The Elementary Education Act of 1870 was commonly known as Forster's Education Act, after the Bradford MP William Edward Forster.
The Act aimed to combat the horrific child labour conditions of the era and to educate a new workforce for the emerging manufacturing economy.
It introduced national standards for education and was part of a number of Acts that were passed by Parliament at the time to create compulsory education in England and Wales for children between the ages of 5 and 13.
The Educating Bradford exhibition at Bradford Industrial Museum runs from February 15 until November 8.
The family friendly displays celebrate 150 years of innovation in education in Bradford, from 1870 to the present day.
The exhibits show how modern teaching methods are still influenced by 19th and 20th century educational and child healthcare reforms.
It also charts the development of adult learning and the recognition that an educated workforce helped support the development of Bradford as an international powerhouse.
The exhibition is inspired by the landmark book Education in Bradford 1870-1970 which provided a detailed description and celebration of learning in the city and this year marks the 50th anniversary of its publication.
Councillor Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Healthy People and Places, said: “This is a fascinating exhibition charting Bradford’s role in education from the Forster’s 1870 Act to more recent developments. It is an evolving exhibition
that, like a child, will develop and grow throughout the year. We seem to take the free education of our children for granted and this exhibition helps us to realise how far we have come over the last 150 years.”
For more information about exhibitions and activities at Bradford Council run museums and galleries visit www.bradfordmusuems.org