Circular 10/70

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Circular 10/70 was an attempt by Margaret Thatcher as Secretary for Education in 1970 to reverse the effects of Circular 10/65 (sometimes called the Crosland Circular since it was issued by Anthony Crosland as Secretary for Education under Wilson in 1965) and Circular 10/66.

The first circular recommended to LEAs to begin the process of conversion to full comprehensive education, in line with Labour government's wishes on the transition to a national comprehensive system. The second circular said that no funding would be given for new non-comprehensive schools.

Circular 10/70 allowed LEAs to decide the future of Secondary Education in the area under their authority independently of central government.[1]


Although Thatcher did her best to show that she was not trying to discourage comprehensive education as a system, the withdrawal of 10/65 sparked some notable controversy.

The National Union of Teachers was concerned about the implications of the withdrawal and the lack of consultation which had taken place before the decision: "On the implications of circular 10/70 itself, the deputation expressed the view that it represented an encouragement to local authorities opposed to comprehensive education, and an endorsement of selection at eleven"[2]


  1. ^ "Times Education Supplement". 1000 Years of Education; 1959-1970; Chronology; Millennium Edition. 
  2. ^ "Thatcher meets NUT deputisation". Retrieved 31 March 2011.