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Polytechnic Secondary School

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 1753 PSS
Held at: University of Westminster
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Full title: Polytechnic Secondary School
Date(s): [1885]-1986
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 6 boxes
Name of creator(s): Polytechnic Day School | London
Polytechnic Middle Class School | London
Polytechnic Intermediate Day School | London
Polytechnic Technical Day School | London
Polytechnic Commercial Day School | London
Polytechnic Secondary School | London
Quintin School | London
Quintin Kynaston School | London
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

In 1885 Quintin Hogg (1845-1903), founder of the Polytechnic Young Men's Christian Institute (later Regent Street Polytechnic), announced the founding of a day school there, a response to the fact that so many rooms in its premises at no 309 Regent Street were left empty during the day (much of the teaching and activities taking place in the evenings). The school opened in 1886 with 130 boys, aiming to provide professional, commercial (including Civil Service) and industrial secondary education at moderate fees. It was run by the Polytechnic President, Director of Education, and Governing Body, with its own Headmaster. It catered for boys aged 7 to 17 and soon had over 500 pupils; there was also, from 1888, a school for girls in Langham Place, which may have survived into the 1930s. Hogg himself undertook some teaching. The school used the Polytechnic sports and laboratory facilities. It pioneered educational trips abroad with a visit to Belgium and Switzerland in 1888. A club, the 'Old Quintinians', was formed in 1891 for former pupils to keep in touch with the Polytechnic after leaving the school, and a supplement added to the Polytechnic's magazine for them. The school was known variously as the Polytechnic (Boys') Day School, the Polytechnic Middle Class School, and the Polytechnic Intermediate Day School. Due to growing numbers of students, the Technical School (originally the Industrial Division) and Commercial School (which included the Professional Division) were divided in 1892. They came to operate largely as separate schools, despite occupying the same building. 'Aided' status under the London County Council was attained in 1911. The Commercial Day School and the Technical Day School were reunited as the Polytechnic Secondary School in 1919. Conditions in Regent Street were cramped owing to the expansion of the adult Polytechnic. The school was evacuated to Minehead in 1939. On the return to London it was again apparent that the Regent Street Polytechnic building was overcrowded and lacked facilities such as a playground. A proposed alternative site near Regent's Park was bombed, and other proposals also proved abortive. Boys who had returned to London were taught in St Katherine's House, Albany Street, and additional space was found at the LCC Institute for Distributive Trades in Charing Cross Road. Most of the classrooms in Regent Street were in use by the Polytechnic, although some school laboratories remained in the Great Portland Street extension (Little Titchfield Street). This accommodation was unsuitable for the bulk of the pupils returning from evacuation in 1945 and the Pulteney School (originally an elementary board school, founded in 1881) in Peter Street, Soho, provided further premises. Under the Education Act (1944) fees were abolished. The school moved from aided status to become a voluntary controlled school, under closer control by the London County Council. Renamed the Quintin School in 1948, when it became a grammar and instituted its own governing body, the school continued to operate on the split site until 1956, when it moved to new accommodation in St John's Wood, designed by Edward D Mills & Partners and opened in 1957, neighbouring the newly-relocated Kynaston Technical School (formerly Paddington Secondary Technical School). The two schools merged in 1969 to form Quintin Kynaston School, a boys' comprehensive, which became co-educational in 1976. For further information see L C B Seaman, The Quintin School 1886-1956: a brief history (London, 1957).


Scope and content/abstract:

Records, [1885]-1986, of the Polytechnic Secondary School, its predecessors and successors, consisting of membership records, comprising Day School registers, 1890-1892, 1905-1911, including lists of free scholarships, 1891-1894, Girls' Day School register, 1900-1906, and Polytechnic Secondary School lists, 1925-1935; administrative papers, including papers relating to a conference between the Governing Body and H M Inspectors concerning inspection of the Polytechnic Secondary School, 1929, circulars from the London County Council, Ministry of Health and Board of Education and other papers relating to the evacuation of the school, 1939-1940, Instrument dealing with the government of the Quintin School, 1951, file relating to management of the Quintin School, including Governors' minutes, 1962-1967, and miscellaneous other papers relating to the school; material relating to events, comprising Polytechnic Intermediate & Technical School for Boys programme of swimming display, 1890, programme of annual sports, 1920, Speech Day programmes, 1920-1922, 1926, 1930-1931, 1934, 1951, 1968, including Headmaster's reports, 1925-1926, 1929-1930, 1933-1924, programmes of presentation of athletic prizes, 1929-1930, 1934, including Headmaster's report, 1928-1929, programme for the opening of the new building, 1957; printed material, comprising photocopy of a prospectus of the Polytechnic Middle Class School for Boys [1885], Commercial School fifth form gazette, 1903, The Old Quintinian, 1912-1913, The Quintinian, 1920, 1927-1943, 1949-1959, The Polytechnic Secondary School [1938], L C B Seaman, The Quintin School 1886-1956: a brief history (London, 1957), and The Quintin School Hymn Book, undated; photographs of pupils, staff, activities and sports teams, c1888-[1960s], some undated; ephemera, artefacts and memorabilia, including dictionary inscribed F H Master, 1917, Christmas crackers, 1938, engraved House Fours cup, 1939, school cap and tie, and undated song sheet; papers of Lehman Robert Baars relating to his time at the school, 1931-1935, including reports, exam results and school lists; papers relating to an exhibition on the school, 1986.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Conditions governing access:

Open, subject to signing the Regulations for Access form.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copies may be supplied, for research use only, unless copyright restrictions apply or the item is too fragile to be copied. Requests to publish original material should be addressed to the University Archivist.

Finding aids:

Typescript handlist for some items. More recently accessioned material is uncatalogued.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Created by the institution.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Some items relating to the management of the school are found among the records of Regent Street Polytechnic (Ref: UWA RSP). The Polytechnic Magazine and its predecessor, Home Tidings, include information about the school.

National Register of Archives: Click here to view NRA record

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Compiled by Rachel Kemsley as part of the RSLP AIM25 project. Sources: The Polytechnic Young Men's Christian Institute Syllabus and Prospectus 1888-1889; Ethel M Wood, Quintin Hogg: a Biography (Archibald Constable & Co Ltd, London, 1904), pp 151-3; L C B Seaman, The Quintin School 1886-1956: a brief history (London, 1957); Quintin School: Ceremonial Opening of the New Building [1957]; website of Quintin Kynaston school:

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:
Dec 2001

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