R. H. Tawney
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Richard Henry Tawney (1880–1962) was an English writer, economist, historian, social critic and university professor and a leading advocate of Christian Socialism.
- See also: The Acquisitive Society
- "Freedom for the pike is death for the minnow."
- Equality (1931)
- "An erring colleague is not an Amalkite to be smitten hip and thigh."
- "The Rise of the Gentry: A Postscript", The Economic History Review, Vol. 7, No. 1 (1954)
Secondary Education For All (1922) 
- Transference from the primary school to higher education should depend solely upon whether it is likely to be for the benefit of the children concerned.
- In England it is not ungentlemanly to steal halfpennies from children, and industrial interests, it may be assumed, will oppose any reform which interferes with the supply of cheap juvenile labour.
- In place... of "elementary" education for nine-tenths of the children and "secondary" education for the exceptionally fortunate or the exceptionally able, we need to envisage education as two stages in a single course which will embrace the whole development of childhood and adolescence up to sixteen, and obliterate the vulgar irrelevances of class inequality and economic pressure in a new educational synthesis.
- The number both of pupils and school places in 1922 is... all too small. But, inadequate as they are, they represent something like an educational revolution compared with the almost complete absence of public provision which existed prior to 1902.
- The full comedy of the situation was revealed in 1900, when, nearly a century after France and Germany had laid the foundations of a public system of secondary education, the Court of Appeal virtually decided that there was no Public Authority in England with legal power to establish and maintain secondary schools.
- England has not yet imitated the example set by America and by most of the British Dominions in making public secondary education free.
- Even before 1918 we had traveled far from the doctrine of 1870, that "elementary" education was the education of a special class which would obtain no other — what the Committee of Council called in 1839 education "suited to the condition of workmen and servants" — and secondary education that of their masters.
- The primary school is like the rope which the Indian juggler throws into the air to end in vacancy; that while in the United States some twenty-eight per cent, of the children entering the primary schools pass to high schools, in England the percentage passing from elementary to secondary schools is less than ten.
- Apart from the children of the well-to-do, who receive secondary education almost as a matter of course, and whose parents appear usually, though quite mistakenly, to believe that they pay the whole cost of it, secondary education is still commonly regarded as a "privilege" to be conceded only to the exceptionally brilliant or fortunate.
- It is still possible for the largest education authority in the country to propose to erect inequality of educational opportunity into a principle of public policy by solemnly suggesting, with much parade of philosophical arguments, that the interests of the community require that the children of well-to-do parents, who pay fees, should be admitted to public secondary schools on easier intellectual terms than the children of poor parents who can enter them only with free places, and that the children who are so contemptible as to be unable to afford secondary education without assistance in the form of maintenance allowances shall not be admitted unless they reach a higher intellectual standard still!
- They would very strongly advise that in selecting children for higher education care should be taken to avoid creating, as was done, for example, in India, a large class of persons whose education is unsuitable for the employment they eventually enter.
- Defined by its purpose, its [education's] main aim is not to impart the specialized technique of any particular trade or profession, but to develop the faculties which, because they are the attribute of man, are not peculiar to any particular class or profession of men, and to build up the interests which, while they may become the basis of specialization at a later stage, have a value extending beyond their utility for any particular vocation, because they are the condition of a rational and responsible life in society.
- Its desire is that what is weak in the higher education of the country should be strengthened, and that what is already excellent should be made accessible to all.
- Labour can claim with some confidence that it is both voicing the demands of nearly all enlightened educationalists and working for the only organization of education which will enable the community to make the best use of the most precious of its natural resources — the endowments of its children.
- The organization of education on lines of class, which, though qualified in the last twenty years, has characterized the English system of public education since its very inception, has been at once a symptom, an effect, and a cause of the control of the lives of the mass of men and women by a privileged minority. The very assumption on which it is based, that all that the child of the workers needs is "elementary education" — as though the mass of the people, like anthropoid apes, had fewer convolutions in their brains than the rich — is in itself a piece of insolence.
- Those who have hitherto governed the nation, believing, and believing with justice, that ignorance and docility go hand in hand, have taken care to ration the education of the workers in doses small enough to be innocuous to the established order.