The significance of the Education (Scotland) Act, 1918

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The Education (Scotland) Act of 1918 was the most influential piece of legislation governing Scottish education in the twentieth century, and the system which it established is still essentially in place today. Yet it is remembered now mostly because of one of its provisions – setting up a mechanism by which Catholic schools could transfer from the ownership of the Church to that of the locally elected Education Authorities. Significant though that arrangement was, its importance lies in its being an instance of the Act’s wider framework of promoting the liberal universalism that became Scotland’s guiding social principle in the ensuing century.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)401-424
Number of pages24
JournalScottish Affairs
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 27 Oct 2018


  • secondary education
  • higher education
  • liberalism
  • denominational school
  • religious school
  • educational governance


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