The Butler Education Act in Britain is a radical departure in education. Northern Ireland has adopted a policy of parity with Westminster whereby government acts will be mirrored in Northern Ireland, with any additional cost being met by the British exchequer.

In the early 1940s it is estimated that there are only 13800 students in the few exclusive fee paying secondary grammar schools.

As with secondary education, third level education is the preserve of the middle class. There are only 24 scholarships on offer from the local education authorities.

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