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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): MCC/CL/L/EO
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1712-1965
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 4.33 linear metres
Name of creator(s): MCC | Middlesex County Council x Middlesex County Council


Administrative/Biographical history:

In 1870 the Education Act was passed making the teaching of reading, writing and arithmetic compulsory. To give effect to the Act School Boards were set up with the duty to provide 'Board' schools were there were not enough voluntary, privately funded schools. In January 1891 the MCC passed its first resolution dealing with technical education, in 1895 it purchased the first of its polytechnics and in 1901 started its first secondary school.

The school leaving age was 12, and the elementary education system dealt in elementary schools with children from the age of 5 to 15. The concern of higher education was technical colleges, art schools, evening institutes, and especially secondary schools. Under the 1902 Education Act the County Council became responsible for higher education in the whole county, but was the authority for elementary education only in districts where the population was below a certain figure. In the other districts (known as 'Part III' districts for the part of the Act dealing with this matter) the borough or urban district were responsible for elementary education.

Between 1901 and 1938 the population of Middlesex grew from 792,000 to 1,952,000. This meant that more schools were urgently required and in the same period the County Council ordered the construction of 93 elementary schools, 42 secondary schools and 7 technical colleges and art schools. The 1926 'Hadow' report advocated the provision of advanced courses for all children over 11 years of age. As a consequence, 'senior elementary' schools came into existence for children of 11 to 14 years. These were the forerunners of the modern secondary school.

Under the Education Act of 1944 the 'part III' areas were abolished and the County Council became the local education authority for all forms of education for the whole of the County. The three stages of education were recognised by the Act - that is, the primary stage (up to 11 years old), the secondary stage (11 to 18) and the further education stage (18 onwards). The education authority was also encouraged to become more concerned with the educational welfare of the child in its widest sense. The school meals service, school health service, youth service and community centres were all considered to be an integral part of this remit by the MCC.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the Middlesex County Council Clerk's Legal Department relating to education, 1712-1965, including purchases of school lands and buildings; instruments and articles of government for schools and colleges; borough schemes for the divisional administration of education; general files on a variety of subjects including the School Library Service; transfer of pupils to secondary schools; conditions of service for teachers, design and construction of new schools, audits of accounts, education development plan, rules of management of Voluntary Aided Schools, use of school premises after hours, education and training of the physically or mentally disabled, proposals for a Middlesex Apprenticeship scheme and valuation of schools.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

MCC/CL/L/EO-1: General

Conditions governing access:

Available for general access.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright to these records rests with the Corporation of London.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Acquired with the records of its parent authority, the Middlesex County Council, and with successor authorities.

Allied Materials

Related material:

See also Education Department records, reference MCC/EO/FIN-YE.

Publication note:

For further information on the history of the Middlesex County Council please see Middlesex by Sir Clifford Radcliffe (2 editions, 1939 and 1953), LMA Library reference 97.09 MID; and The County Council of the Administrative County of Middlesex: 76 years of local government, 1 April 1889 to 31 March 1965, by Middlesex County Council (1965), LMA library reference S97.09 MID.

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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