taking our culture forward


2022 marks the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the landmark 1872 Isle of Man Act for Public Elementary Education.

The Act introduced compulsory education, eight years ahead of England and Wales, and transferred control of education from the Church to the State. It paved the way for subsequent improvements in the quantity and quality of teachers, the abolition of school fees, and the extension of an independent system of education.

So, how and why did this landmark Act come about?

Who resisted and who supported its creation?

What impact did it have?

These questions are explored in relation to the Island as a whole and with special reference to the Parish of Michael.


Angela W Little is Professor Emerita at UCL Institute of Education, a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and a past President of the British Association of International and Comparative Education. Her Manx family (Quirk) hail from Glen Maye and she was educated at Rushen Primary School and CRHS.


This talk was given for the Michael Heritage Trust on 21 March 2022, as a part of the 150th anniversary celebrations of the Education Act. It was filmed by Culture Vannin as a part of our celebration of the 150th anniversary of the 1872 Education Act.