The Public Schools Act 1868 set up a Board of Education to establish public schools and made education compulsory for children aged between seven and 12 years. It provided for the children of parents who could not pay school fees to be educated anyway. It was amended by the Public Schools Amendment Act 1873.
Children could be exempted from school attendance if they were privately educated, had parents who could not manage without their labour, could already read and write, or could not attend school safely. Failure to send children to school incurred a fine of 40 shillings.
Prepared by: Caroline Evans
Created: 25 February 2014, Last modified: 14 October 2015