Access to Secondary Education for Girls in Barbados, 1907–43

A Preliminary Analysis
  • Janice Mayers


This article stems in part from research for a doctoral thesis on the wider area of education policy as a whole in Barbados. This research exposed the influence of race and class on policy but also indicated that gender operated as a constraint on secondary education despite the commendable efforts for change initiated by some. The Swaby Commission of 1907–09, the first major local education commission of the century, for example, recognised the need to remedy the perceived deficiencies in facilities for secondary education for girls in Barbados. Over 30 years later, in assessing the provision for secondary education, the newly appointed Director of Education, Howard Hayden, pointed to the need for positive discrimination in favour of girls. This article will demonstrate that during the first half of the twentieth century there was discrimination against girls in access to public secondary education both in terms of the facilities provided, and in the means provided for taking advantage of the offering.


Secondary Education Domestic Economy Female Education Foundation School Queen College 


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    This position is adopted by several writers who discuss the Platonic/Aristotelian models in the Western European context. See for example, Brian Holmes, Problems in Education: A Comparative Approach (London: Routledge, 1965) p. 223; Vernon Mallinson, The Western European Idea in Education (1980; Oxford: Pergamon, 1981), p. 16.Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Department of History, U.W.I., Mona, Jamaica 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Janice Mayers

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