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In what ways did the Welfare legislation of the late 1940's mark a sea change in both attitudes and the provision of welfare services in Britain?

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Introduction

In what ways did the Welfare legislation of the late 1940's mark a sea change in both attitudes and the provision of welfare services in Britain? There is a lot of argument about when the Welfare state started; my personal view is that the ideology started in 1906 with the Liberal Reforms. When the Liberals came to power in 1906 attitudes were beginning to change, the Liberal politicians believed that something had to be done by the government to help the poor, the old and the unemployed. Seebohm Rowntree and Charles Booth both carried out detailed investigations into poverty and what impact it was having on the population, their studies both showed that times were very bad for the poor, with was making life intolerable for them. They struggled with poor housing, poor health, bad diet and just feeding the family was a never-ending struggle. With these findings it was very clear to all that things needed to change, what also convinced them was that when the Boer war had started in 1899, the men who had volunteered to join the army to fight, around 50% of the potential recruits were found to be unfit. In 1906 the Liberals passed the school meals act, this allowed local authorities to provide every child at school with a free hot meal, helping to provide a more satisfactory diet for school age children. ...read more.

Middle

There were still some women that didn't go back to the home, they continued to work, and also many of those who had gone back to the home still craved to be out working. During the war there was 496 days of constant bombing in the London blitz, this caused three million houses to be bombed, causing a shortfall of an estimated 1.25 million houses for all, this matter needed to be addressed quickly, so prefabricated houses where put up. This was done because they could be done quickly and over 500000 prefabricated houses where erected. There was still a shortage of housing and many families were forced to become squatting. The prefab's where meant to last 10 years giving them time to build new houses, however many of which are still standing with people living in them. The main solution to provide housing was by the councils building decent affordable housing, for all to live in. In April 1946, Attlee set up a housing production executive; the statistics that followed this suggested that this was a successful idea: Year Number of new dwellings 1947 139000 1948 227000 1949 197000 1950 198000 1951 194000 Between 1946 and 1950 fourteen new towns where started these where, Stevenage (1946), Harlow, Hemel Hempstead, Crawley (1947), Hatfield, Welwyn (1948), Basildon and Bracknell (1949) ...read more.

Conclusion

In 1947 Rowntree's study found that now less than 2% of the population were in poverty, compared to 33% before. Education had a big change in 1945/6. A Tripartite was introduced, 3 new types of schooling. The 11 plus test was set up, the results for individual pupils decided what type of school they would go to. The test was a non-verbal reasoning test, and was taken at age 11 because assumptions were made that by this age children were fully developed. There were a lot of criticisms about this test, the main one being that children from more affluent backgrounds had more ability to manipulate the test, as their language was more suited to how the test was set out. The 3 types of schools which children went to were Secondary Modern, Grammar School and Technical school, they were introduced as the previous schools were said to be wasting talent. However not many Technical schools were available so it was said to be more of a bi- partite. With all these changes, people's attitudes had changed; people now adopted the attitude that instead of being the individual looking after them selves that now it was the duty of collectivism, in that the state was responsible for people. Many people didn't need to struggle anymore, times had changed and the future looked more prosperous, with the government being there to support people instead of criticise them. Nicci Waterfield Health & Social Care (MH) 1 ...read more.

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