World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Education Act 1496

The Education Act 1496 was an act of the Parliament of Scotland (1496 c. 87) that required landowners to send their eldest sons to school to study Latin, arts and law. This made schooling compulsory for the first time in Scotland.

The humanist intent was to ensure that local government lay in competent hands and to improve the administration of justice nationwide by making the legal system more responsive at the local level. The act states:[1]

  • all barons and substantial freeholders shall put their eldest sons and heirs into school from the age of 8 or 9.
  • these shall remain in grammar schools under competent instruction until they have perfect Latin.
  • They shall next spend 3 years at the schools of art and law.
  • the purpose of this education is:
    • that they have knowledge and understanding of the laws, for the benefit of justice throughout the realm.
    • that those who become sheriffs or judges will have the knowledge to do justice.
    • to eliminate the need of the poor to seek redress from the king's principal auditors for each small injury (see Scots Poor Law).
  • anyone who fails to do so without a lawful excuse shall pay the king the sum of £20 Scots.

The act was passed by the Parliament at Edinburgh on 13 June 1496 in the reign of James IV, and in the nineteenth century it remained in effect as one of the principal Statutes for the management of schools under Scots law.[2]

This act is sometimes referred to as the Education Act of 1494, this is due to an error in some editions of the Acts of Parliament where it is listed as 1494 James IV, c. 54.


  1. ^ "The Records of the Parliaments of Scotland to 1707". K.M. Brown et al. eds (St Andrews, 2007), 1605/6/39. Retrieved February 15, 2008. 
  2. ^ Barclay, Hugh (1855). A Digest of the Law of Scotland (Second Edition). Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark. p. 907. 
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.