GCSE History Unit 3A - Britain - Liberal Reforms

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  • Created on: 20-06-16 17:57

School Meals Act - 1906

- At first, local charities provided free meals for children during school, although this wasn't enough.

- Many children were too hungry to learn properly in school.

- In 1906, the School Meals Act was passed which told local authorities that they had to provide free meals for their poorest children. 

- By 1914, 150,000 children were receiving free meals. 

- Despite this number, only about half of the local authorities actually set up this free meal service.

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School Medical Service - 1907

- The school medical service told authorities that all children had to be seen by a doctor or nurse at least once a year. 

- After 1912, any treatment needed became free, too.

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Children's Charter - 1908

- Tobacco, fireworks and alcohol became illegal when sold to those under 16.

- Their working hours were limited and they were not allowed to undertake particular types of unsuitable work.

- The Children and Young Persons Act of 1908 meant that children were now 'protected persons' - parents could be prosecuted if they neglected their child. This also made it illegal to insure a child's life.

- Children were no longer sent to adult prisons, instead Borstals were set up to hold them.

- A probation system was also set up, along with children being dealt with in special juvenile courts. 

- Child care committees were set up by the government in order to help families where their children were suffering from neglect or poverty.

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Old Age Pensions Act - 1908

- First introduced for people on a low income aged over 70.

- They could receive a maximum of five shillings a week (25p) down to one shilling (5p)

- Married couples received a maximum of seven shillings and sixpence (37.5p)

- In the first year, there were 650,000 people collecting a weekly pension.

- This grew by 1914 to almost one million. 

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The Labour Exchange Act - 1909

- People in casual work were frequently laid off and the government became concerned about this. 

- The Labour Exchange Act of 1909 set up labour exchanges around the country were workers could sign up and employers could look for workers. 

- This was very efficient and by the end of 1914 there were more than 400 labour exchanges and over one million workers registered.

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The National Insurance Act - 1911

- The government, the employers and the workers would all contribute to a fund to help out when workers became sick or unemployed. 

- This benefit was offered to shipbuilding, engineering and building as unemployment was common here. The worker receiving the benefits got a 'national insurance stamp' on their card.

- This allowed the worker to claim benefits for up to 15 weeks - a small income that helped them out when between jobs.

- There was also a compulsory illness insurance for all workers who earned more than £3 a week. 

- Each worker had to pay 4d a week, with the employer adding 3d and the government 2d. The governement often said that workers received '9d for 4d'.

- This allowed the worker to receive 10 shillings (50p) a week for up to 26 weeks. 

- Families also received 30 shillings (£1.50) on the birth of a child. 

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