The Forster Elementary Education Act 1870 made free elementary education compulsory for all.
The Elementary Education Act 1880 made school attendance compulsory from ages 5 to 10.
For most of the first half of the twentieth century the education system consisted of all age elementary schools but with what we’d today consider to be secondary education reserved for the minority.
The Elementary Education (School Attendance) Act 1893 raised the school leaving age to 11 and later to 13.
The Fisher Education Act 1918 raised the minimum school leaving age to 14.
The Education Act 1944 sought to provide free education for all, from the ages of 5-14. Secondary education was to begin at the age of 11.
1947 School leaving age is raised to 15.
1972 School leaving age raised to 16.