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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): LCC/EO/SS
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1854-1977
Level of description: Collection
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Extent: 16.9 linear metres
Name of creator(s): LCC | London County Council x London County Council


Administrative/Biographical history:

In 1945 the Ministry of Education issued regluations determining which disabilities required special educational treatment, namely, "the blind, the partially sighted, the deaf, the partially deaf, the diabetic, the delicate, the educationally sub-normal, the epileptic, the maladjusted, the physically disabled and those with speech defects".

Not all disabled children needed to be educated in special schools. Children with partial hearing, who formerly attended special schools, were able after 1947 to attend special units in ordinary primary schools, and in 1959 arrangements were made for the attendance of partially hearing children at secondary schools. Similarly, of children with defective sight, only the most severely handicapped needed to attend special schools. Arrangements were made for the transportation of children from home to school, and if a child was so severely handicapped that travel to school was not feasible arrangements were made for education in hospital or at home. Children with cerebral palsy were provided with special classes, to which they were taken by ambulance.

The curriculum of the special schools was designed to give a basic education similar to that in ordinary schools. Children were encouraged to disregard their disability and to look upon themselves as normal. They went to the rural centres, on school journeys, and on educational visits, and had their share of concerts and other cultural activities. There were special medical care and treatment to facilitate the education of the deaf and the blind.

For children whose behaviour pointed to emotional disturbance, there were child-guidance clinics, of which the Council maintained seven, others being provided by hospital authorities. The Council was the first local education authority to appoint its own psychologist to investigate cases of special difficulty. This work was later undertaken by a team of educational specialists attached to the inspectorate. In 1962 the Council opened a special class providing therapy and education for young psychotic and autistic children. The Council was the first authority in the country to give financial assistance to the special home tuition groups run by the Society for Autistic Children.

Special schools also included industrial, reformatory and truant schools for juvenile delinquents or children found vagrant.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the London County Council Education Officer's Department relating to special schools, 1854-1977, including: Acts and Regulations relating to mental deficiency; ascertainment and notification of mentally defective children; the organisation of emergency special schools in London during the Second World War; acquisition of country properties for use as residential schools; sex instruction in residential schools; blind and defective children formerly dealt with under Poor Law powers; use of school ambulances for physically defective pupils; corporal punishment in transferred residential schools and homes; the Education (Institution Children) Act, 1923; scholarships for physically defective children; scholarships for myopic pupils; scholarships for partially blind children; domestic training for blind and partially blind girls; diet at residential schools and homes; reservations for the handicapped at Government holiday camps; visit of 200 London delicate children to Adelboden, Switzerland; wireless sets and gramophones for special and industrial schools; Joint Parliamentary Advisory Council concerning physically defective children; Church of England Advisory Board on Spiritual Ministration; Building Programme for special schools; Regional Conferences on Special Schools; Meetings of Heads of Boarding Special Schools; visit of Queen Juliana of the Netherlands to John Ruskin School for partially-sighted children; visit to special schools in Belgium and Holland by Council officers; sickness at residential schools; residential school nurses; further education of handicapped children; enuresis (bed-wetting); cost of maintenance of special schools; juvenile delinquency and statistics. Also general papers relating to individual institutions, including photographs and histories.

Minutes of the Managing Committees of various industrial, reformatory and truant schools, children's homes, residential schools for deprived children, residential open-air schools, residential schools for children with mental or physical disability, day special schools and reformatory schools. Registers of admission and discharge, log-books, punishment books for various reformatory schools, residential schools and children's homes; and annual reports and inspection reports for various schools (please see catalogue for full list of the schools).

Specimens of progress record books for deaf children; sample of case papers for children reported on under the Mental Deficiency Acts, 1913-1927; sample of case-papers for children reported on under Section 57 of the Education Act, 1944; specimen sets of case-papers for handicapped children placed in residential schools; sample school leavers case sheets for Educational Special Needs schools under the Mental Health Act, 1959; and diagrammatic record of incidence of cases of infectious diseases at residential schools.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

LCC/EO/SS/01: General; LCC/EO/SS/02-06: Minutes; LCC/EO/SS/07: Registers; LCC/EO/SS/08: Reports; LCC/EO/SS/09: Financial.

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:

Acquired with the records of its parent body, the London County Council.

Allied Materials

Related material:

LCC/CH/D: London County Council Children's Department relating to places of detention such as industrial schools and reformatory schools.

Publication note:

For further information on the history of the LCC please see Achievement: A Short History of the London County Council by W Eric Jackson (1965), LMA Library reference 18.0 1965, The London County Council 1938, LMA Library reference 18.7 SER 4, and The Youngest County: A description of London as a county and its public services, 1951, LMA Library reference 18.0 1951.

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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