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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 ACC/3454
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1910-1982
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 1.06 linear metres
Name of creator(s): Lauriston Road Central School x Hackney Central Secondary School x Cassland Secondary School


Administrative/Biographical history:

South Hackney School began its life as Lauriston Road Central School, which opened in March 1911 in an area that was then a fashionable suburb of London. After World War One air raids over London, the school moved into an existing school building in Cassland Road in 1917. It is believed that this Cassland Road building was the last Higher Grade School built by the London School Board before county councils took over responsibility for education in 1904.

The name of the school changed in 1913 to Hackney Council School, which reflected its role as one of the new central schools established in 1911 by the London County Council to provide education for brighter children whose parents could not afford the fees and who had not won a scholarship. According to Mr. Chew, Hackney Central's headmaster from 1911 to 1943, these schools 'were intended to put boys and girls on the road they could travel best'. Hackney Central Secondary School covered a fixed catchment area of elementary schools, and began with a commercial bias towards shorthand, book-keeping and typing. The syllabus developed towards more general education, although passing public examinations was not the primary aim of the central schools.

The school in Cassland Road was bombed during the Blitz and many children were evacuated to Northampton. In 1944 the school was forced to use another building in Lauriston Road and a new headmistress, Miss Beswick, took charge. The inter-war years started a tradition of school journeys and music and drama activities. The war had caused severe disruption with pupil members falling to 280, but the 1950s saw a period of growth and development.

Although the changes established by the 1944 Education Act refined the role of secondary education and the central schools, Hackney Central was one of the few schools allowed to select its pupils until the comprehensive system was introduced. But when the Education Committee decided that a school should not be allowed to bear the name of a borough, Hackney Central was forced to change its name in 1951 to Cassland Secondary School. The name derived from the old estate of Sir John Cass, a prominent educationalist, on whose grounds the school stood. The Sir John Cass Foundation gave permission for the family badges and shield to be worn on the uniform, and old pupils became familiarly known as 'Old Casslanders'.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of South Hackney School, 1910-1982, including logbook for Lauriston Road Central School; logbook for South Hackney Central School; waiting list and admission register for South Hackney Central School; admission register South Hackney Central School (from 1951 Cassland County Secondary School); register of school leavers (entered in Register of Children over Compulsory School Age); weekly attendance record with names of school leavers; H.M. Inspector's reports on Cassland County Secondary School and Lauriston County Secondary School; roll of service of South Hackney Central School, 1914-1918; "The Diary" School Magazine, containing The Story of Cassland Secondary School 1910-1955; photographs of various subjects including school visit to Switzerland, school sports team, orchestra and drama production.

Also logbook kept by headmistress, Miss M Beswick, from formation of school in 1958 with details of teaching staff (closed until 2028); admin papers and correspondence including prize-giving, appointments of teachers and report of Inspection by London Board of Jewish Religious Education; newspaper cuttings and photographs; punishment books (closed until 2032); photographs of sports teams, plays, classrooms, workshops; programmes for school concerts, plays, short stories, poetry; school magazines, large photograph of Miss Beswick - headmistress 1944-1962 and large photograph of Mr Chew - headmaster 1911-1943.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:


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 rests with the depositor.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

The records of this deposit were donated to the GLRO by the wife of the late Headmaster on 14 Dec 1994.

Immediate source of acquisition:

Deposited in 1994

Allied Materials

Related material:

Further records held at the London Metropolitan Archives relating to South Hackney School:
Admission + Discharge Registers EO/DIV4/SOU/A&D/1 1910-1912
EO/DIV4/SOU/A&D/1 1913-1926
Inspectors Reports LCC/EO/PS/12/573/1-3 1923-1969
LCC/EO/PS/12/C20/1-6 1903-1952
Log Books EO/DIV4/SOU/LB/1 1928-1939 (closed until 2003)
Punishment Book EO/DIV4/SOU/MISC/1 1910-1913
Photographs 22.133 SOU Exterior 1972
22.133 SOU Exterior 1976

For Lauriston County Secondary School:
Inspectors Reports LCC/EO/PS/12/L12/1-39 1895-1963
Log Books EO/DIV4/LAU/LB/1 1892-1913 Boys
EO/DIV4/LAU/LB/2 1913-1926 Boys
EO/DIV4/LAU/LB/3 1913-1929 Senior Mixed
EO/DIV4/LAU/LB/4 1932-1951 Senior Mixed (closed until 2017)
EO/DIV4/LAU/LB/5 1953-1957 Mixed (closed until 2023)
EO/DIV4/LAU/LB/6 1893-1906 Evening
Minutes of Teachers Annual Conference
EO/DIV4/LAU/MISC/1 1899-1924
EO/DIV4/LAU/MISC/2 1893-1898

Publication note:

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:
July to October 2009

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