A TIMELINE OF WOMEN'S EDUCATION IN HISTORY
By Tim Lambert
It is a myth that in the past only men were educated. Wealthy women were often highly educated
C. 1,200 BC There is evidence that some women could read and write in Ancient Egypt
43 AD-410 AD Girls in Roman Britain go to a school called a ludus. Upper class Roman women were often highly educated.
410-1500 During the Middle Ages girls from wealthy families are educated at home. Nuns are often highly educated.
c. 1100 Trota of Salerno was a famous doctor. (Salerno in Italy was famous for its medical school. Women were allowed to study there).
16th Century Girls did not go to school. However girls from well off families were usually educated at home. Tutors taught upper class girls. Their mothers taught middle class girls reading, writing, arithmetic and skills like sewing.
17th Century In towns boarding schools for girls are founded. Girls are taught writing, music and needlework.
1732 Laura Bassi becomes professor of anatomy at Bologna University
18th Century Girls from well off families still go to boarding schools. Girls from slightly better off working schools often go to private schools called dame schools where they are taught reading and writing.
1811 The National Society for Promoting the Education of the Poor is founded by the Church of England to provide schools
1814 The British and Foreign Schools Society is founded by non-conformists (Protestants who did not belong to the Church of England) to provide schools.
1831 Dorothea Beale the educational reformer is born
1833 In Britain the government starts giving grants to church provided schools
1841 In the USA 3 women gain bachelor degrees from Oberlin College. They are the first American women to gain bachelor degrees.
1858 Dorothea Beale becomes the head teacher or principal of Cheltenham Ladies College
1865 A group of women including Dorothea Beale form the Kensington Society, a discussion society for women
1866 In the USA Lucy Hobbs Taylor becomes the first American woman to graduate from a dental college
1869 Girton College for women is founded at Cambridge University
1870 In Britain the state begins providing schools for boys and girls. In the USA Ada Kepley becomes the first American woman to graduate from law school.
1874 The London School of Medicine for Women is founded
1877 Helen Magill White is the first woman in the USA to gain a PhD
1878 Elizabeth Wordsworth founds Lady Margaret Hall for women at Oxford University
1879 Somerville College for women is founded in Oxford University
1880 Three women are granted degrees by the University of London. They are the first women given degrees by a British University. In the UK education is made compulsory for 5 to 10 year olds.
1893 St Hildas College is founded in Oxford University by Dorothea Beale
1895 Lilian Murray is the first woman in Britain to qualify as a dentist
1898 Ethel Charles is the first woman in Britain to qualify as an architect
1899 In Britain the minimum school leaving age is set at 12
1905 In the USA Nora Stanton Blatch Barney is the first women to gain a degree in civil engineering
1918 In the UK the school leaving age is raised to 14
1919 In Britain the Sex Disqualification Removal Act allowed women to become lawyers, vets and civil servants
1947 In Britain the school leaving age is raised to 15
1972 In Britain the school leaving age is raised to 16
1975 In Britain the Sex Discrimination Act made it illegal to discriminate against women in employment, education and training.
A Timeline of Women Scientists
A Timeline of Women Writers
A Timeline of Women's Jobs
A Timeline of women's rights in Britain
My Youtube video about the history of women's education