Graphical version

University of Greenwich

Woolwich Polytechnic Day Schools


Reference code(s): GB 2121 Woolwich Polytechnic Day Schools

Held at: University of Greenwich

Title: Woolwich Polytechnic Day Schools

Date(s): 1906-1951

Level of description: sub-fonds

Extent: approximately 5 linear metres

Name of creator(s): Woolwich Polytechnic Day Schools


Administrative/Biographical history:

Woolwich Polytechnic founded a number of day schools and junior technical schools, partly in response to the fact that much of its premises was left empty during the day as much of the teaching and activities took place in the evenings. In 1895 a School of Domestic Economy for Girls was opened with a class of 45. The School closed in 1920 as the number of girls declined. In September 1897 a day school for boys was opened, Woolwich Polytechnic Boys Secondary School. It was the first secondary school in Woolwich, and started with 72 boys, rising to 102 by 1897. In September 1899 girls were admitted to the Woolwich Polytechnic Girls Secondary School and a mistress and a headmaster, T F Bowers, were appointed. At first the school was divided into two sections, technical and commercial, but the commercial side proved more popular and the Governors planned to expand this. The school was registered as a Science School so it would qualify for the Technical Education Board's grants. These two schools operated as Woolwich Polytechnic Day Secondary School Department, with one Headmaster assisted by a Senior Master and Senior Mistress. The headmaster was still responsible to the Principal of Woolwich Polytechnic, but had considerable powers, including the right to dismiss students. In 1912 the girls moved out to their own school in Plumstead, which became known as the County School, Plumstead, and subsequently Kings Warren and then Plumstead Manor School. The Boys School moved to a new building in 1928 as the Shooters Hill County Secondary School. A third secondary school, the Junior Art School, was also established in the 1920s, and transferred to London County Council in 1956.

Two technical schools were established in 1906 for 15-19 year olds to train apprentices, one of science and engineering (closed in 1908), and one of commerce. In 1913 the Commercial School stopped admitting boys, and in 1918 the school closed as the numbers of girls applying dropped. A trade school in dressmaking was also established, with 50 girls starting initially. From 1904 'trade lads' from the Arsenal were sent to the Polytechnic for an afternoon a week, as well as evenings. The scheme was the first 'day release' system in the country. A daytime Engineering Trade School, Woolwich Polytechnic Junior Technical School for Boys, was established in 1912 to train boys for jobs at engineering works. The School became the responsibility of London County Council in 1956, as Woolwich Polytechnic Boys School. Woolwich Polytechnic Junior Technical School for Girls opened in April 1906 and became part of Kidbrooke Comprehensive in 1954.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of Woolwich Polytechnic Schools, 1906-1951, comprising Woolwich Polytechnic Boys Secondary School admission registers, 1906-1923; reports on boys, 1907-1928;
Junior Technical School for Boys admission registers, 1913-1940; record of boys' engineering trades, 1913-1941;
Junior Technical School for Girls admission registers, 1912-1940; report forms for girls, 1913-1951;
Junior Art Department forms, 1930-1940;
Commercial School reports, 1913-1918;
School of Domestic Economy reports, 1914-1919;
photographs of the schools, [1906-1950].


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

The records are arranged chronologically according to school.

Conditions governing access:

Researchers wishing to consult the archives should contact Ann Murphy, Head of Information Services, University of Greenwich

Conditions governing reproduction:

Photocopying is permitted at the discretion of the Librarian.

Physical characteristics:

Finding aids:

A list is available at the University of Greenwich Archives.


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information:


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Created in the course of business.


Existence and location of originals:

Existence and location of copies:

Related material:

Records of Woolwich Polytechnic are held by the University of Greenwich Archive.

Publication note:



Archivist's note: Sources: An Illustrated History of the University of Greenwich Thomas Hinde (University of Greenwich, 1996). Compiled by Julie Tancell as part of the RSLP AIM25 project.

Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal Place and Corporate Names 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: July 2002

Basic training | Training
Commercial education | Vocational education
Girls education | Womens education | Educational systems
Photographs | Visual materials
Prevocational education | Vocational education
Schoolchildren | Students
Secondary schools | Schools | Educational institutions
Technological institutes | Universities | Higher education institutions | Educational institutions
Vocational schools | Higher education institutions | Educational institutions
Vocational training | Training
General technical education
Home economics education

Personal names

Corporate names
Woolwich Polytechnic
Woolwich Polytechnic | Boys Secondary School
Woolwich Polytechnic | Commercial School
Woolwich Polytechnic | Junior Art Department
Woolwich Polytechnic | Junior Technical School for Boys
Woolwich Polytechnic | Junior Technical School for Girls
Woolwich Polytechnic | School of Domestic Economy

Woolwich | London | England | UK | Western Europe | Europe