Aberdare Boys’ Grammar School

Memories and Memorabilia

Old School

Glamorgan County Council
Maintenance Grants, 1961

from Alwyn Griffiths


Unlike the situation that currently exists [1] for funding of a student’s university course, the arrangement that applied in the 1960s, and for several decades afterwards, was that a student could confidently expect his or her tuition fees to be fully funded by their Local Education Authority, and that a means tested non-repayable maintenance grant would be forthcoming, provided that the student had met the entrance requirements, and had been accepted for his or her course of Higher Education. This was at a time when the student participation rate in Higher Education was around 6%; now it is about 45% and so government funding is spread much more thinly!

The document below is an example of a letter of confirmation of the award of the course fee and maintenance grant. It was sent in mid-September, just two weeks before the start of the university term. But it was unlikely that Alwyn would have been concerned about whether he would be funded or not, as the process was virtually automatic. The awards were payable at the beginning of each term, and tenable for three years dependent on satisfactory annual reports from the HE establishment on the student’s progress, conduct and attendance.

Our LEA was that of the ‘old’ Glamorgan County Council, a council covering a large area, stretching from The River Loughor in the west to the The Rhymney River in east, and from Aberthaw in south, almost to Ystradgynlais in the north. In 1961 its population was 1,229,728. The administrative county of Glamorgan was created under the Local Government Act 1888, and remained until the County of Glamorgan and its boroughs were abolished on 1 April 1974.

1. In April 2012.

GCC Grant Letter