The Eastern District of the Workers Educational Association : growth and development 1913-40
Established in 1913, the Eastern District was one of several regional bodies which constituted the federal structure of the 7orkers' Educational Association, founded by Mansbridge in 1903. The growth of the District between 1913 and 1940 is considered generally within the wider context of the development of the national 7.E.A. and specifically within its own region. The fundamental influences of the Oxford Report, 190, the Final Retort of the Adult Education Committee, 1919, and the Board of Eduction Regulations, 1908 to 1938, on the development of attitudes to, and increasingly differentiated provision of, liberal adult education in the predominantly rural area of the Eastern District are also considered. An examination is made of the problems of organisation and finance which powerfully affected policies and activities of the District during the inter-war period and which assumed considerable significance in the relationships between it, the Local Education Authorities in the region and the University of Cambridge Board of Extra Mural Studies. The policy attitudes and varying activities of L.E.A.s and the University's Board of Extra Mural Studies directly assisted or restricted the educational provision of the voluntary District and reflected oportunities arising from Board of Education Regulations of 1924 and 1932. Although the role of the L.E.A.s was not one of direct provision of liberal adult eduction during the period, that of the Board of Extra Mural Studies was explicitly so and a. continuation of a tradition established during the late nineteenth century, and originating at Cambridge, through the university extension movement. From a co-operative partnership with the District during the early years of its existence, the Board developed during the nineteen thirties a unilateral policy intended to exnand its provision for liberal adult education in the rural counties of eastern England. These developments were strenuously resisted by the national 7.E.A. and the District and led to a competitive and deteriorating relationship between both providing bodies.