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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): ILEA
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1880-1990
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 1942.13 linear metres
Name of creator(s): ILEA | Inner London Education Authority x Inner London Education Authority


Administrative/Biographical history:

The Inner London Education Authority (ILEA) was responsible for the education service which had been provided by the London County Council (LCC) until 1 April 1965 when the LCC was abolished. The boundaries of the area covered by the ILEA were the same as those of the LCC and encompassed the 12 inner London boroughs as well as the City of London. The 20 outer London boroughs were responsible for education in their area. The ILEA was a 'special committee' of the Greater London Council (GLC), in the sense that once it was constituted it was virtually autonomous. In practice, the GLC and the ILEA worked closely together, as the ILEA relied on the GLC for architectural, engineering, legal, valuation and supplies services. The Clerk and the Comptroller of Financial Services at the GLC performed the same functions for ILEA.

The ILEA consisted of 48 members, 35 of whom were elected members of the GLC. The other 13 members consisted of one representative of each of the 12 inner London borough councils, and one member of the Common Council of the City of London. The work of ILEA was done through an Education Committee which included the 48 members of the Authority together with 17 other persons chosen because of their experience in the educational field, including five serving teachers. The Authority had central offices at County Hall run by the Education Officer. There were also 10 divisional offices covering one or more borough as follows:
1 - Kensington and Chelsea and Hammersmith
2 - Camden and Westminster
3 - Islington
4 - Hackney
5 - Tower Hamlets and the City of London
6 - Greenwich
7 - Lewisham
8 - Southwark
9 - Lambeth
10 - Wandsworth

Responsibilities of the ILEA included:
* management and administration of nursery schools, primary schools, secondary schools, colleges and polytechnics
* management of two boarding schools outside London (Woolverstone Hall, Ipswich and Crown Woods School, Eltham)
* management of two Rural Centres at Marchant's Hill and Sayers Croft in Surrey, summer camp at Swanage, Dorset and mountain centre at Tyn-y-Berth, Wales
* management of special schools and hospital schools for children with disabilities including the blind, partially sighted, deaf, partially hearing, physically disabled, delicate, maladjusted, autistic, those with speech defects and the educationally subnormal
* running the Education Welfare Service, a partnership between social workers and school care workers
* running a Careers Service for secondary school and college students
* offering financial assistance to students in further education
* management of Adult Education and Literary Institutes offering evening classes
* management of Youth Centres and the Recreational Institute for young people aged 14-20, and liaison with the London Youth Committee
* co-ordination of the teaching service including management of teacher-training colleges, support for further career development training and secondment of teachers to posts overseas
* management of non-teaching staff
* supply of books, teaching materials, equipment and furniture
* management of land and buildings including building programme to modernise older school buildings
* management of Media Resources Centre, a library of slides, film strips, audio tapes, slide presentations, work cards, packs, and overhead projector transparencies, and development of new teaching materials
* running the Educational Television Service, providing programmes for schools and colleges
* running a library service in schools and colleges, and the ILEA Library at County Hall which provided an advisory service and a loan collection for teachers
* aiding the London Schools Drama Association and the London Schools Music Association
* maintenance of playing fields, boat-houses and swimming pools
* running the Research Department to provide a comprehensive central statistical service for the education service and conducting and supporting research into education matters
* administration of two museums, the Horniman in Forest Hill and the Geffrye in Hackney
* maintenance of fleet of school buses, used to take disabled children to school and to take school children on educational visits
* provision of School Heath Service providing free medical inspections and some free treatment for schoolchildren; also provided speech therapy, child guidance, nursing services at special and boarding schools, physiotherapy, hygiene inspections and audiometric testing
* provision of school meals through the Catering Branch.

The GLC was abolished in 1986, but the inner London boroughs were not thought ready to manage education so the ILEA was not abolished. It became the only directly elected educational committee in the country. However, it was considered overly bureaucratic and was accused of overspending by the Conservative government. Kenneth Baker MP, then Secretary of State for Education and Science, suggested in his Education Reform Bill that boroughs should be allowed to opt-out of the ILEA. MPs Michael Heseltine and Norman Tebbit tabled an amendment to the Bill proposing that ILEA should be abolished. The amendment was accepted and it was announced that ILEA would be abolished in 1990 under the Education Reform Act of 1988. The responsibilities of ILEA passed to the inner London boroughs.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the Inner London Education Authority, 1880-1990, including papers of the Education Officer and Chief Executive; Clerk's Department papers, including agendas, papers and minutes of the Education Committee, Development Sub-Committee, Equal Opportunities Sub-Committee, Finance Sub-Committee, Further and Higher Education Sub-Committee, Policy Co-ordinating Sub-Committee, Schools Sub-Committee, Staff Appeals Sub-Committee, Staff General Sub-Committee, Sixteen to Nineteen Review Sub-Committee, Strategic Policy Sub-Committee, Trading and Supplies Sub-Committee; and papers relating to the Communications Unit, External Relations Branch and Members Support Services.

Papers of the Department of Building and Property Services, including the Architecture Branch, Direct Labour Branch, Engineering Division, Ground Maintenance Branch and Quantity Surveying Branch; papers of the Development and Equipment Branch; papers of the Directors of Education; papers of the ten Divisional Offices; papers of the Equal Opportunities Unit; papers of the Finance Department including the Director of Finance; papers of the Inspectorate, including the Inspectorate of the Schools Psychological Service; papers of the Management Services Branch.

Papers of the Personnel Department, including the Environmental Health Service, Employee Relations Branch, Personnel Planning, Monitoring and Financial Control Branch and Recruitment, Pay and Staffing Division; papers of the Post Schools Department, including Area Youth Offices, Community Education and Careers Branch, Careers Service Branch, Further and Higher Education Branch and Sixteen Plus Development; papers of the Research and Statistics Branch.

Papers of the Schools Department including the Education Catering Branch, Domestic Advisers, Educational Social Welfare Service, the Centre for Learning Resources, Medical and Psychiatric Service, Schools Resources, School Management and Government, Provision for under-Fives, Special Boarding Education, Welfare and Health, Sport, Curriculum Support and the Sixteen-Nineteen Section; papers of the Special Education Branch; papers of the Supplies and Transport Services Branch and papers of the Teaching Staff Branch. Also Heritage Collection exhibition boards and photographs; ILEA publications and educational videotapes.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Records arranged by Department, from ILEA/CL (Clerk's Department) to ILEA/TS (Teaching Staff Branch), with a few non-departmental sections, for example ILEA/PUB (Publications) and ILEA/VID (Educational videotapes).

Conditions governing access:

These records are available for public inspection, although records containing personal information are subject to access restrictions under the UK Data Protection Act, 1998.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright: City of London

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Accessions received in 2004 and 2005 (B04/040, B05/061).

Allied Materials

Related material:

The LMA Library holds a large number of pamphlets, leaflets, reports and press cuttings relating to or published by ILEA, generally at reference 22.062. See the index cards in the Information Area for more information.

Related records on the government of London held at LMA:
Metropolitan Board of Works: reference MBW
City of London: references COL and CLA
London School Board: reference SBL
Boards of Guardians: various references e.g. BBG for Bermondsey Board of Guardians
Metropolitan Asylums Board: reference MAB
Central Unemployed Body: reference CUB
Middlesex County Council: reference MCC
London County Council: reference LCC
Greater London Council: reference GLC

Publication note:

Stuart Maclure: One Hundred Years of London Education, 1870-1970 (Allen Lane, 1970), and second edition A History of Education in London, 1870-1990, (Allen Lane, 1990); LMA Library reference 22.06 MAC.

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

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:
April to June 2009

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