmetic got little attention in girls' schools.

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