At that time, the last such investigation into the nature of primary education had been undertaken by the Hadow Committee led by Sir William Henry Hadow in the early 1930s. During the time of collating the report, the Labour Government of the day introduced circular 10/65 requesting that local education authorities submit plans to replace the tripartite system and 11-plus with comprehensive schooling. The administration also made clear its intention to raise school-leaving age to 16 (from the then 15).
In the years leading up to, and during the collation of the report, prevalent thinking in educational psychology was highly influenced by the work of such people as Jean Piaget who published a seminal work on the matter in 1962.
The report was widely known for its praising of child-centred approaches to education, stressing that "at the heart of the educational process lies the child".
Recommendations in the report included those listed below: