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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): KCSD
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1876-1934
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 16.38 linear metres
Name of creator(s): Kensington and Chelsea School District


Administrative/Biographical history:

The 1834 Poor Law Act led to improvements in the arrangements made for the education of pauper children. Poor Law Unions, and parishes regulated by local acts, were persuaded to establish schools and to appoint schoolmasters. The policy of separating the children from their parents (who were generally considered to be a bad influence on their children) and sending them, if possible, to the country was continued and in 1866 several Middlesex metropolitan authorities were sending children to schools outside London. The Poor Law Amendment Act of 1844 made possible a further development in this field which was of significance for the metropolitan area. Unions and parishes were empowered to unite and to form a School District which then set up a large separate school for the education of all the indoor pauper children of the constituents of the district. These were usually industrial schools where both boys and girls were taught the basics of a useful trade which, it was hoped, would provide them with better prospects in future.

Kensington and Chelsea School District was founded in 1876, comprising the Poor Law Unions of Kensington and Chelsea. The School District decided not to construct a large district school, instead establishing a cottage homes development at Banstead in Surrey. This took the form of small houses reminiscent of a family home, with separate school buildings, workshops and recreation facilities. A branch school, Marlesford Lodge, was constructed in Hammersmith. This acted as a 'filter school', preventing unsuitable children from being transferred to the Banstead Homes, such those with parents in custody, those with infectious ailments and those under the age of 4.

Source of information: Peter Higginbotham at The Workhouse website.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of Kensington and Chelsea School District, 1876-1934, including minutes and agendas of the Board; Superintendent's reports; Education Committee, Finance Committee, Garden Committee and Visiting Committee minutes; papers concerning schools at Banstead and Hammersmith; financial accounts; inspection reports; annual reports; regulations, standing orders and instructions; general correspondence; correspondence with and orders of the Local Government Board and the Ministry of Health; inventories of furniture at Marlesford Lodge; admission and discharge registers and creed registers for Marlesford Lodge and Banstead Schools; Superintendent's weekly returns and journals; registers of staff; buildings plans of Banstead School and Marlesford Lodge.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Arranged in 12 sections: Minutes; Superintendent Reports; Agendas; Committee papers; School papers; Finance; Tenders; Reports; Correspondence; Inventories; Admission and creed registers; Staff; Plans.

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:

Records received along with the records of the successor organisation. Additional minutes received in 1983 (ACC/1846).

Allied Materials

Related material:

For the Kensington Poor Law Union see reference KBG, for the Chelsea Poor Law Union see reference CHBG.

Publication note:

For a detailed history see website 'The Workhouse' (

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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