Antigone Heraclidou


This article aims to analyse the steps taken by the British administration for the introduction of fundamental changes in the elementary education system between 1931 and 1939 together with the motives behind them. The uprising of October 1939 in Cyprus resulted in the imposition of  an authoritative regime with the fundamental aim to eradicate the enosis movement in order to restore political stability. Since the British themselves always recognised the centrality of educational questions in such a process, this article will explore how elementary education was reformed during the 1930s in order to serve the objective of introducing a ‘British atmosphere’ into the island’. A series of laws which gave the Government complete control over elementary  education, including the curriculum and the text-books, led the Church of Cyprus, which had so far been enjoying the privilege to be responsible for Greek-Cypriot education, to speak of dehellenisation and a coup d’état on elementary education. To what extent these accusations were right will constitute part of our discussion.



Enosis, education, elementary schools, Cyprus, Church, de-Hellinisation, 1931 uprising, curriculum, teachers, British administration

The National Archives, Public Record Office, UK (TNA)

CO 69/37

CO 67/277/6

CO 67/243/7

CO 69/41

CO 67/241/3

CO 67/251/3

CO 67/240/11

CO 67/242/8

CO 67/255/8

CO 67/246/12

CO 70/21

CO 67/281/1

CO 67/249/13

CO 67/259/10

CO 67/293/1

CO 67/258/6

CO 67/259/12

CO 67/299/2

CO 67/260/3

CO 67/279/6

CO 67/297/8

CO 67/272/19

CO 67/273/1

State Archives, Cyprus (SA)

SA1: 1468/1931

SA1: 953/1929/3

SA1: 978/1936

SA1: 731/1934/1

SA1: 872/1934

SA1: 253/1930/2

SA1: 561/1934

SA1: 731/1934/2

SA1: 1061/1935/1

SA1: 1349/1937

Archbishopric of Cyprus

Leontios’ Archive, ‘Book I°’

Leontios’ Archive, ‘Book I£’


Phoni tis Kyprou;



Kypriakos Fylax

The Cyprus Gazette

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How to Cite

“Making a British Atmosphere in Cyprus, 1931–1939: A ‘Coup D’état’ on Greek-Cypriot Elementary Education?”. 2017. Cyprus Review 24 (2): 47-72. https://cyprusreview.org/index.php/cr/article/view/134.