After the Clarendon Commission investigating nine leading schools led to Public Schools Act 1868 restructuring their trusts, the Taunton Commission was appointed to examine the remaining 782 endowed grammar schools. The commission reported that the distribution of schools did not match the current population, and that provision varied greatly in quality, with provision for girls being particularly limited. The commission proposed the creation of a national system of secondary education by restructuring the endowments of these schools for modern purposes. The Endowed Schools Act created the Endowed Schools Commission, with extensive powers over endowments of individual schools. It was said that the commission "could turn a boys' school in Northumberland into a girls' school in Cornwall". Across England and Wales schools endowed to offer free classical instruction to boys were remodelled as fee-paying schools (with a few competitive scholarships) teaching broad curricula to boys or girls.
^ abWalford, Geoffrey (1993). "Girls' Private Schooling: Past and Present". In Walford, Geoffrey. The Private Schooling of Girls: Past and Present. London: The Woburn Press. pp. 9–32. ISBN978-0-7130-0186-0.
^ abSutherland, Gillian (1990). "Education". In Thompson, F. M. L.. Social Agencies and Institutions. The Cambridge Social History of Britain 1750–1950 3. Cambridge University Press. pp. 119–169. ISBN978-0-521-43814-8.