AIM25 : Click here to go back to the AIM25 homepage
Archives in London and the M25 area


Identity Statement

Reference code(s): MCC/SB
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
  Click here to find out how to view this collection at ›
Date(s): 1867-1924
Level of description: subfonds
View parent record
Extent: 1.88 linear metres
Name of creator(s): MCC | Middlesex County Council x Middlesex County Council


Administrative/Biographical history:

Before 1870 schools were run as private concerns including small private schools and dame schools, the endowed grammar schools, and the beginning of the development of the Public Schools, and for the very poor there existed schools run by religious organisations.

Forster's Education Act of 1870 marked a watershed in the history of English education. It was based on the principle of elementary education for all. It aimed 'to cover the country with good schools and to get the parents to send the children to the schools', and principally to provide instruction in basic literacy and numeracy until the age of 12. The Act provided for the division of England and Wales into school districts. Wherever surveys showed that existing voluntary Schools could not provide enough places for all the school age children within their districts, the ratepayers elected school Boards, which were required to supplement the existing schools with (what became known as) Board Schools. Funds to build and maintain were to come from fees, government grants and the rates. This was the starting point of local responsibility for education expenditure, and of the partnership of central and local authorities.

The Act was not received with unbounded enthusiasm anywhere in the country and Middlesex was no exception. Many areas were reluctant to set up school boards and only did so after repeated prompting from the Education Department of the Privy Council. In many areas problems arose over the co-existence of Board Schools and denomination schools, and the building of new schools was at times regarded as extravagant and seen as robbing the ratepayer. Indeed, in order to avoid the expenditure associated with them, Ealing did not set up a School Board, establishing instead the Ealing Education Association in 1877 to promote voluntary subscriptions to help maintain existing schools. Nevertheless the Act made it possible for children who would previously never have had the opportunity, to receive some basic instruction. By 1903 the School Boards in Middlesex had completed 31 new elementary schools, with 3 more in the process of building.

School Board Districts in Middlesex: Acton; Ashford; Boston Road (formerly Hanwell National School); Brentford; Edgware; Edmonton; Enfield; Feltham, Hanworth and Bedfont; Finchley; Friern Barnet and South Mimms; Hanwell; Hampton Wick; Harmondsworth; Harefield; Harrow United School Board; Hornsey; Kingsbury; Norwood; Southall; Southgate; Staines; Tottenham; Uxbridge; Willesden and Wood Green.

School Boards were abolished by the 1902 Education Act and replaced by Local Education Authorities (LEAs), which were, in effect, the county councils or county borough councils. They were given charge of all elementary and much secondary education throughout the country.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the Middlesex School Boards, 1867-1924, including financial accounts, staffing, Board of Education reports, bye laws, minutes and correspondence for Hampton Wick School Board; papers relating to land and buildings, staffing, financial accounts, bye laws, minutes, seals, posters and correspondence for Edgware School Board; minutes, staffing, financial accounts and correspondence relating to buildings for Hanwell School Board; financial accounts, proposals for the sale of land, minutes, posters, correspondence and notes on syllabus for Kingsbury School Board; minutes, bye laws, correspondence and financial statements for Old Brentford School Board; correspondence regarding sale of land and correspondence regarding separation from Wood Green School Board for Tottenham School Board.

Also minutes for Harmondsworth School Board; papers regarding sale of land and buildings for Hornsey School Board; minutes for Norwood School Board; minutes for Staines School Board and minutes for Ashford School Board.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

The material covering the 11 districts is arranged in 7 series: Ashford (MCC/EO/SB/07); Brentford (MCC/EO/SB/05); Edgware (MCC/EO/SB/02); Hanwell (MCC/EO/SB/03); Hampton Wick (MCC/EO/SB/01); Harmondsworth (MCC/EO/SB/07); Hornsey (MCC/EO/SB/07); Kingsbury (MCC/EO/SB/04); Norwood (MCC/EO/SB/07); Staines (MCC/EO/SB/07) and Tottenham (MCC/EO/SB/06).

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:

Records of specific schools, such as log books, have been listed with the records of the Education Officers Department (MCC/EO/PS) as the functions of the School Board were inherited by the Education Committee of the MCC.

London Metropolitan Archives does not hold records for all the School Board districts in Middlesex - please contact the appropriate borough archivist or local studies library for information about the following Boards: Acton; Boston Road (formerly Hanwell National School); Edmonton and Southgate; Enfield; Feltham, Hanworth and Bedfont; Finchley; Friern Barnet and South Mimms; Harefield; Harrow United School Board (incorporating Harrow-on-the-Hill, Wealdstone, Wembley, and Harrow Weald); Southall; Uxbridge; Willesden; Wood Green.

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

Related Subject Search

* To search for other records with similar subjects, tick any subjects above then click "Run New Search"

Related Corporate Name Search

* To search for other records with similar names, tick any names above then click "Run New Search"

Related Placename Search

* To search for other records with similar placenames, tick any names above then click "Run New Search"