Cambridge Association for the Advancement of State Education

Scope and Content

Papers of Mrs D. M. Silberston, Chairman CAASE. Including CAASE bulletins, leaflets and publicity material, memoranda and reports 1961-1968. The collection also includes a few papers relating to the foundation and early years, 1962-1965, of the Confederation for the Advancement of State Education, including duplicated minutes of meetings and newsletters. The papers also include duplicated minutes of the Joint Committee formed in 1962 to establish the basis of the Confederation.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Cambridge Association for the Advancement of State Education (CAASE) was formed in November 1960 by a group of parents dissatisfied with the provision of space and equipment in a local Cambridge primary school. The Association quickly developed into a county-wide discussion group. It described itself as a 'non-party, non-sectarian association of people, mostly parents' which 'aimed at making the public and government more alive and sensitive to the needs of our schools'. Its stated objects were: to collect and disseminate information about national and local educational policy and to provide a forum for discussion of this; to work for the improvement and expansion of state educational facilities; to further communication between the local education authority, parents and others interested in education; and to look at alternatives to the eleven-plus examination. Its membership was open to anyone normally resident or working in Cambridgeshire and parents of children in Cambridgeshire schools. CAASE's activities comprised running study groups and working parties, holding public meetings and lectures, lobbying the local education committee, county councillors, and participating in local and school government.

CAASE was keen to encourage similar groups in other counties. The organisation was initially brought to national public notice by an article in The Observer in June 1961. The Cambridge Association provided enquirers with information on their work and advised on the formation of local associations. CAASE was also instrumental in the development of a national federation of local associations. In January 1962, after offers of assistance from the Advisory Centre for Education, representatives of 9 local associations met to discuss plans for a national organisation. The Joint Committee for the Advancement of State Education was formed at this meeting as a preliminary step to the creation of a federal body.

The first Joint Committee meeting in February 1962 discussed issues of the publicity, financing and policy of the national organisation. After further meetings the Joint Committee was dissolved on 30 September 1962 and the Confederation for the Advancement of State Education (CASE) was formed. Its stated aims were to facilitate the exchange of information amongst the local associations, to encourage and assist the formation and functioning of associations, to publicise opinions held by a substantial majority of member associations on important educational issues, and to organise concerted action. CASE was set up solely to serve the local associations.

CASE quickly became an active organisation. By January 1963 there were 55 local associations in existence or in the process of being formed, with a total membership of approximately 3000. In 1963 CASE supported the NUT's Campaign for Education and commenced its first fact-finding project, on 'Teacher Supply'. In the same year CASE representatives met with Sir Edward Boyle, Minister for Education, to discuss school building work. This meeting was followed by the agreement of a press statement and a press conference. The Chairman's letter for 1965 describes meetings with Mr Crosland, Secretary of State for Education, and with the NUT, a BBC broadcast, and a conference and AGM to be held in Bristol. The Confederation was later renamed the Campaign for the Advancement of State Education.


The original arrangement has been maintained.

The papers are divided into 3 folders headed:

1. Cambridge Association for the Advancement of State Education: Miscellaneous Papers 1961-68

2. Cambridge Association for the Advancement of State Education: Bulletins 1961-68

3. Confederation for the Advancement of State Education, 1961-65.

Access Information


Open, subject to signature of Reader Application Form.

Other Finding Aids

Electronic and paper catalogues.

Conditions Governing Use

A reader wishing to publish any quotation of information, including pictorial, derived from any archive material must apply in writing for prior permission from the Archivist or other appropriate person(s) as indicated by the Archivist. A limited number of photocopies may be supplied at the discretion of the Archivist